Importing SOA VM to Amazon Cloud – Part 1 by Grzegorz Lysko

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Introduction

Aldough Oracle is pushing it’s own cloud solutions agresivly there are still other cloud providers in the market that can be used to build similar functionality. Migration of existing infrastructure to the comercial cloud is a scenario worth considering. Today I will show how to use Amazon Cloud Services (AWS) to move an existing SOA suite VM to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). For this porpuose I will use a Oracle Pre-built Virtual Machine for SOA Suite 12.2.1 and import it to AWS. After the import I will create a running instance that can be used further deployment and development of integration solutions.

Prerequsites for the tasks

  1. Installed 7 zip
  2. Oracle VM Virtualbox
  3. Amazon web services account with administrative rights

Downloading and preparing the VM

Before importing the VM from oracle some adjustemnts have to be made for the import to succed. The main reason for the adjustment is the fact that the import task will not allow Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. Also aldough previous versions where of the VM where in the OVA format the current version is in an OVF (Open Virtualization Format) package. For the amazon import OVA is better so after adjusting the VM i will prepare an OVA file.

  • Download the VM
  • After the download extract the files using 7 zip
Importing and starting the VM in Oracle VM Virtualbox
  • Start Oracle VM VirtualBox
  • Import the VM ( go to File-> Import Appliance)
  • Chose the Integration_12.2.1_OTN.ovf file and start the import

Read the complete article here.

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Benefits of Automated Oracle FMW Provisioning by Arturo Viveros

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Oracle Fusion Middleware provisiong is always a critical prerequisite which will substantially influence the success or failure of our development projects. Those of us who have spent many years working with this toolset in its many versions, should know for sure what a distressful experience it is to work with sloppily or incorrectly provisioned environments.

Provisioning can also consume a lot of our precious time, whether it is performed locally or in controlled environments belonging to our organization / customer. As the components have evolved, setup options have also become increasingly complex and diverse (although maybe friendlier from a UI perspective), and even though we may have mastered this craft and are capable of producing a nice and shiny configuration, replicating this consistently and for multiple environments where we can expect high variance regarding product versions, particular requirements, limitations and criticality levels, is without any doubt a very challenging and potentially error-prone endeavor. Add dependencies, intangibles and deadlines to the mix and this can become as complicated as any other project task.

Nevertheless, for the time being and with all the tools at our disposal, this provisioning processes can be easily streamlined and automated, so we can stop the suffering while also learning some really exciting stuff and providing value to our organization / customer.

Automated provisioning: what are we looking for?

This “value” we’ve mentioned may represent lots of things when talking about an optimized provisioning cycle, for example:

  • Agility / Speed: which will also translate into developer productivity, time to market and enhanced DR / scaling capabilities.
  • Consistency / Standardization: so we can focus mostly on resolving business-oriented challenges rather than tripping up with environment-related issues.
  • Change management: being able to evolve our environments by patching, upgrading and fine tuning in an orderly fashion, and without the fear of it collapsing like a house of cards at the minimum alteration.
  • Competency building: so your team will be able to learn, perform and improve well-delimited and highly repeteable tasks rather than playing “heroball” (where everyone and everything ends up depending on a single engineer’s prowess and availability, sound familiar?)

So, which options do we have?

There are so many, but let’s talk about some of them and provide some examples and references. For instance, we will always have the good old config wizard: Read the complete article here.

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XA Transactions with SOASuite JMS Adapter by Martien van den Akker

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JMS is perfect for setting transaction boundaries and in OSB it is pretty clear on how JMS transactions are handled. However, in SOASuite using the JMS adapter the SOA Infrastructure is handling your JMS transactions by default; and messages are removed from the queue rightaway because the Get’s are Auto-acknowledged. If something fails, you would expect that messages are rolled back to the JMS queue and eventually moved to the error queue. But, again by default, not with the SOASuite/JMS Adapter. In that case the BPEL process, for instance, fails and get’s in a recovery state, to be handled in the ‘Error Hospital’in Enterprise Manager. But I want JMS to handle it! (Says the little boy…)
So how do we accomplish that? Today I got the chance to figure that out.
Start with a JMS setup with a JMS Server, Module and a Queue with an Error Queue that is configured to be the error destination on the first queue. On the first queue set a redelivery limit to 3 and a redelivery delay on for instance 60000 ms (or something like that). I’m not going in to that here.
Create also a Connection Factory in the JMS Module with a proper jndi, something like ‘jms/myApplicationCF’.
In the JMS adapter on SOASuite there are several OutboundConnectionFactories already pre-configured. It is quite convenient to use the one with JNDI ‘eis/wls/Queue’. But if you look into that, you’ll see that it uses the default WebLogic JMS Connection factory ‘weblogic.jms.XAConnectionFactory’. Not much wrong with that, but you can’t configure that for your own particular situation. But more over it is configured with ‘AcknowledgeMode’ = ‘AUTO_ACKNOWLEDGE’. As you can read in the docs there are three values for the AcknowledgeMode:

