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OPA Quizzes : Helping you learn Oracle Policy Automation

OPA Quizzes : Helping you learn Oracle Policy Automation

We are always looking for ways to help you learn Oracle Policy Automation, so that’s why  we came up with our OPA Quizzes.

Whether it is for your next interview, or even as a preparation for your upcoming certification examination if you are planning on taking one, we hope that our range of free quizzes can help you get ready. If you are not familiar with the examination find out about it here  OPA Quizzes

In any case we hope that you enjoy them and have fun with them. Share them with your friends as you learn Oracle Policy Automation.

And while you are at it, reward yourself with a mug from the Shop. Maybe we will give away a few mugs at the end of the year to the Leaderboard Winners.

Yes, that’s a nice idea and this time we are organised enough to do it.

At the following page you will find all the OPA Quizzes and the links to the OPA Quiz Leaderboards. Check your results against the top scores and enjoy the stress of answering questions against the clock.

We recently began the process of building another’s two sets of questions so stay tuned and watch out for them in the coming weeks. In the meantime keeping smiling and have a good day!

Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation [2017 Edition]

Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation [2017 Edition]

I’m delighted to announce that P8 Tech Publishing has just released the second edition of my book, Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation, the 2017 Edition which covers up to and including the November 2016 release. The book is available as a glossy, colour-filled book or as an eBook. You can pick up your copy using any of the links below. It clocks in at 270 pages plus the index, considerably larger than the previous version. Of course I would like to thank fellow OPA Hub Writer Raj, and all the other helpers who worked behind the scenes to get this new release of Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation into the shops right at the beginning of the year.

Happy Reading! Keep an eye out for an announcement about our next book project!

 

Competition Coming Soon

Keep your eyes peeled also for an upcoming competition to win a copy of the eBook! I will also be at CX Las Vegas in April, come and say hello if you see me wandering around looking vague (Las Vegas always has that effect on me). I would love to hear ideas for new books or Oracle Policy Automation related content for the OPA Hub Website.

Oracle Policy Modeler Articles

Back to Basics 2 – Oracle Policy Modeler Articles

Back to Basics 2 – Oracle Policy Modeler Articles

Articles are a thorny point, since not all languages have the same concept. But the chances are that if you are working in a latin-based or greek-based language then you will have the concept of “the”, “le” or “la”, or “der”, “die”, “das” and so on. Writers who jump into Oracle Policy Modeler, especially those from other less natural-language focussed tools, tend to write rules that don’t have any articles, or that use the indefinite article. So what should we look out for in the area of Oracle Policy Modeler Articles?

Basic  Idea #2

Articles don’t matter.

Yes they do. Very much so. And perhaps the most insidious problems occur when there is no defined strategy at all, and everyone does what they feel like. For example, consider the following rule.

Oracle Policy Modeler Articles

Notice the lack of article. This rule will validate and work, despite it being a long way from natural language. However, what usually happens next is the entity model becomes more complex. So the designer adds an entity. Either “the customer” or “a customer”.

opa-12-customer-entity-bad

Notice how the original attributes, customer status and customer is always right, have remained attached to Global rather than the new Entity, since they didn’t contain the exact text “a customer”.

opa-12-entity-debug

Now in the Debugger we can see the side effect in the language generation.  A customer looks weird. The customer would have been far more readable. And in the Interview debugging session, it looks pretty nasty too.

opa-12-interview-customer-bad

And of course at the same time, our Interview does not really work because the attribute is not applied to each customer, just to Global.

opa-12-interview-customer-bad-2

 

If we had adopted a common sense approach and created all of our attributes with the more natural “the customer…” we would have had less issues with matching attributes to Entities and better natural language generation, and last but not least it would have been far more normal to read in Word. Oracle Policy Modeler needs to have definite articles both for Entity names and attribute definitions. 

  • Customer is right – not natural language
  • A customer is right – which customer?
  • The customer is right – natural, specific to one customer

 

 

Conditions & Conclusions in Oracle Policy Automation Spreadsheets

Conditions and Conclusions in Oracle Policy Automation Excel Spreadsheets

Since this came up in the recent Oracle Policy Automation discussions I was having with a customer, it seemed a good idea to summarize it for people who are Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation. There are two basic ways to use the column headings in an Excel file.

