Friday Aug 30, 2013

Services Gatekeeper 5.1: A Large Documentation Effort for a Feature-Rich Platform

Today's blog is from one of our technical writers, John Francis, from the Service Delivery Platform (SDP) writing team. He was the documentation project lead for the most recent release of the Oracle Communications Services Gatekeeper and shares information about the product and the docs below. John is relatively new to the our team - he started in March 2012. He has a fondness for electronic gadgets and Boston Terriers, and can be found in the shoe department at Nieman’s watching his wife shop most weekends. He has a keen sense of humor, which you'll soon experience. I hope you enjoy reading his blog!

Cheryl Lander, Oracle Communications InfoDev Senior Director

Thanks very much, Cheryl! By way of introduction, Oracle Communications Services Gatekeeper lets telecom service providers grant their partners access to myriad telecom network services via easy-to-use, standardized interfaces known as facades. Its feature set includes full partner and network control, finely grained service level agreement support, and almost unlimited extensibility potential, along with carrier grade reliability and scalability.

After more than a year of concerted development effort, on May 28th, 2013, Oracle released a comprehensive upgrade for Services Gatekeeper that provides the following enhancements:

  • Simplified telecom partner management, including policy provisioning, partner on-boarding, and business process automation via a brand new web-based partner portal application
  • API reporting capabilities allowing telecom customers to see detailed trends at a glance
  • An expanded repertoire of communications services including support for QoS, Email, Address List Management, Bulk Messaging, and Application Subscription Management
  • Enhanced existing Services Gatekeeper APIs in the areas of Charging, Unified Messaging, Mobile Policy and Authorization and Authentication, via OAuth and Anonymous Customer References
  • Expanded platform support, including ready-to-use integration with Oracle Communications Online Mediation Controller, Oracle Communications Policy Controller, as well as Siebel CRM, via SMS and Email

As you can see from that list, the modest “dot one” version increment belies a wealth of expanded features and complexity, all of which it was incumbent upon SDP InfoDev to document.

Project Documentation Accomplishments

As often happens, because of the multiplicity of projects and responsibilities, InfoDev arrived a bit late in the development of Services Gatekeeper 5.1. In addition to the late start, the writing team faced the following challenges:

  • With a lead writer new to Oracle and Services Gatekeeper, the lead had to learn the CGBU InfoDev organization's enterprise documentation standards, and ramp up on the extensive processes devoted to delivering quality technical documentation.
  • Services Gatekeeper is a huge product with broad areas of functionality. It’s difficult to master some of the core concepts, let alone the entire product.
  • The documentation set has expanded over Gatekeeper’s decade plus service life. Writers had to carefully research the two thousand plus pages of documentation to identify which documents were affected by which features.
  • We’ve got only two hard-working editors, whose time is continually spoken for and whose schedules were at odds with Services Gatekeeper’s milestones.
  • Development goals were fluid during the course of the project with features prioritized and deprioritized on a regular basis.

We were able to mitigate those factors by assembling a team of veteran technical writers (along with one scrappy upstart) who were able to dig into the Services Gatekeeper documentation library, understand its scope, assimilate the new features and come up with a flexible documentation plan. As with all large scale, long term projects (this one spanned more than a year), we needed to remain agile, regularly interfacing with the development team, and trying to stay on top of the project. In addition, we counterbalanced the lack of editorial support by farming out our documentation to our willing colleagues for peer review.

