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May 4, 2021

ALM - Anaplan Lifecycle Management


Anaplan Lifecycle Management


Thanks to Anaplan's process of ALM, users can easily manage their models. It's easy to understand and easier to use like every other function of Anaplan. So, let's dig deep into ALM.


ALM?? What is it? 

ALM is the process of managing the development, testing, deployment, and ongoing support and enhancements of the models.

But before we go to what ALM is, lets understand a few features.

u Standard mode, Deployed mode, Revision Tags, Compare and Sync.


Standard and Deployed Mode

Standard: This mode is for model building and for developing the model where the data can be changed. Used in Dev model.

Deployed: This mode blocks any modification being made to the structural information. Used in Prod and Test model.




Revision Tags

u They capture a model's structural information and not its Prod data, at a point in time.

u This can only be used in models in standard mode

u After making at least a single structural change, we can revert a model back to the most recent revision tag.

Is it possible to Create a Model from a Revision Tag?? 

Yes, it is, if you are Workspace Admin (well, that goes without saying because if you weren't you wouldn't be able to do half of the Anaplan magic tricks explained here).

You can also revert a model to the most recent revision tag, removing any unsaved structural changes made by anyone. Lucky for us, the model's production data, contents like production lists, will not be affected. It is used to discard undesired changes made in a source or development model. However, this action is permanent and cannot undo it. Comparison of revision tags between the same models is possible but synchronizing them is not an option.


Comparison and Synchronization

When two models, source and target, are structurally compatible, structural changes made to the source model can be synchronized with the target model.


What can Compare and Synchronize do? 

The major flow of data is from development model to a test model where they are in standard and deployed mode respectively, from test model to production model where both are in deployed mode and from development model to production model where they are in standard and deployed mode respectively.

Compare and Synchronize is a three-way process:

Firstly, choose two models to compare, the source and the target. The target model here being Current_Accruals_Prod_ALM_R1.0 is compared to the source model here being Current_Accruals_Dev_ALM_R1.0 and changes are moved from the source model to the target model.

Secondly, from the source model select a revision tag and compare it against the latest revision of the target model. We will get to see all the differences in the changes made between the two revision tags.

Finally, once you synchronize the models, all the changes from the source model are passed on to the target model. A successful sync will mean that the models have the same revision tag.

Voila! A novel revision tag is created in the target model.




 In the target model, the change will be made, and the revision tag will be added.


Important Principles:

·        Models must be structurally alike or compatible. This is only possible if the target model's revision tag is an earlier version of the source model's revision tag.

·        Permissions required

·        All structural changes are passed on

·       One-Way Sync - changes may be passed on from source to target models and not vice versa.

·        One-to-One Sync - can pass on many changes to only one target at a time.

·        Do not make structural changes to target models.


Confirm that following have been checked in the source model before synchronization:

 production lists contain operational data

·        production imports are selected

·        revision tag is created with the latest changes in the source model

The hotfix can be managed without impacting the work in progress as shown in:

Application Lifecycle Management Summary

With the increase in the use of various Anaplan operations, so does the complexity increase to replicate each change from a deployment environment through a testing environment and finally to a production environment.

ALM is that feature of Anaplan that provides effective solutions to these complications. With ALM, you will be able to promote changes through development, testing, and production using a controlled and consistent approach. The capabilities of ALM is such that you will be able to create and govern enterprise-grade applications which will help adjust and alter to meet the rapidly changing business wants.

ALM can be called as the modus operandi of handling the development lifecycle of applications, from design stage to deployment to business users using the application. There are broadly categorized into the following stages:

Design, all you need according to your business demands. You may create user stories; structure, criteria for success, and major deliverables, schema diagrams, modules, and data flows; wireframes; and prototypes to achieve the desired projects goals. Chart out the models required.

Build: create models required to make up the application.  This stage being early in the process, you may not have any production data and so it's not necessary to load application. Sanitized data can be used while creating modules, lists etc.

Test, test, and test in a million different ways. Usually, functional and performance testing is done and if that passes, the next step is to do user acceptance test for the application built. You can use a separate workspace for testing.

Deployment is that stage where the business users get to use the application. To avoid all mishaps production application will be in an independent workspace. Production data can be imported from an external source or data hub.

Once the deployment is settled the application will have to deal with enhancements, bugs to resolve, new models to bear some of the weight of the existing one, the development lifecycle will be perennial.

Thus, in a very efficient manner, ALM helps us in managing different models.



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