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Oracle Policy Automation Workshop – Sept 24-27 North America (FINALIZED)

Oracle Policy Automation Workshop – Sept 24-27 North America (FINALIZED)

Things are now starting to fall into place with the Oracle Policy Modelling and Oracle Policy Automation Workshop that I mentioned in an earlier post. So first of all, you can join the class from Ottawa, ON, Edison, NJ, King of Prussia, PA and iMVP (live virtual). All are of course welcome. The main base will be Ottawa, ON. If you choose one of the locations above you will be in a high-tech training center with lots of cameras and things – unless you choose live virtual of course in which case you could be in your office or your living room eating donuts and wearing pyjamas.

The last few events we have organized have been a great success and well-received by the students, and we are very thankful for that. We think that the combination of Oracle Policy Automation, Oracle Siebel CRM and Oracle Sales / Oracle Service Cloud experience in one trainer generally means people can ask any question they can think of and we can help them find an answer!

The course outline is now completely ready and you can get all the details by reading the details on the OPA Hub Website Calendar here or directly on the training venue website here. If you are not on the North America East Coast, then please get in touch as we are gradually working on our calendar for West Coast, and Europe / Asia Pacific.

We look forward to seeing you and your colleagues on this or one of our future Oracle Policy Modelling and Oracle Policy Automation Workshops somewhere in the world. If Siebel is more your thing, you will be interested to know we have just launched our Siebel 2018 workshops, over on the Siebel Hub Website – find out more on their calendar.

 

Oracle Policy Automation at Oracle OpenWorld 2018

Oracle Policy Automation at Oracle OpenWorld 2018

Oracle OpenWorld 2018As we rush into the part of the year that is known, depending on your preoccupation and industry either as “Back to School” or “Back to Project”, it is also timely to think about Oracle OpenWorld 2018, the massive technology conference that has successfully reinvented itself at least three times and is now a vibrant, exciting and fun place to be for a couple of days in October. This year, as always, Oracle Policy Automation will be showcased with some interesting Customer stories. So far the detailed session list is not quite complete, but there are already two exciting sessions that you will not want to miss. I’ll add them to the OPA Hub Calendar when I get the dates.

Oracle Policy Automation: Changing the Sales and Services Landscape [CAS2349]

With the ever-evolving technology and business landscape, Westpac needed to deliver a seamless, cross-channel, consistent customer experience. Westpac faced challenges such as constantly changing legislative requirements, multiple conversation models based on customer/product/brands, tight timelines, lack of agility, and expensive roll-out. In this session learn how Oracle Policy Automation proved the needed solution that caters to complex rules, policies, and regulatory compliance requirements in real time with an intuitive user interface. These pain points were addressed by integrating Oracle Policy Automation with CRMs such as Oracle’s Siebel and PeopleSoft, and other back-end applications, consolidating conversations and making them brand agnostic.

Autonomous Cloud Platform: Cloud Platform (PaaS)
Real Stories, Real Customers: See Featured Customers
Sessions By Topic: Legacy Application Upgrades and New Features
Intelligent Cloud Applications: Customer Experience (Sales, Marketing, Service)
Session Type: Customer Case Study Session

SPEAKERS : Aaron Webb, Application Services Manager CRM, Westpac, Ashish Goyal, Principal Consultant, Infosys Australia

Using Oracle Cloud Applications to Augment On-Premises Applications [CAS3942]

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) was challenged to provide knowledge and policy direction to call center agents from disparate knowledge sources. LAO needed to consolidate its know-how into a single repository and use information from Oracle’s PeopleSoft case management support guides and other platforms to automate the search for relevant knowledge. LAO chose Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation. This provided consistent answers and policy guidance to internal and external constituents with multichannel capabilities. Oracle Policy Automation provides the ability to standardize policy decisions and eligibility, and provide an audit trail of decisions and what-if analysis. In this session learn about the challenges and benefits of this solution.

Real Stories, Real Customers: See Featured Customers
Sessions By Role: Apps IT
Your Cloud Transformation Roadmap: Building: Extend Data and Applications
Intelligent Cloud Applications: Customer Experience (Sales, Marketing, Service), PeopleSoft
Session Type: Customer Case Study Session
SPEAKERS :  Karl Martineau, CIO, Legal Aid Ontario

I hope to see lots of friends and customers in San Francisco for Oracle OpenWorld 2018.

