Thursday 30 June 2011

BPM 11g Advanced Workshop

Last week I was on a trip to Lissabon for a BPM 11g Advanced Workshop. In the same event there were also advanced courses on ADF and Webcenter.

It was a pleasant week since there were showers all over the place in the Netherlands. Since the pentacost weekend there nearly wasn't a dry moment over here. Portugal was cloudless and the ocean was really refreshing.

The BPM workshop was actually about building a POC on the process of handling a request on increasing the credit limit on a credit card of a fictive bank. You had to create an application with a team of 3 or 4 members involving:
  • ADF Web application for initiating the process using either Webservice or (better) EDN.
  • Advanced Business Rules for determining the allowed increase
  • ADF Human Task for approval screens
  • Implementing Conversation/Correlation constructs using BPEL to be able to have cancel or fraud-detection messages influencing the running process. BPM currently lacks functionality to handle multiple conversations/correlations.
  • BAM, BAM, BAM (seen as highly convincing in a POC)
 Although it was not required, I for myself was so stubborn to insist on creating a Custom ADF Human Task screen to initiate the BPM Process. Since I've ran in to that problem in an earlier BPM11g try-out. I started on an investigation on what to do to rebuild an BPM10R3 project into BPM11g.

BPM11g is a real new product. The way I see it, there is little from the old BPM10 product. You could find a significant part from BPM10 in the modeller (studio). But the engine part is replaced by the one used by BPEL Process Manager as a base. On top of that all the parts needed to run BPM processes are added.
BPM10 projects tend to have loads of PBL code, snippets of program code or sometimes larger amounts of code to implement a specific automatic action. For most it is used to build up request messages to call (web)services and process the response messages. But it is not unusual to have script-tasks to calculate outcomes of business rules, or other business values. Often this is done on methods of objects in object model in the Business Category. It is the part of BPM10 I was suprised of the most. Since you would not find this in BPEL (if you would left out embedded java tasks) and it should not be needed in a tool that is targeted to Business Users. In BPM11g it is not needed, because you can use XSLT and XPath (or alike) expressions to process messages. And ADF BC to display corresponding data in your Human Task Screens.
I learned that Oracle is going to support scripting in the BPM12c release. But it will be deprecated upon introduction. Since you would not need it and should not use it. Only to be able to migrate your projects to 12c. But from there onwards you should replace your code with Data associations and Transformations. Also as a best practice: only keep the data in your project that is really needed, for example Primary/Foreign key values. All relating data needed to display in the screens you can query along using ADF BC. And that's basically what I wanted to learn about.

Another neat subject we've got presented was about the upcoming feature pack that is scheduled for the summer. It is explicitly stated as not being a Patch Set. Because it's not primarily focused on bugfixing but on adding new features. To name a few:
  • Business Rules made simpeler
  • Support for conversation/correlation on message exchanges with multiple external systems. As you can and  should do now with BPEL
  • Migration from Oracle Workflow!
The latter I found very surprising. It has been for years stated that Oracle ends with Oracle Workflow from the end of support of the 10g product-line. A very big pity if you're asking me. I would very much support the idea that Oracle should give Oracle Workflow over to the Open Source community. But that aside. Since in 2004 Collaxa was acquired because of the BPEL PM, it was thought to be the replacement for OWF. Although until SOASuite11g there was no alternative foreseen for OWF's Business Event System. With SOASuite11g there is an alternative in ways of EDN (Event Delivery Network). But because of this migration tool apparently BPM is rightly seen as the replacement of OWF. Although it is kind of late. Because I suppose there are not yet so many OWF Customers left. Oracle should have already convinced them all over to BPEL. Particularly Oracle EBusiness Suite customers could still have complex custom workflows. For those customers the migration to BPM11g would be very interesting.

After all it was a very good and recommendable course. Having worked and talked and dined with more or less Oracle SOA/BPM Specialist all over Europe and the people from Oracle Product Mgt. I hope I have been able to give you a glimpse on the week to get tasty for another round of this event. I hope I can get into the ADF or Webcenter class... Not only because Lissabon is nice...

And now we wait ... , for
  • The sun breaking through in Holland
  • A nice vacation in France
  • ehm, oh yes: the SOA/BPM feature pack to be released this summer

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Oracle Fusion Applications 11g Release 1 (

Since June 7 Oracle has quietly released Fusion Applications v1.0

It can be downloaded from at this moment from it's own Fusion Application section.

If you have 64-bit Linux available you may even install it, without to many hurdles:

Official information about the available 'modules' can be found here

The official pricing is available (since June 27th) from:
for a discussion.

An overview can be found on where you can also find a short description of Fusion Applications Supply Chain, Procurement and Project Portfolio Management.

