Category: Ecosystem

Stunning Infographics with Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly #3

Stunning Infographics with Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly #3

The final part of this series is not really focused on Oracle Policy Automation, instead I am simply going to highlight to you just how easy it is to work with Easelly to integrate with it. In the previous part we looked at the brief piece of PHP that we used as a sample integration.

First, let’s look at the overall drawing interface of Easelly. Building a visual representation of your information is really easy:

As you saw in the short video, the tagging feature of Easelly is how you can integrate your Oracle Policy Automation attribute names and therefore use the power of Easelly to visualize your data.

Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly

For example, here is the infographic connected to the example project shown in the first part of the series.

Once the initial work is done to establish the integration, then we can easily (Pun intended) change the layout of the infographic, move elements, change fonts and so on without ever going to make any changes in Oracle Policy Automation.

Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly

The integration example is available in the OPA Hub Shop, and is completely for educational purposes only. I chose the PHP Custom Control as a way to accelerate my demonstration from an organizational point of view  – I was able to avoid Cross ORigin Scripting challenges. The Oracle Policy Automation platform has the advantage of handling both JavaScript and PHP for custom labels (and the link on the demonstration page is just a Custom Label).

Summary

The Easelly team have been very helpful in letting me build this integration demonstration – I encourage everyone to check out the product at Easel.ly and to reach out to me or someone else here at the OPA Hub Website if you want to take it a bit further!

Stunning Infographics with Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly #2

Stunning Infographics with Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly #2

So, in this part of the series we will look at how to integrate Easelly with Oracle Policy Automation. For this integration demonstration we chose to use the older Custom Control concept. In today’s Oracle Policy Automation, most of the customization of the user experience is driven through the JavaScript Extensions – which we regularly demonstrate on this site. But there are situations where the Custom Control concept from pre-August 2016 versions is still a good choice. In this case, we need a Custom Label, with a link. But the link is to be displayed once the server-side has generated a PDF file. So it is a good choice. For the language, PHP is easy to use, has thousands of examples, and can handle both XML and JSON.

Let’s look at the code then walk through it step by step. The code is also in the shop, for free, because this code viewer does not do a very good job of handling all the characters in the file.

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// Copyright The OPA Hub Website 2019
// For entertainment and education purposes only
// Example step by step PHP Custom Control and integration with Easelly Infographic
// Requires Easelly API Key 
// Thanks to Johanna and Vernon at Easelly easel.ly
 
//Set up a few key variables
$url = "https://www.easel.ly/pages/generatePDF";
// This is your API Key
$api_key = "XXXXXXX";
// This is the URL of your base infographic in Easelly
$canvas_id = "https://XXXX/easel.ly/all_easels/XXX/XXX";
 
// OPA data is passed into the PHP file as a  urlencoded XML post header. Decode it
$myOPAData = $_POST["opa-session"];
$decodedOPA =  urldecode ($myOPAData);
 
// Now we can manipulate it as XML
$final = new SimpleXMLElement($decodedOPA);
 
// Get the XML Nodes that represent our OPA Attributes using XPath queries
 
$account_name = $final->xpath("//*[@id='account_name']");
$product_one_name = $final->xpath("//*[@id='product_one_name']");
$product_one_avail = $final->xpath("//*[@id='product_one_avail']");
$product_one_margin = $final->xpath("//*[@id='product_one_margin']");
$product_one_trans_lost = $final->xpath("//*[@id='product_one_trans_lost']");
 
// Get Text of each OPA Attribute 
 
$account_name  = strip_tags($account_name[0]->asXML());
// Some Product Names have & in them so convert the characters properly
$product_one_name  = htmlspecialchars_decode ((strip_tags($product_one_name[0]->asXML())));
$product_one_avail  = strip_tags($product_one_avail[0]->asXML()) . "%";
$product_one_margin  = strip_tags($product_one_margin[0]->asXML());
$product_one_trans_lost  = strip_tags($product_one_trans_lost[0]->asXML());
 
// Build Object Array for the Easelly REST API. Each object represents an Easelly tagged item, mapped to an OPA attribute.
 
