Friday, 1 December 2017

OSB: Disable Chunked Streaming Mode recommendation

Intro

These weeks I got involved in a document generation performance issue. This ran for several months, maybe years even. But it stayed quite unclear what the actual issue was.

Often we got complaints that document generation from the front-end application (based on Siebel) was taking very long. End users often hit the button several times, but with no luck. Asking further, it did not mean that there appeared a document in the content management system (Oracle UCM/WCC). So, we concluded that it wasn't so much a performance issue, but an exception along the process of document generation. Since we upgraded BI Publisher to 12c, it was figured that it might got something to do with that. But we did not find any problems with BI Publisher, itself. Also, there was an issue with Siebel it's self, but that's also out of the scope of this article.

The investigation

First, on OSB the retry interval of the particular Business Service was decreased from 60 seconds to 10. And the performance increased. Since the retry interval was shorter, OSB does a retry on shorter notice. But of course this did not solve the problem.

As Service developers we often are quite laconical about retries. We make up some settings. Quite default is an interval of 30 seconds and a retry count of 3. But, we should actually think about this and figure out what the possible failures could be and what a sensible retry setting would be. For instance: is it likely that the remote system is out of order? What are the SLA's for hoisting it back up again? If the system startup is 10 minutes, then a retry count of 3 and interval of 30 seconds is not making sense. The retries are done long before the system's up again. But of course, in our case sensible settings for system outage would cause delays being too long. We apparently needed to cater for network issues.

Last week our sysadmins encountered network failures, so they changed the LoadBalancer of BIP Publisher, to get chunks/packets of one requests routed to the same BI Publisher node. I found SocketReadTimeOuts in the logfiles. And from the Siebel database a query was done and plotted out in Excel showing lots of request in the  1-15 seconds range, but also some plots in ranges around 40 seconds and 80 seconds. We wondered why these were.

The Connection and Read TimeOut settings on the Business Service were set to 30s. So I figured the 40 and 80 seconds range could have something to do with a retry interval of 10s added to a time out of 30 seconds.

I soon found out that in OSB on the Business Service, the Chunked Streaming Mode  was enabled. This is a setting we struggled with a lot. Several issues we encountered were blamed on this one. As a Helpdesk employee would ask you if you have restarted your system, on OSB questions I would ask you about this setting first... Actually, I did for this case, long before I got actively involved.

Chunked Streaming Mode explained

Let's start with a diagram:

In this diagram you'll see that the OSB is fronted by a Load Balancer. But since 12c the Oracle HTTP Server is added to the Weblogic Infrastructure. And following the Enterprise Deployment Guide we added an OHS to the Weblogic Infrastructure Domain, as a co-located OHS Instance. And since the OSB as well as the Service Provider (in our case BI Publisher) are clustered, the OHS will load balance the requests.

Now, the Chunked transfer encoding is an HTTP 1.1 specification. It is an improvement that allows clients to process the data in chunks right after the chunk is read. But in most (of our) cases a chunk on itself is meaning-less, since a SOAP Request/XML Document need to be parsed as a whole.
The Load Balancer also process the chunks as separate entities. So,by default, it will route the first one to the first endpoint, and the other one to the next. And thus each SP Managed Server gets an incomplete message and there for a so-called Bad Request. This happens with big requests, where for instance a report is requested together with the complete content. Then chances are that the request is split up in chunks.

But although the SysAdmins adapted the SP Load Balancer, and although I was involved in the BIPublisher 12c setup, even I forgot about the BIP12c OHS! And even when the LoadBalancer tries to keep the chunks together, then again the OHS will mess with them. Actually, if the LoadBalancer did not keep them together, the OHS instances could reroute them again to the correct end-node.

The Solution

So for all those Service Bus developers amongst you, I'd like you to memorize two concepts: "Chunked Streaming Mode" and "disable", and the latter in combination with the first, of course.
In short: remember to set Chunked Streaming Mode to disable in every SOAP/http based Business Service. Especially with services that send potentially large requests, for instance document check-in services on Content/Document Management Systems.

The proof of the pudding

After some discussion and not being able to test it on the Acceptance Test environment, due to rebuilds, we decided to change this in production (I would/should not recommend that, at least not right away).

And this was the result:


This picture shows that the first half of the day, plenty requests were retried at least once, and several even twice. Notice the request durations around the 40 seconds (30 seconds read timeout + 10 seconds retry interval) and 80 seconds. But since 12:45, when we disabled the Chunked Streaming Mode we don't see any timeout exceptions any more. I hope the end users are happy now.

Or how a simple setting can throw a spanner in the works. And how difficult it is to get such a simple change into production. Personally I think it's a pity that the Chunked Streaming Mode is enabled by default, since in most cases it causes problems, while in rare cases it might provide some performance improvements. I think you should rationalize the enablement of it, in stead of actively needing to disable it.

Friday, 24 November 2017

BPM BAC Subversion Server refusing connections Revised

A little background

In April I wrote about our BPM Server installation, that is actually a single host cluster on dev and test. But installed like it was a dual-node  server, so we had a cloned domain.

A BPM installation has a component that is called the Process Asset Manager. Under the hood it uses a replicated SubVersion server. Each node has one, so they had to synchronize. But since we're on the same host, we needed to differentiate in port numbers. Although we used virtual host names for each server node. In an article in april 'BPM BAC Subversion Server refusing connections' I wrote about that.

It turns out: it did not work appropriately. After some investigation, apparently the bac_node1/subversion server calls the subversion server on bac_node2, with it's own address, but with the port of the other:
...
<Jul 24, 2017, 2:37:29,543 PM CEST> <Debug> <oracle.bpm.bac.svnserver.replication> <darlin01> <bpm_server1> <Active Sync Thread [/54680efc-9328-478e-953c-834bbb250725/]> <<anonymous>> <> <20a54a15-d8d8-4e58-a4f6-11a90e992967-00000008> <1500899849543> <[severity-value: 128] [rid: 0:490:13:19] [partition-id: 0] [partition-name: DOMAIN] > <BEA-000000> <[oracle.bpm.log.Logger:debug] About to synchronize against node Member(Id=2, Timestamp=2017-07-12 08:01:13.309, Address=10.0.0.38:37055, MachineId=9002, Location=site:tst.darwin-it.local,machine:bpm_machine1,process:24566,member:bpm_server2, Role=bpm_cluster), url svn://syncuser@t-bpm-1-bpm-1-vhn.tst.darwin-it.local:8424/54680efc-9328-478e-953c-834bbb250725>
...

