PCS and Correlations: the next big thing cavemen already used… by Martien van den Akker

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You can use BPM, BPEL or Workflow to orchestrate or direct regular processes to get a job done from the beginning through a certain flow with a few decision-points, alternate and parallel flows to the end. A common use that is fine and usefull for most projects. And it can be seen as the driver for software companies to develop process/workflow engines.
However, there are cases that one process spawns off multiple other process instances that are some how related to one particular business case, involved person, or a uniquely distinguishable entity. And often those processes have to interact, with each other. For instance, this year in Split I came up with an idea for a role playing advanture game using chatbots and PCS. Each player would initiate a PCS instance, that when interacting with each other can detect if players meet each other at a certain location.

Correlation Sets are key here…

Right after the acquisition of Collaxa in 2004, in my Oracle Consulting era, I got the chance to be a BPEL trainer for Oracle University, doing several trainings for a few bigger consulting companies in the Netherlands. One of the subjects was about Asynchronous Processes and how the Process Manager used WS-Addressing to correlate the response to the running instance that sent out the request. But together with that Correlation Sets were mentioned. And I did not understand it: why would you need Correlation Sets when the Process Manager handles it all transparently using WS-Addressing? Otherwise put: it was time for me to do some projects.
PCS, BPM Suite and SOA Suite share the same process engine that originated from the early BPEL Process Engine. And as you can detect from my anecdote: Correlation Sets are key in this story. And this functionality is around from the medieval ages. In fact, recently they discovered char-coal drawings in a cave in France, indicating that people form pre-historic times already used Correlation Sets in their BPEL’s…

Prototype this…

Let’s say you have a customer that is a large company with several responsible participants that are allowed to sign the contract. Some of them are full-authorised signers, while others only have partial authorisation. So either one of the fully authorised participants signs, which would complete the contract, or some of the partial signers have signed that pass the contract over the signing threshold.
For this case we keep it simple: either one of the full authorised participant should have signed or all of the partial signers should have signed. But we’ll handle this in a (set of) business rule(s), so it can be made more complex to resemble real-world cases. Read the complete article here.

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Oracle Process Cloud Service – Decision Model Notation part 2 by Lykle Thijssen

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In my previous blog, I showed how to get started with Decision Model Notation (DMN) in Oracle Process Cloud Service and how to create a simple Decision Table. Picking up from there, we will now look into creating If-Then-Else rules, which should also be familiar to people who know Oracle’s old Business Rules. We will also create a service and call it from a process.

Creating an If Then Else Decision

As Input, I have created a TotalAmount object, which is the total amount of a Sales Order. Based on this TotalAmount, we are going to calculate a Discount Price, for which I have created a DiscountPrice type to make the service interface a bit prettier than just ‘output’. To create an If-Then-Else rule, just click the + button next to Decisions, enter a name and set the output type to string, number or any other type, in this case DiscountPrice.

Now, Oracle will have created a rule for you, in which you only need to fill in the "if", "then" and "else". Since you’ve already decided your output object, we will not use that one in the expression, which is different from the old Oracle Business Rules. So just enter the value that you want for this object and you’ll be fine. You can also create nested expressions, as shown below: Read the complete article here.

 

Process Cloud Service and how to loop and select elements from a list by Martien van den Akker

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For more than half a year I’ve been ‘dying’ to write posts about some of the constructs I’ve developed in my last Process Cloud Service project. At last I have the opportunity. And I hope I’ll be able to write some more. But for starters, one of the problems I encountered is that I needed to process a list of something(s) and select elements from it. Or even better, how to build up a new list based on an input-list and some rules. Oh and do looping, or actually determine how to finish a loop based on a list of elements. Without a count() function in the PCS Expressions…

Questions

If you have met these kinds of problems and the tool at hand is PCS, then you probably ran in (some of) the following questions:

  • Why don’t we try to solve this in SOA CS or possibly ICS?
  • Where are the script tasks we have in BPM Suite? (Sorry, this is an obvious one, but still)
  • How to count the elements of a list? Or, where are the functions in PCS?
  • How to add elements to a list?
  • Etc.

