Policy Automation – Siebel Connector Part 1

We all love a “demo environment”, doesn’t matter what it is for. The idea of being able to flip open a laptop and show off something that normally runs on big boxes in chilled rooms filled with flashing lights (and probably spinning tape reels, if you are a child of the sixties and seventies) is just too cool.

It has been a while since we addressed the marriage of Siebel Enterprise and Oracle Policy Automation. So we thought it appropriate to review the setup of your Siebel environment with Policy Automation. It is also a good opportunity to review the different parts of the architecture if you are a bit rusty.

Let us assume (deep breath) that you have a Siebel environment to hand. Prefereably a Siebel Server type environment. This is not by any means a necessity, but it makes it easier to be able to work with the EAI Object Manager should you wish to engage in some “off piste” work with plugins.

Anyway, if you have a recent Siebel Enterprise to hand, perfect. Before you begin, know that the latest versions will need to have the File System Access system parameter defined and set to TRUE, since the installation scripts for Oracle Policy Automation do some serious “clib-ing” when they insert their setup and sample data.

Policy Automation - Siebel File System Access

Begin by installing Apache 7. This is our preferred version since it is super small and super reliable. If you want you can of course install a more modern version, or install WebLogic if you want (but good luck with holding everything on your laptop.)

Policy Automation - Tomcat 7 Installed

Once you have installed and started Apache, install Oracle Policy Modelling – the basic Windows-based platform for modelling rules with Word and managing Project files.Look deep into the bowels of the install for the templates folders and you will find template versions of the web-determinations.war and the determinations-server.war. Remember that these represent the “web interview” and the “web service” style of rulebase execution. These files can be dropped into the webapps folder of Apache and they should auto-unzip and be created as applications.

Policy Automation - Apache Webapps Directory

If you have an Apache user capable of viewing the Server Management application then you will see them alive and well.

Policy Automation - Apache Server Management

Accessing the Web Determinations application URL should return something like this.

Policy Automation - Siebel Web Determinations

Then you should proceed with the “connector” install. This next step in the process is the same, whether you install for CRM On Demand or Siebel Enterprise. In both cases there is a separate windows-based installer that needs to be run. It will create a new Menu Item (in the File menu for CRM On Demand, in the Tools menu for Siebel Enterprise) in the Policy Modelling application. Technically speaking these are both Add-ons to the core application.

Policy Automation - Plugins Folder

Once the Siebel Enterprise menu item is visible in Policy Modeller, you know you are on the right track.

Policy Automation - Siebel Plugin Menu

You should know that customized versions of the Determination Server and the Web Determinations Server (both application files are prefixed with “siebel” – are now available to you in the subfolders of the plugin.The Web Determinations Server actually comes as 2 different versions, so that makes three new applications.

Policy Automation - Siebel Versions

Why?

  • The Determinations Server application supplied in the plugin installation folder is used if you want the Benefits functionality in Siebel Public Sector, otherwise the standard one will suffice
  • The two Web Determinations applications are both designed to communicate with Siebel Business Components (to store the report, session data and so on about the Web Determination) – one is for embedding in the Siebel UI as part of a View  (the one called *embedded*) and the other as a standalone Web Determination web page.

In order for the Siebel to Policy Automation integration to function correctly, you will need to update some information in a couple of properties files used by your new Siebel-aware Web Determinations applications (both of them, embedded and standalone). Assuming you have copied the war files highlighted in the previous paragraph into your webapps folder of Apache Tomcat, both properties files are sitting in your Apache environment, under C:Program FilesApache Software FoundationTomcat 7webappssiebel-web-determinations or siebel-wd-embedded.

The file to update is called siebel-data-adapter.properties and right at the top of the file, make sure you change the URL to your EAI Object Manager and the SADMIN user name and password. Do this for both of the files.

Policy Automation - Siebel Data Adapter Properties

In real life you would test the connection and then encrypt this information as described in the online help. But we will leave it unencrypted for now. By the way, now is a good time to check your EAI Object Manager is actually available!

Once you have got this far, time to step into Siebel Tools. You must import a SIF file (different depending on your version of Siebel) containing Screens, Views, Applets, Business Services, Integration Objects, Workflows and so on.

Policy Automation - Siebel SIF File

The objects can be found in the Siebel Objects folder shown above – use the SIF file that is correct for your version of Siebel. (This screenshot is assuming a standard install for Siebel version 8.x).

Once you have imported the metadata, add the two new Screens (Policy Automation Administration and Policy Automation Smoke Test) to your chosen Application using the provided Symbolic Strings (X_PA_*).

Compile the Projects, and do not forget to Apply database changes that are found in the new Tables in the Table Policy Automation project as well. As a final step, copy across the XSL and Web Template also shown above to improve the display of the Decision Reports and Web Determinations in Siebel – this will have to be done manually from wherever the Siebel Connector is installed, the Siebel Objects directory, into the WEBTEMPL and XSLT folders respectively of your Siebel environment.

Now you are almost done. Get into Siebel and move to the Administration – Business Service > Simulator view. Add a new line for “Policy Automation – Install” service and “Install Connector with Examples” as the Method name. Run the simulation to install the seed data for the integration which includes the Workflows you can see in the Siebel Objects folder. Run a second simulation using the Method name “Install Examples” to import the Smoke Test example mapping. If you get a File Access error, see the remark above about the System Preference for File System Access. Quite a few Workflows need to be imported, so this is the fastest way (you can do it manually if you really want to).

Policy Automation - The Siebel Workflows

Move to the Administration – Integration > Host Administration and verify that the localhost:8080 record has a value that corresponds to the location and port of your Apache installation. This host is used in the Symbolic URLs for Policy Automation Web Determinations to make the Web Determination display inside the Siebel UI.

Check Administration – Integration > Symbolic URL to make sure the correct URL is included to point to your Apache installation as well for the purposes of testing the Web Determinations. The Symbolic URL for Policy Automation should have been added by the Installation Business Service.

Then move to the Administration – Web Services > Outbound Web Services to check that the Web Service for Oracle Policy Automation Determination Server is installed and the port numbers, web addresses are correct for your Apache-hosted Determination Server.

By now you are ready to clear all the relevant caches and login / logout of Siebel. There should be two new Screens in your Siebel Application – Smoke Test and Policy Automation Administration. We will find out what happens next in part two of this post.

 

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