Of course there's no listen address so unsurprisingly we get errors like:
...
[2017-05-30T12:55:51.704+02:00] [bpm_server1] [ERROR] [] [oracle.bpm.bac.svnserver.replication] [tid: Active Sync Thread [/b91abb78-6b3d-4448-af6a-e82125f261f0/]] [userId: ] [ecid: ed0bc6ce-fefb-4608-8dbe-46f7206a1573-0000000a,0:527] [APP: OracleBPMBACServerApp] [partition-name: DOMAIN] [tenant-name: GLOBAL] org.tmatesoft.svn.core.SVNException: svn: E210003: connection refused by the server[[
oracle.bpm.bac.subversion.server.repository.exceptions.RepositoryException: org.tmatesoft.svn.core.SVNException: svn: E210003: connection refused by the server
at oracle.bpm.bac.subversion.server.repository.exceptions.RepositoryException.wrap(RepositoryException.java:56)
at oracle.bpm.bac.subversion.server.repository.SVNKitRepositorySession.getRepositoryUUID(SVNKitRepositorySession.java:98)
at oracle.bpm.bac.subversion.server.repository.RepositorySVNSync.sync(RepositorySVNSync.java:74)
at oracle.bpm.bac.subversion.server.repository.RepositorySVNSync.sync(RepositorySVNSync.java:59)
at oracle.bpm.bac.subversion.server.repository.ha.aa.ActiveAARepository$Synchronizer.runImpl(ActiveAARepository.java:341)
at oracle.bpm.bac.subversion.server.repository.ha.aa.ActiveAARepository$Synchronizer.run(ActiveAARepository.java:304)
at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:748)
Caused by: org.tmatesoft.svn.core.SVNException: svn: E210003: connection refused by the server
at org.tmatesoft.svn.core.internal.wc.SVNErrorManager.error(SVNErrorManager.java:85)
at org.tmatesoft.svn.core.internal.wc.SVNErrorManager.error(SVNErrorManager.java:69)
at org.tmatesoft.svn.core.internal.io.svn.SVNPlainConnector.open(SVNPlainConnector.java:62)
at org.tmatesoft.svn.core.internal.io.svn.SVNConnection.open(SVNConnection.java:77)
at org.tmatesoft.svn.core.internal.io.svn.SVNRepositoryImpl.openConnection(SVNRepositoryImpl.java:1252)
at org.tmatesoft.svn.core.internal.io.svn.SVNRepositoryImpl.testConnection(SVNRepositoryImpl.java:95)
at org.tmatesoft.svn.core.io.SVNRepository.getRepositoryUUID(SVNRepository.java:280)
at oracle.bpm.bac.subversion.server.repository.SVNKitRepositorySession.getRepositoryUUID(SVNKitRepositorySession.java:95)
... 5 more
Caused by: java.net.ConnectException: Connection refused (Connection refused)
at java.net.PlainSocketImpl.socketConnect(Native Method)
at java.net.AbstractPlainSocketImpl.doConnect(AbstractPlainSocketImpl.java:350)
at java.net.AbstractPlainSocketImpl.connectToAddress(AbstractPlainSocketImpl.java:206)
at java.net.AbstractPlainSocketImpl.connect(AbstractPlainSocketImpl.java:188)
at java.net.SocksSocketImpl.connect(SocksSocketImpl.java:392)
at java.net.Socket.connect(Socket.java:589)
at org.tmatesoft.svn.core.internal.util.SVNSocketFactory.connect(SVNSocketFactory.java:112)
at org.tmatesoft.svn.core.internal.util.SVNSocketFactory.createPlainSocket(SVNSocketFactory.java:68)
at org.tmatesoft.svn.core.internal.io.svn.SVNPlainConnector.open(SVNPlainConnector.java:53)
... 10 more

]] 

(to get this page searchable).

Solution

But now, since this week, Oracle Support presents us.... (drum rolls)  Patch 26775572 for version 12.2.1.2.0, the official fix for this issue, is finally ready and available for download.
I hope to be able to install it next monday. But feel free to try with me: 'Patch 26775572: BAC node using the wrong port when attempts synchronization with Virtual IP '

By the way, for about 2 months we have diagnostic patch running that solves this. But named patch is the official delivery of our diagnostic variant.

By the way, since 12.2.1.3.0 is out in the field for quite some time already, I expect that this did not landed in that version yet. If you're running in the same issue for 12.2.1.3.0 then create a SR to request for a port of this patch.


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

SOASuite 12c: keep running instances using ANT

At my current customer I implemented a poor man's devops solution for Release and Deploy. It was based on a framework created as bunch of Ant projects, that I created years ago. It was based on scripts from Edwin Biemond. See for instance here, here and here. I never wrote about my solution, because although I refactored them quite intensively, the basics were already described thoroughly by him.

What I did was that I modularized the lot, split the environment property files, added logging, added OSB 12c  support, based on the config jar tool, etc.

One thing I ran into this week was that at first deployment from our team to the test environment using my framework, the running instances for the BPM projects were aborted.

Now, if you take a look at the deploy.sarLocation target in Edwin's article about deploying soa suite composites  you'll find that he also supported the overwrite and forceDefault properties.

When re-deploying a composite from JDeveloper you're probably familiar with the 'keep running instances' checkbox. I was looking for the ANT alternative in the ${oracle.home}/bin/ant-sca-deploy.xml scripting. First I looked in the 12c docs (see 47.9.4 How to Use ant to Deploy a SOA Composite Application), but it is not documented there.

But when I opened the particular ant-sca-deploy.xml script I read:
 <condition property="overwrite" value="false">
    <not>
      <isset property="overwrite"/>
    </not>
  </condition>
  <condition property="forceDefault" value="true">
    <not>
      <isset property="forceDefault"/>
    </not>
  </condition>
  <condition property="keepInstancesOnRedeploy" value="false">
    <not>
      <isset property="keepInstancesOnRedeploy"/>
    </not>
  </condition>
 ...
  <target name="deploy">
    <input message="Please enter server URL:" addproperty="serverURL"/>
    <input message="Please enter sar location:" addproperty="sarLocation"/>
    <input message="Please enter username:" addproperty="user"/>
    <input message="Please enter password:" addproperty="password">
      <handler classname="org.apache.tools.ant.input.SecureInputHandler" />
    </input>
    <deployComposite serverUrl="${serverURL}" sarLocation="${sarLocation}" realm="${realm}" user="${user}" password="${password}"
      overwrite="${overwrite}" forceDefault="${forceDefault}" keepInstancesOnRedeploy="${keepInstancesOnRedeploy}"
      regenerateRuleBase="${regenerateRuleBase}" configPlan="${configplan}" scope="${scope}"
      sysPropFile="${sysPropFile}" failOnError="${failOnError}" timeout="${timeout}" folder="${folder}"/>
  </target>

So, the script kindly supports the keepInstancesOnRedeploy property. And thus I implemented a deploy.keepInstancesOnRedeploy property the same way as the deploy.forceDefault/deploy.overwrite properties.

This probably is usefull for Maven based (re-)deployments.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Enable WebService test client on SOA/BPM production mode environments

At my current assignment I need to trouble shoot the identity service because of a BPM->OID coupling. I use the support document 1327140.1 for it, that suggest to test http://<soa-server>:<port>/integration/services/IdentityService/identity

Doing so in a production mode soa or bpm environment, you'll soon find out that it uses the WebService test client via uri /ws_utc, and that this does not work. Resulting in http-404 Not found errors.

First I found a blog of Maarten of Amis mentioning this as well. But unfortunately, he could not get around it either. But luckily I found note 1915317.1, that tells me that the WebServices test Client is not enabled by default.

You can enable it on your domain via the EM:

And then expand the Advanced node:


Check the 'Enable Web Service Test Page' check box.

Since it is about a production mode environment, you need to 'lock & edit'. The note suggests to do that in the /console and then do the change in /em. And back in /console do the activate. I found that peculiar, since you can do it in the change center in /em as well.

You need to restart the servers (apparently including the AdminServer) to get this in effect.