$myJSONdata = new stdClass();
$myJSONdata->id = "https://s3.amazonaws.com/easel.ly/all_easels/706616/SwanFoodsExample";
$myJSONdata->objects = array();
 
$myobjectfinal = new stdClass();
$myobjectfinal->tag = "account_name";
$myobjectfinal->type = "textbox";
$myobjectfinal->text = $account_name;
$myobjectfinal->fill = "#f9d423";
 
array_push($myJSONdata->objects, $myobjectfinal);
 
$myobjectfinal = new stdClass();
$myobjectfinal->tag = "product_one_name";
$myobjectfinal->type = "textbox";
$myobjectfinal->text = $product_one_name;
$myobjectfinal->fill = "#6bb38e";
 
array_push($myJSONdata->objects, $myobjectfinal);
 
$myobjectfinal = new stdClass();
$myobjectfinal->tag = "product_one_avail";
$myobjectfinal->type = "textbox";
$myobjectfinal->text = $product_one_avail;
$myobjectfinal->fill = "#f9d423";
 
array_push($myJSONdata->objects, $myobjectfinal);
 
$myobjectfinal = new stdClass();
$myobjectfinal->tag = "product_one_margin";
$myobjectfinal->type = "textbox";
$myobjectfinal->text = $product_one_margin;
$myobjectfinal->fill = "#ffffff";
 
array_push($myJSONdata->objects, $myobjectfinal);
 
$myobjectfinal = new stdClass();
$myobjectfinal->tag = "product_one_trans_lost";
$myobjectfinal->type = "textbox";
$myobjectfinal->text = $product_one_trans_lost;
$myobjectfinal->fill = "#ffffff";
 
array_push($myJSONdata->objects, $myobjectfinal);
 
// Convert the Object to JSON
 
$myJSONdataobject = json_encode($myJSONdata);
 
//Call Easelly with our JSON Object and Get Response
 
$context = stream_context_create(array(
			'http' => array(
				'method' => 'POST',
				'header' => "apiKey: {$api_key}\r\n".
				"Content-Type: application/json\r\n",
				"Accept' : application/json\r\n",
				'content' => $myJSONdataobject)));
$response = file_get_contents($url, FALSE, $context);
 
// Check Output
 
if ($response === FALSE) {
	echo("\r\n");
	die('An Error Occurred');
}
// Use a timestamp as the filename
$time = time();
$fileoutputname = $time . ".pdf";
file_put_contents($fileoutputname , $response);
 
// Show the Link to the User for clicking to access the generated file
?>
<a target="_blank" href="https://theopahub.com/main/external/<?php echo $fileoutputname ?>"
>Click Here</a>

Walk Through

The code has been broken down into it’s constituent parts – for learning purposes. Of course there are many areas that would be rewritten in a professional example, but this will help non-coders understand what is going on.

  • 1-15, Set up some basic stuff like the URL to your infographic. In the final part of this series, I’ll show you how to build a graphic and tag it correctly with the OPA attribute.
  • 17-25 The Oracle Policy Automation Custom Control integration passes the session data (your attributes and their values) into the PHP page as a series of XML nodes. So we need to get that XML and make sure we can read the parts we are interested in.
  • 29-25 We strip the attribute values out of the XML, and in one case, because the OPA attributes contain special characters like “&” we make sure they display properly.
  • 38-80 Overly simplified for the purposes of demonstration, we build a JSON object using standard objects and arrays, to create the JSON structure that Easelly is looking for. In the next part of this series I will show you where to get it.
  • 84 Convert the Object into a JSON Object
  • 88-106 Call Easelly with our API Key and JSON Object
  • 107 – End Process the output and draw the link for the user

Summary

Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly

So you can see the integration is fairly simple in this case – the PDF is generated before the user reaches the link, so the link should respond straight away. And we chose PDF but Easelly also can generate PNG for example, if you wanted to embed it directly as an image.

In the third part of this series, we will show you how to get Easelly to tag your infographic so you can use it in an Oracle Policy Automation integration.

