Manual Chapter : GLOBAL-SITE Administator Guide v1.1: Increased Control Over Publishing

Applies To:

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GLOBAL-SITE Controller

  • 1.1.1 PTF-02, 1.1.1 PTF-01, 1.1.1, 1.1.0
Manual Chapter


Increased Control Over Publishing

Using enhanced publishing features

Once you have read through instructions on how to set up a basic archived publication, you will be ready to create your own publications. You may want to add some additional control to the publishing process, or you may want to create a non-archived publication. The GLOBAL-SITE Content Controller provides several features that help you in administering and managing your various publications. Some features you can use to augment basic publishing include:

  • Scheduling the publishing process
    Scheduling the delivery and activation of content on the subscribers allows you more freedom, offers additional control, and provides a consistent delivery of content to your subscribers.

    • Scheduled initiation of publishing provides options for daily, weekly, or continuous delivery of your publications.

    • Scheduled activation of new content offers opportunities for immediate or delayed activation after copying new content to the subscribers, and for activating content on all subscribers at once, in groups, or independently.

  • Working with BIG-IP Controllers and virtual servers
    The integration of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller with the BIG-IP Controller provides several benefits to controlling and maintaining site performance during content update. This feature gives you the ability to restrict web access to subscribers in conjunction with a BIG-IP Controller. This reduces the risk of exposing a possibly inconsistent mix of old and new content to web users during the update process.

  • Creating non-archived publications
    Non-archived publication gives you the option to trade content versioning for improved performance in propagating content. Non-archived sections do not leave versions of the file contents on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, but they do create version lists of dated files so that the GLOBAL-SITE Controller can detect file changes. Using non-archived publications tends to provide a somewhat faster delivery of content to subscribers.

  • Defining exceptions to sections
    Creating exceptions to sections provides you with additional flexibility in designing and implementing your publications. Exceptions allow you to exclude a subdirectory from a section when publishing the section.

Scheduling the publishing process

One of the things that can save you time, and add reliability to your updates, is the ability to schedule the publishing of your publications. GLOBAL-SITE Content Controller supports both scheduled delivery and activation of new content:

  • You can set up publishing to occur at regular, pre-determined times and at specific timed intervals.

  • You can determine how and when the new content will be activated at the subscriber for the customer to see.

    To understand the full extent of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller scheduling features, you should understand a bit about how publications are delivered to the subscribers. In most cases, publishing happens in two phases: copying content from the source to the subscribers, and then activating the new content on the subscriber. When the GLOBAL-SITE Controller delivers the content to the subscribers, it is initially in a temporary location, and not yet available to the viewers. Activation moves this content to its permanent location on the subscriber and makes the content available, ready to be accessed.

Scheduled publications

Setting up schedules for your publications can help automate the publishing of new content on a regular basis, make your update process less dependent on human intervention, and add a degree of regularity to the publishing process. The process of creating scheduled publications is simple, and can be done when you initially create the publication, or later in the lifetime of the publication.

Reviewing scheduling features

The GLOBAL-SITE Controller offers several features and choices for scheduling the publishing process. You can provide as much automation for your publishing as you want, and you can always pause the schedule for a publication, or revise the settings at a later time. Some of the scheduling features include:

  • The continuous update process sends the changes to sections and publications to your most out of date subscribers first, and continues the cycle until all out of date subscribers are updated.

  • You can set the schedule to run, or not run, for specific days of the week.

  • You can make changes to a publication only when the publication is in an idle state. However, you can pause the schedule at any time. If the publication is not yet publishing, you can immediately make configuration changes. If the publication is publishing, it continues its current process until done, and then pauses its schedule. When the schedule pauses, you can make changes.

  • On a scheduled publication, you must pause its schedule before you can do manual deliveries.

  • Scheduled updates automatically publish to out-of-date subscribers (which may be out of date because the last publishing process did not complete).
  • You can set delays for starting the publishing process and activating new content for all manual deliveries. Default times are configured and editable in the Publication Options screen.

  • If a publishing process runs longer than the scheduled interval, the schedule ignores all missed update times except the most recent, and automatically begins the missed update as soon as it finishes the current update. For instance, on a schedule with 5-minute interval updates, if an update takes 18 minutes, the scheduler will miss three update intervals (one at 5-, one at 10-, and one at 15-minutes) during the 18-minute process. But after completing the 18-minute process, the scheduler will start again without delay in response to the immediately preceding scheduled interval (the one missed at the 15-minute mark).

  • Once you have set the scheduling features for a publication, use the System Settings screen to turn on the GLOBAL-SITE publication scheduler so that scheduled publishing can take place. This screen also allows you to pause and restart scheduling for the entire GLOBAL-SITE system.

Using scheduling options

Most of the settings for scheduled publications and activation of content are made in the New Publication or Publication Options screen. For procedural details, see the online help for those screens.