To address a few of those…
Many of these things we ran into are actually orchestration issues. And as with the all-time discussions on when to use SOA and when BPM, we advise doing complex service orchestration  (with message processing) in SOA CS, or if possible in ICS. But when we started with this project, the tools we were given were PCS and ICS. And where ICS lacked the more advanced logic processing in the orchestration integrations, at the time (it’s improved over time). And sometimes it really is fun to try to accomplish things that were mentioned not being possible. Go where no man has gone before, that sort of stuff.
Script tasks? I guess PCS Product Management gets tired of answering this question. But the real thing is: we do need to do determinations based on the outcome of services. But also doing logic before doing an activity. In the input data association of an activity, you can only assign into the input-arguments of the activity. You can’t update process variables. You can do that in the output data-association. But not all activities have a output-data-associations. And there are cases where you don’t have an applicable previous activity. For instance in loops. Read the complete article here.

 

Multi-Instance Subprocess in Oracle Process Cloud Service by Antonis Antoniou

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The May 2017 Oracle Process Cloud Service release on-boarded a very useful and powerful on-prem feature, that of multi-instance subprocesses.
In a nutshell, multi-instance subprocesses allow you to execute a specific set of actions a specified number of times either in sequence or in parallel.
What shouldn’t be confused is the difference between repetitions and multi-instances. Multi-instances will create a snapshot of a specific set of actions and data, and run it a specified number of times, with each instance living in it’s own private memory space.
Repetitions on the other hand is executing the same actions and data a specified number of times, with both actions and data sharing the same context, therefore being capable of being executed in a sequence manner.
So let’s see all this in practise. In the following steps, I will be creating a sample form-initiated based process where the user will define the number of loops (executions) a subprocess, that will include of a simple "Submit Task" should execute. Read the complete article here.

 

Oracle Named a Leader in Analyst Evaluation for Digital Process Automation Software

 

Oracle positimageioned as a leader and selected for evaluation based on proven customer adoption, strong go-to-market strategy, and breadth of capabilities

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., July 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Oracle today announced it has been named a leader in the Forrester Wave™ Digital Process Automation (DPA) Software report. This placement confirms leadership for Oracle Process Cloud, which is part of Oracle Cloud Platform.

"By delivering comprehensive process automation capabilities such as no- and low-code process design, case management and simplified connections to SaaS, Social, Cloud and on-premise systems, Oracle provides customers with a powerful option to continuously deliver engaging customer, employee, and partner experiences at every stage in their business transformation journey," said Vikas Anand, vice president, product management, Oracle. "Today business process automation augmented with intelligent machine learning is helping organizations drive best next actions and provide them with better, timely decision making capabilities."

In Forrester’s 30-criteria evaluation of DPA vendors, they evaluated 12 significant software providers. Oracle was cited as a leader with the highest possible scores in the low-code/no-code, smart forms and user experience, process flow and design, mobile engagement, API support, data virtualization, deployment options, and ease of implementation criteria.

Download Forrester’s Wave report for "Digital Process Automation Software, Q3 2017" here.

Oracle Process Cloud Service was built from the ground up for the cloud to provide enterprises of all sizes with the low-code app dev platform that they need to build business agility and control their digital destiny. With full lifecycle support for end-to-end process automation spanning departments, SaaS apps, and on-premises systems of record, Oracle Process Cloud Service empowers business analysts and process designers with the tools they need to rapidly deliver differentiating experiences in a collaborative manner. Oracle Process Cloud Service comes with Quick Start App templates and pre-built integrations to companion platform services including, Content Management, Integration, Mobile, Intelligent Bots, and IoT Apps, to enable rapid delivery of engaging experiences across channels and devices.

Customer Momentum
"Process automation is central to our integration strategy," said Ravi Gade, senior director of apps IT and digital transformation, Calix. "Calix leverages Oracle Process Cloud to reduce IT backlog, ensure compliance, and simplify connections across our rapidly evolving SaaS and on-premises business systems."

