Message backup configuration

Activator can back up messages multiple times: When first consumed, and during processing when the content and state have been changed.

Backing up files is strongly recommended. This is required for the system to perform fail-over operations such as attempting to send messages again (retries) in case of a transport connection failure.

With backups disabled, payloads (up to a certain size) are stored in-memory. If the process is ended, the memory is cleared and the payloads are lost. Without backups, a message in process cannot be recovered if the server stops or restarts. Backups also are needed if you want the ability to resubmit messages to the back end or resend messages to partners.

Backup files are stored in <install directory>\common\data\backup, unless you specify otherwise.

There are two places in the user interface to configure how Activator backs up the messages it processes.

  • You can turn on or off message backups selectively for each pickup and delivery exchange. By default, backup is enabled. To change the backup behavior for an exchange, see Community trading pickups and partner deliveries and Modify an application pickup or delivery.
  • The global backup configuration page has settings affecting how all messages for all communities are backed up. On this page you can set the root path for directories containing backed-up files and the frequency for creating back-up directories. You also can ordain whether the message handler backs up messages. By default, backup is enabled.

Backup configuration page field descriptions

To open the global backup configuration page, click Trading configuration > Managing trading configuration on the toolbar. On the Communities page, click Configure the global backup settings. The following describes the fields.

  • Root path – Use the root path field to specify the path of the backup directory. The backup directory can store copies of all traded documents in their clear (unencrypted) and encrypted forms. The default is <install directory>\common\data\backup.
  • The system supports conventional paths for the backup directory, such as C:\data\backup in Windows, and paths incorporating a server name (Uniform Naming Convention).
  • Schedule to create backup subdirectories – This field specifies the schedule for creating backup subdirectories. Activator creates a subdirectory periodically to limit the number of backup files in a single directory. Automatic, the default setting, causes a backup subdirectory to be created about every hour. Subdirectories are created only as needed to accommodate trading activity. Subdirectories are not added when there is no activity.
  • The automatic setting is fine in most cases. However, if your volume is low (10,000 documents a month or less) and you want to minimize the number of subdirectories created, specify the infrequent value Monthly. If your volume is extremely high (500 documents per minute or more) specify the high frequency Every minute to reduce the number of files in each subdirectory and improve performance.
  • Although the setting Never is available, it is not recommended.
  • Message handler backs up messages – Select this option to enable the back up of messages that pass through the Activator message handler. The message handler is responsible for actions such as packaging (encryption, adding MIME headers) and unpackaging.
  • Caution: Message handler backup is required to successfully split a document. The EDI Splitter will not work with Message handler backups disabled.
  • Enabling message handler backups (the default setting) does not result in adding a larger volume of files to the backup directory, as messages are backed up when content and state have changed, not simply when the state has changed. However, turning off backups can result in fewer backed-up states. Regardless, turning this on or off does not affect searching in Message Tracker.
  • If security of clear text files is an issue, turn off message handler backups. This ensures all messages — encrypted and unencrypted — passing through the handler are not backed up. Furthermore, you must disable backups for transports that handle clear text messages (for example, integration pickup). Only disabling both guards against backing up clear text messages.
  • Disabling message handler backups has consequences that may weigh upon a decision to disable or not. When disabled, messages in the packaged state bypass the message production system and go straight to the producer. This means if a schedule has been set for turning on and off a delivery exchange, the schedule is ignored. Moreover, the exchange’s setting for maximum concurrent connections is ignored.

States of backed-up files

Because you use Message Tracker to search for, view and resubmit documents, there is no need to manually examine the backup directory contents. If you open the directory, however, you see the system appends names of backed up files with labels noting the state of backed-up messages. There are many possible states. Some common states are:

  • Consumed – Consumed is appended to names of documents that have been received from partners but not unpackaged or that have been picked up from integration but have not been packaged or sent.
  • UnpackagedRequest – UnpackagedRequest is appended to names of documents that have been received from partners and unpackaged. These documents are clear text.
  • Packaged – Packaged is appended to names of documents that have been packaged and scheduled to be sent to partners.

Backup options and Message Tracker

Message Tracker is most useful when message backups are turned on for all deliveries and the message handler. Backing up is turned on by default at these points:

  • Consumption exchanges (integration pickup and receiving from partners)
  • Production exchanges (integration delivery and sending to partners)
  • Message handler

There may be reasons for tuning off message backups at one or more points. For example, the field Message handler backs up messages is used to adjust configuration when backups of clear-text messages are not wanted.

Turning off backups at all three points would restrict Message Tracker. Although you could still search for messages based on information stored in the database, you could not view the actual messages for the lack of backups. You also could not resend or reprocess any messages.

The following table summarizes how changing backup settings affects the ability to resend and reprocess messages in Message Tracker.

Action

Requirement

Resend

Backing up must be enabled for production exchanges or the message handler. If neither backs ups, resending is not possible.

Reprocess

Backing up must be enabled for consumption exchanges. If there are no backups of consumed files, reprocessing is not possible.

The following tables break down in more detail how backup settings affect the ability to resend or reprocess outbound and inbound messages.

Outbound messages

 

 

 

Backup point

State

Can resend

Can reprocess

Application pickup

Off

No

No

Send to partner

Off

Message handler

Off

 

 

 

 

Application pickup

On

Yes

Yes

Send to partner

On

Message handler

Off

 

 

 

 

Application pickup

Off

Yes

No

Send to partner

Off

Message handler

On

 

 

 

 

Application pickup

On

Yes

Yes

Send to partner

On

Message handler

On

 

Inbound messages

 

 

 

Backup point

State

Can resend

Can reprocess

Application delivery

Off

No

No

Receive from partner

Off

Message handler

Off

 

 

 

 

Application delivery

On

Yes

Yes

Receive from partner

On

Message handler

Off

 

 

 

 

Application delivery

Off

Yes

No

Receive from partner

Off

Message handler

On

 

 

 

 

Application delivery

On

Yes

Yes

Receive from partner

On

Message handler

On

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