Using Column Headers with Condition or Conclusion Text

This is the usage that is taught first in the Oracle Policy Automation Essentials training. Using a small fragment of a fictitious speeding fine table, you can see the Condition Heading and Conclusion Heading formats are populated with Attribute Text.

Oracle Policy Automation - Using Table Headers with Attribute Text

Using Generic Column Headers

The second choice is to use generic headers, in fact these are the default headers inserted into the Excel file when you add it to your Project. In this example below you can clearly see the condition and conclusion texts in the relevant columns and the generic headers. This can be useful if you want, for example, to assert that different booleans are true as a result of a table row being true.

Oracle Policy Automation - Condition and Conclusion Generic Headers

Excel Limitations

There are some limitations which can occur when you are unfamiliar with Excel spreadsheets. Although these are not both directly related to generic column header usage I thought I would add them here for new starters to remind of the importance of using multiple columns where appropriate.

Oracle Policy Automation - Generic Conclusion Attempted Negative Error

As you can see in the example above, the use of a negative sentence in the generic conclusion is not allowed. We would have to reformat our table to use different, specific columns for our conclusion.

Oracle Policy Automation - Non Generic Conclusion Examples

Similarly, attempting to squeeze too much into a condition column will create another validation error:

Oracle Policy Automation - Generic Conditions Attempted Multiple Conditions

Hopefully this helps clarify what is possible, and what will need to be considered when getting started with Oracle Policy Automation Excel Spreadsheets. The official documentation can be found online here.

Have a nice day!

Getting Started With Oracle Policy Automation Book Now Available

Getting Started With Oracle Policy Automation

The book is now available on Amazon UK, Amazon India and Amazon United States, all of which you can access from our Online Shop here on ODE OPA Blog. I look forward to having some fun with it in the coming weeks, notably in the courses coming up in May, June and beyond.

Update : A common request has been to be able to buy the book outside of Amazon – well, now in addition you can place worldwide orders using another shipping service.

Update : Response to the book has been positive and I look forward to creating more content on this site and preparing the second edition!

Update December 2016

Getting Started With Oracle Policy AutomationThanks to the many people who bought the first version of the Book. Like a lot of guides and other similar material, the first version was never considered to be the endgame, so as soon as the first version was released we began collecting the feedback, correcting the errors and building out some of the areas where, for the sake of brevity, the book did not go first time around. The result is almost ready.

The new, expanded release of the book (20 chapters, about 250 pages) is expected to enter final draft in December 2o16. Watch out for it in the Amazon bookstore and elsewhere, probably before the end of January 2017. Happily this will allow for the new features of the December 2016 release to be included in the next version of the book, as well as some of the updated content that has been on this site in the last few months (with more text, example and so on!)

Oracle Policy Automation : Things I wish I had known…

Oracle Policy Automation: Things I wish I had known…

I’m really pleased to say that the team at P8 Tech have helped me wrap up the forthcoming Getting Started With Oracle Policy Automation and the book has now gone onsale from a variety of online bookstores. I sincerely hope that it helps people get familiar with the Oracle Policy Automation family (Modeler, Mobile, Hub) in a fun and interactive way, to prepare them for their training, their job or their certification examination. It is available in paper or PDF format.

In the spirit of “Things I wish I had known …?” I thought it might be fun to highlight the sort of content you can expect to find in the book. The Book is, in my humble opinion, a great self-study tool for anyone getting into the product, or who is waiting for / coming out of their Oracle University Training. And the title pretty much says it all. Of course the book tries to get rid of these hindrances, and many many more as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6JlbzFFIic”

Update : Book Now Available

You can find out more on the official Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation book page. Of course this website will also be continuing to cover Oracle Policy Automation and I’m sure we will revisit some of the content in the book, to extend it, translate it or otherwise give more examples.

Update : Second Version On the Way

At the time of this latest update, the second version  of Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation is currently about to enter final draft stage, with 20 chapters (5 new) and 250 pages already in the bag. This greatly expanded and reviewed edition builds upon the format of the first and introduces yet more content to ensure you get started more efficiently and more effectively. Look out for the release of the book, probably in January 2017.

