Updated: October 7, 2020 9:47am

Enterprise and Connection Manager Overview

Prism is typically deployed in a two- or three-tier hierarchy consisting of headquarters (HQ) at the top, an optional intermediate layer in the middle, and individual store servers at the bottom. Smaller enterprises with fewer than 50 stores can deploy Prism in a two-level hierarchy with store servers directly under the Prism HQ. If the enterprise has more than 50 stores, there must be an intermediate level of Point of Authority (POA) servers between the HQ and store servers. The POA and store servers join the enterprise through a Technicians Toolkit process. This structured hierarchy enforces synchronization of data throughout the enterprise.

Prism hierarchy

Basic Steps
At the Prism HQ Server machine
1.    Make sure the machine has a working TCP/IP connection to the RIL (or Retail Pro 9) database that will be the data source for initializing Prism. The RIL Oracle database can be on the same machine as the Prism HQ server or a different machine. After initialization, the source RIL and the Prism HQ server maintain a connection and continue to exchange data. Using "profiles" in Prism Connection Manager, you control the data that is sent from RIL to Prism and from Prism to RIL. For example, the HQ will send documents, customers and other new or changed records to RIL via a prism-to-RIL profile. Using an RIL-to-Prism profile, changes made in RIL (e.g. new Inventory items) will be propagated to Prism.
2.    Install the full Prism stack (Apache, Prism Server, Prism Proxy and Prism DRS). The Prism HQ server machine should be the first server on which Prism is installed (subsequent servers will "join the enterprise" and take their place in the hierarchy under the HQ server).
3.    Launch the Prism Proxy using the desktop shortcut and log in using sysadmin/sysadmin credentials. Configure the following:

  • Prism Proxy > Admin Console > Installation Defaults: Edit the Controller Name and RIL Address and save the changes.
  • Prism Proxy > Admin Console > Connection Manager > RIL Dashboard: If you added the RIL Address in Installation Defaults, the server name will be available in the dropdown. If you did not add the RIL Address in Installation Defaults, click the "Add a New Connection" button, add the server name, save, and then select the server from the dropdown. Additional tabs on the RIL Dashboard become available.
  • Prism Proxy > Admin Console > Connection Manager > RIL Dashboard > Profiles: Create an RIL-to-Prism profile to use for initializing Prism.
  • Prism Proxy > Admin Console > Connection Manager > RIL Dashboard > Initialization: Initialize the Prism HQ server with data from RIL using the created profile.
  • Prism Proxy > Admin Console > Connection Manager > RIL Dashboard > Connections: Select the RIL connection and click Show Unlinked Profiles. Link the RIL-to-Prism Profile to the RIL connection. At this time, you can also click the Plus sign icon and add a Prism-to-RIL profile for sending data back to RIL.

4.    Log out and log back in using your Retail Pro username and password.
5.    Configure any Prism preferences and permissions that you want to propagate to the POAs or Store servers that will subsequently be installed.
6.    Install subsequent servers.
At each POA or Store server:
[Note: Depending on the complexity of the setup, there can be one or more levels of child POAs under the Prism HQ server, with store servers installed under the POAs. In a three-level hierarchy, install POA servers first and initialize each POA with data from the HQ server (Prism-to-Prism initialization), then install Store servers and initialize with data from POAs (Prism-to-Prism initialization). In a two-level hierarchy, install the Store servers and point to the HQ server when joining the enterprise.]
1.    Install the full Prism stack (Apache, Prism Server, Prism Proxy, Prism DRS).
2.    Launch Tech Toolkit and configure the following:

  • Tech Toolkit > Connection Manager: Add a connection for the server itself. After adding the connection to the server itself, select it in the Current Connection dropdown.
  • Tech Toolkit > Enterprise Manager: Edit the default Controller Number (default = 1) and Controller Name (default = RPS). The Controller Number must be unique.
  • Tech Toolkit > Enterprise Manager: Click "Join the Enterprise" and join the server to the Enterprise.

3.    Launch the Prism Proxy and configure the following:

  • Prism Proxy > Admin Console > Connection Manager > Prism Dashboard > Connections: Select the connection to the HQ server and connect to the server.
  • Prism Proxy > Admin Console > Connection Manager > Prism Dashboard > Profiles: Create a Prism-to-Prism profile. This profile will be used to initialize the server.
  • Prism Proxy > Admin Console > Connection Manager > Prism Dashboard > Initialization: Initialize the POA with data from the HQ Prism server using the Prism-to-Prism profile you created.
  • Prism Proxy > Admin Console > Connection Manager > Prism Dashboard > Profiles: After initialization is complete, you can go back and create a Prism-to-Prism profile for replicating data from the POA back to the HQ.
  • Prism Proxy > Admin Console > Connection Manager > Prism Dashboard > Connections: Select the HQ connection and click Show Unlinked Profiles. Link the Prism-to-Prism Profile to the HQ connection.

