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Workflow Across Distributed System Designers 

When using Distributed System Designers, you can follow different workflows, depending on the tasks you want to accomplish while designing your distributed system. For example, the following list describes high-level tasks that you can perform using Distributed System Designers:

  • Create a new distributed system solution or reverse-engineer an existing solution with Application Designer.

  • Define, revise, or implement applications using Application Designer.

  • Design or revise application systems using System Designer.

  • Design or revise logical representations of a datacenter using Logical Datacenter Designer.

  • Define and validate application system deployment against logical datacenters using Deployment Designer.

Regardless of the task you begin with, the following illustration shows how workflow progresses within a solution through the different designers that are part of Distributed System Designers.

Workflow across Distributed System Designers
Workflow across Distributed System Designers

In the illustration, the dashed line to the left of Deployment Designer indicates a typical division between the project roles of those using these designers. Application architects and developers primarily use Application Designer, System Designer, and Deployment Designer while infrastructure architects primarily use Logical Datacenter Designer. The following table describes abbreviations and notations used in this illustration.

Abbreviation or notation Description

A

An application definition.

a1

The use of an application definition.

S

A system definition.

LS

A logical server.

For more information about terminology in this topic, see Distributed System Designers Terminology Overview.

The following sections contain brief descriptions about Distributed System Designers and how they interact with each other.

Application Designer

When you want to design a new distributed system, the first step, typically, is to create a distributed system solution that contains a blank application diagram. From there, you can use Application Designer to define and configure applications. For an existing solution, you can reverse-engineer projects that support visualization by adding an application diagram to the solution. However, a solution can contain only one application diagram.

From the Toolbox, you can drag predefined application prototypes to the application diagram to define applications. The following list describes some of the tasks you can perform using Application Designer:

  • Configure connections between application definitions to specify how applications are connected in the development environment.

  • Define the services that applications provide or use.

  • Describe application configuration requirements by specifying application settings and constraints using the Settings and Constraints editor.

  • Generate projects for applications that support implementation.

  • Create system diagrams to design application systems composed from applications using System Designer.

  • Create deployment diagrams to evaluate deployment of applications in a target datacenter using Deployment Designer.

    NoteNote

    Before you can create a deployment diagram, you must have a logical datacenter diagram, which is created using Logical Datacenter Designer.

For more information, see Overview of Application Designer.

System Designer

After you have defined applications on the application diagram and are ready to design an application system, the first step is to create a system diagram. A system diagram describes a single system that is composed from applications defined on the application diagram or systems defined on other system diagrams. A single use of each application or system definition appears on the system diagram as a member of the current system. You can also add a blank or existing system diagram to the solution. Creating or adding a system diagram opens System Designer so that you can add or remove uses of application definitions or other system definitions on the diagram. You can also design a system that is composed from other systems to use in distributed system scenarios.

NoteNote

An existing system diagram might display one or more uses of application or other system definitions. Therefore, adding an existing system diagram requires that you add the underlying definitions of the applications or systems referenced by the diagram. Otherwise, alert indicators appear on the existing system diagram. Referenced applications and systems are represented by the respective diagrams that define them.

You can add members to a system by dragging from the System View window, which displays available application and system definitions. The following list describes some of the tasks you can perform using System Designer:

  • Configure connections between members of the system to specify how applications are connected in the deployment environment.

  • Expose behavior of members in the system by creating proxy endpoints.

  • Configure settings on member applications that differ from their definitions as required.

  • Create deployment diagrams to evaluate deployment of the system in a target datacenter using Deployment Designer.

    NoteNote

    Before you can create a deployment diagram, you must have a logical datacenter diagram, which is created using Logical Datacenter Designer.

For more information, see Overview of System Designer.

Logical Datacenter Designer

Before you can evaluate deployment of a system, you must have a logical datacenter diagram, which is created using Logical Datacenter Designer. A logical datacenter diagram abstracts part of a physical datacenter using logical servers, endpoints, connections, and zones. Logical servers represent the run-time environment to which an application will deploy. Zones typically represent communication boundaries and refer to regions in the datacenter. You can create a new solution containing a blank logical datacenter diagram or add a blank or existing logical datacenter diagram to a solution.

From the Toolbox, you can drag predefined prototypes to a logical datacenter diagram to define logical servers, endpoints, and zones. The following list describes some of the tasks you can perform using Logical Datacenter Designer:

  • Configure connections between logical servers and zones to describe communication pathways in the logical datacenter.

  • Configure settings and constraints to describe application hosting requirements and restrict communication protocols.

In addition to describing the target datacenter, logical datacenter diagrams are used in conjunction with system diagrams or application diagrams to create deployment diagrams using Deployment Designer. Application architects and infrastructure architects can then use deployment diagrams to evaluate deployment of an application system.

For more information, see Overview of Logical Datacenter Designer.

Deployment Designer

You can evaluate the deployment of an application system in a target datacenter using Deployment Designer. The first step is to create a deployment diagram. A deployment diagram describes how applications in a system will be deployed to a target datacenter as represented in part by a logical datacenter diagram. You can create a deployment diagram by defining deployment from the application diagram or a system diagram and then choosing a logical datacenter diagram.

NoteNote

When creating a deployment diagram from the application diagram, a default system is used to define and evaluate deployment. Actual deployment should be defined and evaluated from system diagrams. For more information, see Deployment Definitions Created from Application and System Diagrams.

Deployment Designer opens and displays a deployment diagram mirroring the logical datacenter diagram that you chose. You can then specify where specific applications will be deployed by binding applications to logical servers. You can bind applications by dragging them from the System View window to logical servers on the deployment diagram. The System View window displays all members of the root system, including applications from other systems in the root system.

After you finish binding applications, you can validate the deployment diagram to determine whether conflicts exist between settings and constraints on applications and their logical server hosts for that particular deployment. Following validation, you can generate a deployment report in HTML format to document these issues. The deployment report is also available in XML format, which you can use to create scripts for deploying applications to physical servers.

For more information, see Overview of Deployment Designer.

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