Installing an OPA Hub Self Study Platform – Going Mobile

Installing an OPA Hub Self Study Platform – Going Mobile

I’m often being asked these days about easy ways to use the OPA Mobile App for testing and self-study purposes with their OPA Hub without having to spend money (for example buying a new Android or iOS device would solve the problem) or time (the Google Android Developer Kit is large and cumbersome to download and configure, and you may want to have many different device emulations). With iOS is it pretty much a dead-end unless you own an Apple computer or want to spend ages building a “Mac-alike” virtual machine running under Virtual Box. So the easy way is to use Google and Android. As stated above the default emulator and other Google SDK software is both large and cumbersome. So what is the other solution. This

Genymotion – the best and fastest emulator for Android, that uses Virtual Box as the back end (so you probably don’t need to install much except the tools and the device emulations). As they have a personal account feature that is free (perfect for self-study) and professional accounts with more features (perfect for the project team) , you can use it in a variety of situations, whichever applies to you.

So assuming you have gotten your OPA Self-Study Environment up and running (see the previous Post Series) then how do you “Go Mobile”? Follow these steps below and you will be ready in no time.

Choose whichever plan is right for you on the Genymotion website from the above link, and download the software.

Then create a new virtual machine, choosing whichever flavour of Android you are interested in for testing.

OPA 12 - Mobile Device Create

The setting up of the emulation will take a few minutes.

OPA 12 - Mobile Device Done

Then play with the settings until you are happy. You can also access the complete settings from your Genymotion window by clicking the Spanner button. You probably will want to select processor, memory and so on and fine-tune it all.

OPA 12 - Mobile Device Settings

Now you can start your mobile device.

OPA 12 - Android Up

Once the device is up and running, you need to install two items before you can go any further. You will need to go to https://gist.github.com/wbroek/9321145 and download the following :

  • ARM Translation Installer v1.1
  • Google Apps for Android X.X (choose the version of Android that you decided to run your mobile emulation with).

When you have downloaded both of the ZIP files, drag and drop the first one onto your emulator.  You will see a warning message like the one below, accept and let the ZIP file get imported.

OPA 12 - Flash Start

At the end of the import you will see this. Using either the Android emulator buttons or by clicking the Close Window button, stop and restart the Android device.

OPA 12 - Flash End

Repeat for the second ZIP file. It will take longer to import and restart. At the second restart you will see something like this during a certain period of time:

OPA 12 _ Restart

After the restart, find the Google Play Store app and login with your Google Account. Depending on the version of Android you chose and the ZIP file you imported, you may be faced with a couple of issues:

  1. You may have to update your Google Play and other apps before continuing. You should do so.
  2. You may receive “Oops, Google Play Store has stopped” multiple times. Persevere and the updates will happen.

OPA 12 - Store

Now you can browse the App Store and find the App you want to install. Accept whatever permissions are needed.

OPA 12 - Install OPA

After installing, switch the device to landscape rotation (there is an icon in the Genymotion toolbar) and run the App. If you cannot find it, scroll through the pages of your Android desktop.

OPA 12 - Mobile App

You will notice two things – this can run alongside your Virtual Machine with the OPA Hub, and the IP address is printed at the top of the window, which makes it easier to test network connectivity between your two virtual machines.

OPA 12 - Mobile Interview List

Remember that the admin user does not have Mobile App rights by default in the OPA Hub, so create another user and give them permission.

OPA 12 - Mobile Interview in Screen

So now you can deploy and test your Mobile Interviews as well with your OPA Hub. Happy self-study!

Getting Started With Oracle Policy Automation

Getting Started With Oracle Policy Automation

Getting Started With Oracle Policy AutomationGetting Started With Oracle Policy Automation : Over the years I have been often asked by students where they can find some “self training” resources. This is because they are either just finishing their Oracle University Training or maybe they are waiting for it to be scheduled and they want to get a head start. Of course there are lots of resources on the world wide web, and there are a few that everyone should know by now:

It’s arrived!!!