Figure 3.1 The New Publication screen

The scheduling options available for initiating the publishing process include:

  • Manual initiation of the publishing process to begin immediately, or at a later pre-determined time

  • Publishing that runs automatically one or several days a week

  • Publishing that occurs at regularly timed intervals

  • Publishing at one or more pre-set times during the day

    Of course, you can override manual publication scheduling settings when you deliver the publication or edition. Use the Deliver screen setting to change the time, or choose to deliver Now.

Figure 3.2 The Deliver screen showing the Start Delivery options
On the all the Publications detail screens, you have the option to pause and resume scheduled publishing for scheduled publications.

After scheduling your publications, you may want to look at the System Settings screen, where you can check, or set the GLOBAL-SITE Controller system time, and stop or start the GLOBAL-SITE scheduler. (Check the online help on that screen for details.) You may also want to look at the scheduled activation options that are available on the Publication Options and New Publication screens.

Scheduled activation of new content

Content activation is one of the final steps in publishing: it occurs after the copying phase, and is when the GLOBAL-SITE Controller changes the temporary files on the subscriber into permanent, active files that customer viewers can access.

The GLOBAL-SITE Content Controller provides a number of controls over the content activation process. These controls fit into two categories:

  • Independent activation mode
    This new mode is useful for a publication with more than one section, when it is important that new content from each section is activated on a subscriber as soon as possible, regardless of whether other sections are updated. (In controlled activation, all sections are copied before the activation phase begins.)

  • Controls for the controlled activation mode
    With these controls you can activate new content on groups of subscribers, rather than on all subscribers at once. Activating some subscribers instead of all at one time minimizes the disruption of the complete web site during content update.

    Whether your publication is working on a schedule, or manually published, you can determine how the new content will be activated on the subscriber. For manually initiated delivery of content, you can delay the activation of new content until a predetermined time, or wait and give the go-ahead manually.

    Figure 3.3 Use the Publication Options screen for activating new content

    You use the New Publication or Publication Options screen for settings that determine how content is activated as part of the publishing process. The two major choices are:

  • Independent activation of sections on subscribers

  • Controlled activation of all subscribers, or a group of subscribes all at once

    Controlled activation includes additional options:
    • Activating manually published content with a delay, with user input, or at a particular hour

    • Activating subscribers all at once, or half of them, or a quarter of them at a time
    • Activating subscribers through one distributor at a time

      The Deliver screen also provides the opportunity for independent activation of sections on subscribers.

      The Publishing Progress Display screen provides the Continue button so you can by-pass a publishing initiation or activation delay.

Comparing controlled and independent activation

In order to understand the independent activation features, it is important to understand the controlled activation process.

  • In controlled activation, the publishing process moves all the publication together through the process strictly one phase at a time. A new phase is not started until the previous phase is complete. Therefore, a section's content cannot be activated on a subscriber until all other sections' contents had first been copied to the subscriber.
  • Independent activation allows each section of each subscriber to independently move into the activation phase as soon as that section's copy phase is completed.

    Imagine that you have files that are being made available for download from different sources. You may want the files to be made visible to the customers as soon as they are ready, rather than waiting until all of them are ready to become available. In this case, it is acceptable to activate files for a given section as soon as they are copied to a subscriber. You would want to use independent activation.

    Both controlled and independent modes of activation are available for either manual or scheduled publications.

Options for controlled activation

With version 1.1 of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, you can control how subscribers are activated. You will find these options on the New Publication and Publication Options screens under Activating New Content. (For details on how to use these options, see the online help on either screen.) The default for activating is that the GLOBAL-SITE Controller tries to activate all subscribers simultaneously.

You can change the default behavior, and specify that only some of the subscribers should be activated together. In addition to all subscribers, you can choose one half, or one quarter. This option is most useful in conjunction with control of the BIG-IP Controller.

When you are accessing some of the subscribers via a distributor, you can use the Activate through one distributor at a time check box to specify that the GLOBAL-SITE Controller should activate subscribers through one distributor at a time. If you use this option, the subscriber activation percentage specifies what fraction per distributor to activate together.

Working with the BIG-IP Controllers and virtual servers

One of the more powerful additions to the GLOBAL-SITE Controller for version 1.1 is the integration of functionality with the BIG-IP Controller. Typically, BIG-IP Controllers are used to load balance an array of servers. You can increase your publishing scope, and control over your publications if you set up a virtual server subscriber on the BIG-IP Controller, and use the GLOBAL-SITE Controller to control it and the nodes behind it as a single entity.

When the GLOBAL-SITE Controller accesses a virtual server subscriber on a BIG-IP Controller, you have the option to maintain the subscriber site performance by removing the virtual server nodes from user access while updating the contents of the site. The restriction of web access to subscribers in conjunction with a BIG-IP Controller reduces the risk of exposing a possibly inconsistent mix of old and new content to web users during the update process.

The GLOBAL-SITE Controller Administrator Guide does not provide details on BIG-IP Controller functionality. You may want to refer to your BIG-IP Controller user guides for details of setting up the BIG-IP Controller and virtual server nodes.