Stunning Infographics with Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly #1

Stunning Infographics with Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly

Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly : Once in a while I come across something in the Oracle Policy Automation universe that just makes me go “Wow!!!”. And today’s post is like that. I was working on a demonstration the other day of a fairly familiar concept : a  retail audit or “store visit”.

Visits to retailers, whatever product you are selling, are pretty often rushed affairs, probably squeezed in a back room or just hunkering down on the corner of a work surface for a few minutes. It’s in the middle of the day, there are customers coming in and in spite of cordial relations, the retailer would really much rather be doing their job. And chances are, there are another 3 or 4 people coming in later to do the same thing as you.

Oracle Policy Automation is a real benefit in situations like this – you can perform what-ifs, demonstrate how the retailer is performing, simulate new scenarios to encourage and engage with them.

But when you’re fighting to get focus, and the room is airless and hot, you really need to be able to bring your A game. I’ve watched some amazing people doing this job, and they really impress how much they pack into the short time they are on the premises. But when they are gone, their message sometimes gets forgotten, mis-remembered or filed away. I started thinking how  Oracle Policy Automation could really leave a mark.

My first thoughts were to Oracle BI Publisher for a take-away or handout, and there are some excellent demonstrations out there, including in the Sample Projects (Healthy Eating). But I was still left wondering as to what might be a better solution. BI Publisher is in this case let down by it’s basic format and premise – Word. It is too linear, static and inflexible. You don’t use Word to create the most modern, web-friendly and engaging support materials. Then I had a bit of a brainwave.

Stunning Infographics with Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly

For a number of years I have been a user of Easelly – an online Infographics design platform. I’ve had great fun with it, using it to show results of surveys and I use their templates quite a lot when I need a framework for a new graphic. I’m not a designer, but I’m pleased with the easy learning curve and the results.

Recently Easelly have started offering a REST API to their “pro users”. And this allows for the generation of PDF or PNG content on the fly. For example, you have data in Oracle Policy Automation and you insert it on the fly into your best infographic. Send it by mail, print it before you visit – it doesn’t matter how you do it but you will definitely want to get this in front of your customer. Pro accoun

Oracle Policy Automation and Easelly

ts are not expensive – $24 US Dollar a year.

Here is an example, with an infographic designed by Easelly. You can see it on the right hand side of the page. I think you would agree that something like that could be done in BI Publisher, but not without a very robust skill set. With Easelly however, a tool built for infographics, it is considerably simpler. Please note : I’ve used the Easelly platform since it was launched, and I like to think I know BI Publisher quite well. So I can compare the two fairly objectively – and for modern infographics, the learning curve and capabilities of Easelly mean I would choose it every time.

Custom Control and REST API Integration

And here is the video that shows it being generated live in Oracle Policy Automation. That’s what I can a showstopper graphic. The great thing is, with the Oracle Policy Automation Custom Control concept , adding this to the Interview is a matter of minutes.

The data, the labels – all that is coming from Oracle Policy Automation much in the same way as for BI Publisher and Forms. Only way better looking!  In the next article in this series I’ll show you how to integrate Oracle Policy Automation with Easelly using, in this case, a PHP-based Custom Label Control.

Guest Post : Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

Guest Post : Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

It’s with great pleasure that I introduce you to Evert Fernandes, CTO at Magia Consulting UK Ltd. A self-confessed OPA geek, Evert has stepped up and written this article about Time Based Reasoning (and hopefully some more ) for the OPA Hub Website. Thank you Evert and…over to you!

Time Based Reasoning (TBR) – also known as Temporal Reasoning – is one of those subjects that new OPA developers tend to struggle with. It’s a more advanced subject that – once mastered – can provide huge benefits to your project.

In this article I will try to explain what TBR is, present a use case and provide a walk-through on turning the use case into rules.

So, what exactly is Time Based Reasoning?

Time Based Reasoning allows the rule developer to create rules that include attributes which contain values that are subject to change over time.

It is able to conclude rules like:

  • What’s the amount of daily benefit the citizen was entitled to on June 26th, 2017?

Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

Let’s have a look at the following use case:

“How much benefit is the citizen entitled to between 01-01-2017 and 31-12-2017 (inclusive)”

The following rules apply:

  • If the person is not married, the daily allowance is $10. If the person is married the allowance is $14
  • The person can only claim benefit if the daily income is less than $200.

For the sake of simplicity, we will only look at a binary relationship status, married and single. The real world is more nuanced and complicated, but feel free to expand on this example. 😉

As you can see, the mix of variables already creates quite a complex and fluid situation, especially considering that any of the variables are subject to change over the period in question (01/01/2017 – 31-12-2017).

So, let’s start by looking at the first element and create some rules:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example 1

There are a number of things happening in these rules, let’s take a closer look.

First of all, a rule table has been created (ALT + Z) to determine the daily allowance amount based on marriage status, $14 when married and $10 when single. The single status is implied by the ‘otherwise’ conclusion, i.e. the person is single because the person is not married.

The second rule calculates the total allowance over the time period, starting on January 1st 2017 and ending on January 1st 2018. The reason the end date is January 1st 2018 and not December 31st 2017 is because the end date is not included, so we simply add a day.

The function is called IntervalDailySum and takes in three parameters:

  • The start date (inclusive) of the period over which the calculation needs to take place;
  • the end date (exclusive) of the period over which the calculation needs to take place;
  • the rule text of the attribute over which the total daily allowance over the period needs to be calculated.

In this example, we provide hard coded values for the start and end dates. In the real world, the start and end dates will most likely come from date attributes.

We now need to test the rules. In order to do this, we start the OPM debugger and head to the data tab:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

As you can see, not a lot is happening here. Let’s give the citizen a marital status by setting the value of ‘The citizen is married’ to ‘True’.

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

So far, so good. We have a marital status and OPA is able to work out the total allowance (365 days x $14 = $5110).

Let’s now assume that the person was single at the start of 2017, got married on March 1st 2017 and was single again on September 1st 2017 (don’t worry, they’re still friends! 😉).

How do we enter that data? OPA provides a handy feature called ‘Change Points’ to handle this.

Let’s reset the value for the citizen marital status:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

Click on ‘Change Points’:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

What this allows us to do is to take the attribute and set different values for different slices of time.

You can use ‘Add’ to add a new change point. Once a new point is created, you can set the date and value at that point in time.

Let’s add two change points. One on March 1st 2017 with a value of True and the other on September 1st 2017 with a value of False. Use the Date picker below the change point list to pick the dates.

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

The eagle eyed among you may have spotted that I’ve set the value at the top to ‘False’.

What this is saying is:

  • Until March 1st 2017, the value is False.
  • Between March 1st 2017 (inclusive and August 31st 2017 (inclusive), the value is ‘True’.
  • From September 1st 2017 and after, the value is ‘False’.

So, click ‘OK’ and let’s inspect the effect of our handiwork in the debugger:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

There’s a lot more information here and one of the first things you’ll notice is that the total allowance has changed from $5110 to $4386.

If we break down the individual periods, you will see why:

  • January 1st – February 28th = 59 days x $10 (Single rate) = $590.
  • March 1st – August 31st = 184 days x $14 (Married rate) = $2576.
  • September 1st – December 31st = 122 days x $10 = $1220.

$590 + $2576 + $1220 = $4386!

Have a play with different dates and change points and you will find OPA is very good at working this stuff out for you.

OPA also offers a way to visualize this data. Right click the ‘the daily allowance for the citizen’ attribute and select ‘Show in Temporal Visualization’:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

A new tab will appear top left named ‘Temporal Visualization’. If you click it, you will see:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

This visualization confirms that we start off with $10/day, changing to $14/day from March 1st and changing back to $10/day on September 1st.

Time to complicate things a little by adding another variable to the mix in the shape of the daily income.

Let’s assume that the citizen started 2017 with a daily income of $150. Then later in the year the income rose to $250 and later yet, the income dropped to $180.