The documentation can also be downloaded from or may be viewed more easily at
or for the documentation for the System Implementor/ntegrator job role.

The first Fusion Application book by Richard Bingham can be pre-viewed (and ordered) from McGraw-Hill:

Ofcourse I will probably not be able to not discuss this this afternoon while delivering another Oracle Product
Portfolio Overview training. If you are interested, check out:

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Webcenter 11g VM: Add Spaces

As mentioned in my earlier posts, there is a Oracle Virtual Box VM for Webcenter. But it is a VM with Webcenter Portal (11gPS3: It turns out that Webcenter Spaces is not installed.  And since I needed just that for my course-preperations I went looking for a VM that contains spaces. I was directed to the Pre-built Appliances page for the spaces VM but it turns out that the links to download the files were removed, because "in the near future" a new version will be made  available.

So that leaves me with the Webcenter Portal VM. On OTN there is only one download to install Webcenter. So the software of webcenter including spaces is on the VM. The database just does not contain the repository schema's for spaces. So what to do? Well apparently the following:
  1. Run RCU (Repository Creation Utility) for Spaces against the database
  2. Extend the webcenter weblogic domain
  3. Fiddle around somewhat to make things actually working (I found that necessary)
Run the RCU
To be able to run the RCU you have to download the right version ( and unzip it. You can download it from here. Yannick Ogena's blog was a good starting point here, by the way. Expand the nodes under "Prerequisites & Recommended Install Process" of the version. Look for "4 Repository Creation Utility ( for Linux" and download that one. Unzip it somewhere so that you can reach it from inside the VM. A shared folder would be helpful. You could of course FTP/SCP it to the VM, but I don't like that idea since it will unnecessarly expand the vitual disks.
Then start "rcu" from the bin folder.
If you shrunk the database like I did following my previous post on this, you'll hit the error that your processes parameter is too small. It has to be at least 200.
If so increase it like:
SQL> alter system set processes=200 scope=spfile;
System altered.
SQL> shutdown immediate;
SQL> startup

In the "Database Connection Details" screen enter:
  • Hostname: localhost
  • Port: 1521
  • Service name: orcl
  • username: sys
  • password: welcome1 (all database passwords in the Webcenter Portal VM are "welcome1" so it might be handy to use that for all other schema's too)
Then you'll see a screen like:

Check the boxes like above. It will suggest however to create a new prefix "DEV1". Instead  select the existing prefix "DEV". Then you'll mention that some of the schema's allready exist and won't be created. That's fine. Then finish the wizard keeping the defaults and confirm with "OK" after the checks. It will ask for creating non existent Tablespaces. Just confirm with OK.

 At the end you can press close to close the RCU.

Extend the domain
Now the repository is ready, to extend the domain. To do so, start the domain configurator. You can find it in "/u01/app/oracle/product/Middleware/wlserver_10.3/common/bin". Start the script "".

It starts with the screen:
Choose Extend existing Weblogic domain and look for the webcenter domain. It is the folder "/u01/app/oracle/product/Middleware/user_projects/domains/webcenter":

When choosing next you'll be able to select the options to add to the domain. Check the Webcenter options following the next example screendumps:

Then, you'll have to add the connection properties of the different repository schemas. What you can do is select every schema that does not have orcl.localdomain as service and localhost as Host Name. Then enter in the fields in the top of the screen orcl.localdomain as service (just "orcl" is not enough, you have to add "localdomain" as a domain name). Since all the schema's have "welcome1" as a password, you can enter that in the Schema password field. Do not touch the Schema owner field. That won't be changed.

Then finish the wizard. After finishing up the wizard the domain has got some new Manged Servers added. You can start the Admin Server using the "" command in "$DOMAIN_HOME/bin" (in our case: "/u01/app/oracle/product/Middleware/user_projects/domains/webcenter/bin").
After having started the admin server you can browse to http://localhost:7001/console. Log in as:
  • user name: weblogic
  • password: welcome1
At the left you'll see a portlet called "Domain Structure". Open up the "Environment" node and click on servers.
A table with the mananged servers is given:








Except for "WC_Collaboration" all the WC_% servers are added. Each with it's own port number.

A managed server can be started with the ""  command with as an extra parameter the name of the managed server like: WC_Spaces
You can start just the managed servers you'll need.

Tuning the domain
However, when you start the added managed servers, you'll find the error: " <Getting boot identity from user.> " in the log. It seems you can enter the weblogic user but it will fail.
I tried to add the info using the weblogic Admin Server console. But that did not work.

