API Management – Why it matters! by Sven Bernhardt

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Digital transformation is on its way and the industry is required to adopt new concepts and techniques, like the Internet of things (IoT), Cloud and Enterprise Mobility. As a matter of that, new business models arise, which need to be evaluated by companies to not lose market shares and stay in touch with the competitors.
Gartner’s vision of Bi-modal IT seems to become more and more the reality, which besides all chances, also brings a lot of challenges companies have to deal with. One essential topic for implementing the ideas of Bi-modal IT is API Management – at least from our point of view. In addition, it is also a key enabler to define a solid strategy, in order to meet the challenges with respect to digital transformation.

Get the presentation here.

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Oracle Fusion Middleware Critical Patch Update for July 2017 Released

The Critical Patch Update for July 2017 was released on July 18th, 2017.  Oracle strongly recommends applying the patches as soon as possible.

 

Patches include:

The Critical Patch Update Advisory is the starting point for relevant information.  It includes the list of products affected, pointers to obtain the patches, a summary of the security vulnerabilities for each product suite, and links to other important documents. Supported products that are not listed in the "Affected Products and Components" section of the advisory do not require new patches to be applied.
Also, it is essential to review the Critical Patch Update supporting documentation referenced in the Advisory before applying patches, as this is where you can find important pertinent information.

The Critical Patch Update Advisory for July 2017 is available at the following location:
Oracle Technology Network: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/security-advisory/cpujul2017-3236622.html

 

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Implementing Oracle Integration Cloud Service book by Robert van Mölken and Phil Wilkins

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Businesses are built on data, and applications that access that data. In modern businesses the same cloud-based data stores and applications might be accessed by hundreds of different applications from thousands of different devices via APIs. To make this happen, APIs must be wired together i.e. integrated. Oracle Integration Cloud Service provides a complete method for integrating enterprise applications in the cloud. Integration Cloud Service (ICS) provides a cloud hosted means to integrate systems together using a graphical means to define and represent integrations.

This book will be a comprehensive, hands-on guide to building successful, high-availability integrations on ICS. This book sets out to demonstrate how ICS can be used to effectively implement integrations that work both in the cloud and on premise. It starts with a fast, practical introduction to what ICS can do for your business and then shows how ICS allows you to develop integrations not only quickly but in a way that means they are maintainable and extensible. Gradually it moves into more advanced integrations, showing how to achieve sophisticated results with ICS and work with external applications. Finally the book shows you how to monitor cloud apps and go beyond ICS to build even more powerful integrated applications.

By the end of the book, you will the knowledge on how to use ICS to solve your own integration needs and harness the technologies in a maintainable and sustainable manner. The book is available through Packt Publishing here. For additional SOA books please visit the wiki here.

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Creating a Platform Blueprint from an Existing SOA / BPM Domain by Matt Wright

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Overview

Rubicon Red MyST uses a declarative approach to automation, meaning users simply define the target state of the Oracle Middleware infrastructure to be deployed; which, at the push of a button, is automatically provisioned by MyST.

Within MyST, the target state is captured in the platform definition, which is divided into two layers. First, the Platform Blueprint defines an environment agnostic specification used to define the platform topology and configuration of your Oracle Middleware. Second, the Platform Model, overlays the environment specific configurations.

Splitting the platform definition into two layers, provides infrastructure independence; enabling you to provision consistent middleware platforms across all environments regardless of infrastructure type, on premise and on cloud.

One way to create a Platform Blueprint is to use the Platform Wizard, this guides the user through a simple process to capture the key design decisions for the Oracle Middleware topology and configuration and creates a corresponding Platform Blueprint.

Alternatively MyST allows you to introspect and capture the configuration of an existing WebLogic domain and use that to generate an equivalent Platform Blueprint. This is the topic of this blog.

Discover and Introspect Existing WebLogic Domains

To create a Platform Blueprint based on an existing WebLogic domain, we simply point MyST at the servers hosting the WebLogic domain; MyST will introspect the domain and create a corresponding Platform Blueprint. This supports a number of use cases, including: Read the complete article here.