So now lunch and check if my restart worked.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Implementing the KeyStore Service with Fusion MiddleWare 12c

For the passphrases, use the passphrases used earlier.Thinking about TLS (Transport Layer Security, the succesor of Secure Socket Layer, SSL) and WebLogic and Oracle HTTP Server, allways gave me Cold Water Fear. You have to create keystores with keys, wallets, certificate signing requests, import signed and trusted certificate chains. Not to mention the configuration of WebLogic and OHS.

Now, creating keystores with the Java Keytool turns out not that hard. And generating the Certificate signing requests and importing the certificates are also a walk in the park, nowadays. The internet world is full of example so I'm not going to do that here.

But lately, our Service Bus developers found that they needed to replace the configured demo identity and trust key stores with Custom Stores. But this broke the connection between the AdminServer and the Nodemanagers, resulting in TLS/SSL Handshake errors. By default, the nodemanagers work with the demo-identities when running in TLS.

This drove us to work out an infrastructural configuration of TLSin our FMW environments, in a  way that the SB developers can extend that with their certificates.

In this article I want to describe how to configure TLSin Weblogic using the KeyStore Service, and also how to reconfigure the nodemanagers to have them running TLS using the custom stores.

Keystores and the KeyStore Service (KSS)

When implementing in TLS in Fusion MiddleWare 12c you have the choice to use the new KeyStore Service for creating keys and certificates directly in the KSS, or the Java Key Tool.

Until now WebLogic preferred a Java Key Store (JKS) for storing certificates. This is a file that functions as a vault to store your keys and certificates savely. You can use the commandline tool Keytool that is delivered with the JDK. But there are several graphical tools, like Portecle, that can make your encrypting life even more simple.

Since a keystore is a atomic file, you need to copy it or put it on a share to have a complete multi-node clustered domain use the same store.

Per Fusion MiddleWare 12c Oracle introduced the KeyStoreService. The KSS is part of the Oracle Platform Security Services, and stores the keys in so-called Stripes in the MDS. For some components it is necessary to sync them to a keystores.xml file in the domain. But we'll get to that.
The KSS enables you to create, delete and manage keystores from the Enterprise Manager/FustionMiddleWare Control.

As said, you can start with creating your keys using the KSS. We however did choose not to. We started with creating a JKS using the KeyTool. The reaons for that were:
  • Using the keytool, you can already create a store and a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) before configuring your domain.
  • We wanted to make sure we had the configuration of Weblogic and Nodemanager correct, before transition to KSS. 
  • With a JKS you have a backup of your identity in case you mess up your configuration. Keep in mind that you need to import the CSR into the keystore from where you generated the key. Even a new JKS created the exact sameway won't work.
  • Using OraPKI, you can migrate your certificates from a JKS to a wallet. We are still in the 'figure-out-phase' of implementing OHS with KSS.
  • Oh, and we wanted to have scripts and easy to document commands for creating and importing the stores.

Identity and Trust Store

So we started with creating  an Identity Keystore with the Java Keytool, created a CSR and had it signed.
We had several virtual hostnames refering to the hostname (darlin001.org.darwin-it.local) loadbalancer (o-dwn-1.ont.org.darwin-it.local), managed servers (o-dwn-1-dwn-1-vhn.ont.org.darwin-it.local), Admin Virtual host (o-dwn-1-admin-vhn.ont.org.darwin-it.loca), etc. To have them accepted with the same certificate, you need to create the Certificate Signing Request with an extention called 'Subject Alternative Names'. This can be done with the -ext parameter including the SAN keyword as follows:
... -ext SAN=dns:darlin001.org.darwin-it.local,dns:o-dwn-1-admin-vhn.ont.org.darwin-it.local,dns:o-dwn-1-dwn-1-vhn.ont.org.darwin-it.local,dns:o-dwn-1-dwn-2-vhn.ont.org.darwin-it.local,dns:o-dwn-1-ohs-1-vhn.ont.org.darwin-it.local,dns:o-dwn-1-internal.ont.org.darwin-it.local,dns:o-dwn-1-admin.ont.org.darwin-it.local,dns:o-dwn-1.ont.org.darwin-it.local
This is a comma seperated list, with each addres need to be prefixed with dns:. See also the keytool documentation.

Don't forget to add the Common Name (CN) to the SAN, since clients are supposed to ignore the CN, when using a SAN. Also you need to add the -ext SAN parameter to the CSR. You can use it when creating the Key, but that's not enough for the CSR.

For the Trust Store, I copied the cacerts from the JDK. I changed the password and imported the CA and root certificates. But you need to consider if you want to accept all the JDK's trusted certificates. Or only those you really need to trust.

 Scope of the Keystore

We choose to have the domain the scope of the keystore, not the host. So as a CommonName I choose the loadbalancer address. The thing is that we want to have the managed servers use the same keystore. And with a whole server migration, a managed server could migrate to a new host, that is not yet in the certificate. Although we add the known hosts, we could be forced to use a new host. And with whole server migrations, you can't way for your CSR to be signed.
As name of the keystores and the identity alias I choose a reference to our domain name. As an environment shortage I choose 'dwn', that could also refer to the type of environment. Like BPM, OSB, SOA, etc. The first letter ('o') denotes the development environment (Dutch: 'ontwikkeling'). And the digit denotes the environment number, where you could have multiple development or test environment.

Import KeyStores into KSS

Having created your KeyStores and made sure Weblogic works with them, you can import them into the KSS. The UI (EM) does allow you to create a keystore, and import certificates. It does not allow you to import a complete JKS. But you can do so using WLST. This caters also for my quest to script as much as possible.

The commands are executed in WLST Online mode, connected to the AdminServer. So start wlst and connect to the AdminServer.

In the following command commands, I use the following environment variables:
  • $JAVA_HOME: refering to, yes, you're right....
  • $JKS_LOC=/u01/oracle/config/keystore
  • $JKS_NAME=o-dwn-1.jks
  • $JKS_TRUST_NAME=o-dwn-1-trust.jks
Connected to your AdminServer you need to get a handle on the 'KeyStoreService object', that has methods to do the imports,  etc.:
wls:/o-dwn-1_domain/serverConfig/> svc = getOpssService(name='KeyStoreService')

With the handle you can import the Identity keystore:
wls:/o-dwn-1_domain/domainRuntime/> svc.importKeyStore(appStripe='system', name='o-dwn-1-id', password='<password>', aliases='o-dwn-1', keypasswords='<password>', type='JKS', permission=false, filepath='/u01/oracle/config/keystore/o-dwn-1.jks')
Already in Domain Runtime Tree 

Keystore imported. Check the logs if any entry was skipped.

The parameters aliases and keypasswords contain a comma-separated list of key-aliases and corresponding key-passphrases.
My advise would be to use the same password for your key as for your keystore. Many products (like Oracle B2B) allow you to provide only one password, that is used for both.

Importing the Trust Store, works similar:
svc.importKeyStore(appStripe='system', name='o-dwn-1-trust', password='<password>', aliases='ca_dwn_org,our-root-ca', keypasswords='none,none', type='JKS', permission=false, filepath='/u01/oracle/config/keystore/o-dwn-1-trust.jks')
Already in Domain Runtime Tree

Keystore imported. Check the logs if any entry was skipped.

One thing with Trusts: they don't contain Keys. So no keyprases are applicable. But the keypasswords property is mandatory and also need to contain the same number of passphrases as there are aliases named to be imported in the KSS. Apparently it is sufficient to use 'none' as a passphrase.