Oracle Policy Automation Workshop – Sept 24-27 North America

Oracle Policy Automation Workshop – Sept 24-27 North America

I’m pleased to let you know we are going to be running another Oracle Policy Automation Workshop in September. Thanks to the wonderful Multimedia Video Presence technology, although we plan to run it in either Toronto or Ottawa (depending on the balance of attendees), you can also join from a number of locations in Canada and the United States!

Get in touch using the Contact form or LinkedIn and we can share with you the complete list of locations and the pricing for this event.

Duration and Content

Oracle Policy Automation WorkshopThis is a four day hands-on Workshop which covers all you need to know to be productive in Oracle Policy Modelling and Oracle Policy Automation. The workshop content is available for download on our Oracle Policy Automation Workshop page, and covers all the practical aspects of Oracle Policy Automation and Modelling (including teamwork, collaboration, Hub management and interfaces).

Of course, these workshops are also driven to some extent by the attendees, so you are welcome to ask anything about Oracle Policy Automation, Oracle Siebel CRM, Oracle Service Cloud or Oracle Sales Cloud if we can fit it in, we can discuss

it.

Materials

As well as the PDF slide content, everyone who attends will get a copy of Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation.

This workshop is one in a set of workshops that we deliver all year round:

We also, as co-founders of the Siebel Hub website, design and deliver a variety of Siebel-specific workshops which you can find out about over there.

Delivery Language

This particular Oracle Policy Automation Workshop will be delivered in the English language. If you are looking for la version française, parlons-en!

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!

What’s New in Oracle Policy Automation 18B #1

What’s New in Oracle Policy Automation 18B #1

The team that creates and updates Oracle Policy Automation have once again been very busy indeed, and the latest and greatest release can be downloaded from the usual Oracle Technology Network pages, and the link to the documentation follows the usual schema, just with the new 18B tag in it. So What’s New in Oracle Policy Automation 18B ?

In this first post in a short series, we are going to be looking at the new features of this release, and there certainly are some crackingly good ones. Let’s get started with the integration-related changes and what they mean for Oracle Policy Automation 18B:

  • A new Integration Cloud Service OPA assessment Adapter

What's New in Oracle Policy Automation 18B ICS

A massively important piece of the integration architecture for Oracle Policy Automation just got a whole lot better. An Oracle Policy Automation assessment can now be called as a step in your integration Workflow built on Oracle Integration Cloud Service. The Oracle Policy Automation assessment adapter has been available as a pre-release version but by the time you read this, or shortly afterwards, it should be available from the list of Adapters on the Oracle Integration Cloud Service site.

  • Embeddable JavaScript Models

An embedded JavaScript model is essentially a completely self-contained rulebase which can run, therefore, in a disconnected scenario. This will be a game-changer for Internet of Things devices, as well as situations where you need to have lightweight, client-side rule execution. This feature does not support Interviews, and is license-based.

  • Inline Customer Portal interview widget

Service Cloud customers can now take advantage of the new IFRAMEless integration capability that we enjoy with Siebel CRM already.

  • New REST API Batch Assessment Licensing Options

The Batch Assess REST API can now be called if you are licensed for Oracle RightNow Universal Policy Automation Tier 3 sessions, even if you are not also licensed for Oracle Policy Automation Enterprise Assessment API. For more information on the licensing and restrictions contact your Oracle representative.

  • Cookie-less interviews

A real boon for Safari users (but not only Safari) : Embedded Interviews no longer require a Browser cookie, which potentially could stop the Interview from functioning in certain environments. CORS still applies for resources shared across domains but basic embedding should now be possible whatever the browser security settings.

  • New Inline API Interview

The new API is OraclePolicyAutomationInterview and it uses the same methods as in previous versions (StartInterview, ResumeInterview, BatchStartOrResume). This new API version enforces all interview element styles. Styles won’t inherit from the parent stylesheet, and interview extensions can be used to modify interview appearance.  Awesome news for customers looking to render a a transparent experience to their users.

  • Relationship Control Customization

In the second part of our What’s New in Oracle Policy Automation 18B post series, we will look at the new Relationship Control extension capability which I was wishing for only a few weeks ago!

