Introducing Oracle Real-Time Integration Business Insight by Lucas Jellema

 

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Live demo and overview of the new extension to Oracle SOA Suite for business driven monitoring and reporting called Oracle Real-Time Integration Business Insight, as presented at the Oracle Fusion Middleware Partner Forum in Valencia, March 2016. Watch the video here.

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Leveraging the Twitter Adapter in ICS – Tweeting through Oracle Integration Cloud Service by Lucas Jellema

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The Oracle Integration Cloud Service – ICS – comes loaded with a rich collection of Cloud Adapters. These adapters facilitate the integration with SaaS applications and internet services of various natures. These include Oracle SaaS applications (such as RightNow, Eloqua, ECommerce Cloud, ERP Cloud, HCM Cloud), on premises ERP applications (SAP, EBusiness Suite, Siebel) and assorted third party applications such as SalesForce, Facebook, Google Mail and Task, LinkedIn and Evernote. Through these adapters, interacting with said applications and services becomes a simple, declarative operation instead of a custom programming effort.

In this article, I will use the Twitter Adapter to create a connection to a Twitter Account (leveraging the Twitter API under the covers). The Twitter Adapters exposes over a dozen operations. I will use just the operation to publish a message (aka Tweet) in this example. From ICS, I will expose an integration through a simple REST connection. This allows trusted consumers to publish Tweets in a very easy way – leaving the authorization details and the API intricacies to ICS.

The steps I went through:

  • Grant access to [ICS Connection] app in the Twitter developer page and generate API Key and Consumer Key
  • Create a new ICS Connection based on Twitter Adapter; set up the API Key and Consumer Key
  • Create an ICS REST Connection (to expose)
  • Create an integration – between REST Connection as inbound (source) to Twitter Connection (as outbound destination); configure the endpoint (inbound) and operation (inbound and outbound)
  • Create the mappings for request and response
  • Define the tracking – business identifiers
  • Activate the integration
  • Test the exposed REST connection from any REST client, for example SoapUI, to Tweet a message through a simple REST POST call

Most of these steps are explained by the screenshots you will find below. Read the complete article here.

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Create an Integration on ICS to expose a REST API for a SOAP Connection for an external web service by Lucas Jellema

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In this article, I will show a little bit more of ICS – the Integration Cloud Service. In a previous article, I have introduced some concepts – such as Connection, Integration, Business Identifier. I have shown how to create an integration connecting two connections – an inbound and an outbound one (both of type SOAP).

In picture, that looks like this:

In this article, I will create a new connection (REST API style) and create an integration to expose this connection, leveraging the same outbound connection:

After creating the integration, I will activate it and invoke the new REST API from a web browser and from SOAP UI.

The steps are:

  • Create REST Connection
  • Create and activate the Integration (with the mappings for request and response and the business identifiers for tracking)
  • Invoke the REST API
Configure REST Connection

Go to the ICS Home Page and navigate to the Connections page.

Create a New Connection. Read the complete article here.

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The quick introduction to the Integration Cloud Service (Oracle PaaS– ICS) by Lucas Jellema

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Integration is the term we employ for ‘what ties systems together into end-to-end interaction flows’. Integration describes what we have to do to make applications in one domain talk to those in another, or systems in one enterprise talk to those in another. And to systems running in one cloud interact with those running in another cloud or those running on premises. Integration is ideally approached based on standard based service interfaces and encapsulated implementations. With generic integration facilities handling most of the protocol, format, and technology specific details, and translating interactions as much as possible to standard SOAP and REST exchanges. And with that generic platform handling monitoring, security, system errors and state when asynchronous exchanges are required.

