Category: November 2016

OPA 12 – November 2016 Release New Feature Review #4

OPA 12 – November 2016 Release New Feature Review #4

This is not so much a post reviewing functionality of the OPA 12 – November 2016 Release new features as a post reminding users of the newly upgraded version of Oracle Policy Automation that this upgrade may be slightly more painful than others, for two reasons. The first is the subject of this post, and the second will be covered in another article shortly.

Interview Modes

As we discussed in an earlier post, the latest release offers two “Interview Modes”. Specifically on the Interview tab in the Styles button you can see a drop-down that illustrates the two options:

OPA 12 – November 2016 Interview Mode

The choice switches, not surprisingly, between the new and old Style Sheets in the Interview. But in fact, as you might have guessed, a lot more is at work here. To keep this post simple, I am going to allow myself another screen shot, this time from the documentation online of the November 2016 version of Oracle Policy Automation.

OPA 12 – November 2016 Custom Files

No More Custom HTML or CSS

Custom Controls, as many of you will know, are those little bits of static content in HTML, PHP files, CSS files and so forth that can be embedded in the Interview using a Label or Text Input set up as a Custom Control using the Interview Ribbon:

OPA 12 – November 2016 Custom Control

If you happen to have implemented one or more of these, perhaps to embed content that is developed or managed externally, then upgrading will need to be carefully analyzed for issues. That is because, in the November 2016 release, switching to the “Latest Version” interview mode will present the designer with the following error(s) if you have custom controls in your Project.

OPA 12 – November 2016 Error Interview HTML

In addition, if your project uses custom CSS files, to reformat value lists or any other item on your screens, you will also see the following error message:

OPA 12 – November 2016 Error Interview CSS

Planning Ahead

Therefore, if you are in Private Cloud and you have a migration path planned, don’t forget to add in the necessary time and effort to cover off these issues. There are several ways to handle it, basically:

  1. Stay in August 2016 mode for the time being
  2. Use the new advanced Image Button Group or Slider controls to replace any custom CSS work you might have done in that area
  3. Use the RuleScript feature to bring external JavaScript into your Project.

OPA 12 – November 2016 Release New Feature Review #3

 OPA 12 – November 2016 Release New Feature Review #3

Continuing our review of the new features of the OPA 12 – November 2016 release of Oracle Policy Automation, we begin this episode (you can find the previous two parts of this series here – Part One and Part Two) with a slightly less visible change but one that will bring a smile to anyone who has worked with Oracle BI Publisher.

Fonts in Forms in OPA 12 – November 2016

The Oracle Policy Modeler now allows for the embedding of True Type fonts in Form document templates!

OPA 12 – November 2016

The process for embedding fonts is quite simple :

  1. Write your Form in the usual way, formatting the text in the Word file with the font you want to use. Save and Close the Form Template and return to Oracle Policy Modeling.
  2. The font will display in the lower part of the Form pane, when you select the Embed True Type
  3. Decide on the fallback font to use

Of course you are still responsible for checking that your have the correct license for the fonts in question.

Switch it up!

The oft-hacked and simulated Switch has finally made it to Oracle Policy Modeler : now you can use them to show off your Boolean attributes in Interviews. And because we like them so much, this screenshot also shows another Slider even though we talked about it in the previous episode.

OPA 12 – November 2016

The Oracle Policy Modeler lets us build modern, fluid interfaces for our interviews. And that’s great news for customers and rule designers alike!

Guest Post : The Lazy Expert – Oracle Policy Automation Public Cloud with Oracle Service Cloud Part 2

The Lazy Expert -Oracle Policy Automation Public Cloud with Oracle Service Cloud Part 2


We are continuing our Lazy Expert series of posts, with an explanation of how OPA Public Cloud, and the rulebases deployed there, can be used within the Oracle Service Cloud application. In case you have missed out on our first port of this series, you can find it here. With the right Nudge, our Lazy Expert is not so lazy after all. If you are missing the original post about the lazy expert, here it is.

