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Oracle Policy Automation / Siebel : Live Classes in Toronto in February

Oracle Policy Automation / Siebel : Live Classes in Toronto in February

Oracle Policy Automation / Siebel : Live Classes in Toronto in February Update : thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to return to Toronto and deliver Oracle Policy Automation training. It was tremendous fun and I hope everyone had a good time. [16/2/18]

I wanted to tell you about the following events that I am hoping to run as in-class sessions in Toronto. Our friends at DesTech Toronto are hosting the following training events in February. I’ll be delivering them both so I would be very happy to see my Canadian colleagues and friends for these training sessions. Here are the details of the Oracle Policy Automation / Siebel : Live Classes in Toronto in February 2018:

Both of these need just a few more enrolments to confirm they will happen. I figure that a live class with a live instructor will be more effective for OPA customers and colleagues, as opposed to a virtual class. I’m happy to chat about OPA, OSVC, Siebel or anything else (ERP, AI, Bots 🙂 )

If you would like to enrol anyone on these courses, please let Patrice Brown pbrown@destech.com know urgently. I’m counting on you to spread the word!

PS : Every student will get a free copy of my Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation [2018 Edition] with my compliments. That’s a CAD 65 gift for each attendee.

Oracle Policy Automation 12 and Siebel IP 2016 – Installation and Configuration

Oracle Policy Automation 12 and Siebel IP 2016 – Installation and Configuration

Returning to this subject, at the request of one of our readers, we will look at the detailed steps to deliver the content of the Oracle White Paper recently published on the Oracle Blog. This post does not assume much Siebel experience, or for that matter Oracle Policy Automation experience, but you should at least be able to navigate your way round Oracle Policy Modeling and the Siebel client. We do assume the following setup

  • Siebel On Premise
  • Oracle Policy Automation On Premise or Cloud
  • Word and Excel installed
  • Oracle Policy Modeling installed

And so, on to the first step:

Install Siebel Tools

Much of the content delivered in the ZIP file that accompanies the Oracle Blog article is to be imported into your Siebel environment. In order to do this, you will need Siebel Tools. It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) that anything you do in the next few steps can potentially damage your Siebel instance if you get it badly wrong (although with a degree of common sense you should be fine).

To install Siebel Tools, simply download Siebel Tools from edelivery.oracle.com and install it on your hard drive like any other Windows application. A good guide Siebel Tools installation guide [free registration required] is available on our sister site, the Siebel Hub.

Make the Metadata Changes

How you next proceed very much depends on your situation. If you are working as part of a team of developers, then you would Check Out the Projects you need before doing anything. For the purposes of brevity, I am going to assume you are on a self-study Siebel environment so you can safely login to Siebel Tools and connect to your Server database, something that you would never do in real life, and make the changes there directly.

In any case I suggest you observe closely the output of the import that follows, and back out of the import and back up (Tools > Add to Archive) any objects that are going to be updated or deleted.

  1. Unzip the attached OPA Siebel Generic WS Connector.zip
  2. Login to Siebel Tools as SADMIN to your Oracle Server DB (not Sample or XE)
  3. In Siebel Tools, in the menu, click Tools > Import from Archive and select the file  OPAGenericWSConnector.sif  from the SIF folder amongst the files you just unzipped
  4. In Siebel Tools, in the menu click Tools > Compile All Projects and compile the file into the SRF that is in your Client folder (Client\Objects\ENU\siebel_sia.srf for example). When the compile is complete, the SRF will also need to be moved to the Server\Objects\ENU folder which will require the Server to be stopped and restarted.

Deploy the Workflow Processes

  1. Still in Siebel Tools, in the Object Explorer Tree, select Workflow Process
  2. Search for OPA Get Checkpoint. If it is present, click the blue Publish icon on the Toolbar
  3. Repeat for OPA Load for Pub Sample Intake Contact, OPA Process Submit Data, OPA Set Checkpoint and OPA Submit for PUB Sample Intake Contact.
  4. Restart the Siebel Server and then login to the thin client http://yourwebserver/callcenter_enu or whatever your application is.
  5. Navigate to Administration –  Business Process > Workflow Deployment
  6. In the top part of the page, search in turn for each of the 5 workflows, each time clicking Activate when you find them.

Deploy the XSL Files

The XSL files need to be copied to the Server\XSLT folder, the c:\temp folder and the Client\XSLT folder. The reason for the c:\temp folder – which you should create if you don’t have one – is simple, some of the workflows dump files into that folder. You can change the folder location / modify the workflows later if you want.

Deploy the Policy Automation Projects

The demonstration processes use the Projects called ApplyForBenefits or Eligibility. you will need to unzip them (they can usually be found in the Tools\REPPATCH folder, and you can unzip them, open them in Oracle Policy Modeling and then deploy them to your Oracle Policy Automation Hub. One of them – ApplyForBenefits – needs to be replaced with the version in the Zip file, Policy Models folder version . This is because the original ones were written quite some time ago, and the Value Lists data type confuses things when upgrading them.

