Planning a Deployment
A successful deployment of Sahana Eden must consider the people and business processes involved as well as the technology. This chapter will provide guidance on how to engage with the necessary people and analyze the business processes to ensure that you deploy a successful solution. This planning will help to guide you through the Configuration and Customization that your deployment will require and may also help you to develop the requirements for new modules you may need to develop.
Who Are Your Users?
Your deployment of Sahana Eden should be beneficial to its users. To ensure that you achieve this you may need to spend some time consulting your users to find out what their needs are and how Sahana Eden can help them. Identifying key stakeholders and "champions" who will promote the use of Sahana Eden to others can greatly support your deployment.
To effectively deploy Sahana Eden you need to know who the users will be. Some important questions to ask about your deployment are:
- Is it going to be accessible to the public? Is ALL of the data accessible?
- How many users will be accessing the system at once?
- Will it be used only internally within a single organization or across multiple organisations?
- Will there be different types of users? What different data will they be able to access and modify?
- Will new users need to be approved? By who?
- What languages will your users need to access Sahana Eden in?
- Will users need training to effectively use Sahana Eden?
- What support will your users need? How will this support be provided?
Sahana Eden can be easily configured to support a wide range of different answers to these questions.
What Solution Is Appropriate?
It is important to consider how Sahana Eden aligns with existing business processes and what new workflows will need to be performed by your users. If you are introducing new business processes in Sahana Eden, this may require more explanation and training for your users. Sahana Eden can be configured to provide a wide range of solutions from simple tools to complex systems. It is important to ensure that the solution that you deploy is appropriate for your context.
As outlined in the chapter 'What is Sahana Eden', there are a number of different modules available which can be enabled and disabled to provide different types of solutions. The business processes that Sahana Eden is used for will determine which modules are needed. Enabling more modules will increase the complexity and workload of the deployment. Therefore for a successful deployment, it may be recommended to start by supporting a limited number of business processes and ensure they are being used effectively before enabling additional modules.
What's In A Name?
Although you are deploying a solution using Sahana Eden, you are free to give it a name that is appropriate for your context. We do like it if you can leave the "Powered By Sahana Eden" badge within your solution's pages!
Configuration vs. Customization
Sahana Eden offers a great deal of flexibility through configuration, however, if you require specific functionality or features which are not already supported you will need to customize the Python code which Sahana Eden is written in. Fortunately Sahana Eden's Framework has been designed to make it easy for you to relabel fields, add new fields, hide existing fields and make fields required. More advanced customization may also be required to add new database tables or even build new Sahana Eden modules.
When Customizing the code, it is recommended to set up a testing and release process to manage this development, especially if you have already deployed a live instance.
Where Will It Be Installed?
Sahana Eden can be installed on a variety of different infrastructures depending on the needs and resources you have for your deployment.
To support multi-user access, it is usual to install Sahana Eden on a server accessible through a Network. This could be using physical hardware in your office, either a server or a computer that can be set up as one. Although specialized server hardware is more expensive it will provide better and more reliable performance.
One of the more cost effective solutions for installing Sahana Eden is to use a Hosted Service. This allows you to make monthly payments for the use of of a Server without having to provide the infrastructure to support a server (location, power back up, air conditioning) and without having to worry about redundancy and maintenance.
Sahana Eden has been effectively installed on Amazon's Cloud service, EC2 (http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/).
Sahana Eden can easily be downloaded and run locally from a flash drive on a Windows computer. it can be configured to be accessed on a local network but for more than 4 users the performance will not be optimal. For instruction on installing a Flash Drive instance, please see http://eden.sahanafoundation.org/wiki/InstallationGuidelines/FlashDrive
Once you have installed Sahana Eden there are a number of steps that may be required to make the deployment successful. You may need to train users or, if the deployment is public, promote it to encourage new users. You should also consider operational requirements like user support and backups.