"Using a combination of Oracle Process Cloud Service and Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service along with the cloud-native best practices introduced by our partner, Rubicon Red, we have a comprehensive, integrated cloud platform that enables us to deliver innovative, modern solutions," said Ryan Klose, general manager, corporate, National Pharmacies. "The Oracle Cloud Platform gives us flexibility to connect to all our core systems, and easily deliver to a range of user interfaces, whether they be online, mobile/tablet, devices/IoT, or emerging chatbot technology."

"Oracle Process Cloud Service has allowed us to dramatically shorten our time-to-market by up to 40 percent," said Matt Wright, chief technology officer, Rubicon Red. "Oracle provides developers with immediate access to a full lifecycle process management environment—including development, test, and production—and enterprise-quality tooling, without needing to build and maintain an IT infrastructure."

Additional information:

Additional new content SOA & BPM Partner Community

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· Automate ERP Cloud Batch Uploads using Oracle MFT and Integration Cloud Service This article from Oracle Cloud Solutions architect Serene Tan illustrates a typical use-case for organisations that work with numerous vendors and want those vendors to bulk invoice them through an SFTP file drop. Read the article.

· Oracle API Platform Cloud Enables Customers to Drive Business Transformation and API-First Thinking Helps developers monetize new opportunities and deliver better customer experiences Learn more.

· Oracle Code Oracle Code is an event for developers building modern Web, mobile, enterprise, and cloud-native applications. The focus is on the latest software developer technologies, practices, and trends, including: Containers, Microservices/APIs, and DevOps; Databases; Open Source Technologies; Development Tools and Low Code Platforms; Machine Learning, Chatbots and AI. Click the link below for the complete schedule. Learn more.

SOA & BPM Partner Community

For regular information on Oracle SOA Suite become a member in the SOA & BPM Partner Community for registration please visit www.oracle.com/goto/emea/soa (OPN account required) If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Expose a database to an Oracle BPM 12c Process using the Oracle SOA Database Adapter by Dan Atwood

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This is the 5th of a 5 part series that explains how to expose a database to an Oracle BPM 12c Process using the Oracle SOA Database Adapter and a Mediator.  In this, the Composite with the Database Adapter created in part 4 of this series is invoked by the Oracle BPM process using a Service activity.

Part 1 – Create a WebLogic JNDI Database Connection

Part 2 – Configure the Database Adapter’s Outbound Connection Pool

Part 3 – Configure the Database Adapter’s JNDI Connection to the Database

Part 4 – Create a SOA Composite Project to Invoke the Database Adapter through a Mediator

Part 5 – Invoke the Service Exposed from a Process in the BPM Composite Project

SOA & BPM Partner Community

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Oracle BPM Suite 12.2.1.2 Quick Start: Installation, Configuration, BPMN 2.0 Business Process Deployment and Testing by Pavel Samolysov

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Oracle BPM Suite – a solution from Oracle for Enterprise Business Processes modeling with leveraging the BPMN 2.0 notation. Integrated development environment – JDeveloper is used for the modeling process. Oracle provides a special distributive of the solution for developers – Quick Start – which contains the Oracle WebLogic application server, BPM Suite, and JDeveloper.

This article highlights how to download Oracle BPM Suite 12.2.1.2 Quick Start from the edelivery.oracle.com web-site, install that on a developer’s PC, create the first business process using JDeveloper, configure the integrated WebLogic domain (BPM Suite, SOA Suite, and Oracle Service Bus are included, and Apache Derby is here for database management), deploy the business process on this domain and start a test instance of the process. Read the complete article here.

SOA & BPM Partner Community

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Dynamic Assignment of Human Task to a User, Application Role, and/or a Group by Dan Atwood

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Oracle BPM tasks can be dynamically assigned to an individual user, application role, and / or an LDAP group depending on the human task’s incoming data. 

They did not have to be separate strings, but for clarity these three human task data elements have corresponding process data objects mapped into the human task in this Oracle BPM 12.2.1.2 application.  Based on which one(s) is populated, the task’s assignment is made.

These are set in the activity’s input data association from corresponding process data objects.