In order to deal with this new variable, we will change the rule that calculates the daily allowance to include the daily income for the citizen:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

Remember that OPA will evaluate top down, so first it will check to see if the person is married and whether the daily income is less than $200. If this is false, it will check to see if the income is less than $200 and finally, if the citizen is not married and the daily income is greater or equal to $200, the ‘otherwise’ clause will apply.

Make sure the updated rule validates by pressing the ‘Validate’ button.

Now let’s start a debug session and have a look at the outcomes.

Start your debug session and navigate to the ‘data’ tab.

Supply the exact same values as the first example, making sure to set up the change points correctly.

Fun fact: Chances are that OPA still has your previous values in memory, saving you the need to re-enter them!

Check to see that you’re still getting the correct values.

You should see something like this:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

Let’s set the value and change points for the daily income:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

Click ‘OK’ and inspect the values in the data screen:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

As you can see, the total allowance has now been set to $1926 (down from $4386).

We can have a look at what’s been happening in the Temporal Visualization tab.

Make sure the following attributes are shown by going to the debug data tab and right-clicking and selecting ‘Show in Temporal Visualization‘:

  • the daily income for the citizen
  • the citizen is married
  • the daily allowance for the citizen

Go to the ‘Temporal Visualization’ tab. You should see something like this:

OPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked ExampleOPA 12 - Time Based Reasoning Worked Example

As you can see, there’s quite a bit going on here and the daily allowance for the citizen will vary based on marital status and income.

What you will hopefully be able to see is that, when it comes to dealing with changing circumstances, things can get quite complicated quite quickly. In the example we only dealt with two variables but throw in more variables and working out the right amounts would become very complex! Utilizing the out-of-the-box OPA temporal reasoning functionality allows you to manage the complexity of dealing with changing circumstances over time.

More information on Temporal Reasoning can be found in the OPA documentation:

https://documentation.custhelp.com/euf/assets/devdocs/cloud18c/PolicyAutomation/en/Default.htm#Guides/Policy_Modeling_User_Guide/Temporal_reasoning/Temporal_reasoning.htm

or in the Function Reference:

https://documentation.custhelp.com/euf/assets/devdocs/cloud18c/PolicyAutomation/en/Default.htm#Guides/Policy_Modeling_User_Guide/Work_with_rules/Function_references/FunctionReference.en-US.html

Finally for those who were wondering, the daily amount that the user is entitled to on June 26th is…

OPA 12 - Temporal Reasoning Worked Example

OPA 12 - Temporal Reasoning Worked Examplewhich is $14!

Thanks to Evert for his time and excellent article abut Time Based Reasoning. Readers who what to look at more Time Based Reasoning articles can search here.

Until the next time. If you want to write for the OPA Hub Website, reach out via our Contact Page.

Guest Post : Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation #2

Guest Post : Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation #2

In a previous post by our guest writer Dr Jason Sender, he investigated improvements in Oracle Policy Automation rules by applying some of the principles of refactoring, and then he began to discuss Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation, and their application in real-world contexts.

As before, this third article draws on the work and publications of Martin Fowler, which we discussed in the previous post, those of Joshua Kerievsky from his highly regarded book “Refactoring to Patterns”, and the ground-breaking work on design patterns called “Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software”, which had four authors known collectively as the Gang of Four (GoF).

Before studying some further examples of patterns and their application to Oracle Policy Automation, it is probably wise to step back and take a broad view of the context. Computer science is often defined as dealing in abstraction, and software engineering as managing complexity, and the connection is that only by considering different parts of programs and systems as abstract concepts are we better able to manage complexity.

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation in Context

To put it in terms more related to our daily jobs, Oracle Policy Automation is often integrated with other systems that the Oracle Policy Automation developer does not need to understand, and can think of in abstract terms. A good example would be the Siebel CRM or Oracle Service Cloud database that Oracle Policy Automation may interact with, but about which the Oracle Policy Automation developer may not need to know anything – beyond understanding the available attributes for mapping and having a brief overview of the context. Abstraction is about ignoring irrelevant details, and this is often accomplished by what is a theme running through many design patterns, which is to: “encapsulate the concept that varies” (GoF, p. 54).