I’m happy to announce the arrival of my Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation book. Hopefully this book will help new starters get up to speed as a supplement to their Oracle University training. You can find it on a large number of retail websites including Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon IN and The Book Depository.

In the Getting Started With Oracle Policy Automation Book

The Book contains lots and lots of practical examples and hundreds of screenshots to help you work through them and to help you getting started with Oracle Policy Automation. It covers entities, tables, Excel spreadsheets, functions and much more. It contains examples both in English and other languages, and covers building complementary documents such as Forms and Translation Files. It was written and tested against the latest release of Oracle Policy Automation Version 12.

Installing Oracle Policy Automation Hub Self Study Platform Part Three

Installing Oracle Policy Automation Hub Self Study Platform Part Three

So here we are, the OPA installer has run its course in the previous post. What do we need to look out for? Well, you probably want to connect to your Hub, right?

On your Virtual Machine we might configure the Networking so that it can only see your laptop (or whatever physical machine you are using). Safer that way.

Installing Oracle Policy Automation - Network Internal only

From your physical PC now, running the Oracle Policy Modeler (the same version as the Hub you installed), you should be able to access the hub by typing in the URL that you saw in the video – and in your own install – and the login and password you provided during the install.

Installing Oracle Policy Automation - Connecting to Hub

And you are all set! Ready to get into the Hub!
Installing Oracle Policy Automation - Success Hub Login

Congratulations on following this guide all the way to the finish. Installing Oracle Policy Automation means you have the ability to learn and test yourself in a realistic environment, ready for the day when you use Oracle Policy Automation as part of a Project Team. There is another resource that may be helpful to you in this process – Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation.

Of course if you have not had enough of installing things related to Oracle Policy Automation, then go install the Mobile App Self Study.

Installing Oracle Policy Automation Hub Self Study Platform Part Two

Installing Oracle Policy Automation Hub Self Study Platform Part Two

I am regularly asked by students how to set up and install an OPA Hub for self-study purposes. So this post series aims to give people a guide to follow. Obviously this sort of thing is perilous because there are so many permutations and languages and settings and so forth. So I thought I had better finish what I started in the previous post!

It should be obvious by now that I am not aiming for in depth discussion of the best way or the secure way – I am aiming to get an OPA Hub in a virtual machine as fast as possible running Windows on my Windows PC in Virtual Box. Like every other application that I work with…

Get WebLogic Up and Running

In the last episode you had just started the WebLogic Configuration Wizard. Here are the steps to get the configuration done quickly, in preparation for the next part. Create a new domain.

Weblogic Config 2

 

Weblogic Config 4

Choose the base server option then set up a login and password.

Weblogic Config 5

We want to configure the following options:
Weblogic Config 6

WebLogic Config 7

Give a password and username for the nodemanager, keeping the other values as default.

Weblogic 7

We don’t want any clusters, but we do want a machine. Create one and call it Machine.

Weblogic Config 8
Webligic Config 9

You should now find yourself at the end of the configuration wizard.
Weblogic Config 10

Dig up the StartWebLogic and StartNodeManager scripts from your install directory:

Weblogic StartWeblogic Script

Find nodemanager.properties and change the SecureListener to false. Save and close the file.

NodeManager Properties

 

Start Weblogic and start Nodemanager using the provided shortcuts.

Weblogic Starting

Access WebLogic using the URL that was given at the end of the configuration (/console). Login with your login and password.

Nodemanager plain

Go to Machines. Find the machine you created in the configuration wizard and drill down on it. Select Node Manager and set the Type to Plain. Click Save.
machine in weblogic

In the menu go to Servers, add a new Server called OPA or HUB (something short, one word). Make sure the port is 7002.

Associate the Server with your Machine. Drill down on the Machine and Add the Server you just created to the Machine.

Associate Server with Machine

Start ServerIn the Servers List, with the Control tab selected, click your Server and Start it.

Installing Oracle Policy Automation

Finally we are here. Download the latest version of the OPA Server components from Oracle TechNet. Unzip the files into a safe place and dig out the install command file. Run it.

OPA Install Start

 

OK, I’ll admit it. I got tired of doing all those screenshots. So here is the video version of the next steps.

 

Nearly There!

On to part three!