Category: Checkpoints

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 #5

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 #5

So, following on from the previous post in this series, where we looked at testing the Load and Save operations using Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 (as opposed to simple SOAP UI testing which is good, but will only get you so far), this post takes a slightly different turn and investigates two operations that are not strictly speaking required to be implemented.

The definition of the Oracle Policy Automation Connector Framework contains a boolean tag as to whether checkpoints are enabled in a given Connection. And these checkpoints are the subject of this post. Firstly, what is a checkpoint?

A checkpoint is a point in an interview, after which the contents of the Screens (Controls, for example data you have entered) is saved in a specific format, namely as an encoded Base64 string. This string of course needs to be saved somewhere : for example in a table in your Siebel database. Once it is saved, it can be used to open the Interview once again, through the integration between Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16, and the session can be resumed. Obviously this has a great advantage of being simpler than trying to save all the data you have into Siebel Business Components, especially given that the Interview might not be complete yet.

So you can think of checkpoints, and their two operations SetCheckpoint and GetCheckpoint, as sort of temporary saves. When you save the checkpoint you do so with an identifier (so, an id as in previous operations). But the process of SetCheckpoint and GetCheckpoint is completely separate from Load and Save : they are two different mechanisms to handle two different business needs.

Here is a screenshot of what it looks like residing in a Siebel Table, which you will learn more about in the videos and presentation:

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 - Checkpoints

The use of the Siebel Row Id means that it is relatively simple to create an Applet that sits on top of the Business Component, because you might use it as a Child Applet with the Obj Id Val as your key to finding stored sessions for your Customer or whatever it is.

The usage of these stored sessions requires a slightly modified URL to open the Interview, which you will learn about in the videos as well. In both cases (starting or resuming an Interview) a Symbolic URL, or a JavaScript embed, will be enough to call the Interview from the Siebel side.

From the Design perspective, implementing Checkpoints in your Screens is very simple, assuming you have selected a Connection that supports them. For example, the screenshot below illustrates the options available when designing the Interview. Note how you can select the relevant Screens or all of them. Selecting all Screens ensures that the Base64 string is pushed to the storage table after each Screen.

OPA 12 - Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 Checkpoints 2

Now that you have the details of this new part of the Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 integration, here are the videos to help you go further, and the links to the other parts of the series.

In this topic, learn about the two optional (but very useful methods) called Get and SetCheckPoint. This presentation explains the prerequisites and pitfalls.

Presentation

In this topic, learn how to implement these methods in Siebel, build them into your Oracle Policy Automation Project and how to test and verify their functionality.

Implementation

Links to Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 Series

Next…

In the next part of this series we will look at other Services available to Siebel developers in Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16.

How Oracle Policy Automation Is Helping Shape the Future of Customer Service [BRK1030]

How Oracle Policy Automation Is Helping Shape the Future of Customer Service [BRK1030]

There is a strong argument, as a consultant and trainer, for always attending this kind of breakout. The goals of this Oracle Policy Automation presentation were quite straightforward but very difficult to achieve within a very short timeline.

  1. Explain what OPA is
  2. Demonstrate how much of a game-changer OPA is
  3. Showcase customers who think so too
  4. Explain what is coming up in the product road-map

It was also, for me personally, an opportunity to meet with people I usually only get to communicate with electronically (in this case Davin and also Len who serendipitously was in the line to speak with Davin), and of course a good way to gauge the audience – is OPA picking up speed?

The event started with a two stage overview : first the product architecture :

Oracle Policy Automation

Then a canned video demonstration. But the best part of the demonstration was the payoff at the end. Having shown us a neat business scenario in the video, Davin then proceeded to live demo most of the content from scratch : an awesome way to showcase just how business-friendly Oracle Policy Automation really is.

In the second part of the presentation, Davin showed how some major organizations are using OPA:

In the last part of the presentation, Davin lifted the lid on a few of the changes coming up in the next versions (Safe Harbor Applies) which included the following interesting titbits:

The points that tickled my brain most were :

Inspections in the Mobile App – the ability to see a list of interviews to execute and then synchronize when back online. Healthcare visitors will be very happy with that.

Browser-based : Although businesses love the high-impact nature of Word and Excel and the Modeler, it would be very cool to have the option to work on Rules without them.

I had the chance to ask Davin for more information about Interviews in Siebel, Custom Controls and more. I was very happy he took the time to share all that with the OPA Hub Website, so without telling you too much (otherwise I might have to …).

  1. A Roadmap for Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation Interviews without the constraint of an IFRAME [ooooooh!]
  2. A Roadmap for Oracle Policy Automation Custom Controls and JavaScript better managed and organized and encapsulated [ooooooh!]

Of course these nuggets were all under the Safe Harbor statement so we shouldn’t make assumptions or calculations based on these but as time goes on we can watch out for news on these fronts.

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