Combining Siebel IP 2016 and native OPA 12.x Interviews + Answer Service (Updated)

Well, the files are now available : The official Oracle Policy Automation Blog has corrected the links and you can download the files without incident. As I had cause to use them this week, I thought I would provide some feedback on them and highlight some things that might be useful.

Firstly, I appreciate (massively) the hard work that has gone into preparing something like this. I know it is a lot of effort and I am really grateful. The document was however designed for native OPA 12.x and Siebel platforms which have been on an upgrade path, so there are some things which are assumed to be present which might not be in some cases. For example, my own :). I was installing a brand new instance of Siebel IP 16 and OPA 12 February 2017 Hub for the purposes of a prototype.

The document itself is pretty good – but some bits could have done with  a spell check. I’ve worked with Siebel and OPA for a long time, but I have never had to “stimulate a Workflow” in my life. I would probably get arrested for it anyway. Here are some other things I noticed.

  • The SOAP action pattern on page 8 does not require the ‘quotes’ that are included.
  • The Tables for GetCheckPoint and SetCheckPoint do not exist on a brand new Siebel 16 installation (the decision report tables)
  • The SoapUI Project that is included will fail to import because of a missing WSDL – which is no big deal since by then you have your own – but you will probably have to then compare all the namespace prefixes in your WSDL and edit the requests to match.
  • If you have a new Siebel platform, you will need to add the relevant EAI File System Permissions to save files in c:\temp
  • You will need to change (at least on Windows 2008 R2) the file paths to have a single backslash, not a double backslash
  • Mention is made of “three DLLS” that may be referenced in an error when you try and simulate the Workflow Process. For reference, since they are not listed in the document, they conform to the pattern  “ssopa*.dll”.
  • One of the imported Workflow Processes has both a completed and an in progress version. The in progress version has an error in it, so don’t be tempted to publish and activate unless it is the previous version.
  • Unless I am going completely mad, the main OPA Submit Workflow Process on page 12 has an error in the last step “Read from File”. The file name referenced is not referenced anywhere else, in the entire repository – and it causes an error since the file does not exist. Editing the properties to match the file name used earlier in the Workflow Process causes the error to go away.

  • When you are compiling all the imported objects, don’t forget to compile the Symbolic String project (since the WD Launch button has a Symbolic String that has been added). I know that the PDF says to do a full compile but if you are just mounting a test platform, you want a quicker way. Plus, if you do an incremental compile, watch out for errors afterwards with PickList Repository Business Object in Siebel Tools. You might need to drop the freshly compiled SRF into the Server, Client and Tools installation folders.
  • The Eligibility OPA Project found in the Siebel 16 example folders does not upgrade to February 2017 – the mapping of the data types fails when trying to use the generic Siebel Connection example demonstrated. The Value Lists are causing the problem. Although it wasn’t part of the scope of the document, if you are setting up a new environment you probably want to show the Answer integration with the HTML / XLST / Custom Properties that was used in Siebel IP 15 for comparison purposes. The Screening example works however.
  • Finally, and this I found quite frustrating, after all the work I notice that the Save Workflow – that updates Siebel after the interview – has a hard coded save of only one piece of information in it. As far as a demonstration of generic approaches is concerned, could do better.

I will make the SoapUI adjusted / completed project for native OPA 12.x available in a few days once I have time to tidy it up – it might save you some time. Other than that did you find any issues with this native OPA 12.x integration into Siebel IP 16?