Application Packaging Standard

Last updated 14-Nov-2018

Product Initialization

After an APS application instance is installed on the platform as explained in Application Deployment, the provider needs to create and configure products and all necessary product componets to sell and provision the application services.

Effect of Product Configuration

As you know, the platform normally contains two closely integrated parts, the operations support system (OSS) and the business support system (BSS). Alternatively, it can consist of OSS without BSS. Depending on the platform configuration, the products and related components used to provision application services to customers are different as explained in this document:

  • In OSS - APS reference resources, resource types, and service templates
  • In BSS - resource categories, plan categories, sales categories, service plans, and resource rates

Product Components

Product in OSS

In OSS, a service template is a product used to subscribe customers to application services. A service template contains a set of resources with a limit on each of them. Every resource in a service template is based on a resource type. The latter is created from a platform built-in resource class.

When creating a service template with the resources of an application for the first time, the product deployment is a sequence of the following steps.

  1. Create reference APS resources used to offer service profiles and a reference resource to present a reseller profile. They are based on respective APS types defined in the APS package.
  2. Create resource types based on the corresponding resource classes, reference APS resources, and APS types:
    • The Application Service Reference resource class is used to create resource types based on the APS reference resources. One of the APS reference resources presents the installed APS application instance. The others present the service profiles and the reseller profile if they are defined in the package.
    • The Application Service resource class is used to create resource types from the APS types other than those used to create the reference APS resources.
    • A set of the Application Counter resource classes are used to create resource types based on those APS types where a resource counter is declared.
  3. Create a service template containing the resources based on the resource types created in the previous step. Set a limit for every resource.

A customer subscription created from a service template will get the resources with limits copied from the service template.

Product in BSS

If your platform contains both its parts, OSS and BSS, then in addition to the mentioned above components for OSS, the platform requires a service plan and all other components the service plan needs. In such an installation, the OSS pushes the service templates and their resources to BSS immediately after the provider creates them. In BSS, the provider uses a service template to create a service plan and then sells the latter to customers.

The product deployment consists of the following steps.

  1. Ensure there is a plan category you are going to assign to the new service plan. A plan category defines a taxation policy and other billing properties for the assigned service plans.
  2. Ensure there is a sales category you are going to assign to the new service plan. A sales category presents the assigned service plans in the online store bound to BSS.
  3. Ensure there are resource categories you are going to assign to those resources of the new plan that will be presented by a resource rate in the plan.
  4. Create a service plan based on the service template copied from OSS. The service plan will need some billing properties, the most important of which are the following:
    • Assigned plan category and sales category
    • At least one subscription period with setup, renewal, and recurring prices
  5. Optionally, if the provider wants to override the resource limits set in the service template, they add the respective resource rates to the newly created service plan. This is a flexible way to sell resource amounts on demand or using the pay-as-you-go method. The most important properties of a resource rate are the following:
    • Reference to a resource in the service template
    • Included, minimum, and maximum resource limits
    • Setup, recurring, and overuse prices

Note

In such an installation, the OSS provider control panel does not allow creating a subscription directly from a service template.

When a customer subscribes to a service plan, one customer subscription is created in OSS and the other in BSS:

  • In OSS, a subscription is copied from the respective service template, but BSS can request to override the resource limits as specified by the respective resource rates and in dependence of the purchased amount of the resources.
  • In BSS, a subscription is copied from the service plan and it presents only the resource rates configured in the service plan.

Deployment Methods

The following documents explain two deployment methods complementing each other:

  • Using Initialization Wizard is recommended for all applications to deploy the application products completely or partially. In the latter case, the advanced method is necessary to complete the product deployment.
  • Advanced Method is recommended for the cases when the first method can deploy the application products partially. You can also use the method to deploy the necessary products from scratch.