The Oracle Integration Cloud Service (ICS from now on) provides the cloud based integration platform that can run and manage these integration flows. ICS exposes a browser based user interface through which the integration is first designed, then activated and managed. ICS provides adapters to easily interact with a number of popular SaaS applications (Salesforce, Oracle HCM Cloud, Oracle ERP Cloud, Oracle SalesCloud, Service Cloud | Right Now, Eloqua, CPQ, Gmail & Google Task, Evernote, …) and Platform Services and technologies (Oracle Database, Oracle Messaging Cloud Service, FTP, SOAP and REST services) as well as a collection of Social Networks (Twitter, Linked In, Facebook). With ICS it is straightforward to connect to any of these as a target and expose an tailor made, easy to use interface to ICS consumers. Some of these can also be a source for interactions: events in SaaS applications  – such as creation or update of a business object – can trigger ICS to perform an integration flow – pushing data derived from the event to some target.

In this article I will introduce some of the core terminology for ICS and demonstrate my first steps. I will create a SOAP service that exposes a simple operation to convert distances in meters to their equivalent in yards. This service is the based on an existing conversion service offered by a third party. ICS is used to virtualize this service and map to and from between the business friendly interface that I have devised and the pre-existing service interface.

Overview

You will see how I have to first create two connections. Connection is the ICS term for an external link – either outbound from ICS to target systems  (comparable to business services in Service Bus or a Reference in SCA composites) or inbound into ICS (from external consumers), similar to Proxy Service in Service Bus and Service in SCA composites. One connection is outbound, to the third party service that does distance conversions. The other connection is inbound – it describes the SOAP interface that I want to expose from ICS to my consumers. Read the complete article here.

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Starting out with Oracle SOA CS – my first steps on a fairly advanced PaaS service by Lucas Jellema on January

 

clip_image002One of the platform offerings in the Oracle Public Cloud is the SOA Cloud Service. This service offers various flavors of SOA Suite 12c (Service Bus, SOA Suite, Technology Adapters) and API Manager 12c, automatically provisioned on the cloud. This service builds on top of a pre-existing DBaaS instance and Storage CS container and implicitly creates a JCS instance and several compute nodes on IaaS Compute CS – as shown in the figure to the right.

This article describes my first steps in getting started with SOA CS. In less than two hours, I had my first simple Service Bus project running on the SOA CS instance. From SoapUI on my local laptop, I could run a load test against the service exposed by the Service Bus, accessed via the automatically provisioned Load Balancer. The average response time was 60 ms, consisting to a large extent of the network latency from my laptop to Oracle’s data center.

Preparation

Before you can request provisioning of a SOA CS instance, you need to have gone through some preparations (also see documentation):

  • you need a (trial) subscription to SOA CS
  • you need a running DBaaS instance – a database instance that will host the SOA Infra schema, the MDS schema and other SOA Suite components (see this article about preparing such as DBaaS instance)
  • you need a (trial) subscription to Storage Cloud Service and you need to prepare a storage container on this service – to host the back ups of the SOA CS instance
  • you need to have prepared an SSH public/private key pair (which you also need to do for the DBaaS instance) and have access to the public key

Additionally, you need to decide what kind of environment you want to have provisioned: just SOA [SCA engine} or just Service Bus – or both? A single node environment or a multi-node cluster? Do you also [or only]need API Manager? The provision wizard will ask you for the answers to these questions.

The starting situation before running the provision wizard is shown here:

I have navigated to the Service Console for the SOA CS service in my identity domain. It would list all my instances – if I had any. Since I do not, all I can do is press the Create button to start a request to have an instance provisioned for me: The first step is the selection of the Domain Type. The options are self explanatory. Read the complete article here.

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Master Oracle SOA Suite 12c by Lucas Jellema

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Design, implement, manage, and maintain a highly flexible service-oriented computing infrastructure across your enterprise using the detailed information in this Oracle Press guide. Written by an Oracle ACE director, Oracle SOA Suite 12c Handbook uses a start-to-finish case study to illustrate each concept and technique. Learn expert techniques for designing and implementing components, assembling composite applications, integrating Java, handling complex business logic, and maximizing code reuse. Runtime administration, governance, and security are covered in this practical resource.