Project Documentation Extended Accomplishments

At the beginning of the project, our goals were initially modest. We, of course, wanted to document all features, as well as provide editorial support for the two Javadoc systems that ship with Services Gatekeeper. As the project evolved, and the timeline expanded to encompass unforeseen obstacles and integrate late-breaking critical features, similarly, InfoDev expanded its scope. In the end, the team met the following additional expanded goals:

  • Created a new Security Guide per Oracle’s latest guidelines
  • Produced and delivered a revised and reorganized OAuth guide
  • Reviewed more than 650 Javadoc source files, making edits to approximately 195 of those
  • Worked extensively with the Portal team, not only on online help for the application but also on workflow reviews and bug hunting
  • Addressed more than thirty incidental documentation enhancement requests requested during the product lifecycle
  • Closed out bug backlogs from earlier versions and made it to GA with no outstanding issues

Our fantastic production team also enabled enhancements that required no effort from us, the most impressive of which were:

  • ePub and Mobi ereader formats, should you wish to review our documentation on your tablet or ereader
  • A much requested search feature, capable of searching our documents either at the library or single document level
  • And, finally, on a nerdy level, a new source control system (Subversion, or SVN) that enabled us to build our documents whenever our hearts desired

Future Plans for Services Gatekeeper Documentation

Naturally, time stands still for no software product, and Services Gatekeeper is no exception. Even as I write this, product management and development are in the planning stages for the next version, and InfoDev is no different. Some initial goals that we’re hoping to meet for the next version include:

  • Having the large (22 systems) documentation library reviewed by our content architects and identifying opportunities for simplification and consolidation
  • Working with Product Management and Consulting teams to identify areas in the documentation which need to be improved or expanded
  • Identifying tools that will help improve the quality of our documentation with little to no capital investment or time commitment

We Value Your Feedback

If you're an Oracle employee, you can find the Services Gatekeeper 5.1 docs here.

As always, we’d love to get feedback! If you’ve got content additions or changes, you can post a comment on this blog or send email to

Finally, you can find all our documentation on the Oracle Technology Network.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday Aug 08, 2013

Complete, Integrated, Configurable: RODOD

Jodie Wilford, Oracle Communications InfoDev Director, has written a few blogs for us. She first wrote about updates to the OSS documentation set, then about the Oracle Application Integration Architecture for Communications Overview course. In this blog, she introduces content that's available about one of the Oracle Communications solutions, RODOD.

Cheryl Lander, Oracle Communications InfoDev Senior Director

Oracle Communications Rapid Offer Design and Order Delivery


Oracle provides telecommunication service providers a fully-integrated, product-based Rapid Offer Design and Order Delivery solution (RODOD).  This solution enables service providers to rapidly design and introduce offers, capture and fulfill orders efficiently and accurately, and provide visibility across the full order lifecycle.

Oracle Communications RODOD solution provides:

  • Faster time to market with integrated end-to-end offer design configuration
  • Shorter order cycles with complete visibility across the order lifecycle
  • Reduced operational cost through advanced order management capabilities and integrations

RODOD is a comprehensive solution consisting of Oracle’s Product Hub for Communications, Siebel CRM, Oracle Communications Order and Service Management (OSM), Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management (BRM), and Application Integration Architecture (AIA) for Communications.

Learn more about the solution in the RODOD Introduction and Overview online courses now available for Oracle employees and partners.

RODOD Introduction Course Overview

This course provides an introduction to the Oracle Communications RODOD solution using real world business scenarios covering the functional areas of offer design, order capture, and order delivery.

Course Audience: The course is the starting point for anyone wanting to learn about the RODOD solution.

Course Objectives: After completing these courses, you should be able to:

  • Describe RODOD
  • Describe business scenarios

RODOD Overview Course Overview

This course provides an overview of the RODOD solution. You learn about the challenges of order management and how RODOD handles these along with the solutions and benefits.

Course Audience: The course is the starting point for anyone wanting to learn about the RODOD solution.

Course Objectives: After completing these courses, you should be able to:

  • Describe the RODOD solution:  
    • The challenges of order management and how RODOD handles these 
    • The solution benefits and key differentiators
    • Describe the functions and role of applications in the RODOD stack
  • Describe real-life use cases and how RODOD manages these functions

Accessing these courses (Oracle employees and partners)

To access these courses, go to Oracle iLearning and search on "Introduction to RODOD" (30 minutes) and "Rapid Order Design and Offer Delivery (RODOD) Overview" (51 minutes).