Use the GLOBAL-SITE Controller browser interface to:

  • set up a BIG-IP Controller as a virtual server
  • remove unused BIG-IP Controllers
  • change settings for current controllers
  • mark BIG-IP Controller nodes as down during publishing

Guidelines for BIG-IP Controller GLOBAL-SITE Controller cooperation

Before you create a virtual server subscriber on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, you will want to ensure that you have followed these guidelines:

  • The GLOBAL-SITE Controller must be configured on the same BIG-IP interface as the virtual server nodes. This is typically the internal interface (the network interface through which a BIG-IP Controller distributes connections). In newer releases of the BIG-IP Controller, that interface must have admin access.

  • The BIG-IP Controller must have the bigorb-server installed for the GLOBAL-SITE Controller to talk to. (Your vendor may install it for you.) For security reasons, the bigorb-server responds only to requests from a GLOBAL-SITE Controller on an internal or admin interface.

  • The GLOBAL-SITE Controller must have FTP access to the virtual server nodes using the same node IP address that the BIG-IP Controller has configured for the virtual server that the GLOBAL-SITE Controller will in turn use to create a virtual server subscriber.

  • You need to define a virtual server on the BIG-IP Controller for port 2792 (for GLOBAL-SITE Controller to GLOBAL-SITE Controller communication, using the F5-GLOBAL-SITE protocol) if it will be used as a distributor for another GLOBAL-SITE Controller.

  • If the GLOBAL-SITE Controller (that you are using with the BIG-IP Controller) is to be used as a publisher, you must configure on the BIG-IP Controller a virtual server to it for port 443 (HTTPS) for access to the web browser. You will probably also need a secure NAT (SNAT) for the GLOBAL-SITE Controller to get FTP access to systems via the BIG-IP Controller, such as section sources.

  • Once you have completed the preceding tasks, you need to inform the GLOBAL-SITE Controller about the BIG-IP Controller via the Add a BIG-IP screen, which will also indicate whether communication works or not.

Creating a BIG-IP Controller on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller

To add a new BIG-IP Controller to the GLOBAL-SITE system, use the Add a BIG-IP screen (from the navigation pane, click Add a BIG-IP). You can add a BIG-IP Controller only if the BIG-IP Controller is up and available locally or through a distributor.

Figure 3.4 The Add a BIG-IP screen

To add a BIG-IP Controller

  1. Type in the name of the BIG-IP Controller that you want to add. This is the internal IP address, or alias of the BIG-IP Controller.

  2. Type in a description for the BIG-IP. This identifier may make it easier for you to recognize each controller.

  3. Select a BIG-IP distributor from the list of available controllers.

  4. Click the Add button to add this BIG-IP distributor.
    The BIG-IP List screen displays.

    Once you have added the BIG-IP Controller, you can see it listed on the BIG-IP List screen, where you can delete any controller that has no references. You can also review or change the BIG-IP Controller settings on the BIG-IP Detail screen. If the BIG-IP Detail screen does not show any virtual servers, then the BIG-IP Controller is set up incorrectly.

Figure 3.5 The BIG-IP Detail screen

Setting up a virtual server subscriber

If you have one or more BIG-IP Controllers set up on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, you have the option of setting up a virtual server subscriber. If the GLOBAL-SITE Controller is not aware of any BIG-IP Controllers, your option is to set up a normal server subscriber. To set up any server, start with the Publication Subscriber screen.

Figure 3.6 Selecting a virtual server subscriber on the Publication Subscriber screen

To add a new subscriber

  1. If it is visible, from the Add subscriber type box, select the type of subscriber you want to add, Server or Virtual Server.

  2. Click the Add a Subscriber button.
    Depending on the type of server you are adding, either the Add Subscriber screen or Add Virtual Server Subscriber screen displays.

  3. Fill in the form with subscriber access details, sections to include, and section paths.

  4. Click Add.

Marking BIG-IP Controller nodes as down while updating content with the GLOBAL-SITE Controller

When you publish content to a virtual server subscriber, the GLOBAL-SITE Controller can have the BIG-IP Controller disable web access to the individual nodes of the virtual server while the GLOBAL-SITE Controller is activating the content. This prevents web clients from seeing a mix of old and new content. Once the content has been successfully activated, the BIG-IP Controller is instructed to re-enable web access. Use the BIG-IP Virtual Server Control options on the Publication Options screen for these settings.

Figure 3.7 BIG-IP Virtual Server Controls on the Publication Options screen

If you set up a virtual server subscriber, you can specify that 50% of the subscribers are to be activated together, and specify that access to them be disabled during the activation phase. Using this method, no single virtual server node will be enabled with a mix of old and new content at the same time. Because they are accessed via a virtual server address, any single subscriber may show old pages while the first files are being updated, but will then have a new page once the new content is available.

A final option, under BIG-IP Virtual Server Control, reduces the likelihood of mismatched content. The Time out persistent connections check box under BIG-IP Virtual Server Control can temporarily enable simple persistence before disabling any of the nodes. This helps to lock each web user into a single node, and reduce the chances that a BIG-IP Controller will load balance the user from a system with old content to one with new content.

If you choose the Independent Activation mode, the BIG-IP Controller is instructed to disable and re-enable web access for each subscriber section independently. We do not recommend that you use the persistence option in conjunction with independent activation mode.