  • Get started with the Oracle SOA Suite 12c development and run time environment
  • Deploy and manage SOA composite applications
  • Expose SOAP/XML REST/JSON through Oracle Service Bus
  • Establish interactions through adapters for Database, JMS, File/FTP, UMS, LDAP, and Coherence
  • Embed custom logic using Java and the Spring component
  • Perform fast data analysis in real time with Oracle Event Processor
  • Implement Event Drive Architecture based on the Event Delivery Network (EDN)
  • Use Oracle Business Rules to encapsulate logic and automate decisions
  • Model complex processes using BPEL, BPMN, and human task components
  • Establish KPIs and evaluate performance using Oracle Business Activity Monitoring
  • Control traffic, audit system activity, and encrypt sensitive data

For more information please visit the website here. For additional books please visit our SOA wiki here.

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Visualizations are far more than a pretty face on the cloud

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Visualizations are probably the most effective way to convey information, insights and prompts for action to humans. We are not terribly good at quickly and correctly interpreting textual information that require sequential processing. Our brains however are very well equipped to rapidly interpret information presented in a well defined visualization. The expression ‘one picture says more than a thousand words’ is one that speaks volumes (and a picture capturing that expression would of course tell us even more…).

Visualizations were omnipresent at last week’s Oracle OpenWorld 2015 conference. From keynote sessions by Larry Ellison and Thomas Kurian to the demo grounds where SaaS applications as well as development tools, PaaS services and other products were demonstrated, visualizations were everywhere. In part because they look nice and have an immediate appeal. But far more than just eye candy, visualizations are truly very effective in many use cases – especially when rapid responses to real time findings are required or where decisions need to be made based on deep insight in trends, patterns, correlations and underlying causes.

Glance, Scan, Commit

At the heart of Oracle’s strategic design philosophy for [cloud]user experience is the ‘glance, scan, commit’ way of working we humans tend to adopt. We scan our surroundings for things that stand out in some way and therefore may require more attention. The things that attracted attention on our first scan are then glanced at – to better understand what makes them stand out, quickly interpret if action is indeed required (such as more in depth investigations, decisions or execution of a workflow or business process). Some things can perhaps be done on the fly (accept/reject, send left or right, acknowledge) and are immediately removed from the to-do list. For others we may determine that nothing further needs to be done. Then there are more involved tasks that are the end result of the scan and glance stages. These tasks form a to do list of things that we need to work on – commit ourselves to – either instantaneously or at a later moment. (see  Strategic design philosophy pushes Oracle cloud user experience to lofty new heights by Kathy Miedema for more details on this philosophy).

Glance, Scan and Commit are implemented throughout Oracle’s SaaS applications. Users typically start from an initial dashboard that provides them the information they need to perform the Glance. This is typically information that is the outcome of aggregations and advanced data analysis – resulting in condensed reports of those facts that the user needs to be aware of, needs to react to or decide upon. This information should be presented in such as way that the ‘cost of understanding is minimized’ – as Jairam Ramanathan, Senior Development Manager for Data Visualizations at Oracle Cloud and Mobility Development Tools puts it.

Usually this means that the presentation shows a recent change or trend, a comparison with a threshold, deadline or other target or a list of action items. Data Visualizations are used to present these elements in a way that makes them easy to interpret quickly and correctly. Compared with a purely textual representation, most visualizations can easily add context – such as time or location – and categorizations or grouping. Visualizations can leverage special traits of our human minds. These include our ability to quickly interpret, compare and spot differences in position, shape and size, color (to some extent) and extract a story from animation. Our brain’s associative powers quickly come into play with visualizations.

Jeremy Ashley, GVP Cloud Applications UX at Oracle and responsible for the Glance, Scan, Commit philosophy, stresses that visualizations may not be too simplistic, or our brain simply zooms out. A visualization needs to hold a certain challenge in order to pique our curiosity.