A wallet can also be imported the same way. For a type then choose 'OracleWallet', and in filepath a reference to the wallet folder.

To check the content of the keystore, we can list it:
wls:/o-dwn-1_domain/domainRuntime/> svc.listKeyStoreAliases(appStripe="system",name="o-dwn-1-id",password='<password>',type="*")
Already in Domain Runtime Tree

o-dwn-1

And for the trust:
wls:/o-dwn-1_domain/domainRuntime/> svc.listKeyStoreAliases(appStripe="system",name="o-dwn-1-trust",password='<password>',type="*")
Already in Domain Runtime Tree

ca_dwn_org
our-root-ca

Now the keystores are in the KSS. You can see them in EM. But some FMW components like nodemanagers, (but it appeared to me even Weblogic Servers), don't work right away. They can't look into the KSS, but use a keystores.xml file in the ${DOMAIN_HOME}/config/fmwconfig. This turns out to be an export of the keystores. To synchronize the KSS with that file you need to do:
wls:/o-dwn-1_domain/domainRuntime/> syncKeyStores(appStripe='system',keystoreFormat='KSS')
Already in Domain Runtime Tree

Keystore sync successful.

List the content of KSS with FMW Control

To list the KSS within FMW Control, logon and navigate to Weblogic Domain -> Security -> Keystore:
This brings you to the content of the KSS with the particular Stripes. For Weblogic we used the system stripe to import our custom keystores:

Select a store, and click the manage button in the bar. It will ask for the keystore password (the one you used creating the JKS with the keytool). Then it shows:


Here you can import, export certificates, create keypairs and generate a CSR for it.

Reconfigure Weblogic

Now we can proceed in configuring Weblogic and the nodemanagers.

For the weblogic servers, logon to the Admin console, navigate to the particular Server, tab Keystores and select 'Custom Identity Keystore and Custom Trust keystore' in the pop-list.

Then enter the following values:
Attribute
Value
Custom Identity Keystore kss://system/o-dwn-1-id
Custom Identity Keystore Type KSS
Custom Trust Keystore kss://system/o-dwn-1-trust
Custom Trust Keystore Type KSS

For the passphrases, use the passphrases used earlier.
Then on the SSL tab you can provide the Identity alias and the key-passphrase.

Restart the Server (or at least Restart the SSL, under the control tab).

Reconfigure Nodemanagers for KSS

For the nodemanager, navigate to the nodemanager.properties file in ${DOMAIN_HOME}/nodemanager.
At the top of the file add the following properties:
KeyStores=CustomIdentityAndCustomTrust
CustomIdentityKeyStoreFileName=kss://system/o-dwn-1-id
CustomIdentityKeyStoreType=KSS
CustomIdentityKeyStorePassPhrase=
CustomIdentityAlias=o-dwn-1
CustomIdentityPrivateKeyPassPhrase=

Restart the nodemanager and check if it succesfully loads the kss://system/o-dwn-1-id as a keystore and starts the listener in SSL mode.

Then in the AdminServer console, under Domain Structure -> Machines -> <Machine_Name> check if the NodeManager is 'Reachable'.

Conclusion

That's about it. Don't forget to Sync the KSS in wlst, when the nodemanager does not restart properly and the managed/admin server could not start SSL properly.

 I hope I'll soon be able to write down the directions to reconfigure SSL in OHS to use the KSS. But as said we're still in the 'figure-out-phase'.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

PCS and Correlations: the next big thing cavemen already used...

You can use BPM, BPEL or Workflow to orchestrate or direct regular processes to get a job done from the beginning through a certain flow with a few decision-points, alternate and parallel flows to the end. A common use that is fine and usefull for most projects. And it can be seen as the driver for software companies to develop process/workflow engines.

However, there are cases that one process spawns off multiple other process instances that are some how related to one particular business case, involved person, or a uniquely distinguishable entity. And often those processes have to interact, with each other. For instance, this year in Split I came up with an idea for a role playing advanture game using chatbots and PCS. Each player would initiate a PCS instance, that when interacting with each other can detect if players meet each other at a certain location.

Correlation Sets are key here...

Right after the acquisition of Collaxa in 2004, in my Oracle Consulting era, I got the chance to be a BPEL trainer for Oracle University, doing several trainings for a few bigger consulting companies in the Netherlands. One of the subjects was about Asynchronous Processes and how the Process Manager used WS-Addressing to correlate the response to the running instance that sent out the request. But together with that Correlation Sets were mentioned. And I did not understand it: why would you need Correlation Sets when the Process Manager handles it all transparently using WS-Addressing? Otherwise put: it was time for me to do some projects.

PCS, BPM Suite and SOA Suite share the same process engine that originated from the early BPEL Process Engine. And as you can detect from my anecdote: Correlation Sets are key in this story. And this functionality is around from the medieval ages. In fact, recently they discovered char-coal drawings in a cave in France, indicating that people form pre-historic times already used Correlation Sets in their BPEL's...

Prototype this...

Let's say you have a customer that is a large company with several responsible participants that are allowed to sign the contract. Some of them are full-authorised signers, while others only have partial authorisation. So either one of the fully authorised participants signs, which would complete the contract, or some of the partial signers have signed that pass the contract over the signing threshold.

For this case we keep it simple: either one of the full authorised participant should have signed or all of the partial signers should have signed. But we'll handle this in a (set of) business rule(s), so it can be made more complex to resemble real-world cases.

The singing process spawns off single signing processes for each participant asynchronously:
This is a quite simple looping, as explained in my previous PCS-Article. This can be made simpler using a multi-instance embedded sub-process:

However, for us, this was a later addition.

This single sign process results in a task for the particular signer. When signed it will respond back to the main signing process, that receives the responses of the actual signers:
For every respondent it checks if it results in the contract being fully signed. If it isn't it will wait for a subsequent sign-response. For the technical interested: since this Receive is coupled to the end activity of the signle-sign process:
it is using the earlier mentioned WS-Addressing to correlate each responding asynchronous sub-process to this particular instance. When one or more signers respond just at the moment the process is busy with determining if it has to wait for another receive, these responses are kept by the process manager and delivered at the moment the process instance activates the receive activity again.

Now the thing is, when the contract is fully signed, there still can be several single sign process active. For each of those a task resides in the task-list of the particular participant, but that does not add to the signing-validity of the contract anymore. Those tasks need to be withdrawn:
In this loop, all the signers are checked and for those that did not sign yet, a Withdraw Signing Event is thrown. Correlated to the single signing instance will cause that process to end, removing the particular task from the participants list.

Let's get into the details...

The list of signers is defined as:



We need to know the signers for a contract.  For each Signer we have some attributes. Two toggles are important here:
  • signed: did the signer sign the contract?
  • fullSignAuthority: is the signer fully authorised to sign the contract? 
I also declared a separate object to contain a list of signers. I don't like list based attributes among single attributes. I want to make it explicit that an attribute contains a list of elements.

The main sign process is initiated with a BusinessCustomerSignEvent:
It contains a reference to the Chamber of Commerce number and the account, opportunity and quote id's in SalesCloud or Configure Price Quote Cloud Services. But also the list of Signers component.

When initiating the Single Sign Process, the BusinessCustomerSingleSignEvent is used:
As shown, its the same as the BusinessCustomerSignEvent exept for the signer: it's a single element here. But to be able to identify the particular signer, we introduced a signerIndex.