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Workshop: Oracle FMW Administration Foundation – SOA & OSB by Michel Schildmeijer

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Learn the latest about Oracle Fusion Middleware Administration Foundation, SOA Suite, and Oracle Service Bus infrastructure management. Oracle Ace Michel Schildmeijer tells all during a two-day workshop in January. Enrich your knowledge and learn all about the various layers and engines that together make up the SOA and OSB Engine (and more). In-company, or at the Qualogy offices in Rijswijk.

The workshop is a two-day event, and is suitable for Senior Administrators with at least one year’s experience with SOA/OSB, developers with an ops focus, as well as other interested parties.

Admin Interfaces: consoles, command line, JMX

The workshop will cover admin interfaces in greater detail, such as consoles, command line and JMX:

  • SOA Suite and OSB Configuration
  • Security & OWSM Policy Configuration
  • Oracle Platform Security Services
  • Store Framework Credentials
  • Oracle FMW user, group and role management

SOA Suite and OSB: Life-cycle management

The workshop will also cover life-cycle management of SOA Suite and OSB applications: Learn more about the workshop here.

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SOA 12c Migration by Matt Wright

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Most organizations when migrating to Oracle SOA 12c or Oracle BPM 12s choose to perform a side-by-side upgrade, as it:

  • requires zero downtime,
  • supports all SOA and BPM components,
  • allows for a phased migration,
  • involves significantly less risk.

This involves provisioning a new instance of SOA 12c, replicating the configurations from your 11g platform and migrating and deploying your code. Once ready, you then switch over from 11g to 12c.

Most organizations fail to maintain accurate documentation of their current 11g configurations, so have to manually reverse engineer their existing 11g production configurations, so they can be re-applied to their new 12c environments. This is both a time consuming and error prone approach.

Rubicon Red MyST provides a simple and automated process for side-by-side upgrades. MyST allows you to introspect an existing 11g environment, extract the key configuration information and then use this to automatically provision an equivalent 12c environment in minutes.

Side-By-Side Upgrades made Simple

When performing a side-by-side upgrade, you simply point MyST at an existing 11g environment, MyST will introspect the platform instance and create a corresponding 11g Platform Blueprint.

Next, just specify the Oracle Middleware 12c version required. MyST will automatically convert the blueprint to one that is compliant with the Oracle Enterprise Deployment Guide for SOA 12c, whilst preserving your 11g configurations.

Finally, specify the target environment(s), for the new SOA 12c domain. Then at the click of a button, MyST will automatically provision an equivalent 12c Oracle Middleware platform.

The end-to-end process consists of three simple steps and can be performed in minutes.

Step 1 – Introspect SOA / BPM 11gR1 Domain

For the purpose of this blog, we are going to introspect an existing Oracle SOA 11.1.1.7 environment running on two VMs, that consists of a 2 node SOA Cluster and 2 node OSB Cluster. Read the complete article here.

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WS Security – enabling passwordDigest authentication in an Oracle FMW environment by Jang Vijay Singh

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Objective:

To have a basic level of authentication on web services (especially where there’s no transport layer security) without having to pass clear text passwords in the WS Security headers.

Background:

The concepts are fairly generic but this post is highly Oracle Fusion middleware/SOA Suite specific. There can be complex decision tree (see [1]) involved when selecting the ‘appropriate’ level of security for any system. As security involves trade-offs between cost, performance, usability and other variables, the ‘appropriate’ level of security could be highly specific to the environment, usecase, system and people. But as developers, we can still perform some due diligence based on the tools and knowledge available to us. 

My rule of thumb when developing a traditional web service or microservice is: If it’s reading from a secure database or some system that is accessible only via authentication, it must only expose a secure endpoint.

Now sites can differ considerably and so does the definition of what "secure" is.

When exposing ah http endpoint (SOAP or REST) hosted on cloud or accessible over the Internet, one would as a minimum ensure that it’s over TLS and has authentication enabled.