When you start the managed server for the first time, it will add a folder with the name of the managed server in the servers folder within the domain folder, like:
[oel50wc oracle /u01/app/oracle/product/Middleware/user_projects/domains/webcenter/servers]$ ls
AdminServer     domain_bak   WC_Collaboration  WC_Portlet  WC_Utilities
AdminServerTag  UCM_server1  WC_CustomPortal   WC_Spaces

That is: when it is not started for the first time, it will not be there.
To solve the boot-identity problem, add a folder called "security" to the managed-server folder. In that folder a file called "" is expected. You can copy the security folder from for example the "UCM_server1" or "WC_CustomPortal" managed servers. Edit the file with the following values:
At startup of the managed server both values will be encripted.

To start the managed servers you can adapt the script that is provided in the VM. I did not like that, since it has lot's of double code. I like a more modular approach.

When you start all of the managed servers after some time the VM will be very busy with ... swapping! Each of the managed server is started with it's own JVM session. And it turns out that each VM gets an initial heap of 512MB and a max of 1024MB. I think that is somewhat oversized for a demo VM. You can see it in the output of the startup script. Since the first thing it does is to log the memory properties:
JAVA Memory arguments: -Xms512m -Xmx1024m -XX:CompileThreshold=8000 -XX:PermSize=128m  -XX:MaxPermSize=512m 
The settings can be adapted in the "" script in the bin folder of the webcenter domain.
There you'll find the following values:
export XMS_SUN_64BIT
export XMS_SUN_32BIT
export XMX_SUN_64BIT
export XMX_SUN_32BIT

The VM uses 32-bit Linux and the Sun JVM. So the values to change are "XMS_SUN_32BIT" and "XMX_SUN_32BIT" for the min and max heap size respectively. I changed them to "256" and "512". Since each managed server, including the admin server uses the same script, these values are the same for each server. If you might need to adapt for just one managed server then you probably have to copy the scripts specificly for that particular managed server. Or install a node manager...

Together with a downsized database, it has to make to run the VM better.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Webcenter 11g VM: JDeveloper project location

The Webcenter VM on OTN contains a tutorial. The tutorial let you do some excersises with Jdeveloper. I put my projects under /home/oracle/Jdeveloper/mywork. But then it lets you unzip a package into $JDEV_USER_DIR/mywork. It turns out that it the environment variable points to: /u01/JDevApps. I found that it is set in the ".bashrc" script.

Webcenter 11g VM: downsizing the database

This week I started with Webcenter 11g, using the Oracle VirtualBox VM that can be downloaded here.
One of the tips upfront was that the NAT network adapter should be "Internal Network" or "Host Only". Because otherwise the UCM part of the hands-on would not work.

I also changed the memory settings to 3GB at first. But that caused my Windows 7 to stutter. Aparently Windows has became very memory consumptive. On my Linux (Open Suse) it would not have be too much of a problem to raise the VM to 3GB. An 8GB laptop would be nice. So I brought the settings back to a more modest 2,5 GB.

But then I encountered that the install of Oracle DB 11g was pretty basic. And that means  a memory consumption of 700GB only the lonely for the database. I remembered my earlier post to tune Oracle DB11g together with SoaSuite10g on a OEL5 VM.

It was basically about resizing the memory. What I did was to startup an XE database. There I looked at the basic memory settings. For convenience I created a plain init.ora.

For the non-dba's amongst you, you can do that by loging on as internal with:
sqlplus "/ as sysdba"
having set the ORACLE_HOME and ORACLE_SID:
When you logged on as internal you can create an init.ora (also called a pfile) with:
create pfile from spfile;
Then you'll find an init.ora in the $ORACLE_HOME/dbs folder.

For an Oracle XE database the most interesting settings I found were:


The sga_max_size was not set.
So I changed the 11g database with these settings, created a spfile from the pfile again (create spfile from pfile) started it again.

My initorcl.ora:

Mark that I unset the db_cache_size and memory_target. I also replaced the processes parameter with the sessions parameter being 20. These two parameters relate to eachother, one computed from the other.

I found that I had a database of 145MB!But that's some what too small, especially the shared-poolsize being about 64M, while the sga_max_size was 145M.

I changed my sga_max_size to explicitly 250M and the large_pool_size to 100M:
SQL> alter system set sga_max_size=250M scope=spfile;
System altered.
SQL> alter system set shared_pool_size=100M scope=spfile;
System altered.
Then restarting the database resulted in a database of 250M:
Total System Global Area 263639040 bytes
Fixed Size 1299284 bytes
Variable Size 209718444 bytes
Database Buffers 50331648 bytes
Redo Buffers 2289664 bytes

That looks better to me. And having it posted again refreshes it for me.

Update: I now see that in the initorcl.ora I had a sga_max_size of 250. But that should be 250M... Maybe that caused the shared_pool_size and sga_max_size too small.