We often obtain abstraction in Oracle Policy Automation by using indirection (interposing an intermediate attribute) to encapsulate the attribute that varies. This allows us to “Program to an interface, not an implementation“, as the GoF (p. 18) term it, the rationale for which is that the implementation can be changed if other parts of the program only depend on the interface.

If you come, like some of us here on the OPA Hub Website, from a CRM background, you will be familiar with the concept whereby access to a CRM Object is provided through an interface, and the interface does not change even if the Object undergoes modifications (such as when using the GetMetadata Operation of the Oracle Policy Automation Connector Framework).

Although design patterns and refactoring techniques should serve the goals of reduced duplication, reduced complexity, and increased clarity, these goals can be in conflict, not just with each other, but with certain Oracle Policy Automation-specific goals. Take for example one of the stand-out benefits of Oracle Policy Automation: Policy Isomorphism. This means having the same form (i.e., you can copy and paste legislation or other source material directly into Microsoft Word, and base your rules on this and compare them side-by-side) and this is in tension with the concept of intermediate attributes (adding more attributes to increase clarity).

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation : Strategy and Template Patterns

With that in mind we return to another example of how Object-Oriented Design patterns can be applied to Oracle Policy Automation. The following extended example will be given to demonstrate how useful the Strategy and Template Method design patterns (which we adapt from the GoF book) could be in reducing the number of tables and increasing the flexibility of calculations. We show this extended example to demonstrate the size of the reduction in rules from applying these design patterns to Oracle Policy Automation. We start with an information collection screen and associated Boolean rules to derive values from the drop down list items:

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation 1

We then look at the top level goals for determining the total profit of the company, which is our main goal:

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation

These are then derived from three very similar tables of calculations, which are listed in succession below:

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation 3

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation 4

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation 5

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation : Implementing the Design Pattern

We can now alter this to implement our design pattern. We first create a main rule to determine the total profit:

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation 6

This is the Template Method pattern since it delegates a part of the algorithm – the tax factor, a newly created attribute. Then, we employ the Strategy pattern to effectively split up the tax factor into one of three algorithms (in effect, we are treating the tax factor as an algorithm and then applying Strategy to it). We do this by parameterising, based on type of company, using a feature called Apply Sheet that avoids multiply proven attributes by letting the parameter determine which Excel Worksheet applies:

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation 7

Then each of the subsequent tabs has a small table. As an example, here is the mining sheet. The others have identical structure and adjusted values for the tax factor.

For the Strategy and Template Method patterns, applying these design patterns has transformed our example rulebase into something much more easily extensible.

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation : Improved Maintenance and Clarity

If we were to create another sector (e.g., oil), it would be very easy to add on another sheet in the Excel Workbook and add it to the Apply Sheet. In fact, we could easily add another 20 sectors, whereas there would be a lot of time-consuming ‘find and replace’ work to do in the original, and we would have ended up with dozens of pages of rules. Moreover, the original algorithm had a lot of code duplication, as the same Boolean attributes were repeated in row after row in table after table.

Furthermore, if we had needed to add or remove conditions from the tables it would have taken extensive work in order to verify that each and every table was updated correctly. In the reformed algorithm, the conditions were written only once and these are easily changeable. And, we were able to eliminate three (possibly confusing) and unnecessary sub-totals relating to each of the company types. The unvarying part of the algorithm (the total revenue – the total cost) is now written once, rather than 15 times, and so it is easily changeable.

Finally, our new algorithm mentions only the tax factor. This means that if all tax rates were harmonised, a single tax rate declared, or a new formula implemented that did not depend on the company type, since we have encapsulated the part of the algorithm that varies, we could just delete the Excel table and introduce a new table for the tax factor that did not mention the type of company. This would not have been so easy to do with the original algorithm.

Once again, even from a very simple set of examples, it should be clear that Oracle Policy Automation rules will benefit from the targeted application of principles from programming – in this case, the Strategy and Template Method design patterns. For more information about the ideas discussed in this article, Dr Sender can be reached using his LinkedIn profile, at the end of this article.