Then, lastly, there is the WithdrawSigner event:
Here the signer is not particularly important. The correlating attributes are:
  • accountPartyId
  • opportunityId
  • signerIndex
These correlating attributes are defined by the accountPartyId identifying the customer. For that customer, multiple opportunities can arrise. So actually the contract relates to a particular opportunity. And each signer is identified by a sequence/index.

Implementing the details...

First the Single Sign Process is modelled like:


Referring to the Single Sign Process, defining the correlation starts with defining the correlation key:

This pane is called using the 'shuffle'-icon in the button bar, next to the play button.

The Correlation Key is used to identify a Correlation Set, and can consist of one or more properties. Those properties are then mapped to the correlating activities. You define a key using the plus icon. Then you define one or more properties. Then you assign those to the key, using the shuttle icons in the middle.

The  process starts with the Single Sign event, with the interface defined based on the BusinessCustomerSignEvent :

 But the interesting part are the correlations:

In the properties of the Start activity, click on the Correlations tab.
Since it it's a Start event, the only possible choice we have is to initialize a correlation set.
You need to add a correlation key, the one you defined before.

Then map the properties of the key to attributes of the events arguments.

When the Single Sign proces is initiated, the flow splits in a parallel flow. Both conditional paths are based on the condition that the signed attribute is false. If the signed attribute is true, however unlikely, the process is ended.

As can be seen the flow separates into branches leading to a Sign Contract activity, and a Catch  Withdraw Signer Event  activity. So, both are waiting. The Catch event is based on the WithdrawSigner event and is also based on the correlation key:

Here we have the option to Initialize a correlation key. But, in this case this is not quite sensible. We do want to correlate to the earlier initialized Correlation Set. And here we map the properties to the attributes of the WithdrawSigner event activity argument.

Sharp eyes would notice that the Sign Contract Activity has a boundary event on it:
It also catches a WithdrawSigner event, with a comparable correlation set. Actually, this boundary event could have sufficed for our case. But then the process would be boringly simple... And I wanted to show also a construct that allows for intra-process interactions. Here events are thrown and catched between the branches within an instance.

Flowing through the Single Sign process


So, what happens is that either a signer signs the contract, or the main process throws a WithdrawSigner event.

If the Signer signs, the WithdrawSigner Catch event needs to be released. So, in the main flow after the Sign Contract activity, a throw WithdrawSigner event is done:
 It targets the Withdraw Signer event, from the same process. The flow will look like:


This releases the Catch event in the lower flow-branch.
When this signer was a full signer, the main process flows on to do a withdraw of the not signed signer-tasks:
It would be nice to drill down into the decision functions. They're partly used as Script Tasks. And partly to determine the looping. The Check Signing Status checks if one of the fully authorised signers signed, or if there aren't any partial signers that haven't signed yet.

Maybe the most interesting one is the Determine Signers to Withdraw Tasks for:

If the signer has signed, then the signer is removed from the list. This adds to the list functions mentioned in my previous article. The resulting list is traversed to throw a withdraw event for each of the tasks.

If the main process throws a Withdraw Signing Event for an instance, and the signer has not signed then (which is probably the case), it should throw an event to the cancel the Sign Contract boundary event:
What results in a flow like:


And this will remove the tasks from the lists of all the participants.

Conclusion

This was one of the nicest constructs I made in PCS so far. In the "BPEL pre-history" I found that the Correlation Set concept was a very differentiating feature in the Process Engine market. I could not solve some of the more complex problems in the past without Correlation Sets. Maybe this experience made me very fond of this feature. And it's nice to be able to demonstrate it in PCS.

As said, the Boundary event on the Sign Contract activity would already suffice. It turned out I did not need the complex parallel flow with the extra branch to wait for the Withdraw Signer event. But wouldn't you agree this process looks more interesting? It at least also demonstrates how to release blocking paralallel branches within a process.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Process Cloud Service and how to loop and select elements from a list

For more than half a year I've been 'dying' to write posts about some of the constructs I've developed in my last Process Cloud Service project. At last I have the opportunity. And I hope I'll be able to write some more. But for starters, one of the problems I encountered is that I needed to process a list of something(s) and select elements from it. Or even better, how to build up a new list based on an input-list and some rules. Oh and do looping, or actually determine how to finish a loop based on a list of elements. Without a count() function in the PCS Expressions...

Questions

If you have met these kinds of problems and the tool at hand is PCS, then you probably ran in (some of) the following questions:
  • Why don't we try to solve this in SOA CS or possibly ICS?
  • Where are the script tasks we have in BPM Suite? (Sorry, this is an obvious one, but still)
  • How to count the elements of a list? Or, where are the functions in PCS?
  • How to add elements to a list?
  • Etc.
To address a few of those...

Many of these things we ran into are actually orchestration issues. And as with the all-time discussions on when to use SOA and when BPM, we advise doing complex service orchestration  (with message processing) in SOA CS, or if possible in ICS. But when we started with this project, the tools we were given were PCS and ICS. And where ICS lacked the more advanced logic processing in the orchestration integrations, at the time (it's improved over time). And sometimes it really is fun to try to accomplish things that were mentioned not being possible. Go where no man has gone before, that sort of stuff.

Script tasks? I guess PCS Product Management gets tired of answering this question. But the real thing is: we do need to do determinations based on the outcome of services. But also doing logic before doing an activity. In the input data association of an activity, you can only assign into the input-arguments of the activity. You can't update process variables. You can do that in the output data-association. But not all activities have a output-data-associations. And there are cases where you don't have an applicable previous activity. For instance in loops.

The case

Let's get into a case. Let's say you have a list of product-subscriptions that your customer has acquired from you. And for some reason some of those products need a review. In our case the customer faces a takeover, and is part of a hierarchy. So you want to fetch all the applicable products in the company hierarchy and add all of those in a list of Review Product Tasks.

The list of products is acquired by calling an ICS service that fetches a list of products from SalesCloudService and calls Oracle Policy Automation to filter the applicable products from the list. That's the list we need to add to the list that should contain the Review Product Tasks for products acquired from all the companies in the hierarchy. The result list looks like:
The cocNumber is the Chamber of Commerce number of the company. For the rest we keep things simple.

The part of interest of the process is:
In the basis, its not that hard. Except for:
  • I don't have an other activity with an output data-association in the loop to do calculations to base my test upon.
  • Again, we don't have script tasks with functions. So I miss-use a decision function as a script task. Which does the job quite well by the way.
  • Oh, and the nice thing of the Business Rules Engine (the same as used in SOASuite and BPM Suite) is that it does have functions. But we'll get into the magic of that in a minute.
The first activity is the service call to the ICS service.  In the output we copy the response message to a DO and it initializes the productIdx to 1. It's a nice example of the fact that we can do (simple) calculations and Data Object manipulations in the output data-association. Those aren't confined to the arguments of the activity.
Within the response message we have a list of products, but of course, those are in the structure of the service definition. We need to copy the elements over to the input of the decision function.

The input of the Add Review Product Task decision function looks like:

The output is:

So in goes the list of products and the product to add. The Decision Functions results into an updated list.
But, how to do that?
First, let's look in to the input data association:

The first rule is to copy the reviewProductTasksDO (the list we're building) to the corresponding input argument. Then the particular product is created by entering the different elements. As said, some where in the structure of the response message of the ICS service, we have a list of products. Using the productIdx variable we select one if the products and that indexed product is copied element by element.

