Test and verify your Industrial IoT solution is ready to go live. Then, deploy it to production.
Before you begin, complete these steps:
Make sure your users have access to the right components within the application. We recommend several users log in to ThingWorx in a test/QA environment and verify they have access to everything they need. Test the user permissions for each of your designated user groups (administrator, developer, user, etc.). If someone can’t access a Mashup or if they have too much access, alter their permissions.
Thoroughly vet the application in a test/QA environment following the testing plan you created during planning:
If you find issues, consider rolling the application back to your development environment for fixing.
Test the application in a test/QA environment with a few potential users (plant managers, frontline workers, or other available participants) to ensure what you’ve built meets their needs.
User Acceptance Testing should address questions like:
You may learn important insights during this phase and choose to act on them later. If the application does not meet 100 percent of the user’s needs, decide whether to pause deployment or to launch as-is.
Transition your integrations to start feeding data into ThingWorx. After you turn on the integrations, verify the data is accurately flowing from the asset/tool/system as expected. Make sure you’re not receiving extraneous data. If you’re switching from an existing legacy system, compare the data from the old system and what you’re seeing in ThingWorx to be sure they’re identical. We recommend you monitor the data for several hours before you continue through deployment.
If you are migrating existing data from other systems, verify it imports to ThingWorx correctly. A developer, IT expert, data scientist or engineer can help. It may take several weeks to fully migrate months or years of historical data: we recommend you import data on a rolling basis. Prioritize the data you need to understand trends or make sense of the data you’re collecting going forward. If you’re retiring any existing systems, migrate that data sooner.
Keep in mind the more data you migrate and store, the more it will affect system performance.
Once assets are connected and data is flowing, perform a variety of load tests to check whether system load, performance, and availability is acceptable. For example, if you expect data to travel from an asset through the application in 5 seconds, verify the application is delivering that level of performance. Be sure your server is large enough to handle the data. Be realistic about your expectations: the faster your system, the higher your server costs.
It’s important to stress test the system. Test the user load and device input load. Simulate several scenarios—including less-likely situations when the system is processing more data than expected. For example, if your application is expected to process 10 megabytes per minute, simulate 100 megabytes per minute to ensure the system doesn’t crash under extreme conditions. While these scenarios may be uncommon, we recommend you prepare the system to handle them.
After you have performed all the necessary testing in the test/QA environment, you’re ready to promote the code to production. This step “publishes” your application—deploying it to your manufacturing plant. Ensure you have a backup in place before promoting to production. If you have followed a thorough DevOps process, your work should already be backed up.
To promote to production, the developer/architect will import data and entities to the production server. If an issue arises, do not make changes to the application in the production environment. First, make adjustments and test them in the development environment. Second, promote the code to the test/QA environment and test thoroughly. Third, promote the code to production.
Once the technical team has successfully deployed the application, notify project team members and stakeholders. The application is now collecting real data, communicating with your assets, and is available for use.
The final smoke test will help you determine whether the application is ready to deploy. If any issues arose during unit, functional and/or user acceptance testing; re-test to ensure they’re fixed. Run through several test scenarios, like adding a new user or interacting with a Mashup. Double check your integrations for data leakage.
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