4.    At each installation, create any additional profiles that will be needed for Day-to-Day replication and link the profiles to connections.

Enterprise Hierarchy Notes
HQ
A single "HQ" system serves as the root authority for the company's servers.
Data created at the HQ flows downstream from the HQ to POAs and from POAs to stores.
Data created at stores flows upstream to POAs and on to the HQ.
To send data from one store to another store, data first flows upstream to the POA and/or HQ and then downstream to the destination node.
POA Level
A server's Point of Authority (POA) is the upstream server in charge of enterprise data (from this server's point of view). In a deployment of fewer than 50 stores, the HQ server can serve as the POA for the store servers. Deployments of more than 50 stores require an intermediate POA level between the HQ and store servers. Data is sent downstream by the HQ to the POA and then from the POA to the store server(s). Data is sent upstream by the stores to the store's designated POA and then from the POA to the HQ.
Store Level
At the store level, a profile will be created to communicate daily with the POA (Prism-to-Prism). In deployments of fewer than 50 stores, the store servers will be initialized by the HQ and the HQ will serve as the POA for the store servers. In deployments of more than 50 stores, the store servers will be initialized by the store's POA. When data is created/edited at the store level, it is communicated up the enterprise chain to the top. Store servers are not allowed to replicate data directly with each other; instead, the data must first flow up the hierarchy to the POA and then back down the hierarchy to the target store.
Joining the Enterprise
All servers other than the Prism HQ server must go through the Join-the-Enterprise process. Joining the Enterprise adds the server as a new node to an enterprise hierarchy. As part of the JTE process, the user must identify each server's POA.
Prerequisites for POA/Joining the Enterprise
The server must have online connectivity to the POA.
The user doing the configuration must know the IP addresses or FQDNs of the servers.
The Prism HQ root does not have a POA. Install the Prism HQ server first.

Replication Best Practices

  • Install Prism servers from the top down. Install the HQ (root authority) first and initialize, then install child POAs, join each to the enterprise and initialize. After that, install store servers, join each to the enterprise and initialize. Each POA should point to the Prism HQ server; each store server should point to its POA server.
  • Install the first tier of POA servers after the root is initialized.
  • Edit the default Controller Name and Controller No of POA servers in Tech Toolkit BEFORE you install store servers. Edit the default Controller Name and Controller No of Store Servers before initializing.
  • To access or edit a node, the server must be up and running.
  • To send data out from a server, you must create a profile and link it to a connection.
  • Nodes can modify the controller data for themselves and any subordinate nodes (in Tech Toolkit).
  • To initialize a node, the node must be on the same Prism version as the POA.
  • Any node other than the root authority can leave an enterprise; a superior node can remove a subordinate node that is offline via the "Remove Subordinate" option in Tech Toolkit.
  • Avoid generating unneeded traffic by being careful about what data is replicated and where it is sent. For example, if you turn on replication of all resources at every location, it could cause the replication message queues to back up and prevent data from being delivered in a timely manner.
  • Prism-to-Prism replication should be the primary form of replication and should be turned on in all directions for all servers. Only the HQ server should replicate data with Retail Pro Integration Layer (RIL). [Note: This recommendation may be modified by the Retail Pro Professional Services team based on the size and complexity of the installation.]
  • You cannot send documents directly from one store to another. A POA can create documents and send them to stores, and a store directly under the POA can create documents and send them to the POA; however, two stores under a POA cannot send documents to each other without first going through the POA.
  • Certain fields that update quantity and cost are designated as protected fields. These protected fields will update values at a subordinate server when replicated from a POA to a subordinate. When data is replicated from a subordinate to a POA, the protected fields are not updated. See the "Protected Fields" section.
  • If you have any special characters in your RIL records, those records will NOT be replicated. Special characters are characters such as: -@ $ * ! " & ~ ' ? ` [ ] \ =.
  • For effective communication between web clients and the Proxy, the Proxy should point at a server on the local network. This enables the proxy to fulfill its primary purpose, which is enabling web clients in the POS lanes to communicate with printers and other POS hardware. If you need to change the server to which the Proxy points, first uninstall the Proxy and then reinstall the Proxy, this time pointing to the desired local server.