The OPA Hub Snap Poll Results

The OPA Hub Snap Poll Results

The OPA Hub Snap Poll Results

As you know, the OPA Hub Website runs short-term polls or “Snap Polls” in an effort to collect and share information about Oracle Policy Automation that may hopefully be of value to the Community. The OPA Hub Snap Poll Results concern the question we asked in March 2018, specifically “Are you going to be using the new JavaScript Extension in your OPA Interviews?”.

The most recent versions of Oracle Policy Automation have pretty much consolidated JavaScript as the client-side platform for delivering just about any visual changes you might wish for. Many of us are also pretty hopeful that the JavaScript library in interviews.js is a forerunner of a future REST client, and hopefully the basis for some sophisticated integrations as well.

Of course there are other avenues of development of Oracle Policy Automation, notably the experimental RuleScript, based on the output of the Oracle Labs and the graal library. Anyway, The OPA Hub Snap Poll Results were quite definitely in favour of the JavaScript extensions. You can find the results below, and I have included a link to a dynamic version of the graphic hosted by our friends at easel.ly.

 New OPA Snap Poll

As the Snap Poll on the subject of JavaScript has now closed, a new Snap Poll has been opened, this time in an effort to get more information about the needs of the Community in respect of training and advanced workshops. Please take a moment to answer the OPA Hub Snap Poll on this subject.

You’ve got to be in it, to win it

A reminder : when we close this Snap Poll, one lucky voter will get a free copy of Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation 2018 Edition, so don’t hesitate to vote today. The Snap Poll will close on the 31st April 2018, and results will be published on this website soon afterwards.

 

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 #4

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 #4

Welcome back to part four of our ongoing series about Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 . This post continues with the setup and testing that began three posts ago. For reference here are the links to the previous parts of the series:

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 Load and SaveThis particular article continues working on the core data transfer operations, namely Load and Save. I also have a tendency to call the Save operation Submit, because it reminds me that not only must the request be submitted to Siebel to save any mapped out data, but a response needs to be sent back from Siebel to Oracle Policy Automation to, for example, display a message in Oracle Policy Automation confirming that the save was a success (or whatever).

This need for a two step approach (Save in Siebel and Respond to Oracle Policy Automation) means your Workflow Process is likely to have both typical Siebel Operations to update the database but also typical transformation and response creation like the previous operations.

The example Workflow Process for Save will require, therefore, quite a bit of work before it is fully functional. In the video I try to highlight this, but it is worthwhile mentioning the key issues again here:

  • You will need to extract any data from the hierarchy sent to your by Oracle Policy Automation
  • You might well need to use scripting if the hierarchy you receive has multiple entity instances (for example, the Oracle Policy Automation Project infers multiple vehicles and you want to save each of them in Siebel).
  • You will need to make sure that you create a Response that updates one of the input mapped, load after submit attributes to show it in the Interview.

In this video which follows on from the previous set of SOAP UI tests, build and troubleshoot your Save operation with Siebel CRM to check for errors. There are lots of places where you will need to put in a bit of work on the example Workflow Processes (since they do not actually save much at all) and more complex (and therefore more interesting) business requirements may require a Business Service approach, namely to iterate through multiple instances of data returned to Siebel.

Whilst the videos cannot give you all the details, they definitely will put you in the right direction!

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 Load and Save Testing in Siebel

Remember you can find the White Paper and associated files  (at time of writing) at this Oracle Website location.

Next…

In the next part of this series, we look at two supplementary operations, GetCheckpoint and SetCheckpoint : whilst a Connection does not have to support these operations, if you plan on allowing users to stop and resume their interview before it is finished then you definitely need these operations. See you next time!

 

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 #3

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 #3

This the third post in this Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 series, following on from the first two which dealt with the “design time” or “metadata” related operations CheckAlive and GetMetadata. If you want to catch up here are the links to the previous parts.

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 Workflow ProcessBoth of those operations are fundamental to allowing the Oracle Policy Automation Hub to understand the availability of your data source and the structure thereof.  Once they are operational, there are two main things to take into account. Firstly, the pattern of Workflow Process plus Inbound Web Service Operation is one that is maintained in every case, no matter what set of data you are retrieving. Secondly, the next stages of the Connection setup are common to many Siebel Integrations but there will be Oracle Policy Automation specifics : in the Load and Save operations you will handle getting data from Siebel to and Oracle Policy Automation Rulebase, and then returning any output to Siebel.

