Tuesday Jun 16, 2015

BPM 12c Gateways (Part 5 of 5): Event-based Gateway by Antonis Antoniou

clip_image002My last article on gateways is on the event-based gateway, another type of gateway supported by Oracle BPM 12c to provide divergence in processes.
The event-based gateway is very similar, conceptual wise, to the exclusive gateway in the sense that we can have various outgoing sequence flows but only one branch is followed. The operational difference though is that, as its name suggests, the event-based gateway uses events for defining the branching conditions and decisions rather than data-specific conditions.

An event-based gateway can consist of multiple events; however the first event that occurs will determine the execution path that will be followed.
Using the order process as an example, once an order is received and validated it needs to be processed. Assuming that we have multiple warehouses, the order will be processed by the warehouse that can process all inventory items ordered and responds first. The process will wait until one of the warehouses responds to the request for processing the order. However, the process cannot wait indefinitely.
So let's see how we can implement the above scenario using the event-based gateway.
Let's start with creating the basic BPM application and BPM project (named both application and project "EventBasedGatewayDemo") and selecting "Composite with BPMN Process" in step 3. Read the complete article here.

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Monday Jun 15, 2015

Decoupling Oracle BPM Process Instance Information by Dan Atwood


Separating Oracle BPM business processes from their underlying data is a topic that comes up regularly with customers.  When first starting out, most customers create a large set of process data objects that carry the payload of each work item instance throughout the life of a process and its subprocesses.  While it is tempting to begin this way, the work item instance process data should be kept light by storing an ID field that can be used to look up information from a relational database when it is needed.

What Information Should be Stored in the Process Instance’s Payload

Although you should always strive to keep the process instance’s payload small, you can go overboard.   Each work item instance should contain variables that provide:

  • The unique way to identify a single instance in the process (e.g., the order id).  This would be used by the user interface forms to retrieve information from a database and for process instance correlations.
  • The variables used in the process’s Exclusive Gateway conditional sequence flow logic should be driven from easily accessible process data object variable information in the instance’s payload.
  • The information you want to use to populate public or protected flex fields should to be stored in the instance’s payload.
  • The information used to populate Business Indicator measures and dimensions for Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) should to be stored in the instance’s payload.

Reasons to Keep to Process Instance Payload Small

This has long been a best practice recommended by Oracle.  In Oracle’s Performance Tuning for Oracle Business Process Management Suite 11g document, on page 17 it states:

    "Minimize the amount of data stored in the process instance. Obviously, there is a tradeoff between the cost of storing data locally compared to storing keys and retrieving data for use within the process, which needs to be considered.

    A reasonable starting point would be to model the process state to hold only values that are needed to control the process flow and keys to get any other (external) data on an ‘as needed’ basis. If retrieval is too frequent/slow, or the systems holding that data are not always available, then move more data into the process."

AVIO Consulting strongly recommends decoupling the process payload and the underlying data.  Recently, Carlo Arteaga, Mark Peterson, Kris Nelson, Bhaskar Rayavaram, Suyash Khot, Adam DesJardin and I discussed this with a customer and went over these reasons for process data decoupling:

    1. Differing Lifecycles - The underlying data and the processes typically have different lifecycles and need to be independent of one another.  There is often a need to maintain each at different times.  They are sometimes modified by different parts of the organization.  The data stored in a database is typically the “source of truth” that sometimes must be able to be accessed and easily manipulated by applications outside of Oracle BPM.  If stored as process instance data instead of in database tables, the outside applications would need to access it through Oracle BPM APIs that they will not be familiar with. Read the complete article here.

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Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards 2015

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Is your organization using Oracle Fusion Middleware to deliver unique business value? These awards honor customers for their cutting-edge solutions using Oracle Fusion Middleware. Winners are selected based on the uniqueness of their business case, business benefits, level of impact relative to the size of the organization, complexity and magnitude of implementation, and the originality of architecture. The 2015 awards will be presented during Oracle OpenWorld 2015 (October 26-October 29) in San Francisco.

These awards honor customers for their cutting-edge solutions using Oracle Fusion Middleware. To share your use of Oracle Fusion Middleware solutions and how they help your organization drive business innovation, please read on to find out more information on the nomination process.

Customers may submit separate nominations forms for multiple categories; The 2015 Fusion Middleware categories are as follows:

Winners are selected by a panel of internal and external judges that score each entry across multiple different scoring categories. The entry with the highest aggregate score wins an award.

