Tag: Siebel CRM

Siebel CRM as a custom Search source

Siebel CRM as a custom Search source

This post is inspired by a conversation I’ve been having over the last few days with another OPA consultant (thanks Prashil!) . Although as it turned out, the requirement had nothing to do with Siebel (that will teach me to not assume anything!), the concept of making REST calls to a CRM or CRM-like data source has been on my mind. But how can I useĀ Siebel CRM as a custom Search source?

In this example, we will use Siebel 2018 as the source of a custom Search box. Along the way we will see how the Siebel CRM REST API sends us data and what we can do with it. At the same time, we will indulge in some trickery to not show everything we have in our Search results to the user. It will mean we create two JavaScript extensions, a Search and a Full Input.

Firstly, the Siebel 2018 instance in question is using the standard REST API, and it is the standard Component called Account which we will be querying. In many public services, Account is used to store partner organizations, external suppliers and so on. It is a very common component. The base URL for the REST calls in my case will be something like the following

https://XXXX:9001/siebel/v1.0/data/Account/Account/?fields=Name,Location&?ChildLinks=None&searchspec=([Name] LIKE '"

There are three things to note here.

Firstly I am only interested in two fields (the third field I need, Id, is actually going to be included automatically anyway).

Secondly I am using a Search Specification with Siebel standard syntax to search using the Name of the Account. So if I type “ABC”, it will look for Accounts starting with ABC.

And finally, the URL string needs to be capped with the following to finish it “*’)” so that there is a wildcard search for ABC Inc, ABC Corp. and so on. The URL also includes an argument regarding child links in the output to reduce volume.

Siebel CRM as a custom Search source

The information returned in a standard output will consist of a series of data.items. So we can iterate over the data.items and for each item, we can get the Item.Name, Item.Location and Item.Id. Since Siebel paginates its output, we are actually only going to get a maximum of ten records unless we add another URL argument and make further calls to Siebel (to get page 2, page 3 and so on). But for a query result, a ceiling of 10 is pretty good for Siebel CRM as a custom Search source.

As a side note, this example – you have noticed – is using the Siebel REST API in its unvarnished, naked form. Obviously you would do well to control / restrict access and authenticate consumers in real life. We’ve seen in previous examples that we can pass headers in our Ajax call when Oracle Policy Automation asks for data from a Search source.

In the Commit callback we will update three attributes with the values of the Siebel Fields I just mentioned. Now, at the moment, if you want to update an Oracle Policy Automation Attribute in a JavaScript extension, that attribute needs to be on the active Screen for it to work. So what happens if you don’t want to show that value to the end user, but you still want to capture it for future use in your rules?

One approach (which I am using for demonstration purposes only you understand, as usual) will be to create an invisible Input, so that we can add our data to the Screen without the user seeing it. To do this you might use a fullCustomInput extension. This is different from the customInput, because it manages the Question Text and the Input control. So we can place it on our page and format the whole thing – even perhaps make it disappear.

Siebel CRM as a custom Search sourceThe two examples working together are shown in the video below, and I have added a more appropriate fullCustomInput example, as well as the Siebel customSearch example, to the OPA Hub Shop. I am also in the process of adding them to the Template Generator, so you will be able to generate a fullCustomInput and a sample Siebel customSearch yourself as well.

Have fun with Siebel CRM as a custom Search source, and as always the official documentation is your guide.

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel

My co-writers over on the Siebel Hub participated in a recent successful online event with OnTheMove Software, who provide mobility solutions for Siebel and other CRM systems. They are good friends of the Siebel and OPA Hub Websites, and it was a pleasure to take part in their popular event. You may recall last year’s event.

Although the subject of the day was very much Siebel, The OPA Hub Website was able to deliver a presentation about the ability of Oracle Policy Automation to “fill some gaps” left by Siebel. To be more specific, Siebel 2018 has recently been released and is a fantastic, elastic modern application with a fully Cloud-aware architecture. All the old legacy artefacts (files like the compiled SRF, web templates and so on) have been removed and the proprietary elements of the architecture replaced with more modern, open-source, cloud-friendly elements.

But the development tools are, at the moment, not keeping pace with this move to the Cloud. And as the Cloud is perceived as more accessible, more friendly (more fun!), the users and developers in the Cloud have a hard time keeping up with the need to provide modern platforms for developing, deploying and using the CRM.

That’s where Oracle Policy Automation steps in. With it’s incredibly easy, business-friendly natural language approach to putting business policy online and available to any application, with it’s drag and drop no-code user interface, with it’s built-in BI Publisher, with it’s agnostic approach to data model integration – Oracle Policy Automation is the solution. When I meet Siebel customers shaking their head at their thousands of lines of eScript code, when I see them wondering how to accelerate these aspects of development, make them more accessible and more efficient all at the same time, I just want to shout out “Oracle Policy Automation”.

Unusually for me, this presentation also manages to squeeze in three quotes from William Shakespeare. So if you are interested in how Oracle Policy Automation can help accelerate your Siebel CRM deployments, just watch this video.

Thanks as always to David at OnTheMove for his impeccable organisational skills.

video

Oracle Policy Automation & Siebel #1

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 #1

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 : Tutorial Part OneFor some considerable time now, the good people at Oracle have made available a White Paper describing an alternative integration to Oracle Policy Automation and Innovation Pack 16 integration (as opposed to the Siebel Innovation Pack 15 approach involving a good deal of HTML and so forth, and not supporting some of the new screen layout features and dynamic elements of Oracle Policy Automation).

The white paper is clear enough on the concepts, and some of the screenshots are excellent šŸ˜‰ but I am often asked about the details of the setup and implementation. In fact it is something I have to do quite often anyway. So I thought I would publish here some content that shows how Oracle Policy Automation and Innovation Pack 16 can work together.