Creating non-archived publications

Non-archived publication is basic, fundamental content replication. It takes content directly from the user's source, and moves it directly to the location where it can be accessed by the customer-viewers. It does not keep copies of the content on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.

Non-archived publication uses the same process as archived publications to determine which files have changed since the last publication. Once it determines which files have changed, it copies them new files to the subscribers, and activates them. Activating files is the process of changing them from temporary status, not viewable by users, to permanent on the subscriber, and available to the viewer.

Non-archived publication is the right choice when you are looking for speed of publishing over guaranteed backup and the ability to revert to a previous version of a publication. Because the GLOBAL-SITE Controller does not keep copies of the files, the publishing process is not constrained by the size of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller disk, but only by the subscriber capacity.

Looking at benefits of non-archived publications

Non-archived publishing retains many of the benefits of archived publishing:

  • The GLOBAL-SITE Controller still replicates only content that has changed since the last publishing cycle.

  • You can cancel the process at any time.

  • Files are still moved through a secure channel to all distributors.

  • You can schedule publishing.

  • You can configure the publishing process to pause or continue when encountering errors.

Planning for non-archived publications

For your planning purposes, remember that archived publications and non-archived publications are mutually exclusive. Archived publications have only archived sections. You can create non-archived sections only within a non-archived publication.

To change an archived publication to a non-archived publication, you need to recreate the publication with a new name, and delete the old one.

Considering the details of non-archived publishing

Before creating non-archived publications, there are a few things you might want to think about. These details can affect the efficiency and performance of your non-archived publications.

  • How do you organize your files and directories?
  • What is the usual size of your sections?
  • What is the typical amount of activity in your files?
  • What is the capacity of your subscriber server?

Organizing files and directories

Before starting to copy content to the subscriber, the GLOBAL-SITE Controller reviews all content at the source, looking for things that have changed between the new content and what the subscriber has. It does this by comparing a list of files, sizes, and dates (that is tracked by the GLOBAL-SITE Controller) to the list of files, sizes, and dates on the source. The time it takes for this comparison depends on how the content is organized. The fewer directories you have in the section, the less time it takes to complete the comparison. For instance, publishing fewer than 100 directories seems rapid, and publishing more than100 directories takes noticeably longer. Because the important element here is not the number of files but the number of directories, you may want to structure your publications with this in mind.

Reviewing section size

During the content copy, for each file that has changed, the entire file is copied to any distributors, and then to any subscribers. (Compare this to the archived publishing process, where only the changes are sent to the distributor, and the entire file is sent to subscribers.) Each file within a section is copied sequentially from the source to the subscriber. During this process, it is the larger sections that determine how fast the copy phase can go. Therefore, it is more efficient to have roughly equal section sizes. This will improve the performance of the copy process over having several small and one really large section.

This information is provided to help you set expectations based on your own file structure and organization, and not as a suggestion that you change your publication structure.

Checking file activity

During the update process, the directory list is created and then the files are retrieved. During the time that files are being copied to the subscriber, each file is compared to how it was at the initial comparison. If the file has changed (or is changing between these times), the GLOBAL-SITE Controller ignores it, and does not copy it to the subscriber during the current publishing cycle. The subscriber keeps the old file, which will be updated on the next publishing cycle. The reason that the GLOBAL-SITE Controller ignores it at this point, is that the GLOBAL-SITE Controller assumes the file may be in flux, and possibly incomplete.

When you set up your publication, you need to watch for very active files, and be careful to schedule publishing for times when they are most likely to be static. If you publish when these files are changing, you may find that the subscribers do not get an updated version of that file. For additional details, refer to Scheduled publications.

Assessing subscriber capacity

During the copy phase, the changed files are copied into a temporary directory of the subscriber. These files are not available to the viewers until they are activated. During this time, the subscriber server contains all the old content, and all the changed content. Therefore, the subscriber server capacity must be large enough for the old content and the changes to co-exist temporarily.

Using procedures for non-archived publications

Creating, managing, and publishing non-archived publications is very much like dealing with archived publications. There are differences on various application screens. Most noticeable is the fact that when you are dealing with non-archived publications, you do not see the Editions tab as you do when working with archived publications. And, since non-archived publications have no editions, and no versions, you will notice other, little differences on some of the other screens. These differences are noted in the online help pages for each screen.

Figure 3.8 New Publication screen for non-archived publication

To create a non-archived publication

  1. Start at the New Publication screen. (From the navigation pane, click Add a Publication, or from the Publication List screen, click the Add a Publication button.)

  2. Clear the Archive publication editions and section versions check box.

  3. Complete the remainder of the screen and click the Add button. Refer to the online help for this screen if you need additional details.
    Remember that you do not have to specify all options when you create the publication: you can return later and set scheduling and error-handling options.

  4. The Publication Sections screen displays.
    Note that the Editions tab does not display, as there will be no editions of a non-archived publication.

Figure 3.9 Publication Sections screen for non-archived publication

To create a non-archived section

On the Publication Sections screen for your non-archived publication, click the Create New Section button.

