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Siebel Open UI and Oracle Policy Automation 12 Integration Version 12 #2

Siebel Open UI and Oracle Policy Automation 12 Integration Version 12 #2

After I wrote the previous article, it struck me that Siebel people might need a bit of an overview of Integration with Oracle Policy Automation, before I plunged into the specific scenario of the Interview Service. Let’s be clear the Interview Service is just one of a series of Web Service connection points for Siebel people looking to get OPA into their Oracle Siebel CRM Application. In fact they are not limited to Web Services as far as integration is concerned. Let’s therefore take a moment in this post to review the options. I am writing here about Oracle Policy Automation 12.

Symbolic URL

Sometimes, a nice little frame in which Oracle Policy Automation is displayed is frankly good enough. The interface proposed to the user will of course be that of Oracle Policy Automation. In Oracle Policy Modeller we can implement custom style sheets for our interview, bringing it closer to the Siebel Open UI look and feel, and we can use the dynamic nature of the Symbolic URL principle to add pertinent information into the URL and to an extent pre-seed the interview with data in Siebel, using the recent addition to the Oracle Policy Modeller Edit Attribute Dialog.

Seeding Parameters via URL

Assess Service

If you are looking to use Oracle Policy Automation as a back-end, zero user interface platform, then the Assess Service is going to probably be one of your chosen solutions. It has methods dedicated to passing in data and simply receiving the response. Of course it is up to you to provide the mechanism (probably some EAI Siebel Adapter, some transformation and a bit of Workflow Process) that is going to actually handle the input and output. This is pretty much what existed in version 10.

Answer Service

Newer than the Assess Service it has methods relating to the use of Connection objects in Oracle Policy Automation. In short, if you have Oracle Policy Modeller mapped to another application (let’s say a database or SAP or something) and you want to call it from Siebel, then you will need to know the data model that Oracle Policy Automation is expecting, so that you can build the right input. Enter the GetInputDataDefinition Action, followed in all probability by the GetAnswer action. Still fundamentally a “zero user interface” integration. We never see the Interview created in Oracle Policy Modeller.

Interview Service

As the name clearly shows, this service allows us to work though the Interview Screens of your Policy Model, and to handle all the different interactions (back, forward, save, close, and so on) that can occur. This service can then be connected to, for example Siebel CRM, and fancy techniques used to generate the user interface natively in Siebel Open UI, but based on the structure and logic of the UI built in Oracle Policy Automation. Look out for GetInputDataDefinition, StartInterview, Investigate, EndInterview, GetFiles and SnapshotSession actions. If you see them, then you are looking at the Interview Service.

Server Service

Last but by no means least, the Server service gives access to things like the Timezone settings as well as a list of deployed Rulebases.

OPA 12 – Reference to Source Materials

OPA 12 – Reference to Source Materials

One of our readers, Anthony B,  was kind enough to get in touch with the On Demand Education OPA Blog regarding the previous post in the OPA 12 Series, specifically this one regarding the lack of support for the Tab Key and the old technique of create a reference to source documents. At the time of writing that article, I had not yet installed the November release. The August release had a bug which stopped the feature working, namely the references were simply deleted upon clicking the Validate (aka Compile in Version 10) button.

Having now done the migration to the November 2015  release, I can indeed say that the concept of references to source material has now been reinstated. The feature is simple to implement. You add square-bracketed references to your rules, in the manner of the example below.

OPA References

Upon Validation, the text should be shown in grey. Further examination shows that the text is not formatted differently to the rest of the line. (using Draft View to see the Styles).OPA References Styles View

The Explanation (aka Decision Report) shows the correct output as well for the discerning user, complete with the correct reference.

OPA 12 Explanation with Reference

Thanks to Oracle for correcting this bug in November’s release, and thanks to our reader for pointing this out. In the coming weeks we will be looking at some of the other new things that have crept into November 2015’s release that will improve your experience. I’ll be teaching Oracle Policy Automation over the holiday period but if you are taking some downtime, until next time, Happy Holidays!

Richard

 

Whats New in OPA 12? (Video Walk-through 1)

Whats New in OPA 12? (Video Walk-through 1)

We take a short break from our Questions and Answers series to address another important topic.

The title of this post is pretty obvious. Many times during the OPA Essentials training at Oracle University students request information about the “new” version of Oracle Policy Automation. When they say “new” what they mean is version 12 in both of its guises – public cloud or private cloud. In both cases the introduction of a new web application called the OPA Hub has improved management and administration of versions and deployment of rulebases, and elements of the Modeler have been added to or refined.

From the point of view of an interested consultant who just wants to get their hands dirty, the Public Cloud may not be a viable option – they may not have access to a Public Cloud account. So the only way to go head-to-head with OPA version 12 is to use the Private Cloud version, aka that which appears in the download list marked August 2015. (By the by, it would be a lot easier if version numbering was improved and streamlined. And what happened to version 11?)

The Private Cloud version has different pre-requisites compared to version 10.x. For a start, the Hub web application requires Oracle WebLogic 11 or 12 to act as the server, and also requires a database back-end (either Oracle or MySQL are supported) to store the versioning and other administrative data. Of course the old requirements of Microsoft Word and Excel are still true as well.

For those of you who just do not have the time right now to embark upon the installation of all those components, I have begun a short series of videos that try to highlight what is new, compared to version 10.x. So the first video – “the whistle-stop tour” is presented to you below and you can of course find it on our Youtube Channel. In the coming weeks we will be adding to this series. Hopefully the different episodes will give you the information you need to get to work quickly.

The next episode will be coming soon, probably after this week however as Oracle OpenWorld is once again upon us – watch our Twitter feed for OPA content.

Until then, happy rule writing!

Rich@rd

What's New #1 - OPA 12