Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mary Kay ART Strategy

Project Dragon Application Readiness Testing

Supply Chain Systems

©Mary Kay, Inc., 2007


The Mary Kay strategy for application readiness testing (ART) is to create an environment which will be similar to the production environment for purposes of executing tests. In addition to the necessary hardware and software components expected of a production environment, the ART environment also has available tools that are essential to the testing process, such as load generation and issue resolution.

Prior to implementing any new systems, or critical components, in a production environment it is expected that they will first be observed in the ART environment. The observations of the systems under test allow for the development of profiles for each application that will be used for planning future environments. These profiles consist of resource requirements for the systems under test such as network (bandwidth and utilization), storage and servers.

Having the environment available allows Mary Kay to test performance, stability and configuration of the different infrastructure, applications, and systems that make up the Mary Kay Supply Chain. Beyond having the hardware and software resources available is only part of the equation. To complement the environment, Mary Kay has identified personnel resources that are subject matter experts in areas such as application, hardware, network and platform architectures, all of whom are can be made available to help facilitate testing and just as importantly, analyzing the results.

Test Areas

There are key focal areas that have been defined for volume testing prior to the Project Dragon go-live.

J.D. Edwards and DSI

First and foremost is the Mary Kay enterprise resource planning system, J.D. Edwards and its new warehousing functionality that will be leveraged in all international supply chain deployments. This area was chosen for the following reasons:

  1. Mary Kay is deploying a completely new version of JDE internationally, on an updated solution stack.

  2. The JDE Advance Warehouse modules are new functionality to both this version of JDE and to the Mary Kay supply chain.

  3. Mary Kay has made custom modifications to both JDE and DSI applications which need to be validated under load.

  4. The RF traffic generated by DSI from the China remote facility to the Shanghai data center needs to be tested to be within defined user requirements for response time.

Business Process

Mary Kay will be developing both telnet and web based scripts to drive load against core functional areas as defined by the Mary Kay business team.

  • Distribution

  • Procurement

  • Shop Floor Control

  • Sales Order

Application Integration

Both BizTalk and DSI are planning to use the same inbound services 1 for JDE. Identifying the capacity of the planned hardware resources is required to identify if and when scale out of the JDE inbound architecture will be needed.

Enterprise Application Integration

Application and partner integration are critical to the success of the Mary Kay supply chain. These areas have undergone both architectural and platform upgrades, as well as new development, for the Dragon implementation.

BizTalk Server 2006

A key area for test around the Mary Kay BizTalk implementation is the throughput performance of the direct bound architecture and validating the capacity of the planned hardware resources. In addition, Mary Kay has introduced new transport protocol that has yet to be tested under load.

3PL Web Services

Mary Kay has implemented a service oriented messaging gateway for integrating with third party logistic vendors. This architecture needs to be tested to validate that it will meet production capacities.

Supply Chain Services

Mary Kay has implemented several key services that provide support for internal processes which need to be tested under production loads.

Workload Models

A workload model represents the execution of automated scripts which drive a determined amount of load against one, or more systems based upon certain characteristics. Mary Kay has organized the suite of tests into several individual workloads. Each workload has the ability to be executed independently, or concurrently, with other workloads.

Executing all workloads ultimately makes up the “Day in the Life Of” workload which best models the daily processes and volumes of the Mary Kay supply chain.

  • Distribution

  • Procurement

  • Shop Floor Control

  • Sales Order

  • Region to Region Integration

  • 3PL Integration


J. D. Edwards

  • J.D. Edwards 8.11 SP1

  • 8.96_D1 Tools

  • IBM Java Runtime

  • IBM Web Sphere

  • Apache 2.0.47

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard SP1 x86

  • Microsoft Sql Server 2005 Enterprise Edition x64 SP1

  • Microsoft Sql Server 2005 JDBC driver

Data Systems International (DSI)

  • DSI dcLink 5.0

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard SP1 x86

  • Microsoft Sql Server 2005 Enterprise Edition x64 SP1

BizTalk Server

  • Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard SP1 x86

  • Microsoft Sql Server 2005 Enterprise Edition x64 SP1

  • Microsoft Enterprise Library 2.0

  • Microsoft .NET 2.0

3PL Services Tier

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard SP1 x86

  • Microsoft Sql Server 2005 Enterprise Edition x64 SP1

  • Microsoft Enterprise Library 2.0

  • Microsoft .NET 2.0


Borland Silk Performer 2006

Silk Performer is the tool that allows for creation of scripts that can be executed to emulate a number of users interacting with one, or more systems. Mary Kay has a license for up to 2500 concurrent virtual users (VU) and an unlimited number of development clients.

Shunra VE 5.0

Shunra is a network appliance that allows Mary Kay to simulate real world network conditions right in the lab, by introducing constraints such as available bandwidth, latency, packet loss and jitter. Using a device such as Shunra, Mary Kay will be able to accurately model production networks in China, such as the network between the remote facilities and the data center or the region to region networks such as Dallas to China, and the impact these networks will have on performance.

Identify AppSight for Microsoft Windows/.NET

The AppSight application provides Mary Kay with the ability to quickly identify performance bottlenecks and assists with issue resolution.

1 All inbound transactions to JDE use the Xml Call object architecture

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