Now, the rule is:

The first 2 conditions are actually declarations of identifiers we refer to in the rest of the rule: reviewProductTask, being the single object as input  and reviewProductTaskList containing the list of reviewProductTasks. Then we only want to add the reviewProductTask if it does not exist, to prevent the rule getting into a infinite loop. Since reviewProductTaskList is in fact an object that has an attribute being a list of reviewProductTask elements, that list contains a set of functions. One of those is the contains() function:
reviewProductTaskList.reviewProductTask.contains(reviewProductTask)

The goal of this function is quite obvious, it returns true() or false(). If the contains() function returns true, then a a call action is performed. And there the magic happens:
reviewProductTaskList.reviewProductTask.append

The reviewProductTaskList.reviewProductTask list also has an append() function. The input of that is the reviewProductTask object variable, the same that went into contains() as a parameter. The real nice thing? This also works in BPM Suite and SOA Suite! Remember? The Business Rules Engine in those products is the exact same thing! To me this was a bit of a revelation. I wasn't aware of the list functions in BRE.

So, now the rule is fired and the list is extended. We need to assign the result to the particular DataObject. So the output data association is:
Quite obvious, again, but the output argument, being the reviewProductTasksOut object, needs to be assigned to the reviewProductTasksDO Data Object. But also the productIdx needs to be increased.

The Decision Function activity loops back to the Exclusive Gateway. How to determine if we're done? Remember we don't have a count() function in the expression builder? The trick is done in the No-transition:





The condition is:
getCriticalProductsResponseMessage4TakeOverCpyDO.data.products.product[productIdx] == null 
When the productIdx is increased and it gets a value greater then the number of product elements in the list, then indexing that (non-existent) product will lead to null. And that can be tested.

And again, it's too obvious, and yet it took me a while to get to this.

The check if we need to get another company in the hierarchy is comparable, only it is indicated by the ICS service. If it is the top-level company, then it has no reference to a parent:
getCriticalProductsResponseMessage4TakeOverCpyDO.data.parentAccountPartyId != null

Conclusion

It might seem so obvious when you read this. And I suppose it is. But, some of those constructs and tests/conditions are not so apparent from the UI. So I hope I have been able to get some of you at the right track.

In one of the follow-up blog-posts I'd like to address Correlations.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Weblogic log level mapping

For quite some time now I wondered about the differences in log-levels. For instance, if you configure the log levels in the classes in SB12c or SOA Suite,  You see levels as INCIDENT , ERROR, and TRACE, even with several sub leverls (1, 16, 32). But on the Server Log configuration in Weblogic, you see levels a s ERROR, NOTICE and DEBUG, or TRACE.  And then in Java, JDK logging we even have other log levels.

Today I experienced the urge to look it up and fout this nice document. It describes the configuration of logging in Fusion Middleware. It contains this nice table:


ODL
WebLogic Server
Java
OFF OFF 2147483647 - OFF
INCIDENT_ERROR:1 (EMERGENCY) 1100
INCIDENT_ERROR:4 EMERGENCY 1090
INCIDENT_ERROR:14 ALERT 1060
INCIDENT_ERROR:24 CRITICAL 1030
ERROR:1 (ERROR) 1000 - SEVERE
ERROR:7 ERROR 980
WARNING:1 WARNING 900 - WARNING
WARNING:7 NOTICE 880
NOTIFICATION:1 INFO 800 – INFO
NOTIFICATION:16 (DEBUG) 700 - CONFIG
TRACE:1 (DEBUG) 500 – FINE
TRACE:1 DEBUG 495
TRACE:16 (TRACE) 400 - FINER
TRACE:32 (TRACE) 300 - FINEST
TRACE:32 TRACE 295

This helps quite neatly. Especially, because to have ODL logging get through to the Server log-files, you need to set the appropriate level on the Weblogic server.

Friday, 30 June 2017

OHS URL Rewrite

First half of this year I did two SAML2 implementations on Weblogic. One of those was to implement Single Sign On against ADFS for Apex applications.

In short, we installed an adapted version of ORDS on a Weblogic server and configured SAML2 for Service Provider initiated SSO, as can be read here.

We added an Oracle HTTP Server as reversed proxy to the story. For the other customer I found out how to create a separate saml2 routing, since we wanted a SP specific URI, but Weblogic only listen to the /saml2 URI. I solved that using the PathTrim and PathPrepend options in OHS, as can be read here.

But one thing that left was a 'Nice' URI. When we now want to get to the application we need to have an url like https://host.customer.nl/ords/f?p=ApexId  But we wanted to use something like https://apexappname.customer.nl. I thought to be smart and just do a PathPrepend of ords/f?p=ApexId. But this is considered to be a folder, so OHS/Apache adds a trailing slash '/', resulting in an url like: https://host.customer.nl/ords/f?p=ApexId/  .This routes to Apex nicely, but Apex considers the slash as part of the ApexId,  so you'll get a message indicating that Apex cannot find the 'ApexId/' application.

I was lost until I finaly found this blog. What we want is that if the user enters into the root of the server, the URL is rewritten to the Apex application. Actually not completely, because we rather have the ords extension left out the equation.

The trick is in the following three lines:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/$
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://host.customer.nl/ords/f?p=ApexId [R,L]

When you use SSL,  and need to add this to the ssl.conf, you should add it to the virtual host configuration, just
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/$
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://host.customer.nl/ords/f?p=ApexId [R,L]

  </IfModule>
</VirtualHost>


We could fine tune this to do something like the following:
    <Location /f>
        SetHandler weblogic-handler
        WLSRequest ON
        WebLogicCluster weblogic.host1.customer.local:7003, weblogic.host2.customer.local:7003
        PathPrepend /ords
        KeepAliveEnabled on
        KeepAliveSecs 10
    </Location>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/$
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://host.customer.nl/f?p=ApexId [R,L]
  </IfModule>
</VirtualHost>

Although I did not test this yet, that would at least remove the append of the /ords in the URI. It would only append the /f?p=150 part.Currently I don't know how to prevent that, since Apex does need these parameters. For Weblogic and OHS Apex is an application that works with parameters in the URI.


Friday, 16 June 2017

Oracle Linux: Clean Yum dbcache

These weeks we provide a course on Weblogic 11g and 12c Basic and Advanced Administration and Tuning & Troubleshooting. We use an Oracle Linux 6 VM with a Database and Weblogic 11g and 12c.

We got some complaints (issued in a friendly way, by the way) from the attendees that a filesystem of the VM got filled up.

One of the attendees found out that the following folder containt some very large files:
/var/cache/yum/x86_64/6Server/public_ol6_latest
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 3225280512 Jun 15 21:10 other.xml.gz.sqlite
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root  475535360 Jun 15 21:07 primary.xml.gz.sqlite

This is apparently a yum cache that can be emptied with the following command:
# yum clean dbcache./startStopDmn.sh stop Servers fmw $1

I should remember this to do before sharing a VM.
Thanks Frederique for this smart tip.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

HTTP Server redirects for Weblogic 12c and SAML2

Last few months I got busy with SAML2 and Weblogic 12c as Service Provider. One with ADFS and another using SurfConext as an IdP.