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation : Going Further

The OPA Hub and Dr Sender are currently working towards the launch of advanced training based on his work. If you are interested, please take a moment to answer the 1 question survey below (if you have not already registered for the OPA Hub you can do that here before you answer). Thank you!

What kind of advanced OPA training would you be interested in attending?

Magia Consulting are hiring

Friends of the OPA Hub Website Magia Consulting are hiring!

Leona Chauban, Director at Magia Consulting  got in touch to let us know.

“Magia Consulting is an innovative solution provider and consultancy in the technology industry, and our people are amongst the industry best in our field of expertise, who are embracing our journey of global expansion. As a team, we pride ourselves in our technical expertise and delivering excellence in our products, services and training. We are interested in speaking with talented, intelligent individuals with an aptitude for technology, who take pride in delivering customer value and have a “can do” attitude.”

The different career options are outlined below. You can directly apply from the relevant page. Hurry because not only will there be lots of applicants but the closing dates are coming up soon:

Sales Executive – Enterprise Software & Services

Magia Consulting are recruiting a full time Sales Executive to join our expanding UK based team. The role is offered on a permanent basis, and presents an exciting opportunity for a highly ambitious sales manager or business development executive to be involved in growth of an innovative organisation in the EMEA market.

The position involves collaborating with a skilled team to identify leads, secure opportunities and generate sales in licenses, consulting and support contracts.

This is a key role for Magia and the Sales Executive will report directly to Company Directors. Magia are offering the unique opportunity for a commission structure that is uncapped, so that when a candidate excels, they will rewarded accordingly. Magia also offer equity options for employees.

The role is London/South East based with travel as required within UK/EMEA.

Read More and Apply…

Oracle Policy Automation (OPA) consultant

Magia Consulting are recruiting an Oracle Policy Automation (OPA) consultant to join our expanding UK team. The role is offered on a permanent basis, and presents an exciting opportunity for the best and brightest to join an established consultancy on the verge of further global growth.

Good working knowledge of Oracle Policy Automation is required as a starting point, with training and support provided to advance your skills to expert level.

The role is based in Midlands with potential travel to client sites in other parts of the UK and EMEA.

Magia Consulting offer employee equity options, training, and the rare opportunity for a potentially varied role that will engage the smartest mind.

Read More and Apply…

Helix Solutions are looking for a Senior Oracle Policy Automation Functional Consultant

Helix Solutions are looking for a Senior Oracle Policy Automation Functional Consultant

Oracle Policy Automation Functional Consultant sought by Helix SolutionsFriends of the OPA Hub Website, Helix Solutions are looking to grow their CX team by recruiting the following profile (these are just the prerequisites, for more information follow the link at the bottom of this post). If you fit this description of an Oracle Policy Automation Functional Consultant or you know someone who does, then get in touch and tell them you saw the announcement on the OPA Hub Website.

Pre-requisites:

  • A minimum of 3 to 5 years of experience developing and testing rules using Oracle Policy Automation.
  • Experience in deploying Oracle Policy Automation Rulebases in a large integrated environment.
  • Previous experience in using Oracle Policy Automation in a SOA/ERP/CRM environment.
  • Understand how Oracle Policy Automation communicates via API’s and Web Services to other systems.
  • Ability to transfer knowledge and provide training for  Oracle Policy Automation is required.
  • Proven ability to identify, document and communicate “best practices” for Oracle Policy Automation  use in an Enterprise system.

Please submit your resume and contact Lowell Knighton directly through our website and/or lowellknighton@helixmail.com

If your company or organization is looking for Oracle Policy Automation talent or has active job offers, let us know by contacting the OPA Hub Website so we can get you listed on our Ecosystem page and post your job offering to a wide and active OPA-focussed audience.

Modern CX : Mundane to Modern : Innovating your Service Cloud Core THT1315

Mundane to Modern : Innovating your Service Cloud Core THT1315

Just time to tell you about this Theatre Session run by Eventus. In all this talk of IOT and super-modern stuff it is nice to get to see somebody focusing on the core application. Oracle Service Cloud core is great but the neat customisation they illustrated were perfect examples of how a step change can sometimes come from a small effort.

