Integrate your application as software as a service
This article describes how to integrate an existing application (e.g. a warehouse management system) with the logistics mall as an independent software vendor (ISV).
This scenario is a “software as a service scenario”. Other scenarios are described in the article "Integration scenarios".
An application has to meet the following requirements:
- The application is a user application
- The application is mall-hosted or cloud-hosted
Integration at a glance
Please find a summary of the individual steps below:
- Implementing the Single Sign On Interface und User Management
- Defining a pricing model
- Implementing the billing interface
- Preparing a product describtion for representation in the mall marketplace (MMP)
- Preparing a detailed operating manual
- Introducing a helpdesk and a ticketing process
Single sign-on (SSO) and user management are closely linked with one another. As the user manages all user accounts on its own, an application needs to know the users of the central user management during the registration process. A user must be
- authenticated: he or she has to enter valid login data (user name and password)
- authorized: he or she must have the required permissions
The logistics mall supports the SAML standard and provides an identity provider (IDM) the applications must use. The applications act as SAML service providers. As soon as a user logs on to the application, he or she will be forwarded to the SAML identity manager (IDM). The IDM checks whether the user is already authenticated. If not, the IDM will forward the request to a login page. After successful login, the user will be forwarded to the application.
The application checks whether the user has the required authorizations. In the simplest case, the authorization management is role-based.
There are different frameworks for the implementation of an SAML service provider available.
Every application describes a pricing model. A pricing model consists of three optional price components:
- One-off purchase price: calculated after deployment of the application
- Monthly flat rate: invoiced monthly
- Transaction price per transaction type: calculated based on the actual transaction volume
One-off price and monthly rate are defined within the product description.
So is the (optional) transaction rate.
In order to calculate the volume of transactions, every application must report all transactions used to the accounting system of the logistics mall.
For this, the accounting system provides an REST web service.
The product description describes the application from the user’s point of view. The description is published in the app store and contains:
- The product name and a product description
- A reference to the ISV
- A product category (e.g. WMS, TMS, ...)
- An icon
- The pricing model
An application does not necessarily have to define a pricing model. In this case the application cannot be booked directly. Instead, a potential user can send a product request.
The operating manual contains all information for the operation of an application through the operator. It contains:
- A detailed installation and operating manual
- Data backup and recovery concept
- The description of the hosting model
- ... and the VM performance parameters in case of LogMall hosting
- A template for the creation of a customer-specific link to the application
- Service level agreement (SLA) and helpdesk concept
The logistics mall provides a central ticketing system for users. Tickets regarding an application will be forwarded to the ISV, if the operator’s first-level support cannot solve them.
The ISV receives an email notification as soon as a new ticket has been opened. The ISV provides second-level support in accordance with the SLA and reports the stage of progress.