Exchange data with the AIMMS Cloud Platform

This document aims to introduce you to the options for exchanging data with the AIMMS Cloud Platform.

First step is to determine which scenario applies for you:

What?

On AIMMS Cloud Platform

Elsewhere

Approach

Option ID

SC Navigator apps

SC Navigator (MySQL) application database provided by AIMMS that holds the data used and generated by the Navigator apps such as Network Design, S&OP and IBP.

Information systems, on-premise or in the cloud (ERP, CRM, etc.)

Read from and/or write to the SC Navigator (MySQL) application database via a VPN tunnel. Optionally use ETL to combine and/or split data from multiple other systems.

Option 1

My own apps

Application database (MySQL) provided by AIMMS that holds the data used and generated by my own AIMMS apps.

Information systems, on-premise or in the cloud (ERP, CRM, etc.)

Read from and/or write to the (MySQL) application database via a VPN tunnel.

Option 2

My own AIMMS apps

Database, on-premise or in the cloud (ERP, CRM, etc.)

Read to remote database via a VPN tunnel using AIMMS database commands

Option 3

AIMMS PRO (file) Storage, which can be accessed from my own AIMMS apps

Information systems, on-premise or in the cloud (ERP, CRM, etc.)

File transfer commands of PRO API.

Option 4

My own AIMMS apps

Remote REST API web services

AIMMS HTTP Client Library and AIMMS Data Exchange Library.

Option 5

Option 1 : via SC Navigator database

This option is also described in SC Navigator Documentation. AIMMS will set-up the application database. Your IT team then needs to set up the VPN tunnel, as described here. Once that is in place you have access to the MySQL database. This SC Navigator application database has an EAV (Entity Attribute Value) structure, documentation for which is available from AIMMS Support (Contact us). You can now put in place the writes and reads to and from the SC Navigator application database from your information systems.

Alternatively, AIMMS can provide this solution as a managed service where we build, monitor and maintain the integration. Contact us if you want to learn more.

../../_images/image0-scnavigator.png

Option 2 : via an application database

AIMMS will take the first steps to create the database. Your IT team then needs to complete the parametrization and VPN tunnel set-up, as described here. You can now put in place the writes and reads to and from the application database from your information systems.

Alternatively, AIMMS can provide this solution as a managed service where we build, monitor and maintain the integration. Contact us if you want to learn more.

cloud-app-db

Figure 2 – Accessing the application database in the AIMMS Cloud Platform

See also

See https://dev.mysql.com/doc/index-connectors.html for details how to connect to MySQL databases.

All traffic takes place via a VPN tunnel that is initiated from the on-premise environment, so there is no need to permit incoming connections with associated security risks. This VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunnel offers high information security because it creates a virtual private connection by encapsulating and encrypting all data packets.

More details of the relevant parts of the AIMMS Platform architecture can be found in More details on AIMMS Cloud Platform architecture.

Option 3 : via an external on-premise database

For this route, AIMMS needs to add a load balancer to the VPC on the AIMMS Cloud Platform. Your IT team then needs to complete the parametrization and VPN tunnel set-up, as described here. You can then configure your network access such that the AIMMS apps in the AIMMS Cloud Platform can directly access the required database on your premises, in your datacenter or in the cloud. AIMMS database support functions in our modeling language can be found here.

on-premise-db

Figure 3 - Directly accessing a remote database from AIMMS apps

Option 4 : via the AIMMS PRO file storage

No need for any initial set-up or configuration. Read more on AIMMS PRO Storage here. Programs can be created for writing and reading files to and from AIMMS PRO Storage using Java, C++ or C#. Documentation for the PRO API can be found here.

pro-api

Figure 4 – Transferring files to AIMMS PRO Storage using the AIMMS PRO API

In order to get data files from the on-premise systems to an AIMMS app running on the AIMMS Cloud Platform, the on-premise custom application will need to upload the appropriate file(s) to the appropriate folder in the AIMMS PRO Storage. The developer of the AIMMS app will then use AIMMS functions to read these data files into the app.

The PRO API shares information security measures with the AIMMS PRO Portal such as lock-out on repeated logon failures, https encryption, optional IP range filtering and security event logging. In addition, the communications are secured by temporary tickets that can be seen as security tokens.

Option 5 : via a web service

AIMMS apps can be configured to retrieve data from external web services or post data to those web services. The AIMMS app will act as a client here, using the AIMMS HTTP Client Library that supports REST API: Overview: HTTP Client Library. The AIMMS Data Exchange library can be used for format conversions between AIMMS Identifiers and various file formats: https://documentation.aimms.com/dataexchange/index.html.

web-service

Figure 5 – Using REST API calls to web services to exchange data with an AIMMS app

Knowing the authentication and communication protocol of the bespoke web service, the developer of the AIMMS app can use the AIMMS HTTPS Client Library to add a procedure to the app that writes data to this web services or retrieves data from that web service.

For this option the information security measures are completely in the hands of the developers of the web service offered from the on-premise platform.

Examples

Examples of how our customers have arranged their data exchange:

  1. Every 5 minutes a web-service is called to retrieve the latest data which is then immediately processed by the AIMMS app.

  2. From an on-premise database all new customer orders are written once a day to the cloud-based application database.

  3. User can hit a button in the AIMMS app that triggers a data import from an on-premise database containing the production planning so that they are working on the latest data.

  4. An AIMMS application writes XML files to AIMMS PRO storage. An on-premise utility retrieves those files once every hour using the PRO API.

More details on AIMMS Cloud Platform architecture

The following diagram depicts the part of the AIMMS Cloud Platform architecture relevant for exchanging data. The application databases are placed in customer-specific VPCs that include gateways to receive incoming VPN connections.

more-details

Figure 6 – Simplified diagram showing the relevant parts of the AIMMS Cloud Platform architecture