  • SMS Channel in Incident Creation and Responses
  • Predictive Searches in the Customer Portal

Eventus also produce a set of enhancements that they briefly touched on : agent desktop extensions, mail merge, credit card processing in the Customer Portal and so forth.

The SMS channel was presented with a cool demonstration (kudos for doing it live guys) and it was th opportunity to consider the uniqueness of SMS : sometimes it is as fluid and frequent as live chat, but it can just as easily segue back into an email-style timescale.
Service Cloud

One of the different tools that was part of the demonstration with Service Cloud was Mightytext.net : Text from your computer, sync’d with your Android phone & number.

I hope to pop on by their booth later.

Anyway it was a good theatre session and I enjoyed the relaxed style.

 

Mantis Solutions OPA DB Connector : Part Two : Linked Tables, Bind URL variables and more

Mantis Solutions OPA DB Connector : Part Two : Linked Tables, Bind URL variables and more

Readers will recall that last week I provided a quick run-through of the capabilities of the Mantis Solutions OPA DB Connector. Simple to use and lightweight, I see it as a great way to open up legacy data sources easily to Oracle Policy Automation for rapid exploitation.

In this second short video, I wanted to keep going in the same direction as last time :

  • In the first part I decided to highlight a couple of neat features, the dashboard page which provides some neat and simple dynamic graphics for viewing calls to the connector
  • Secondly, the ability to quickly to create bindings to URL variables, for example a row_id (in my case) to load a set of data into the Web Interview. Although I didn’t look at it this time, there is also the ability to create bind mappings which I will investigate in the next video
  • Finally, the creation of a second, linked, table and how to add the necessary foreign key and so forth to be able to refresh the Connection in Oracle Policy Modeling and add a child entity and load that data. You’ll see it didn’t take me very long at all.

My apologies for the very croaky and quiet voice-over on this video, since the last one was recorded I have changed timezone which meant I brought back a cold as a souvenir of Canada. Hopefully by the next video in the series I will be back to full strength. Once again, many thanks to the Mantis Solutions team for putting the environment at my disposal. If you would like to reach out to them (and they would be delighted to chat with you I am quite sure!) then just head on over to their website at Mantis Solutions.com.au.

Mantis Solutions OPA DB Connector : First Looks

Mantis Solutions OPA DB Connector

Mantis SolutionsThis week I was treated to a walk-through and initial demonstration by the Mantis Solutions team in Perth, Australia. Our virtual meetup spanned a large number of timezones and I am very grateful to Kris and the team for putting it together. I thought I would give you all some first thoughts before diving into a hands-on test with the environment they kindly put at my disposal.

Firstly my thoughts on the concept. For some time, the focus of Oracle Policy Automation has been in providing either specific connectors (as in, those supplied with Oracle Policy Automation version 10) or generic Web Service connectors (in the case of Oracle Policy Automation version 12) plus a few outliers like the In-Memory Analysis engineered solution which pretty much uses two connections.

But the Snap Poll survey we ran a few weeks ago highlighted something that I have been aware of, both in the field and the classroom :- there are plenty of Oracle Policy Automation customers out there who use, or intend to use, a database (Oracle, MySQL or whatever) as the source and target for their Connections, not necessarily an application. Sure, they could build their own connection – and that is of course supported – but there are plenty of situations where that is either out of scope, out of cost or simply not reasonable within the timeframe usually associated with a Cloud solution.

So, enter Mantis Solutions with their lightweight OPA DB Connector (link to product PDF) platform to create, map and manage connections to databases – any database that JDBC will support – that allows customers to get up and running with a Connection in no time at all. Their solution allows for centralized management of Database connections, as a Cloud service or On Premise application,  to get you operational faster and to help you keep your integration up to date easily.

For this first video, I focused just on showcasing the application and the ease with which you can build a Connection and have it operational in minutes. This is very appealing for all the reasons I listed above, but also for people like me who are called upon to do Proof of Concepts or prototypes and who need a very flexible solution.

You can contact Mantis Solutions for more information on their website. In the meantime here is the first of the videos:

 

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