This content is obviously a mixture of technical and functional, and by definition quite “Siebel-oriented” but I figured it would be of interest here as well, since we all might find ourselves in projects where the two behemoths meet. And I suppose that even someone who just wants to figure out how Oracle Policy Automation connects to “something” might find it interesting as well.

A word of warning : these videos were recorded “live” without editing – or at least without much editing – so there are “troubleshooting” sequences where I do something wrong and then go off and fix it : I figure that keeping that stuff in makes for a bit of “reality TV” so you can maybe gain time yourselves when you get into similar problems. Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 integration sometimes takes a bit of getting used to.

Finally, in case you were wondering, this is also the foundation for the Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel 16 Workshop that I run from time to time. So, to keep the post from becoming too long, I am going to publish this in several parts. The first part (this post) looks at the various options, the different functional scenarios and the technical approaches that we might encounter in Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel 16 environments. The next post will continue the process.

Welcome to the Videos

What will you need : an Introduction and some Prerequisites

Getting Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel 16 Connected : Part One – Design Time

Next…

In the next post in a couple of days, you will continue to learn about the Connection and test the first two operations using SOAP UI, before you move on to the core of the integration.

Siebel Open Day at OnTheMove (with Oracle Policy Automation)

Siebel Open Day at OnTheMove (with Oracle Policy Automation)

Siebel Open Day at OnTheMove (with Oracle Policy Automation)

OnTheMove Open Day - Oracle Policy AutomationMany thanks to the whole team of OnTheMove for the excellent event on Tuesday in London – Portman Square Radisson Hotel was the venue for a wonderful day of community content, discussion and general link-building around Siebel and of course Oracle Policy Automation. It was great to see some familiar faces, plus to put some faces to familiar names, if you see what I mean.

The content of the date was, obviously, largely dedicated to Siebel. My friend and colleague Alex Hansal gave a presentation about the new blacksheep.js library and we presented, together, the State of Siebel as a summary of the Siebel Hub Survey for 2017.

In amongst all this Siebel-related goodness, the OnTheMove team were kind enough to let the OPA Hub Website present a session on Oracle Policy Automation. More specifically, the transformative power of Oracle Policy Automation and it’s key potential role in Siebel CRM. It tried, in the course of about 30 minutes, to address many of the doubts about how it works, and for Siebel people everywhere, what the difference is between Haley Business Rules and Oracle Policy Automation (that’s a running misconception and joke). I was delighted to see so many attentive faces in the audience (of course they couldn’t escape the room as the doors were locked) and I like to think the presentation went reasonably well. I was also happy to see that the presentation generated a lot of questions along the lines of “Can I use OPA for this…?”.

The presentation I gave is below, if there are any questions please do not hesitate to let me know. We will be organizing other Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation-related live sessions in the near future so please watch this space for news. Currently we are exploring North American and Nordic events for this year.

Siebel Open UI and Oracle Policy Automation 12 Integration Version 12 #2

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Siebel Open UI and Oracle Policy Automation 12 Integration Version 12 #2

After I wrote the previous article, it struck me that Siebel people might need a bit of an overview of Integration with Oracle Policy Automation, before I plunged into the specific scenario of the Interview Service. Let’s be clear the Interview Service is just one of a series of Web Service connection points for Siebel people looking to get OPA into their Oracle Siebel CRM Application. In fact they are not limited to Web Services as far as integration is concerned. Let’s therefore take a moment in this post to review the options. I am writing here about Oracle Policy Automation 12.

Symbolic URL

Sometimes, a nice little frame in which Oracle Policy Automation is displayed is frankly good enough. The interface proposed to the user will of course be that of Oracle Policy Automation. In Oracle Policy Modeller we can implement custom style sheets for our interview, bringing it closer to the Siebel Open UI look and feel, and we can use the dynamic nature of the Symbolic URL principle to add pertinent information into the URL and to an extent pre-seed the interview with data in Siebel, using the recent addition to the Oracle Policy Modeller Edit Attribute Dialog.

Seeding Parameters via URL

Assess Service

If you are looking to use Oracle Policy Automation as a back-end, zero user interface platform, then the Assess Service is going to probably be one of your chosen solutions. It has methods dedicated to passing in data and simply receiving the response. Of course it is up to you to provide the mechanism (probably some EAI Siebel Adapter, some transformation and a bit of Workflow Process) that is going to actually handle the input and output. This is pretty much what existed in version 10.

Answer Service

Newer than theĀ Assess Service it has methods relating to the use of Connection objects in Oracle Policy Automation. In short, if you have Oracle Policy Modeller mapped to another application (let’s say a database or SAP or something) and you want to call it from Siebel, then you will need to know the data model that Oracle Policy Automation is expecting, so that you can build the right input. Enter the GetInputDataDefinition Action, followed in all probability by the GetAnswer action. Still fundamentally a “zero user interface” integration. We never see the Interview created in Oracle Policy Modeller.

Interview Service

As the name clearly shows, this service allows us to work though the Interview Screens of your Policy Model, and to handle all the different interactions (back, forward, save, close, and so on) that can occur. This service can then be connected to, for example Siebel CRM, and fancy techniques used to generate the user interface natively in Siebel Open UI, but based on the structure and logic of the UI built in Oracle Policy Automation. Look out forĀ GetInputDataDefinition, StartInterview, Investigate, EndInterview, GetFiles and SnapshotSession actions. If you see them, then you are looking at the Interview Service.

Server Service

Last but by no means least, the Server service gives access to things like the Timezone settings as well as a list of deployed Rulebases.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As ever the documentation can be found online.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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