The Create a New Section screen displays.

Any section you create here is automatically non-archived.

Note: Note that in the Edit Section List screen, all sections listed in the Available Sections list are non-archived sections.

Procedures for dealing with non-archived sections are detailed in the online help for the specific screens. Most procedures are the same for archived and non-archived, the online help pages point out any differences.

Defining exceptions to sections

After you have set up your basic publications, and created various sections, you may want to create an exception to the section. Exceptions instruct the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, when the specified path is encountered, to disregard any subdirectories in that directory. An exception is a way of excluding a subdirectory from being published as part of a section.

To create an exception path, you use the Section Detail screen after the section is created. You can use the New Exception box on the Section Detail screen to enter a directory path that will be treated as an exception.

The most challenging part of setting up exceptions is planning the publication in advance, so that the sections, and section exceptions work to your benefit. Remember that, when first created, each section includes all files and directories at the given path. If you want to exclude a subdirectory from the section, you must specify it as an exception. Note that you cannot exclude files, only directories.


In our example, the source directory /home/webcontent contains a subdirectory /home/webcontent/images that we want to manage with a separate section.

Assuming you have already created your initial section, start at the Section Detail screen for it (in our example, it is WebContent1).

Figure 3.10 The Section Detail screen, add a new exception

To create an exception

Start at the Section Detail screen.

  1. In the New Exception box, type the name of the directory you want to exclude. For this example, it is /home/webcontent/images.

  2. Click the Save button.

  3. Finally, create a new section, such as WebImages, which specifies /home/webcontent/images as its source.

Tip: In all cases, the directory path for all section sources and subscribers must already exist on the specified servers. The GLOBAL-SITE Controller does not create them. It can create any subdirectories, but it cannot create the initial root path.

A little more about exceptions

You may have questions about directory paths when you are setting up multiple sections that use exception paths. The typical situation is that one section's exception is another section's root. In that context, it may seem like the GLOBAL-SITE Controller should create the exception path, but it does not. That path must already exist, or you must first create it manually on the subscriber.


Say that section1 goes to /root/section1. It seems reasonable that /root/section1 must already exist. You cannot assume you have permission to make it, especially on NT servers where it might be virtual.

Using basic publishing functions

In addition to enhanced publishing features, the GLOBAL-SITE Controller includes basic functionality that can help you in controlling and managing your publications. One of these is the ability to make ongoing changes to your publications. The other outlines the foundations of the GLOBAL-SITE publishing process. The last two sections in this chapter discuss these two aspects of publishing functionality.

  • Making ongoing configuration changes
    Once you have your publications set up and working well, you may find that changes in content, directories, subscribers, and servers may necessitate changes to the organization of your publications. The GLOBAL-SITE Controller provides a variety of processes for maintaining reliable publications and efficient publishing.

  • Understanding the GLOBAL-SITE Controller phases
    Insight into the operations that support the GLOBAL-SITE Controller browser interface can increase your understanding of how the publishing process works, and facilitate troubleshooting of potential errors. Familiarity with the phases of the publishing process also help you grasp the significance of the status messages provided throughout the publishing process.

Making ongoing configuration changes

After you initially define a publication, various situations can arise that require changes to the configuration. This section provides overviews of a few of these situations:

  • One or more subscribers may be unavailable during one or more publication cycles.
  • A subscriber path has been removed permanently from a publication.
  • A section has been removed from a publication.
  • Other configuration changes may be required.

Unavailable subscribers

For various reasons, you may have a given subscriber offline during a publishing cycle. In order to avoid having those subscribers fail during the process, you can mark them offline, or unavailable.

Marking a path offline, and back online

You can use the Subscriber Detail screen to disable paths for individual sections.

Figure 3.11 The Subscriber Detail screen

To disable a section for a particular subscriber

For each subscriber that is offline, you need to exclude all sections. Make sure the publication is in an Idle state. On the Subscriber Detail screen:

  1. Under Include, clear the check box next to each section.

  2. When you have cleared the check boxes for each section, click the Save button.

    Any sections you have marked this way are ignored by the attempt to publish. And each must be returned to Include status before you can publish to it again.

To re-enable a section for a particular subscriber

For each subscriber that was offline, when it returns online, you need to include all sections in order to publish to it. First, make sure that the publication status is Idle, since you cannot change publication information unless the publication is in an Idle state. Then, on the Subscriber Detail screen:

  1. Under Include, check the box next to each section.

  2. When you have checked the boxes for each section that you want to include, click the Save button.
    All sections selected with a check mark will be included in the next published edition.

    You can also use the Deliver screen to disable the path for a section.
  • For archived publications, for each subscriber, clear the Include check box for each section to keep that subscriber from receiving the edition.

  • For non-archived publications, under Action, select Ignore for each section you do not want published to that subscriber.

    Refer to online help for the Deliver screen for more details.

    For each subscriber that is offline, you need to exclude the subscriber from the publication, for each section, before attempting to deliver the edition.