In both cases a HTTP server is used as a reversed proxy, in one case it is Oracle HTTP Server 12c, in the other we use Apache. Although OHS is based on Apache, of course, it has the Weblogic proxy plugin enabled by default. With Apache this is not the case.

So there are a few things to consider.

WebLogic Proxy Plugin in Apache

The Managed server needs to ‘know’ that the End User approaches the application over TLS (HTTPS), although the HTTP Server ‘offloads’ the security. During the SAML authentication, Weblogic and the Identity Provider redirect the browser back-and-forth to authenthicate and eventually process the saml token. In the end the browser should be redirected to the application. If Weblogic does not ‘know’ the application is approached via an HTTP server over HTTPS, it might redirect to the HTTP channel.

To solve that, the HTTP server should use the Weblogic Proxy Plugin. To configure that, see Oracle® Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebLogic Server Proxy Plug-Ins 12.1.2 - Configuring WLS Web Server Proxy Plug-In for Apache HTTP Server.

Set Proxy Plugin

To make use of the Weblogic proxy plugin, so that the AdminServer considers it, you need to tell it that it is 'fronted' by it.

To set it on managed server level, go to the server, tab Configuration->General:



Under Advanced, find the 'Weblogic Plug-In Enabled' option and set it to 'yes':
 You can do this on domain, cluster and managed server level. See also this A-team blog. In recent upgrades of Weblogic, the checkbox is replaced by a pulldown list.

Setting the Frondend Host

Another thing is that the URL that is used in the browser to connect to your application is the HTTP Server's host, not the Weblogic host. Also, propably the HTTP Server listens on port 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS), while your managed server might listen on a port in the 7000, 8000 or 9000 ranges.

But in the redirects, Weblogic has to redirect the application to the HTTP Server, so it needs to know what that address is. This registered in the FrontEnd Host. This is also a setting that  can be set on both Server and Cluster level. To set it on Server level, go to that server, tab Protocols->HTTP.

Then set the Frontend Host and the ports to the particular values of your HTTP Server.




Setting the Frontend HTTP Port to 0, means that the port is not fetched from the Header. So it will use the Managed Server port. However, the configuration of Apache (using the Weblogic Plugin) should be such that HTTP is not routed, but only HTTPS should be passed through. Otherwise set the HTTP Port also to 80.

Application Routing

The application has it's root URI. Let's say it is /MyServiceApp. Let's say OHS is running on the URL https://www.darwin-it.nl. Then the application is reachable on https://www.darwin-it.nl/MyServiceApp. This has to be routed to the sp_server managed server, running on port 7003. Then the routing in the HTTP Server using the following location definition:
<Location /MyServiceApp>
  NSSRequireSSL
  WLSRequest On
  WebLogicHost sp_server.darwin-it.local
  WebLogicPort 7003
</Location>

SAML2 URLs Routing

During the saml interchange the browser is at one point directed to https://www.darwin-it.nl/MyServiceAppsaml2/sp/acs/post. The part until 'MyServiceAppsaml2' is the url registered as 'Published Site URL' in the saml2 configuration, under "Servers" –> Managed Server –> "Federation Services" –> "SAML 2.0 General". The managed server expects to be called on the root URI '/saml2'. You could simply append the HTTP Servers listen-address with /saml2  and provide that as a Published Site URL. Like https://www.darwin-it.nl/saml2. This is ok if you have only one application. But what if you expect multiple Service Provider Applications, deployed on different Managed Servers? You might want to differentiate on the different services. So what if I wanted to use the URL:  https://www.darwin-it.nl/MyServiceAppsaml2? That is ok, if you rewrite the url in the HTTP Server. With the Weblogic Proxy Plugin you can do that with the PathTrim
and PathPrepend options:
<Location /MyServiceAppsaml2>
  NSSRequireSSL
  WLSRequest On
  WebLogicHost sp_server.darwin-it.local
  WebLogicPort 7003
  PathTrim /MyServiceAppsaml2
  PathPrepend /saml2
</Location>

From the request URI it removes the /MyServiceAppsaml2 part, as defined with the PathTrim option. With PathPrepend the URL is prepended/prefixed with /saml2.

Time Skew and TimeZones

With SAML2 timing is everything.  With only a bit of time difference between the Service Provider and Identity Provider, even less then a minute, you can get a succesful SAML token, but with the checking of it by the Service Provider, that is on your server, you can get:
<[Security:090377]Identity Assertion Failed, weblogic.security.spi.IdentityAssertionException: [Security:090377]Identity Assertion Failed, weblogic.security.spi.IdentityAssertionException: [Security:096537]Assertion is not yet valid (NotBefore condition).> 
####<Apr 26, 2017 1:27:26 PM CEST> <Debug> <SecuritySAML2Service> <Oracle5> <ManagedServer_1> <[ACTIVE] ExecuteThread: '5' for queue: 'weblogic.kernel.Default (self-tuning)'> <<WLS Kernel>> <> <884d7111-ffc4-46ad-b877-77395aa690a3-000031ce> <1493206046903> <BEA-000000> <exception info
javax.security.auth.login.LoginException: [Security:090377]Identity Assertion Failed, weblogic.security.spi.IdentityAssertionException: [Security:090377]Identity Assertion Failed, weblogic.security.spi.IdentityAssertionException: [Security:096537]Assertion is not yet valid (NotBefore condition).

To be able to compare the dates of the assertions requests and responses with the server time, it might be handy to have the service provider server run with the same time zone setting. You can do that in the setUserOverrides.cmd/.sh script in the $DOMAIN_HOME/bin folder.


Edit it and add the following lines (Windows format):
@rem set EXTRA_JAVA_PROPERTIES=%EXTRA_JAVA_PROPERTIES% -Duser.timezone='Europe/Amsterdam'
set EXTRA_JAVA_PROPERTIES=%EXTRA_JAVA_PROPERTIES% -Duser.timezone=GMT

Choose which line you want to have uncommented.

And make sure that server time is synced with internet or a central time server. Have it adapted regularly. And maybe force it to be updated.

Conclusion

The saml2 configuration on Weblogic is not so hard. But the difficulty is in the several layers and different parties involved. But I provided a few extra considerations and solutions here.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

BPEL 12.2.1.2 and UMS: no wire target for reference...

A moment ago I stumbled on this question on the Oracle community. User Saurabh  tries to build a composite to send email from BPEL. But on testing the deployed composite in EM it fails with a remote fault. This despite of a correct configuration of the email driver and being able to test that   using soa-infra -> Service Engines -> Human Workflow -> Notification Management.

He found that the problem was a bug in JDeveloper/SOA QuickStart, causing the email activity not being wired to a Email UMS notification reference.

Fortunately there is a patch for it, as described in DocId 2235669.1 on support. Apply Patch 24898307 to solve this.

Found this interesting enough to have it (b)logged. At least for my self...



Monday, 8 May 2017

Introducing Darwin Oracle Type Accelerator


Years ago, I created a set of XSL templates and queries to create object types out of queries on the datadictionary of the Oracle Database. It only did basic types on tables, and selects on those. I wrote an article on it that still can be downloaded here. Later, I extended the framework to also do inserts and updates and follow foreign keys. The thing with foreignkeys is that you can handle them a as a detail-tables like Order Lines with an Order. Or lookup, like a place of birth, or country of origin, etc.

I must say I was quite pleased with what it could do.