Visualizations not only cater for the glance phase, they can usually also play an important role in the scan phase. Visualizations can allow drill down, to analyze a little further and look in more details into specific areas of interest indicated during glance. Additionally, visualizations may go beyond just presenting the data and also support simple manipulation of data – for example adjusting a gauge or dragging elements on a time line or even a bubble chart. Read the complete article here.

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Process Analytics with Oracle BPM Suite 12c and BAM – slides from OGh session for SIG SOA & BPM by Lucas Jellema

 

clip_image002Business Processes implemented in BPEL and BPM(N) and running on Oracle BPM Suite 12c or SOA Suite 12c have to fulfill a business purpose and as such must meet business requirements – both functionally and non-functionally. SLAs for throughput, response time, quality are usually associated with these processes and we typically also would like insight in the number of process executions (per group) and the paths taken through our processes.

This presentation introduces process analytics in both BPEL and BPM processes in Oracle SOA Suite and BPM Suite 12c. It explains how to configure out of the box generic analytics and process specific business indicators. The presentation than introduces BAM 12c. It demonstrates the out of the box process analytics reports and dashboards. Then it explains how to create custom reports on the unified process analytics star schema or on custom tables. Finally the presentation goes into real-time monitoring in BAM using JMS and enterprise message resources in combination with the event processing templates in BAM. Read the complete article here.

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StreamExplorer and Oracle Event Processor – installation instructions to quickly get going by Lucas Jellema

 

clip_image002This article discusses the installation of Oracle Event Processor 12c on Linux 64bit and the subsequent installation of Stream Explorer on top of OEP 12c. This article assumes Linux 64bit as the operating system. More specifically: it assumes the environment that can be produced following the instructions in my article Quickly produce a Linux 64 bit Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop environment using Vagrant and Puppet – as starting point for Oracle installations – Ubuntu 14.04 64bit plus Desktop and JDK 7U79. Note that other Linux 64bit environments are probably fine (even better maybe as Ubuntu is not officially certified with OEP). Note that in a subsequent article I am going to leverage Vagrant and Puppet to automatically install OEP and Stream Explorer – so as to stamp out VM images for researching OEP and SX without manual actions.

I assume that the Linux environment has a user oracle in a group oracle and a directory (tree) /u01/app/oracle of which user oracle is the owner. This directory is where the ORACLE_HOME will be based.

The following steps are required:

1. Download Software Packages for OEP and SX and JDeveloper

2. Install Oracle Event Processor

3. Install Stream Explorer (as OPatch on top of OEP)

4. Create an OEP Domain

5. Start the OEP Domain and access Stream Explorer in browser

optional: 6. Install JDeveloper and create a connection to OEP domain

1. Download Software Packages for OEP and SX and JDeveloper

Go to http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/complex-event-processing/downloads/index.html, accept the OTN license agreement, and download three files:

  • OEP – ofm_sx_generic_12.1.3.0.0_disk1_1of2.zip
  • Stream Explorer – ofm_sx_generic_12.1.3.0.1_disk1_2of2.zip
  • (optional) JDeveloper – fmw_12.1.3.0.0_soaqs_Disk1_1of1.zip

Read the complete article here.

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Key take-aways from the Oracle PaaS Cloud announcements – Integrate, Accelerate, Lead by Lucas Jellema

 

clip_image002Monday June 22nd was the launch date for Oracle for 24 (and more) Cloud Services. June is traditionally an important month for Oracle when it comes to product launches and important announcements. This year is the same in that respect. The announcements came in a many-hour live webcast including a 45 minute presentation by Oracle CTO Larry Ellison (see videos from Oracle Cloud Platform Launch). I have harvested some of the most relevant slides from this presentation – that capture the essence from his announcements (or at least the things that stood out to me).

See some other relevant resources regarding these announcements:

Read the complete article here.

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