To disable a subscriber for a particular edition delivery

For archived publications, on the Deliver screen:

  1. Under each subscriber, clear the check box next to each each section listed.

  2. When you click the Deliver Edition button, that subscriber will not receive the edition.

    Any subscribers/sections that you have marked this way are ignored by the attempt to publish this edition. Each must be returned to Include status before you can publish to it.

To disable a subscriber for a particular publication

For non-archived publications, on the Deliver screen:

  1. Under each subscriber, in the Action box, select Ignore for each section listed.

  2. When you click the Deliver button, the publication does not go to that subscriber.

    Any subscribers/sections that you have marked this way are ignored by the attempt to publish. Each must be returned to Deliver status before you can publish to it.

    For each subscriber that was offline, when it returns online you need to include each subscriber for each section before you can publish to it.

To enable a subscriber for an edition of a publication

For archived publications, on the Deliver screen:

  1. Click a check into the Include check box for each section.
  2. When you have checked the check boxes for each section that you want to include, click the Deliver Edition button.

    All subscriber sections with a check mark are included in the next published edition.

To enable a subscriber for a non-archived publication

On the Deliver screen:

  1. In the Action column, under each subscriber, select Deliver for each section that you want to deliver.

  2. When you have changed the box for each section that you want to include, click the Deliver button.

    All subscriber sections that are selected with a check mark are included in the next published publication.

Checking subscribers

If you run one or more publishing cycles while a subscriber is offline, the offline subscriber almost certainly has an old version of the content. When there are out-of-date subscribers, the GLOBAL-SITE Controller automatically brings them into synchronization.

While the GLOBAL-SITE Controller is synchronizing the subscribers for a publication, you may occasionally see an entry in your Publication List that looks unfamiliar to you. These child publications are temporary, created solely to bring out-of-date subscribers back in sync.

You cannot work with, or edit, a child publication: you can only watch it complete its task and evaporate. If you click the publication link, it opens the Publishing Progress Display screen.

To check the current version for each subscriber

If you are concerned about out-of-date subscribers, you may want to check on your sections for subscribers to a particular publication before publishing a new version.

Start with the Publication Subscribers screen (the Subscribers tab).

The Publication Subscribers screen displays.

  • For archived publications, it shows the currently published edition for each subscriber if all paths are up-to-date.

  • For non-archived publications, it shows the last published date.

    Or, for archived publications, you can use the Subscriber Detail screen, which shows the version published to each path, while the initial Deliver screen shows the edition.

Figure 3.12 Subscriber Detail screen

Removing a subscriber from a publication

The publication retains information about the last published section version on a subscriber until the subscriber is deleted, for example, if version 3 section A was last published to the subscriber. If that information becomes invalid, if for instance, the path has been removed, it may be necessary to remove the subscriber.

To remove a subscriber from a publication

On the Publication Subscribers screen:

  1. In the subscriber list under Name, locate the subscriber you want to remove.

  2. Click the delete button to its right.

Figure 3.13 The Publication Subscribers screen

This removes all knowledge of that subscriber from the publication. It does not remove any files from the subscriber itself.

Freeing up disk space by deleting editions and unused versions

When working with archived publications, you may occasionally need to purge old versions from sections to recover disk space. You may want to base your decision on the amount of change between versions.

To purge versions

Purging versions is a two step process.

  1. You can delete editions using the delete button on the Publication Editions screen (Editions tab) of the publication detail screen.

    · You cannot remove the last published edition, and its listing does not show a delete button.

    · You should not remove any other editions that you may want to roll back to at some point, or to publish to other subscribers.

  2. Once you have deleted all unnecessary editions, switch to the Section Detail screen and click the Section History tab, then click the Remove Unused Versions button.

Figure 3.14 The Section Detail screen, History tab

It may take a while for this process to complete if you have large sections. This process removes any versions that are no longer referenced by the remaining editions. Because distributors store versions of the publication's sections, this function also attempts to contact any distributors that contain versions of the section and remove the unneeded versions there, too.

Understanding the GLOBAL-SITE Controller phases

When creating publications and running the publishing process from the browser interface, you will see publication status indicators. These indicators of where the publication is, or how the publishing process is going, relate to various states and phases that are more clearly seen if you use the command line utility. You need not use the command line utility, but you may find it helpful to understand the basic phases that it goes through during the entire publishing cycle. This section discusses the phases of the command line utility in relation to what you may see in the browser interface while monitoring your publishing process.

Interpreting phases in the status line

Various GLOBAL-SITE screens provide status updates on the state of publications during the processing activities (the Publication List screen is a good example). In different places, the overall state of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller is displayed at two levels of detail:

  • The overall state of the publication, (which is often the combination of the section and subscriber path states).

  • The detailed section or subscriber path state, depending on which object is being processed

    The overall state of the publication determines what other actions you can perform, including the ability to proceed or stop when error conditions arise.

    During a publication delivery with no errors, the normal sequence of states follows this progression:

  • Idle
    The publication is in a stable state, either ready for updating or publishing.

  • UpdatingSections
    Sections are updated if you have specified this as part of the delivery. If an edition was specified with pre-existing section versions, this is skipped.

