Oracle Bpel Process Manager 10.1.3.4 – New Features

The latest release of SOA Suite and BPA Suite 10.1.3.4 has been released for a while now, so you’re probably wondering, what’s in it for us …

Well let’s have a look at the new features in Oracle Bpel Process Manager 10.1.3.4:

  • Ability to represent real load, to represent the engine behaviour and to know what’s actually going on. Go to the administration-tab in your bpel control and drill down into pools to have message details => a dynamic page for threading, updated in real-time
  • Statistics are now displayed on process map level and aggregated per process instance => Go to the Analytics-tab in Bpel Control Page
  • To miminize XML Coding errors you now have the ‘Validate XML’-tab in your BPEL Console
  • What about those lost instances, you’ve instantiated a process but you can’t find the instance anymore => Audit trail persistence is moved to a separate thread which will prevent losing all data for a given thread when rollback occurs
  • You want to open up a Service Request for an issue you’re running into, but you need all diagnostics to be able to log the problem properly => Go to the ‘diagnostics’-tab in your BPEL Console to collect support information
  • When you’ve defined your Bpel process and your going through release-management you had to manually update wsdl’s, configuration files, etc. to be able to point to the different environments (development, test, qa, production, etc.) => using a deployment plan you can now deploy your bpel process to any environment without the hastle of manually having to change your process parameters => Take a BPEL Suitcase and go to the deployment plan, in this manner you will define a deployment plan for each environment.

Those are big improvements for as well developers, as administrators and especially for troubleshooting.

ADF Taskflows & BPM & UML

You’ve read about the ADF Methodology Group that was founded for the masses and the group is still growing and the topics are evolving.

More information regarding the ADF Methodology can be found on the Oracle wiki page.

Today I’ve added some content regarding a definition on ADF Taskflows, BPM, UML, BPEL, etc. and especially for which purpose these technologies can be used.

On the wiki-page you will find more information regarding when and why I would use these kinds of methodologies and the benefits or drawbacks I find when using them.

Feel free to add comment, add suggestions, add your own approach, etc. Looking forward for new ideas!

That said aside, our Google group is also worth reading in the meantime, you can check it out here.

Oracle Open World – Oracle Forms Modernization – The Case of ZLM

Tuesday I was able to participate in a co-presentation with Grant Ronald regarding Forms Modernization.

The audience was great and we had a lot of feedback regarding best approaches, best practices, …
It was a great experience, especially my thanks go out to Oracle to make this possible !!!

You can download the presentation from our website.

You can find more information regarding the presentation on grants’ blog as well!

For more Information regarding Forms Modernization.
For more information regarding BPEL and Web Services you can download presentations on our website or have a look in OTN.

Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) – Data Integration Strategy

In the ODI CAB Meeting held during Open World we’ve heard a lot of new insights regarding ODI Suite and several cases.

To sum up the main differentiators of ODI when talking about a Data Integration Strategy:

  • ODI Suite: Data Delivery Services by usage of ESB, the mediator
  • ODI Suite: Orchestration of composite services through Oracle BPEL Process Manager integration
  • Data Profiling & Data Quality: end to end governance, statistical analysis, cleansing of data and prevention of bad data being loaded
  • Unified workflows using knowledge modules
  • Declarative design using only databases and pl/sql, no need for other technologies
  • Datamart to deliver star schema’s
  • Hyperion integration for fast querying
  • Webservices to integrate to third party applications, e.g. for campaigns
  • Metadata Navigator for data lineage (and documentation purposes)

ODI will be incorporated throughout the entire Oracle Stack to enable pervasive data integration.

Pre-packaged data-integration for Apps (Peoplesoft, Siebel, SAP) so all ETL-flows are performed by ODI.

Tips & Tricks when using ODI for your enterprise-wide data integration:

  • Define groups in ODI
  • Use ODI Security Module for creating generic and non-generic profiles and arrange user rights
  • Use Oracle Analytic functions
  • Use naming standards for variables, user functions, …
  • Don’t call pl/sql functionality outside ODI, this would be strong wiring

For information regarding ODI you can download our presentation were we’ve compared OWB, ODI and ODI Suite: The Next Generation of Business Integration: Making the right choice!