Part 1  looked at exploring, deploying and verifying the”RightNowSimple” rulebase to work with your Service Cloud Connection. The rulebase was launched directly using the Interview Session URL. In this post, we will be looking at embedding this Interview into the Consumer Portal of Service Cloud so that anonymous visitors to the portal can use this same interview in self-service mode. This is accomplished by publishing an “Answer”, with Interview Session URL embedded in an IFRAME, to the Consumer Portal.


  1. Steps in Part 1 are completed and the Service Cloud Connector is verified to be working as expected.

Publish the “Answer” to Service Cloud Portal for anonymous use

In our simple example, we are going to embed the interview from Oracle Policy Automation as a publicly accessible page in a mythical “portal” website. Customers will be able to browse the website without in any way identifying themselves – anonymously.

  1. Create a new “Public” Answer in Service Cloud as shown below.
  1. In the Answer Tab, Source Sub tab, specify the content using an IFRAME tag as shown below.

The IFRAME tag is of the format

<iframe height="580" src="https://server/path/web-determinations/startsession/RightNowSimple" width="100%"></iframe>

where the “server/path” should be replaced with the values appropriate for your Oracle Policy Automation Cloud environment.

Oracle Policy Automation Public Cloud

  1. Save the Answer record. Make sure that the Answer you have created was using Source mode, otherwise your IFRAME will not display properly.

Verify the results in Oracle Service Cloud Consumer Portal

  1. Search / Navigate to the Answer record in the Consumer Portal, as an anonymous user using the keyword or text that you entered when creating the Answer above.
  2. View the details of this Answer and work with the Interview Session as normal. The result will be the same – the Contact is saved in your Service Cloud instance.

Oracle Policy Automation Public CloudSummary

This post explains how the benefits of an OPA rulebase and the corresponding Interview experience can be made available for anonymous users using the Service Cloud Consumer Portal. Check this space when we will continue next with part 3 of this series that focuses on embedding such interview sessions into the Consumer Portal of Oracle Service Cloud for known contact users…


OPA 12 – November 2016 Release New Feature Review #1

OPA 12 – November 2016 Release New Feature Review #1

The latest release of Oracle Policy Automation (OPA 12 – November 2016 ) is upon us, and there are some cracking new features. In this series of posts we will review them and give you a first taste of their functionality. In this first post, we focus on the improvements made to the User Experience of the Interviews and how you design them.

The first thing that is noticeable is the cleanliness of the interview template :

OPA 12 - November 2016 New Interview UX

The Debugger shows it off as well, with the smart screen markers at the top of the page, and the pencil showing our current incomplete screen. The overall impression is that not only is it cleaner, but the underlying page structure would be easier to style using CSS.

The second way the user experience has been optimized is still in the Oracle Policy Modeler – and it concerns the Styles dialog, used to customize the default styling of elements without resorting to CSS (which can be generated / accessed using the Custom button). This dialog has been streamlined and improved – compare these two. August 2016 on the left, November 2016 on the right:

Notice the “Version” drop-down in the November 2016 dialog (top left) – allowing us to switch between the two layouts. In the “Advanced Options” checkbox if you are in November 2016 “mode” you get all the otherwise hidden choices in a long scrolling list. Although I like the concept much more than the standard dialog, I think the scrolling effect is not very intuitive – and it feels rather untidy. But that is of course very subjective. And this drop-down has a pretty big impact outside of the cosmetic, as you will see in part two of this review.

OPA 12 - November 2016 New Advanced Options Scrolling

User, User Where Are You?

Another significant enhancement, for the interview again, is the introduction of the Location control. Assuming we have created a couple of numeric attributes to store the data:

OPA 12 - November 2016 Location Attriibutes

Then we can also use it in our interview, through the new location option in the Interview Ribbon:

OPA 12 - November 2016 Interview Location Dialog

And the same idea, naturally, runs through to the Debugger:

OPA 12 - November 2016 Location in the Debugger

Deploying the Rule Project that contains the new Location control will also prompt the user to confirm the access to the Location features of the browser being used. The dialog is different depending on platforms and browser, but it usually looks something like the example shown below.

OPA 12 - November 2016 Location in Browser

These are excellent changes that improve readability and extensibility, and do away with the need for custom solutions for geolocation. Good job OPA!

Until next time! You can find the second part of this series here.

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