  • PublicationPreparation
    Brief state which prepares some data structures for the rest of the process.

  • WANSync
    A very brief state, unless distributors are involved. The process may be paused here. If there are distributors, they are updated with changes prior to publishing. If there are no distributors, there is nothing to change, and the state is extremely brief.

  • CreateChangeTrees
    Files are prepared for quick and efficient transmittal to subscribers.

  • CopyPhase
    Changed files are copied to temporary sub-directories for the subscribers. The process may be paused here after the copy phase.

  • CommitPhase
    Changed files are moved from the temporary sub-directories to their final location at the path you specified, and obsolete files are removed from subscribers.

  • PostPublishPhase
    After the publishing process has completed, or failed, the GLOBAL-SITE Controller attempts to clear up any files or directories created to support publishing and, if necessary, to rollback the subscriber(s) to the previous state.

    Other common phases that you are likely to see on the status line of your publication include:

  • Scheduled
    This indicates that the publication has been scheduled, but it is waiting to publish, and not currently publishing.

  • Schedule Paused
    This indicates that the publication is a scheduled publication, but the schedule has been paused. It can also indicate that the publication has been newly created, or has been newly scheduled, and the schedule has not yet been activated.

    You can stop the entire process at any point by clicking the Cancel delivery control button. If you do this during the CopyPhase, you can then complete the publication cycle, for any subscribers that have already had all section files copied to them, by clicking the Continue button.

    You can also try again for the subscriber sections that failed by clicking the Retry button. You can stop the publishing with the Reset button, which stops the process and returns the publication status to Idle.

Using the Phases of Publication table

Table 3.1, The GLOBAL-SITE Controller Phases of Publication, following, describes what is happening to the publishing process during several publication state and detail state combinations.

Keep in mind that in all stages up to the copy stage, the status is reporting on sections for each distributor. After that, the copy and commit phases deal with the subscriber path.

