The 7 characteristics of a Configuration Data Management Platform

Sweagle stores configuration data keys and their values from an infrastructure, environment, release and application view point.

The key characteristics that make Sweagle an enterprise management platform for configuration data:

1 Consolidated view

“Full consolidated picture” of all the configuration data that is used at any given moment in time for any given application (version) in any given environment, including technical and functional application settings, infrastructure and environment settings, release toggles and activation features, release history details, etc.

  • Automatic collection from external sources in different formats (json, xml, yaml, properties…).
  • A federated model where some parts of the data can be kept in sync with an external “master” of that data whilst other configuration settings are managed directly in the platform.

2 A metadata model

Sweagle applies a configurable “metadata model” in which each of key value pairs are put into a context so they become “structured” data. This enables reusability, hierarchies with inheritance , identification of duplicates and alerts for conflicting settings. We can discover missing or invalid data and can query it and create insights and analytics. Sweagle can learn the typical behavior of configuration data and alert proactively when data drift is detected or “suspicious” changes happen.

3 Continuous validation

Sweagle lets you define these rules once and forget about them.

Not just for simple things like checking that port numbers are actual integers in an allowed range, but also advanced logic with various scenarios: if “featureToggleABC=true” then check that “loadbalancer=activated”, or if “environmentType=production” then check that no keys with URL contain value “localhost” and no values are set to “root”. Sweagle will continuously monitor incoming data changes and apply all validation rules every time. We prevent broken configuration data settings being consumed by other tools along the continuous delivery tool chain.

4 Process driven workflow

Sweagle automatically “groups” incoming configuration data changes in data change sets (branch) which can be merged with the actual data (master). In case of conflicting or invalid changes the data change set will be automatically blocked. Once a data change set is approved it updates the data model which will create “pending data”. Once all the pending data is received and validated, only then immutable snapshots are generated which update the “current valid” set of configuration data.

5 Life cycle management and change control

Sweagle tracks all changes under full version control and creates automated “snapshots” of the exact set of configuration data at any moment in time. Snapshots can be made ahead of time to help prepare all required configuration data for a deployment over a weekend, or a previous snapshot can be reactivated whenever needed (in case of rollbacks).

6 Integrated DIFF & COMPARISON

Any two versions can be compared in the user interface and Sweagle will return the accumulated difference. Or you can compare the configuration data settings between 2 different sets of data – compare for instance the application configuration settings between UAT and PRD. See the number of changes, analyze the differences, filter on paths/nodes/keys/values.

7 Enterprise grade security

Sweagle provides configurable access policies by path or by type of data. For users and user group accessing the configuration data through the web interface, but also for system and API access. In Sweagle, API’s are treated with as much security and access control as you need.

Why is this important?

Getting Digital Future ready requires organisations to be prepared for an unparalleled velocity of change. Enterprise applications are continually changing, more frequently than ever before and at higher speed. In addition an ever more dynamic infrastructure and environment landscape (PaaS, IaaS), with more complex applications (micro services, cloud native) and the requirement to get things right, first time and to a high standard becomes critical.

Currently, most organizations manage configuration data in a highly fragmented way and rely on application and environment experts to manually prepare, maintain and validate those settings. Not only is this a “hidden” cost, it is also a bottleneck for advanced zero touch automation along the continuous delivery chain. Far too often, release deployments and configuration changes fail to work the first time, requiring time consuming and expensive resources to trouble shoot and recover/rework. In short, Sweagle will help to reduce the cost of configuration data management and increase the reliability and quality of your enterprise applications along the CD pipeline.

Sweagle is an enterprise platform for managing, consolidating and continuously validating all kinds of configuration data required for traditional and modern enterprise applications.

For more information about Sweagle, please contact us at hello@sweagle.com or at sweagle.com.

Further reading on Config Data

Once you’ve read this White Papers, you might want to look at these resources from the Config Data archives.