Lately I stumbled on a question on community.oracle.com that ran about updating multiple tables using the database adapter. Normally you would need to do multiple invokes of a Database Adapter definitions, at least one per table, to do inserts and or updates.  I created thus because Oracle Types are a very powerful means to get data from a datamodel with multiple tables in just one invoke. Or insert data into it. You just create a pl/sql procedure with a parameter based on the root object. The database adapter wizard creates the accompanying XSD's and you only need to do a proper mapping in to the input variable and do the invoke. In the Pl/Sql procedure you call the particular method (sel, ins, upd) of the root object, that propagates into all the child and lookups. Most of the times that is enough. In more complex models, you might enhance the calling pl/sql.

I'm happy to announce that a moment ago I put my source on Github. I renamed it to Darwin Oracle Type accelerator. I did not have the change to create elaborate documentation. But in short:

  • In $GitHub/Dotacc/Source/Dotacc/ddl/owner\ you'll find setup scripts for the framework.
  • With setupTables.sql and setupPlsql.sql you create a bunch of tables and pl/sql with XXX_ as a prefix to support the generation of types.
  • insertXslNL2.0.sql or insertXslEN2.0.sql creates the xsl in the xxx_xmldocuments table.
  • $GitHub/Dotacc/Source/Dotacc/Config contains a set of insert scripts to define what tables, foreignkeys etc. to handle: 
    • XXX_TABLES: defines the tables for which you want to generate the types. The column generation_order defines in which order the types are created or dropped at recreation. 
    • XXX_FK_DEFINITIONS: defines the foreignkeys to consider. The FK_TYPE column defines if it should be considered as a child table ('DETAIL') or Lookup ('LOOKUP'). 
    • XXX_DERIVED_COLUMNS: defines virtual columns that can be looked up from another table. You can define a method that is added to do the actual lookup based on a lookup value from a key column. 
    • XXX_CUSTOM_METHODS: can be used to add custom methods to the object type.
    • I added two datamodels (Doe_owner and hbc_owner under ddl) as a sample model. It would be nice to come up with a sample filling for named tables.
To do a recreate of the types, perform:
execute  xxx_gen_objects.recreate_objects;

 If you have remarks, post a comment on the blog and/or do a request to contribute on github or send me a PM on community.oracle.com.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

List Weblogic 12c System Components

Besides starting and stopping servers, it turns out handy to be able to list the particular system components of a Weblogic domain. For most domains, you might have an embedded/colocated Oracle HTTP server.
But we're also busy with installing BI publisher domains, and there several BI Components are created. To list which ones are created (and determine where things might went wrong) it might be handy to list all the system components. For that I created the following script. For the referenced fmw12c_env.sh and fmw.properties, I refer to Start and stop a WebLogic (SOA/OSB) Domain.

The wlst script is listSystemComponents.py:
#############################################################################
# List System Components of FMW Domain
#
# @author Martien van den Akker, Darwin-IT Professionals
# @version 1.1, 2017-04-20
#
#############################################################################
# Modify these values as necessary
import sys, traceback
scriptName = sys.argv[0]
#
#
lineSeperator='__________________________________________________________________________________'
pad='                                                                               '
#
#
def usage():
  print 'Call script as: '
  print 'Windows: wlst.cmd '+scriptName+' -loadProperties localhost.properties'
  print 'Linux: wlst.sh '+scriptName+' -loadProperties environment.properties'
  print 'Property file should contain the following properties: '
  print "adminUrl=localhost:7001"
  print "adminUser=weblogic"
  print "adminPwd=welcome1"
#
# Connect To the AdminServer
def connectToAdminServer(adminUrl, adminServerName):
  print(lineSeperator)
  print('Try to connect to the AdminServer')
  try:
    connect(userConfigFile=usrCfgFile, userKeyFile=usrKeyFile, url=adminUrl)
  except NameError, e:
    print('Apparently user config properties usrCfgFile and usrKeyFile not set.')
    print('Try to connect to the AdminServer adminUser and adminPwd properties')
    connect(adminUser, adminPwd, adminUrl)
#
# Get the Servers of Domain 
def getSystemComponents():
  print(lineSeperator)
  print('\nGet SystemComponents from domain')
  serverConfig()
  cd("/")
  sysComponents = cmo.getSystemComponents()
  return sysComponents
#
# Boolean to string
def bool2str(bool):
  result='false'
  if bool:
    result='true'
  return result
#
# Descr system component type
def descSysCompType(sysComponentType):
  result=sysComponentType
  if sysComponentType=='OHS':
    result='Oracle HTTP server'
  elif sysComponentType=='OBIPS':
    result='BI Presentation Service'
  elif sysComponentType=='OBIS':
    result='BI Server'
  elif sysComponentType=='OBISCH':
    result='BI Scheduler'
  elif sysComponentType=='OBICCS':
    result='BI Cluster Controller'    
  elif sysComponentType=='OBIJH':
    result='BI JavaHost'
  else:
    result=sysComponentType
  return result
#
# Start clusters
def showSystemComponents():
  print(lineSeperator)
  print ('Show SystemComponents')
  sysComponents=getSystemComponents()
  #
  if (len(sysComponents) > 0):
    print('SystemComponent                                                  '[:30]+'\t'+'Type                                                                               '[:20]+'\tAutoRestart\tMachine')
    for sysComponent in sysComponents:
      sysCompName = sysComponent.getName()
      sysCompNamePad=sysCompName+pad
      sysCompType=descSysCompType(sysComponent.getComponentType())
      sysCompTypePad=sysCompType+pad
      machine=sysComponent.getMachine()
      if machine is None:
        machineName = 'None'
      else:
        machineName = machine.getName()
      print sysCompNamePad[:30]+'\t'+sysCompTypePad[:20]+'\t'+bool2str(sysComponent.getAutoRestart())+'\t\t'+machineName
  else:
    print('No SystemComponents found!')
  #
  print ('\nFinished showing SystemComponents.')
#
# Main
def main():
  try:
    #
    print(lineSeperator)
    print('\nConnect to the AdminServer: '+adminServerName)
    connectToAdminServer(adminUrl, adminServerName)
    #
    showSystemComponents()
    #
    print('\nExiting...')
    exit()
  except NameError, e:
    print('Apparently properties not set.')
    print "Please check the property: ", sys.exc_info()[0], sys.exc_info()[1]
    usage()
  except:
    apply(traceback.print_exception, sys.exc_info())
    exit(exitcode=1)
#call main()
main()
exit()

To call this easily for different environments I have the following bash listSystemComponents.sh script:
#!/bin/bash
#############################################################################
# List Domain System Components using wlst
#
# @author Martien van den Akker, Darwin-IT Professionals
# @version 1.0, 2017-04-19
#
#############################################################################
#
. fmw12c_env.sh
export ENV=$1
echo
echo "List Domain System Components"
wlst.sh ./listSystemComponents.py -loadProperties ${ENV}.properties

I introduced an ENV variable here, so you can call it as:
[oracle@darlin-vce scripts]$ ./listSystemComponents.sh fmw

This exends the fmw argument with '.properties'. So if you want to use this for different environments, just copy the fmw.properties to a bip-acc.properties file or something like that and adapt the properties. Then using it against that environment is as calling:

[oracle@darlin-vce scripts]$ ./listSystemComponents.sh bip-acc