  • DUPS_OK_ACKNOWLEDGE, for consumers that are not concerned about duplicate messages
  • AUTO_ACKNOWLEDGE, in which the session automatically acknowledges the receipt of a message
  • CLIENT_ACKNOWLEDGE, in which the client acknowledges the message by calling the message’s acknowledge method

So create a new outbound connection factory, with a JNDI like ‘eis/jms/MyApp’. 
Now, apparently we don’t want  ‘AUTO_ACKNOWLEDGE’, because that would cause the message-get acknowledged ‘On Get’. So you could rollback until ‘Saint Juttemis’ (as we say in our family) but it won’t go back on the queue. Dups aren’t ok with me, so I’ll choose ‘CLIENT_ACKNOWLEDGE’ here. Then there’s another option: ‘IsTransacted’. I want that one on ‘true’. Then in ConnectionFactoryLocation, you’d put the JNDI of your JMS Connection factory, in my example ‘jms/myApplicationCF’. So you’ll get something like: Read the complete article here.

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Flex fields Mapping Tool by BPM SOA Solutions Team

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How many times have you had to repeat the same sequence in the BPM workspace to map a Human Task payload attribute to a public Flex Field? Let’s do a bit of re-cap:

  1. login to the Workspace with administration permissions
  2. go do Administration
  3. go to Public Flex Fields
  4. create all Labels

And then, for each human task:

  1. search for the task
  2. choose the payload attribute
  3. search for the label to use (you can create them here as well)
  4. repeat until you’ve mapped all the labels you need
  5. save and move to the next

It seems like a lot of work to do and it is fair to say that our platform team was not very happy to do these tasks manually. Even when developing these mappings need to be re-created from time to time (more often than we wished). The whole process is furthermore error-prone, specially when moving from development to QA and to Production environments.

Automating the creation and mapping of labels and payload atributes

Oracle BPM/SOA 11g and 12c expose an API for managing labels and mapping them as required. The oracle.bpel.services.workflow.runtimeconfig.IRuntimeConfigService interface provides a series of methods for creating and deleting labels, as well as creating oracle.bpel.services.workflow.runtimeconfig.model.PayloadMapping instances to map a label to a payload attribute. Read the complete article here.

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Unable to compile a composite that contains a Java embedded activity with Maven by Markus Lohn

 

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Maven is not compiling the composite when a BPEL process contains java embedding. Just incorporating java embedding makes the maven compilation to fail. If the java embedding is removed then the composite compilation is successful in Maven. This issue can be reproduced  with JDeveloper 12.1.3.x

Research

First I tried to solve this issue by adding dependency declarations for orabpel.jar in the soa maven plugin section and the pom.xml itself. However this approach doesn’t solve my issue. After another research in the Oracle Support system I found two interesting notes:

  • Unable to compile a composite that contains a Java embedded activity with Maven (2050971.1)
  • Failure when compiling a BPEL process in SOA 12c, ‚package com.collaxa.cube does not exist’ (2112178.1)

Both notes describe exactly the issue I currently have. The note 2050971.1 contains a reference to the bug no. 20229616 wherefore no patch is available until now. But it contains a description for a workaround. The workarounds means to put every needed Java library in the folder SOA/SCA-INF/lib. From my perspective that isn’t an appropriate solution, because the missing classes mention by the compiler are in orabpel.jar. This jar file is part of SOA Suite and already available on the infrastructure side. Moreover everything in /SCA-INF/lib is part of the composite and uploaded to MDS. The second support note 2112178.1 references a patch, but it doesn’t also solve the issue. Due to this I build a solution that automates the workaround with SOA/SCA-INF/lib by using Maven plugins.

