Best Practices for Planning a Reflection Deployment

Follow these best practices to avoid common problems and make sure your deployment meets customer and technical requirements without disrupting users.

1. Identify Technical and User Requirements, Subject Matter Resources, and Risk Mitigation

Large-scale terminal emulation deployments have significant risks in terms of delays, cost, and user acceptance. Performing a high level assessment allows you to identify risks at an early stage, and plan mitigation strategies to address them. Be sure to:

  • Develop plans to communicate with user groups and key personnel throughout the process to avoid the communication problems that are common to many deployments. User organizations may not be aware of their licensing options, when they have to upgrade, or which resources and information to provide. IT staff are sometimes unaware of desktop macros and other customization files that are required for user groups.

  • Make certain all user groups, IT, and stakeholders are “on the same page” and are prepared regarding what is needed, schedules, and expectations.

  • Define high level requirements by collecting and analyzing all the information required to define and prioritize needs, address user concerns, and improve user acceptance.

  • Define resource requirements to determine how many and what type of resources your deployment requires.

  • Assess your current environment to determine which customizations are required for user acceptance. Be sure to address special security requirements or other needs such as file transfer.

  • Assess the risks of application compatibility and user acceptance.

  • Make sure your deployment solution complies with new security mandates, reduces maintenance, meets productivity requirements and still has good user acceptance.

2. Inventory and Analyze User Requirements, Macros, Configuration Files, and Legacy Applications

Conduct a detailed inventory for each user group to determine which user applications and configurations are critical, used, or not used and whether your terminal emulator requires integration with custom applications. Performing an inventory of your current emulation collateral provides the data you need to make sound technical and business decisions about what to carry forward. It also helps identify needs for customization of Reflection and for integration with other applications. Be sure to:

  • Define user requirements for each user group to determine the priorities for this group and special needs such as file transfer capability or security requirements.

  • Inventory desktops to assess how many vendor products and files are being used in the existing configuration.

  • Identify needs for integration with HLLAPI or other applications that use your terminal emulation software.

3. Assess Which Existing Files are Required

The success of your deployment depends on careful assessment and planning. You’ll need to assess which macros and configuration files are required. Then analyze your inventory data to make key technical and business decisions about what to carry forward and deploy. And it’s critical to make sure that the macros, configurations, and other files work with Reflection Desktop.

4. Package and Test

Package, test, and deploy to selective user groups and conduct pilots to minimize user disruption. Be sure to test for both technical issues and user acceptance.