Note: When you get to the demo portion of the "Introduction to RODOD" course, you need to click on the link to continue.

Go here for more information on RODOD.

We value your feedback. If you would like to suggest improvements or report issues on any of the product documentation, curriculum, or training produced by the Oracle Communications Information Development team, you can use these channels:

Friday Feb 15, 2013

Operational Support Systems (OSS) Documentation ROCKS: More Content, More Searches, More Downloads

I’d like to introduce Jodie Wilford, Oracle Communications OSS InfoDev Director. She’s responsible for managing all of the documentation and curriculum for the Oracle Communications Operational Support Systems (OSS) products. As part of the MetaSolv Software, Inc. acquisition, she joined Oracle in February 2007. She has extensive experience in documentation, curriculum development, and training delivery.

Jodie’s team did a lot of great work in this release that she outlines in this post. Thank you Jodie and OSS team for all your great work.

Cheryl Lander, Oracle Communications InfoDev Senior Director

Thank you, Cheryl. I would like to tell you about the latest release of OSS suite of applications that Oracle’s Communications released in January 2013. This is the second release in nine months which is a consistent, coordinated release of a suite of integrated OSS applications including the following products:

  • Oracle Communications ASAP
  • Oracle Communications Design Studio
  • Oracle Communications IP Service Activator (IPSA)
  • Oracle Communications Network Integrity
  • Oracle Communications Network Intelligence
  • Oracle Communications Order and Service Management (OSM)
  • Oracle Communications Unified Inventory Management (UIM)

First, and what we believe you’ll be excited to hear about, is searchable documentation for Network Integrity, Network Intelligence, OSM, and UIM that are now available on Oracle Technology Network.

Second, the documentation for Network Integrity, Network Intelligence, OSM, and UIM are now accessible, that is, the HTML-based documentation is in compliance with Oracle Global HTML Accessibility Guidelines (OGHAG), guidelines driven by Section 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act and Web content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0/2.0 'AA'.

Third, the documentation for Network Integrity, Network Intelligence, OSM, and UIM are now available in ePub and Mobi format so you can download them to your favorite mobile device.

In response to requests from customers, we added a lot of new content and updated existing content. Here are some of the key accomplishments by product:

Design Studio (these are available on the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud)

  • Developed a new Concepts guide, including a Glossary
  • Developed a new Developer’s Guide
  • Created separate Installation and System Administrator’s Guides

Network Integrity

Network Intelligence


  • Created a Quick Start Guide for installing OSM on a Windows system, for demo purposes; this document is posted on My Oracle Support and the Oracle Partner Network
  • Improved the XML Import/Export Tool content in the System Administrator’s Guide
  • Improved the XQuery content in the Concepts guide
  • Updated the hardware sizing information in the Installation Guide


  • Developed a new Security Guide
  • Added information on cooperation framework and sample cartridges to the Developer’s Guide (available on the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud)
  • Added information on concurrent resource allocation to the Developer’s Guide (available on the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud)
  • Added hardware sizing information to the Installation Guide

You, too, can suggest content additions or changes. Send email to

You will find all our documentation on the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud or check us out on Oracle Technology Network today!

Thank you,
Jodie Wilford, Oracle Communications OSS InfoDev Director

This is a blog from the Oracle Communications Information Development team, led by Cheryl Lander, Sr. Director. She and members of her team from various functions (writers, curriculum developers, and architects) and product lines will share their approach to documentation and curriculum, all with the goal of getting feedback to improve their deliverables. We'd like to thank Joe Sciallo, UCS Tech Writer (former Sun) for pushing us into the social media world. The primary team driving this blog is called "Joe and the Blogettes"; other members include Brenda Roldan (BSS Tech Writer), Jodie Wilford (OSS InfoDev Director), Leif Lourie (SDP Curriculum Developer), and Scott T. Miller (Documentation Architect).


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