As in the previous cases the Oracle White Paper provides, in the associated Zip file, Workflow Processes and other objects that will be needed. As before, according to your business requirement and technical setup, you will need to edit those Objects in Siebel Tools and make further objects. Changes can be frustrating as you are likely going to be searching the Repository for variable names, or Object references, and sometimes you miss one or two.

In the examples shown in the video presentations and walk-through I have deliberately kept this Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 overview as simple as possible, for example by eliminating the processing of attachments, and by concentrating on the key steps in the Workflow Processes. So for today we will look at the Load operation. Because this operation will require testing, this post will look at setup and SOAP UI, and the following post will take that a step further and look at testing it with real Siebel data.

The Save (a.k.a Submit) operation is necessarily the most complex operation, dealing with the saving of data in Siebel but also the response back to Oracle Policy Automation – which means taking a request to deal with a response and responding with what feels like a request!

 

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 Load And Submit Presentation

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16  Load and Submit Testing in SOAP UI

Testing

In this topic, take your first steps to testing your Load and Submit in the SOAP UI utility.

 

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 #2

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 #2

Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 - Hub ConnectionFollowing on from the first post about Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16 a few days ago, this post continues with a series of (hopefully) useful videos about the next steps. Last time, you had just built your Connection in the Oracle Policy Automation Hub and had checked to see if the green light came  on. In the video sequence today, you will test both of the design time methods (CheckAlive and GetMetadata) in your SOAP UI testing tool to ensure that you get something like the correct response.

Testing in SOAP UI can be very frustrating at first. You take the time to download the WSDL from Siebel Enterprise and import it into SOAP UI, fully expecting to work with it immediately. But there are a few traps. Firstly, the need to (unless you have switched off the requirement in the Oracle Policy Automation Hub, which would be very unwise in most circumstances) add wsse tags to the Header and provide a user name and password. Secondly, you may (probably) need to remove some extraneous tags on the SOAP Request, and finally if your Siebel environment is not up and running and the relevant Workflow Processes are not active, you won’t get much in the way of feedback :).

Presentation

In this brief overview, we talk about the different big-picture steps to set up communication and how to go about it.

Setting Up a Connection for Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel Innovation Pack 16

In this part you walk through the practical steps to build a Connection, add or import the different Workflow Processes and Inbound Web Services to implement the first two operations and get ready to test them.

Build CheckAlive and GetMetaData Operations

This video walks through the technical steps in Oracle Policy Automation, Siebel CRM and SOAP UI to build these two operations according to the White Paper.

Next…

In the next few days, the Load and Submit operations, the core of the integration, will be worked through and examined in Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation terms.

Guest Post : Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation

Guest Post : Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation

In a previous post by our guest writer Dr Jason Sender, he investigated improvements in Oracle Policy Automation rules by applying some of the principles of refactoring. Hopefully the short examples he gave revealed some of the increases in readability, maintenance and flexibility that you can build into your rules.Now, in the second article in this series, Dr Sender looks at Object-Oriented Design patterns and Oracle Policy Automation. This article draws on the work and publications of Martin Fowler, which we discussed in the previous post, and those of Joshua Kerievsky from his highly regarded book “Refactoring to Patterns”.

Design Patterns

Kerievsky makes two very important observations on design patterns. His first point is that, as he terms a section heading, “There are many ways to implement a pattern.” (Kerievsky, p. 26). This is key to what we shall see in this article, since with Oracle Policy Automation we should be aiming at implementing the core concept of a given design pattern, rather than strictly following the implementation example given in GoF (1995).

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software is a software engineering book describing software design patterns. It has been influential to the field of software engineering and is regarded as an important source for object-oriented design theory and practice…The authors are often referred to as the Gang of Four (GoF) (Wikipedia).

The second key point that Kerievsky (p. 32) makes is that: “In general, pattern implementations ought to help remove duplicate code, simplify logic, communicate intention, and increase flexibility. However…people’s familiarity with patterns plays a major role in how they perceive patterns-based refactoring.” So we see here both our aims in using design patterns, and a constraint (developer knowledge). Since OPA does not have objects and classes in the same sense as an object-oriented language, we should not expect a straightforward application to OPA.