Solution

The solutions contains 3 steps:

1. Using the Maven Dependency Plugin to copy the orabpel.jar to SOA/SCA-INF/lib folder. The copied orabpel.jar will be renamed to only4compile.jar. Further it is important to bind the execution of the plugin to a phase before running the Maven SOA Plugin. Read the complete article here.

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Oracle SOA Suite 12c Implementation Specialists Bootcamp 30 Jan – 24 Feb 2017– free on-demand training & certification

Training On-demand: Oracle SOA Suite 12c Implementation Specialists

  • This Boot Camp is now open for registration to all partners taking specialist certification exams in the next 90 days. Please DO NOT REGISTER, if you are not taking a certification exam.
  • All registrations must be done using a company email. Personal emails will be rejected
  • In order to submit your registration you will be asked to login using your OPN (Oracle PartnerNetwork) account credentials. In case you do not have an OPN account please see the Profile badging step-by-step guide for partners on how to create the account. This process will also ensure your certifications are aligned to your company ID. All registrants must be badged and aligned to their company ID

For details please visit the registration page here.

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How to create a SOA 12.2.1 docker image on OracleLinux (Now Oracle Certified) by Fabio Persico

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Introduction

What is docker?

Unless you’ve been living without internet access for the last two years, it would be hard not to at least heard of Docker. But, as an emerging technology not everyone has taken the time to work out what Docker is, where it fits in and how it can benefit you.
So, what exactly is Docker? Here’s what Docker themselves describe it as:
Docker is an open platform for developers and sysadmins of distributed applications.
Essentially, Docker is a container based system for your applications. If you’re used to the concept of virtual servers, Docker provides further levels of abstraction for your application. Here’s a visual representation of how it differs:

Rather than just being one part of the puzzle, Docker provides a number of components and tools to assist with the entire lifecycle management of the application. This includes the container environment, image management and orchestration.
Docker started it’s life as an internal project within a hosting company called dotCloud, but quickly took off once they open sourced it in early 2013. Since then, it’s benefited from over 15,000 software commits from over 900 contributors.

Why use Docker?

Now that you have a basic understanding of Docker, there are a number of great reasons to start using it.

  • It’s very fast. Start a Docker container can be complete in as little as 50ms. That’s not a typo, it really can be this quick! This is the advantage of having such high levels of abstraction, you reduce the number of components you need to run. This also means that there’s very little to no overhead in it’s implementation. Read the complete article here.

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SOA / BPM 12c – Useful Upgrade Content by Danilo Schmiedel

clip_image002With this post I’d like to provide a list of useful material regarding Oracle SOA 12c Upgrade.

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SOA Expert Series presentation available by David Shaffer & Team

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We’ve been talking about this for a couple years now, but finally did it. The idea is to take the very popular Open World panel session called “Oracle SOA Suite Tips and Tricks from Oracle Engineering and A-team” and bring this content to a much wider audience via webinar. We tested the waters with the first webinar in Jan, 2016 and it was even more successful than we had hoped.

We are now extending this into a larger series, to promote sharing of knowledge and expertise with the SOA Suite community at large. We have the commitment of the A-team and lots of good content from engineering, partners as well as customers. So, please check out the information below and register for the series. Get the slides here.

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Since it provides many components, it is an extensive toolkit for developers who can use it for complex functionality with little coding. by Maarten Smeets

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Valuable Features:
  • The technology adapters (Database, REST, LDAP, File, many more), which allow easy integration with technologically diverse systems.
  • BPEL and Service Bus, which allow diverse integration patterns to be easily implemented.
  • The extensive Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control which provides management and monitoring capabilities.
  • The high availability features (mostly important for performance and stability).

Since the SOA Suite provides many components, it is an extensive toolkit for a developer, who can, with relatively little coding, quickly achieve complex functionality.

Improvements to My Organization:

We implement SOA Suite at different customers. The product helps them achieve their goals in terms of integration requirements (functional and non-functional). This ranges from service-enabling legacy systems to integrating COTS products in a stable, performant, and manageable way. Currently, I work for a customer that is digitalizing a legal processes. At this customer we implement reusable services and processes used by multiple front- and backend applications. … Read the complete article here.

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