Renderer – Siebel & Oracle Policy Automation 12
Note: This article is a cross-post from my other “Home” the Siebel Hub. It addresses both Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel, so I figured I should post it here too.
One of the more fascinating elements of the recent 2015.5 release is the arrival of a new Applet renderer in the Open UI universe. This particular renderer is used for the integration with Oracle Policy Automation 12 (August 2015 and beyond) for private cloud customers. To complete the picture, there is also a new Presentation Model. But in this article I want to focus on the interesting way the renderer is used.
In Oracle Policy Modelling, we design our own Web interface, for example for deploying an online process of assessment for benefits. If the resulting Oracle Policy Modelling rulebase is going to be used in Siebel (either as well as the standalone Web version, or as well as), then traditionally we have had only two ways of integrating it with Siebel Enterprise:
- Embed the Web page with a Symbolic URL
- Deploy the Policy as a Web Service of one kind or another
The Symbolic URL worked nicely but had the usual weakness – the user interface looked different to Siebel:
The Web Service worked nicely but had no user interface – just a SOAP request and response. Lots of work.
Of course you could launch yourself into a complete Java or C++ experience and create new clients to consume either form of Web Service, but you would be looking at a considerable amount of development.
New Style Renderer – Siebel & Oracle Policy Automation 12
In concrete terms, Siebel can now “display and run” the Oracle Policy Automation Web assessment as a typical Siebel Applet.
Maybe you have two Policy assessments, and they both have completely different questions and User Interface (perhaps one for Housing Benefit, the other for Disability Benefit) – does that mean we have to create Applets for each Policy Modelling Rulebase?
Since Siebel does not maintain / persist data for each of your Policy Automation Screens, but gets it dynamically as the user presses the “Next” or “Back” button in the Policy Web experience, the Presentation Model and Physical Renderer of the Siebel Open UI Framework needs to be able to display the different layouts on the fly, so to speak.
Templates to the rescue!
The layout is built by preparing static HTML pages that contain the different Screens of your Policy Modelling user experience, and then we get Siebel to display and manage these dynamically. Look out for a bunch of Siebel Open UI files entitled “dyna*.js” in a manifest near you, and look in your LANG folder for /htmltemplates.
There is one View, OPA Interview Service View, that is used to render all your different Policy User Interface experiences. It must render dynamically the Screens and Controls defined in Oracle Policy Modeller.
The Oracle Policy Modeler uses custom properties to define mappings to Siebel controls like Labels, Textboxes, Images and more. The Business Service Dyna Frame UI Service with it’s Method called BuildDynaFrame in Siebel Enterprise takes care of dynamically displaying the HTML template, merged with the actual questions being entered or being seeded from Siebel. The Applet used is driven by the OPA Integration VBC.
The steps to put this together might look a little like this.
How it Works
- Create the Oracle Policy Model and associated UI in the Modelling application. Nothing new here, except for the new, easier to use editor in Policy Modeler 12.
- Add Siebel control and HTML information in the Modelling application. Notice that we reference a template, and HTML IDs that are going to be in our HTML template.
- Create or modify an existing static HTML page that has the corresponding tag names as seen in the previous step. Upload this file to LANG/htmltemplates/something.
- Add configuration information to the Siebel OPA Mapping View to inform Siebel of the exact Policy Rulebase to be executed in the different situations, and provide other configuration data such as whether data is seeded from Siebel, and so on.
- Configure a button to launch the Policy Rulebase from Siebel Enterprise. Note the page below is from the Public Sector Self-Service application (aka pssservice_enu)
- Observe the result when you click the button in the Siebel UI, displays your HTML template in a dynamic frame, with the Oracle Policy Automation controls mapped to Siebel controls
This is what the original rulebase looks like in Policy Modeler, with the same layout and controls.
You can find some information about all this in the Public Sector eService Open UI PDF of the Siebel Bookshelf.
The underlying drum-beat is getting louder and louder. Siebel and OPA are getting closer and closer. It will not have escaped your attention that Siebel IP2015.5 shipped with this integration, nor will you have failed to notice that the Siebel Mobile 2.0 comes with OPA included as an optional extra:
Renderer – Siebel & Oracle Policy Automation 12
The noise is getting louder and louder – had it escaped your notice that there is a recent Oracle presentation called “OPA in Every Industry“? Be ready for the OPA Revolution – coming soon to a Siebel near you.