Aqualogic vs. Oracle Shoot-out (Oracle Mix Winning Session)

I went to the presentation of Lonneke and Ronald regarding AquaLogic vs. Oracle, which was a really great presentation with a good overview and an objective comparison of both environments.

This mix session was 1 of the winning sessions for Oracle Open World and it’s a hot topic nowadays of course.

What were the tools that were compared:

  • Oracle BPA/Oracle BPEL PM vs. BEA ALBPM
  • Oracle ESB vs. BEA ALSB

One of the first tips Lonneke has discussed was how to govern such a SOA Project using waterfall approach or not. She mentioned that bottom-up and top-down should be combined instead of sticking with one of both methodologies because when choosing one you would either have a load of services that weren’t used, or a combined service with not enough granularity.

You need to think about an Enterprise Model, once you’ve defined that model, the high level architecture, you can start going into the business processes itself and the description of all the artefacts.

Trying to rush your business process analysis without a firm understanding of the enterprise model will spare you a lot of rework and of course a firm approach for as well the business as it department.

The comparison which was made by them, is put in their presentation slides, which will be made available by Oracle.

The main points I’ve written down (which maybe aren’t all documented in the presentation).

Enterprise Architecture:

  • Strength of Oracle BPA Suite: A Complete Architecture Tool for as well design as simulation as monitoring as execution (but for monitoring you need to use BAM (real-time monitoring on in-flight processes) and for execution you need BPEL (round tripping is supported)
  • Weaknesses of Oracle BPA Suite: Representation of process in BPA and BPEL is different, you have a logical model of your process in BPMN and an execution model in BPEL, these don’t match 1-on-1 (one could argue if this is really what you want because you’re talking about 2 separate standards, one for modelling purposes and one for execution purposes)
  • Strength of AL BPM: 1 representation of business process and execution is support by the runtime engine which trully gives you 1 view.
  • Weaknesses of AL BPM: BPMN Spec isn’t fully supported, AL uses proprietary coding and uses some sort of templating to put another flavor on your process model (uml view, bpmn view, …) + no abstraction available between system centric and human centric activities (kpi’s) + no optimization of your business process possible because you don’t have a context within your business process

Composite Services:

  • Strengths of Oracle ESB (rebranded to Oracle Service Bus = OSB): Usage of JCA + adapters being provided (no ability for enrichment in a declarative way)
  • Weaknesses of OSB: No native support for resource management (e.g. centralized XSD)
  • Strengths of ALSB: Use a logical name for an XSD and not a physical location (let’s you use a central repository for all your definitions) + ability to define generic transformations which can be used within different composite services
  • Weaknesses of ALSB: only runs on Weblogic + adapters are technology driven and JCA isn’t provided

I would really like to thank Ronald and Lonneke for the great presentation and the different demo’s they provided during the session. I’m sure this session was of great value for many customers struggling with the very hot topic right now: what to choose ;o)

Oracle Siebel and Webcenter Integration

One of the sessions I’ve attended at Open World in regards of a customer case we’re working on, was regarding Siebel and Webcenter integration.

The presentation was to high-level which wasn’t that interesting after all, but I learned more about the packaging strategies for Webcenter.

Of course I got a bit more information regarding the release date of Webcenter … and to make sure you read this post fully, I will put it at the very end ;o))


What have I noted regarding this presentation:

  • Webcenter, what does it offer? Centralize Applications and embed collaboration within a context specific manner. In other words: you’re showing documents which were published within UCM and the user-account is shown, you can check if the users’ presence by adding the presense services in the portlet, …
  • Webcenter 11g comprises of: Webcenter Composer / Webcenter Services / Webcenter Framework / Enterprise Extensions
  • Webcenter Composer = holds all components regarding collaboration (spaces, anywhere, interaction, …)
  • Webcenter Services = holds all needed services to spice up your portal environment (mashups, analytics, social networking, shared services, …)
  • Webcenter Framework= the actual building blocks of a portal environment
  • Enterprise Extensions

The most important news given during this session:

A Migration Path will be foreseen when moving from OC4J into Weblogic Server

Well let’s see what happens early next year.