In this article we will focus on one single pattern, known as the Adapter pattern.

Summary: “Convert the interface of a class into another interface clients expect.
Adapter lets classes work together that couldn’t otherwise because of incompatible interfaces.” (GoF, p. 139)

Let’s look at applying the Adapter pattern to Oracle Policy Automation rules.  At one level, translation is possible; Oracle Policy Automation can translate all its attributes into another language so that the rules can be used once and deployed in multiple languages just by translating the variables, statements, and similar features, while not rewriting the rules. This example from Oracle (2016) demonstrates this:

Guest Post : Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation

As a second example, we can make a variable equal to another variable, or a Boolean true if another Boolean is true. For example:

Guest Post : Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation 2

Here we have adapted the ‘the sky is blue’ to ‘the sun is shining’ (but not vice versa) and adapted ‘the value of the car’ to ‘the value of the vehicle’ (but not vice versa). It might be thought that this is pretty simplistic and not all that useful. The following example highlights more complexity, and, instead of simply adapting the interface, as the above examples do, it goes beyond that to override some of the adaptee’s behaviour:

 

Guest Post : Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation 3

 

Here we have adapted the interface from ‘the storey of the building’ to two different interfaces, ‘the lift floor’ and ‘the elevator floor’. British lifts start at 0 (or G) and US elevators start on the 1st floor and do not have a 13th floor. So not only have we changed the interface, we have adapted the behaviour. The new variables can be used elsewhere in the policy model in place of the original one.

Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation : Adapter Pattern Summary

The Adapter pattern seems “made for OPA”. When discussing the Adapter pattern the GoF (p. 142) stress that:

“Adapters vary in the amount of work they do…There is a spectrum of possible work, from simple interface conversion – for example, changing the name of operations – to supporting an entirely different set of operations.”

The examples shown in this article illustrated three aspects:

  • The first adapted the language that users would see
  • The second was an example of changing the name of an operation
  • The third supported a different operation but was also an Oracle Policy Automation-specific variant of what the GoF (1995) term “two-way adapters”, since it adapted two variables from one underlying one.

Each of the three examples has different costs and benefits. The language translation tightly couples the adaptee and adapter, while the changing of the name allows for the other variable to change how it is derived without changing the adapter (i.e., a level of indirection).

It is important to note that the one-way variable name change or Boolean name change simply allow a new term to be used, but these might very well be used in more complicated ways in rule tables (for variables) or rules (for a Boolean) where the adaptee’s value equalled the adapter’s value only in certain circumstances. The two-way adapter allowed for a single variable to be used to provide multiple adapters, thus minimizing code duplication.

The Bigger Picture

It’s worth stepping back at this point to understand the broader context.  Computer science is often defined as dealing abstraction, and software engineering as managing complexity, and the connection is that only by considering different parts of programs and systems as abstract concepts are better able to manage complexity.  For example, Oracle Policy Automation is often integrated with other systems that the Oracle Policy Automation  developer does not need to understand, and can think of in the abstract, like the database that Oracle Policy Automation may interact, but which the Oracle Policy Automation developer may not need to know anything about beyond mapping attributes in Oracle Policy Automation.

So abstraction is about ignoring irrelevant details, and this is accomplished by what is often the theme running through many design patterns, which is to: “encapsulate the concept that varies” (GoF, p. 54).  We often obtain abstraction in Oracle Policy Automation by using indirection (interposing an intermediate attribute) to encapsulate the attribute that varies.  This allows us to “Program to an interface, not an implementation“, as the GoF (p. 18) term it, the rationale for which is that the implementation can be changed if other parts of the program only depend on the interface.

Once again, even from a very simple set of examples, it should be clear that Oracle Policy Automation rules will benefit from the targeted application of principles from programming – in this case Object-Oriented Patterns. The best approach is not a slavish application, rather a pragmatic use of those best-suited to the unique nature of the Oracle Policy Automation platform.

For more information about the ideas discussed in this article about Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation, Dr Sender can be reached using his LinkedIn profile, below. Look out for more articles about Object-Oriented Design Patterns and Oracle Policy Automation coming soon!