In an on-premise hosted solution, traditionally https has not been widespread within organisations and web service endpoints meant for internal consumption have most commonly only been exposed over http – hopefully accompanied by infrastructure level setup (firewalls, DMZs etc.) that ensures that the data or service is only accessible inside a ‘trusted’ network. Read the complete article here.

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SOA Suite 12.2.1 – OWSM WSM-02084 issue by Michel Schildmeijer

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Here another short tech tip

Another issue I encountered is not yet identified at MOS, not in the context I encountered it. The error was written to the logs every minute:

<Error> <oracle.wsm.resources.policymanager> <WSM-02084> <Access denied. Permission "oracle.wsm.security.PolicyManagerPermission" is required to access the wsm policy manager "UsageTracker" method "recordUsage".>

The only MOS reports on this was partially applicable for my situation: Bug 23279489 : WSM-02084 ERROR WHILE STARTING WSM/SOA SERVER IN DOMAIN PARTITION SETUP

The SOA Suite Domain was setup using a separate SOA and separate WSM Cluster, however the MOS note speaks about a created partition to be deleted… however domain partition is not yet supported for SOA 12.2.1 so that surprised me.

So here’s what brought me the solution.

  1. Login to Fusion Middleware Control, expand the hamburger menu and right click on the domain, select Security and the Application Policies
  2. Select the ws-pm application stripe and edit the policy for policy.Acessor Read the complete article here.

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OWSM and WS-Security: Username Token Authentication for SOAP and REST Services in OSB 12c by Sandy Flores

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This is the first time i write an English entry here in my blog, since it has been focused on a Spanish speaking audience, but this is an special occasion, yesterday I wrote a Spanish blog post in order to colaborate with OTN Appreciation Day, then a couple of friends ask me to translate and share it with them, so here we go now. I must apologize in advance with all of you for the Spanish images, i had no time to start all over again in English, I really hope you can guess the meaning of them, otherwise please contact me for the translation.
WS-Security is a specification published by OASIS, it is mainly aimed for SOAP Web Services. It encompasses a number of mechanisms to strengthen the integrity and confidentiality of the messages exchanged between these type of services such as data encryption, security tokens, username and password validation, signed messages, etc.
On the other hand, Oracle Web Service Manager (OWSM) is a component of Oracle SOA Suite that provides a framework for centralizing policy management and security of Web Services. OWSM is based on the WS-Policy standard and can be used in development time, or from the management console.
OWSM includes the following main elements:

  • Policy Manager: Reads and writes policies, whether predefined or custom, to and from the repository.
  • Agent: Executes policies and collects execution statistics. It has a cache memory for policies. It consists of a Policy Access Point (PAP) and a Policy Interceptor, the first communicates with the Policy Manager using EJB invocations, while the second is generated when a Web Service is deployed and activated, or when a policy is attached to a Web Service. Its functionality is to intercept requests to the Web Service and execute the policies associated with it.
  • OWSM Repository: Place where policies are stored, typically a database.
  • Enterprise Manager: Application where, in addition to managing several other elements,  the OWSM settings, metrics, etc. are configured. Read the complete article here.

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SOA Suite 12.2.1 bug – No view permission on soa-infra dashboard by Michel Schildmeijer

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Just a small blogpost about an issue I encountered while setting up during the rollout of a high available SOA Suite evironment version 12.2.1.

The domain consisted of:

– AdminServer

– 2 SOA Managed Servers in a cluster

– 2 OWSM Servers in a cluster.

While accessing the 12c Fusion Middleware Console as the WebLogic Administrator, click on the soa-infra dashboard gave me this view:

A second error that occurred was the an OWSM error in the logs, WSM-02084. I was mislead, thinking this was related. However, on MOS I found that view permission problems were identified as a bug in 12.2.1.

To overcome this issue, the following line must be  added to the JAVA_OPTIONS of the AdminServer. This can be done in the setDomainEnv.sh, or better option in 12c, the setUserOverrides.sh, which all our environments call from a cental location. Read the complete article here.

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