The GLOBAL-SITE Controller Phases of Publication
Publication State
Section or Path State Description
Idle N/A All configuration actions are possible. Must be in this state to initiate section update or content delivery process.
CreatingEdition, EditionReady N/A Only in these states briefly during the creation of a new edition.
EditionFailed N/A The process has failed while creating a new edition from the latest section versions.
UpdatingSections gsReposStageUpdate In this state when performing the potentially lengthy process of determining which files to fetch from section source, and fetching them.
Idle gsReposStageUpdateDone If section update is done separately from delivery, success returns to Idle.
Scheduled N/A The publication is scheduled to do something (publish or activate content) at a certain time.
UpdatingSectionsIncomplete mix of gsReposStageUpdateDone, gsReposStageUpdateFailed and Cancelled When multiple sections are being updated, not all completed.
UpdatingSectionsFailed gsReposStageUpdateFailed All section updates failed.
PublicationPreparation N/A A brief phase which constructs a work list for each GLOBAL-SITE publisher and distributor from the configuration database.
PubPrepDone gsStable Successful completion of publication preparation.
PubPrepFailed, PubPrepSuspended N/A An error message is displayed, typically a distributor was not reachable. The delivery cannot proceed. Reset resets the pub state to Idle so it can be retried.
WANSync gsWanCDir The changes necessary to bring each distributor up-to-date are created on the publisher GLOBAL-SITE Controller.
WANSync gsWanCDirDone The set of changes is transmitted to each distributor.
WANSync gsWanSync Each distributor is updating its section(s) with the received changes.
WANSyncDone gsWanSyncDone Ready to proceed to CreateChangeTrees.
WANSyncSuspended gsWanSyncDone Proceeds to CreateChangeTrees after you click Continue.
retries the operation and Cancel cancels publishing and proceeds to PostPublishPhase cleanup. Only stops here if the corresponding Publication Option is set.
WANSyncCanceled some canceled Clicked Cancel during phase. Cannot proceed with delivery.
Retry retries the operation. Reset takes the publication into the PostPublishPhase cleanup.
WANSyncFailed gsWanCDirFailed An error is displayed for the specific cause, typically lack of disk space on the publisher to store the temporary change file. Retry retries the operation. Reset takes the publication into the PostPublishPhase cleanup.
WANSyncFailed gsWanSyncFailed An error occurred while the distributor was updating its sections, typically lack of disk space on the distributor. Retry retries the operation. Reset takes the publication into the PostPublishPhase cleanup.
CreateChangeTrees gsCreateCDir The set of files necessary to update a set of subscribers from the current edition to the new edition is extracted from the section and stored on each GLOBAL-SITE Controller.
ChangeTreesDone gsCreateCDirDone Ready to proceed to CopyPhase.
ChangeTreesSuspended gsChangeTreesSuspended Proceeds to CopyPhase after you click Continue.
Click Retry to retry the change tree; click Cancel to cancel the publishing.
Only stops here if the corresponding Publication Option is set.
ChangeTreesCanceled Canceled The process was canceled by the user. The publication cannot proceed further. Retry retries the operation and Reset takes the publication into the PostPublishPhase cleanup.
ChangeTreesFailed gsCreateCDirFailed An error, typically lack of disk space, will be displayed. The delivery process cannot proceed. Retry retries the operation and Reset takes the publication into the PostPublishPhase cleanup.
CopyPhase gsDataCopy Each GLOBAL-SITE Controller copies new and changed files to temporary subdirectories on each subscriber
CopyPhaseDone gsDataCopyDone Ready to move to CommitPhase
CopyPhaseSuspended gsDataCopyDone Will proceed to CommitPhase after clicking Continue. Retry retries the operation and Reset takes the publication into the PostPublishPhase cleanup. User selected the Publication Option to stop at this point.
CopyPhaseCanceled Canceled
plus various
User clicked the Cancel control, stopping subscriber path copies in progress, as well as those not started yet. If the Continue control is clicked, only subscribers that successfully completed the copy phase for all sections can proceed to CommitPhase. Clicking Reset sets the publication state to PostPublishPhase cleanup, and Retry retries the operation.
CopyPhaseFailed gsDataCopyFailed An error is displayed for the specific cause, typically communication failure or lack of disk space on the subscriber. Click Retry to retry the operation, Reset takes the publication into PostPublishPhase cleanup.
CommitPhase gsDataCommit The copied new and changed files are being renamed from their temporary subdirectories to their final location.
CommitPhaseDone gsDataCommitDone The publication proceeds to update the configuration database and set its state back to Idle.
CommitPhaseSuspended gsCommitPhaseSuspended Proceeds to PostPublishPhase after you click Continue.
Click Retry to retry the commit; click Cancel to cancel the publishing.
CommitPhaseCanceled canceled
plus others
The Cancel control was clicked, which stopped all commits in progress, as well as any not yet started. Avoid this if possible, as it leaves any incomplete subscribers in an indeterminate state. Click Retry to retry the commit, and Reset to move into PostPublishPhase cleanup.
CommitPhaseFailed gsDataCommitFailed Error message indicates the problem, usually communication failure. Click Retry to retry the commit. Click Cancel to cancel publishing, and attempt to go back to previous content. Click Continue to complete publishing and leave completely successful subscribers with the newly published content. (If activated independently, all successful paths retain newly-published material.)
PostPublishPhase various phase examples, all with options [..] of Done / Failed gsDelCDIrs, .. gsDataCopy, .. gsCopyCleanPath, .. gsDataCommit, .. gsCommitCleanPath, .. gsRollbackDone/Failed gsRollbackDoneClean.. gsRollbackFailedClean.. This phase occurs after publishing is completed, or after any failure. It cleans up any distributor or subscribers. When a phase fails, this attempts to roll back the subscriber to where it was before the publishing started.
PostPublishPhaseCanceled as in PostPublishPhase The Cancel button was clicked while the PostPublishPhase was in progress. Click Reset to quit the PostPublishPhase or Retry to try it again.
PostPublishPhaseDone as in PostPublishPhase The PostPublish phase has completed.
PostPublishPhaseFailed as in PostPublishPhase The process has failed during the PostPublish phase. Click Reset to quit the PostPublishPhase or Retry to try again.
PostPublishPhaseReady as in PostPublishPhase The controller is ready for the PostPublish phase, and will shortly begin that phase.
DeleteVersions N/A The section is deleting versions.
TestConn N/A The system is currently testing the connection.
RemovingFromDistributors N/A A section is being deleted. FIrst the distributor is checked, and information is removed.
Unavailable N/A The publication is not available for publishing, and may be in the process of deletion.
Can also be seen when a section is not available for updating. Generally indicates a deletion has been attempted; the deletion may have failed, and should be tried again.

Understanding post publish phases

All publishing goes through a post-publish phase. In this phase, the GLOBAL-SITE Controller attempts to clear up any files or directories created to support publishing and, if necessary, to rollback the subscriber(s) to the previous state. The GLOBAL-SITE Controller attempts rollback only if there was a failure, or if publishing was cancelled.

Although the cleanup process may not be done for subscriber paths if the publishing failed, post publishing is always done for sections, regardless of how far the publishing progressed. At the end of publishing, section states move into the post publishing phase, and progress until the post publishing phase is done. If the section's final state is Failed, the next publishing process attempts to clean up before continuing.

The post publishing phase moves through many stages, and these can be reflected on the detail screen. It will help you to know what these states are, and what you can expect if you see them as a publication status. Some of these are included in Table 3.1, The GLOBAL-SITE Controller Phases of Publication. Details on the rollback state are provided in Table 3.2.

Description of the rollback state
Rollback state Explanation
gsRollbackDone Rollback completed successfully, but cleaning the path was not attempted, probably because the post publish phase was cancelled.
gsRollbackFailed Rollback failed and path cleanup was not attempted, probably because post publish phase was canceled.
gsRollbackDoneCleanDone Both rollback and path cleanup were successful.
gsRollbackFailedCleanDone Rollback failed but path cleanup was successful.
gsRollbackDoneCleanFailed Rollback was successful, but path cleanup failed.
gsRollbackFailedCleanFailed Both rollback and path cleanup failed.