The process data objects are set in the output data association of an activity upstream of the activity in the process. Read the complete article here.

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Migrating Oracle BPM customers to PCS – never say never by Andre Boaventura

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Some of you might recall this blog post at Migrating your Oracle BPM assets into Oracle Process Cloud Service (PCS) that I published last year for some customers that wanted to move their assets to Oracle Cloud. However, as you likely can recall too, this was only targeted for customers that were only using BPM Composer for modeling and documentation purposes only.
Early this year, a new BPM customer in Brazil, that automated their business processes on top of Oracle BPM, came up with the same request, that was essentially to take all their assets to Oracle PaaS. However, this time, the challenge was much bigger than before, since more than just translate Oracle BPMN process to their respective notations in Oracle PCS, I had to deal with many other concerns like integration with legacy systems (EBS, Oracle DB) running on their datacenter, OSB services being called by their Oracle BPM processes on-premises, business KPIs used by Oracle BPM for integration with Oracle BAM, security issues around being needed to expose their OSB services to the internet to be able to be consumed by PCS, etc.
Initially, I thought that this could be an impossible task given all the very known restrictions and caveats for this kind of job, but even so, I decided to embark on this journey, since I knew it that I could go further, given everything I had done so far for other customers around this topic, and also due to a life lesson that I learned from my parents: “never say never”.

That said, now I am coming to you to share the outcome of that POC that I successfully finished for that customer. Happy to share the great news that I managed to figure out how to migrate Oracle BPM for process automation in a smoothly way to our Oracle PaaS services, since I managed to improve my BPM conversion framework(more details in my blog post) to be able to deal also with scenarios used by process automation in Oracle BPM(that weren’t covered in my original blog post), that turned the BPM migration process to OIC into an even more ease and streamlined task, even for more complex scenarios where automation and integration with backend systems are needed as well.

As such, I have decided to share all steps used to take that BPM application integrated with OSB, BAM and documents to our respective blueprint on Oracle PaaS.  I have recorded a series of 6 videos describing in details on how one can perform that migration to Oracle OIC and take advantage to leverage other key solutions to make a more comprehensive PaaS architecture by using other PaaS services like ICS, CEC, and Integration Analytics.
These are the videos I have recorded for this migration task:

Design Time

  • Part 1 – BPM to PCS/OIC Migration: This is the first step towards generate the first BPM project to be imported into PCS/OIC. It walks you through the original Oracle BPM application(BPM Composer and Studio) and shows how to create the first migratable project on Oracle PCS by leveraging the migration framework available at my blog.
  • Part 2 – ICS: This step demonstrates how to install and setup ICS connectivity agent to be used by integrations that require access to customer’s Oracle database tables. Also, it shows how to build an integration from scratch in ICS to access customer database tables and then expose them as REST services to be consumed by Oracle PCS.
  • Part 3 – PCS & ICS Integration: This video demonstrates how to leverage services created in ICS to replace those from the original process created with Oracle DB adapter within a SOA composite. Also, it showcases how to link those ICS services to PCS service call activities and how to map inbound and outbound data. Also, it shows the first deployable version to be tested and run on PCS.
  • Part 4 – Integration Analytics: This video guides you on how to create a Business Insight model with milestones, business metrics(measures and dimensions), assign them to their respective milestones and finally expose those milestones APIs to be consumed by Oracle PCS.
  • Part 5 – PCS-Business Insight Integration: This video shows how to enable and link Business Insight within PCS and also deploy the final version to be used and tested in run-time.

Run Time

This video walks you through all products described earlier like PCS, ICS, Business Insight and CEC, but now looking from the run-time perspective. It starts showing a process instance kicked-off through a PCS web forms, then an approval by a Mobile app, integration with Content experience cloud. Also, it guides you through all default and custom dashboards created on Business Insight as well as how to monitor integrations and track process integration instances in ICS. This is a comprehensive and seamlessly integrated demo that highlights how these 4 PaaS(PCS, ICS, CEC, and Business Insight) services can work together and bring more value and benefits for customers that have the same or a similar use case.

 

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