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Working with Environments


There are different types of environments available in a build place. It is noted that Build Place Environments would support only English Language despite multiple languages are activated in the Use Place. A build place is offered a quota of 2 environments. However, if there is a requirement for additional environments, customer can purchase maximum up to 6 environments (in 2 blocks). At a given time, there is also a limit to the number of environments of a specific type that can be ordered. These quotas can be seen in the Settings dialog in a Build Place.

Customer can purchase additional Build Place environments at the time of onboarding or anytime after onboarding. The process of activating additional environments is mentioned below;

New IFS Cloud customer purchasing additional Build Place environments at the time of onboarding

1) Sales team would fill the onboarding form and additional environments also specify in the same form

2) The completed form is emailed to the IFS onboarding team

3) IFS onboarding team would first create the Build Place initialization request in SNOW.

4) Once the Build Place is activated, the IFS onboarding team will login to Lifecycle Experience Portal and increase the Build Place environment count.

Existing IFS Cloud Build Place customer purchasing additional environments.

1) Sales team select the number of environments from the Global Price List (GPL)

2) Send the request to IFS onboarding team.

3) IFS onboarding team will login to Lifecycle Experience Portal and increase the Build Place environment count.

Environment Types

Environment Type Built From Purpose Maximum per build place Lifespan
DEV Master branch of customer solution repository These environments can be ordered based on the last successful build on the master and can be used by developers to directly deploy code during development 1 Upto 1 month
QAS Master branch of customer solution repository This environment type can be ordered based on the last successful build on the master and can be used to verify the code available in the master before a delivery is created 1 1 week
TOP Topic branch of customer solution repository This environment can be ordered based on a given topic branch and can be used to verify a functionality developed on a particular branch before it is merged to master No limit 1 Week
DEL Master branch of customer solution repository This environment is created to verify a created delivery. This environment is created based on a previously created delivery and a stable sanity tag in the master which is the delivery candidate 1 1 Week
BAS Master branch of customer baseline repository This environment can be ordered from a specific service update tag in the master branch of the baseline repository. This is intended to be used when investigating support issues to identify whether a particular issue is available in the baseline code or not. No limit 1 Week

Environment Details

The expanded card view of an environment as seen in the build place portal is shown below.

The following labels describe the details of the environment card view:

Label Description Value
Repository Repository name for development  Customer Solution or Customer Baseline
Branch Branch name for development Master branch or Topic branch name
Created By The person who ordered the environment Email ID of user
VM Power State Current power status of the VM Running or Deallocated
Daily Shutdown Time Daily environment shutdown time Time in UTC
Created Date Time Environment creation date & time Time in UTC
Expiry Date Time Environment expiry date & time Time in UTC

Note: VM could be up and running although environment creation is still in progress.

The following sections in the card can be used to access different components of the environment:

Section Description
Application Information Includes the link to the environment's database, IFS application and the ifsapp credentials for accessing them.
You can navigate to the application via "Go to IFS Cloud" button.
Network Share Information Includes the directory for the environment's network share and the ifsdev credentials to access it. The network share comprises of the build home and the logs related to the ordered environment.
IFSSYS DB Information This information is only included for a dev environment.
The credentials can be used to set up the development environment for service layer developments, container developments, java development, etc in IFS developer studio.

Expiry of Environments

All environments ordered for a build place will have a lifespan based on the environment type and is as indicated in the table above. This information is also available as read-only in the Build Place settings. Once the lifespan is expired, the environment will be deleted automatically.

When an environment is ordered, its expiry date (in UTC time) is set based on the creation date and the lifespan for the environment type. This date is displayed on the environment card as shown below.

When there is only 3 days (72 hours) remaining for the environment to expire, a yellow indicator appears on the environment card. Hovering over the indicator will display the tool tip showing the number of hours remaining before environment expires.

When there is only 24 hours or less for an environment to expire, the indicator will turn red. Once the expiry date is passed, the environment will be automatically deleted by the hourly scheduled job that runs for a Build Place.

Daily Shutdown of Environments

All environments in a build place will undergo a daily shutdown. This is done to reduce the amount of utilized resources.

The Daily Environment Shutdown Time can be set and viewed in the Build Place Settings. This schedule is applicable to all environments ordered for the build place.

When an environment is ordered, the daily shutdown time at that time of ordering will be applicable for it and can be seen on the environment card. If the shutdown time is changed, the new schedule will be only be applicable to newly ordered environments whilst the old environments follow the previous schedule.

Once the daily shutdown time is passed, the environments are automatically shutdown by the hourly scheduled job that runs for a Build Place. When the scheduled job is completed, the VM Power state of the environment will change from "Running" to "Deallocated" to indicate that the environment is unusable. In this state, the network share, database, and application of the environment will be inaccessible.

To restart the environment, the Start button on the card can be used. When clicked, the status of the environment will change to "Start Operation Pending" and the environment will be accessible after the operation has completed. Once this happens, the status of the environment will go back to "Completed".

It is also possible to manually shutdown the environment by clicking the "Stop" button on the card. To indicate that the environment is in the process of shutting down, the status will display "Stop Operation Pending". Once the operation is completed, the environment will regain it's original "Completed" state.

Configure Point-to-Site VPN on User Workstation

The point to site VPN connection is needed when connecting to any database of any of the build place environments or to access logs shared in the VM shared folder.

This is a guide on how to configure the developer machine to be able to connect to these artifacts.

Note: that it is only possible to have one active Point-to-site VPN connection at a time. To connect to a 2nd VPN connection you will be asked to disconnect the existing connection. However you can have multiple VPN configurations in the same workstation.

  • Download zip file which contains the configuration xml file from IFS Lifecycle Experience Portal, for the respective build place you are working on.

  • Search for the Azure VPN Client from your PC apps. If not available you can download it from here.

Note: Please note Windows 10 1809 or later is required for you to be able to download the Azure VPN Client

  • Once installed, open the app and go to the option of adding a new vpn connection

  • Select the ‘Import’ Option and browse for the configuration xml file you downloaded in the initial step. (xml file inside 'AzureVPN' folder).
  • You can change the connection name as you prefer and save the connection.
  • Now you can connect to the VPN.

  • You will be asked to login using the IFS Azure Acitve Directory credentials or will login seamlessly if you already have connected to the Azure Active Directory

Note: For External users who are connecting to the VPN via domains that are not registered with IFS, a message will pop up as below. To connect to the VPN,

  • Unselect "Allow organization to manage my device" and
  • Select "No, sign in to this app only"

  • Once connected to VPN, to check if the connection works you can login to the dev environment database in the build place using plsqldeveloper or IFS Developer Studio.