You should at least be able to get the Benefits and Eligibility projects deployed. When deploying, make a note of the Deployment name. You can use the default Collection, or better still create a new Collection and give your user the required rights to it.

Deploy the Web Services

The Siebel application is contacted by an Inbound Web Service whenever the Policy Automation Project loads or saves data. So the next step is to import a ready-made Web Service. In Siebel, go to AdministrationIntegration > Inbound Web Service. Search for OPA Generic Connection. If it already exists, rename it and save the changes. Then click the green button and import the Web Service in the unzipped files. It is called OPA Generic Web.XML When you have done that, click the Gear menu again and Clear Cache.

By now you basically have a Web Service which will come inbound into Siebel, and this will trigger one of the Workflow Processes you imported.  They will be represented by the different Service Ports of the Inbound Web Service. At the moment you only have two Service Ports, one called CheckAlive and one called GetMetaData. These are used when modeling a Policy that needs to reference Siebel business entities.

Getting the Connection into Oracle Policy Automation

Now. log in to the Oracle Policy Automation Hub and proceed to the Connections menu. You are going to create a new Connection. Bearing in mind that you are going to be communicating between Siebel and the Oracle Policy Automation Hub, it goes without saying that if you are using Self-Study environments of Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation, for example installed on a Virtual Machine, this is going to be a hell of a lot easier than it will be otherwise – you would have to take into account things like firewalls between Siebel and OPA and so forth. Assuming that both Siebel and OPA are installed on the same VM, this means you do not have to modify the Service Ports in Siebel (they are all pointing to something like this

http://localhost/eai_anon_enu/start.swe?SWEExtSource=SecureWebService&SWEExtCmd=Execute&WSSOAP=1

The localhost being your web server.  This is the URL you will need for the Connection in the Hub. You can follow the other items from the PDF white paper but here is a screenshot anyway.

The areas highlighted in red are respectively the address of the Web Service, and the smaller red box is to highlight something you will need to check. It corresponds to the Service Port Operations prefix that may be present in your Web Service. If the prefix is present (these are used to help distinguish different calls to multiple OPA Web Services) you would see it here in Siebel:

The full line from the Oracle Policy Automation Hub SOAP Action Pattern might look therefore something like this

document/http://xmlns.oracle.com/policyautomation/hub/12.2.5/metadata/types:Conn_{0}

With those elements entered into Oracle Policy Automation, with your Workflow Processes active, your Web Service Cache cleared and your EAI Object Manager running on the Siebel Server, then you should be able to open Oracle Policy Modeling, create a Project and add a connection to the Siebel data Connection through the ribbon, connecting to your Hub and then to your Connection:

That concludes part one of this post. Part Two will be posted when part one is successful for you all.

Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation May 2017 – In (em)bed together

Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation  12 May 2017 – In (em)bed together

Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation 12 May 2017 : Since the release of Oracle Policy Automation May 2017 edition, teams of Siebel developers are breathing a sigh of relief. Finally, Oracle Policy Automation can fully integrate into the Siebel Open UI JavaScript API thanks to the arrival of it’s own Extension API.

It does not take long to compare the advantages of this Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation integration method :

  1. No longer having to use the static HTML file-based integration that was proposed in Siebel Innovation Pack 15.5 and above. This means that all the native Oracle Policy Modeling components (sliders, image controls, explanations, Form downloads just to name a few) can be displayed in Siebel Applets or any other element you can imagine in the Siebel Open UI object model (I’m thinking Plugin Wrappers and so on)
  2. Allowing the Oracle Policy Modeling users to concentrate on optimizing the experience and the Siebel Developers to concentrate on delivering the data model to Oracle Policy Modeling. Separation of concerns
  3. Avoiding IFRAME. Always a good thing.
  4. Implementing different Physical Renderers depending on user situation – perhaps to display the Oracle Policy Automation Interview in a jQuery Dialog if the screen is big enough, otherwise using the full Siebel Applet
  5. Potentially creating a Presentation Model with User Properties to allow Siebel Developers to pass properties into the JavaScript API which then can be used to implement some logic on the middle layer – perhaps passing the Rulebase name into a generic Applet.

It doesn’t really matter if you are not a Siebel person, this opens up a lot of great possibilities. Here are some of the basic steps

    1. Find a Form Applet in Siebel that you want to show an Interview from Oracle Policy Automation in. Using Duncan Ford’s template generator, create an empty Physical Renderer for a Form Applet. This is the starting point for any integration using Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation 12 May 2017 Extension API.
    2. Populate the ShowUI Framework hook with your code to inject the Oracle Policy Automation interview into an available <SPAN> or just make space for yourself. You will want to write much tidier code than this example, but you can get the idea – select, inject.

Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation 12 May 2017 - ShowUI

    1. Add the new Physical Renderer to the Manifest, along with any other files that you downloaded (if you are referencing statics copies of the interviews.js and the CSS files for example)
    2. Restart Siebel and navigate to the View with your Applet in it.

Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation 12 May 2017 Embedded

No IFRAME, no HTML files. Just the magic of the new Extension API. It’s breathed new life into Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation.

 

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

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?

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

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

The Oracle Policy Automation official blog came alive last week with it’s first post in over 6 months. This post, which included a white paper and a zip file of Siebel-related configurations (see my remarks at the end of this post), raised the topic of Oracle Policy Automation 12 with Siebel 16. The simple facts are, that the Siebel release cycle does not keep pace with the Oracle Policy Automation release cycle, at least in the domain of the integration with Siebel Open UI.

As you may already know, the previous major releases of Siebel Open UI (2015, then enhanced in 2016) introduced the concept of a “seamless” integration with Oracle Policy Automation. It required the following to be configured:

  • Mapping Oracle Policy Modeling Screens to Siebel Open UI Controls via static HTML files stored on the Siebel server, and a set of Siebel Workflows to handle the mapping and XSLT.
  • Exposure of the Siebel Web Service to the Oracle Policy Automation Hub Application via the Connections tab
  • Managing the different service calls via various Interview-based Siebel Workflows

Unfortunately, at the time of the release of this solution, not all Oracle Policy Modeling Interview Controls were supported (notably the Container and the Image Control were missing). Since that time, Oracle Policy Modeling has added further enhancements in both November 2016 and February 2017 releases (lots of new controls, better checkpoints) . The integration with Siebel therefore had lost further ground. It is not surprising therefore to see the proposal of a new solution supporting more features,notably more controls and checkpoints.

I had hoped to provide you with a demonstration, however, the two files linked in the article both respond with 404 errors. I have posted a request to have that seen to, and will report as soon as I can on Siebel integration with Oracle Policy Automation.

Oracle’s Siebel CRM Roadshow – Canberra (with OPA Strategy Session)

March 7

09:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Registration
• Refreshments, coffees and registration

10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

Welcome
• George Jacob (Group Vice President CRM Applications, Oracle)
• General introductions, goals for today’s event.

10:20 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Siebel CRM Executive Strategy Update
• George Jacob (Group Vice President CRM Applications, Oracle)
• Strategy update, thematic Siebel CRM Transformation (Vision, Innovation, Value)

10:50 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Break

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Siebel CRM Innovation
• George Jacob (Group Vice President CRM Applications, Oracle)
• Latest features from Innovation Pack 2016 and 2017
• Innovation Pack 2017, Siebel Composer, Workspaces, Parallel Development, Test Automation

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Lunch
• Grab lunch, but don’t go anywhere; the meeting goes on

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Case Study: DSS – Siebel Open UI
• Department of Social Services, Australia Government
• Siebel Open UI Innovation

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Increase Agility with Oracle Policy Automation
• Davin Fifield (Vice President Software Development, Oracle)
• OPA Strategy and Roadmap Update

2:00 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.

Break

2:10 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Siebel Case Management for Public Sector
• Vi Quach (Master Principal Sales Consultant, Oracle)
• Siebel Case Management on Oracle Cloud

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Siebel CRM and Cloud
• Tiffany Blair (Senior Principal Product Manager Public Sector, Oracle)
• Augmenting Siebel CRM with Cloud CX Suite

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

1:1 Meetings
Informal, coordinated 1:1 networking discussions with the Siebel CRM product team to respond to topics ranging from IP 2017 planning, delivery models, Open UI, CX market trends, Oracle’s CX strategy, the future for Siebel CRM, and the Siebel product roadmap and/or the journey to the cloud.

OPA Hub Snap Poll – Current Results

OPA Hub Snap Poll – Current Results

As our first Snap Poll is generating some interesting results, I thought I would post a “situation so far” chart. It is fascinating to see the strength of Siebel CRM in this picture, but also the number of “stand alone” Oracle Policy Automation deployments. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will see some further patterns developing, but that depends on people getting out and voting!

As some of you may know, there are a number of Siebel CRM Roadshows planned for Australia in the coming weeks, and they all contain a significant portion of Oracle Policy Automation related content. If you are able to attend please register using the Event Calendar:

  • Siebel CRM Roadshow (with OPA Strategy Update) Canberra
  • Siebel CRM Roadshow (with OPA Strategy Update) Sydney
  • Siebel CRM Roadshow (with OPA Strategy Update) Melbourne

All of these are a great opportunity to see how Oracle Policy Automation fits into the Oracle Cloud and Oracle Public Sector strategy. As I am currently training new starters who will be working on a project involving Oracle Policy Automation, Siebel and much more, I can see anecdotally that this is a strategy that is bearing fruit.

OPA Hub Snap Poll Results So Far

And now for the results, so far. If you have not voted, please do so. And please share the link to the Snap Poll!