For award details please visit the nomination page here

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Sunday Jun 14, 2015

Refining your BPM process by Red Mavericks

clip_image002Ah… The holiday season! Time to be with your family, eat like an elephant, getting stuck in endless traffic jams and moving in overcrowded shopping malls. No better time to write BPM articles, right? Actually, wrong! Curiously, a peak in activity actually absorbed me completely and we couldn’t do all the stuff that we wanted to. Anyway, we’re back.

Last time, we defined and modeled our first business process in BPMN. It modeled the “Request a parking space” process, with the behavior described in the textual process description. Now we’ll refine that process so that when we decide to implement it, we’ll take less time to do so.

Optimize before implementation VS implement before optimization

There’s an interesting debate as to whether or not should the first version of the BPM model be optimized before the implementation.

Some say “of course…why would you put a substandard process in production?”, while others argue “don’t worry and put the first version of the process in production ASAP, because the BPM lifecycle will guarantee an optimized version by itself in the second iteration, based on facts, not perceptions”.

Both approaches are valid and you can choose either one. Just don’t over do it if you go with the first one, or you’ll never get a version in production.

We typically choose the first approach, but we put a (half) day cap on the optimization work (one full day if the process is complex), to limit what we do. By the end of that (half) day the process goes on for implementation with whatever optimizations done in that time. This also help us focus and go for quick wins instead of nitpicking.
With our experience, we can look at a business process and quickly identify possible improvements. In time, you will too.

See any patterns?

If you look at the process version from the last article, you’ll see somethings that appear to be repeated. These are typically good candidates for optimization.
If you can factorize these into a reusable piece, you would only need to implement it once and then reuse it as many times as you want.
Check the notifications to the requester. Read the complete article here.

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Saturday Jun 13, 2015

It's Spring for Oracle ACM API's by Martien van den Akker

clip_image002Before the holiday season I was working on a service to receive e-mails in BPM using the UMS-email-adapter. Then process the attachments and the body and upload them to the Oracle ACM-case the email was meant for.
I won't get in too much detail here, since there are some articles on the use of ACM-API's like the ones of Niall Comminsky.
Unfortunately, until now, there are no WSDL/SOAP or REST services available on the ACM-API's, as they are on the Workflow Task API's. However, it is not so hard to make the API's available as services. The trick is to wrap them up in a set of Java-beans, with one class with methods that do the jobs and create 'request and response beans' for the input parameters of the methods and the response.
A few years ago I wrote an article on using Spring components in SOA Suite 11g. This approach is still perfectly usable for SOA/BPM12c. And gives you a WSDL interface on the API's in near to no time.
There is one remark on the API's, though. That is on the creation of the the ACM Stream Service, or actually the creation of the BPMServiceClientFactory to get the context. In the blog of Niall you'll read that you need to set the following context-properties: Read the complete article here.

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Friday Jun 12, 2015

How To Start a Case in Oracle Adaptive Case Management 12c by Andrejus Baranovskis

clip_image002Blog reader was asking to describe how to start a new case in Oracle ACM 12c. You can read my previous blog post on ACM 12c topic - Adaptive Case Management 12c and ADF Human Tasks. There are multiple ways to start a case, depends if you want just to test the case or really use it. I would recommend to use SoapUI to test the case. In the real scenario, case most likely will be started from third party web service or through ACM 12c Java API. Here I would like to describe, how you could use SoapUI to test ACM process during development.
Once ACM 12c application is deployed, you could open it in EM. There is the option to test deployed composite and invoke it through EM Web Service tester. In the example below you can see startCase operation selected and payload structure displayed. Unfortunately it doesn't work well to test ACM process through EM, payload structure is very confusing and it usually fails with mandatory attributes missing errors:

Instead I would recommend to use SoapUI to test the ACM 12c composite. You could download and use it free of charge. Start the tool and choose to create New SOAP Project: Read the complete article here.

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Thursday Jun 11, 2015

BPM Suite Marketing Update

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Thanks to Mala Ramakrishnan for the detailed BPM Marketing update.

Featured

· BPM-CON an Online Conference: Intelligent Adaptive Processes for a New Digital Era

· Webcast: Intelligent BPM Systems with Oracle BPM 12c

· Event: Oracle at Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2014

· Resource Kit: Where do you learn more on Oracle BPM 12c?

Customer Success

· Engineers Australia Completes Enrollments up to 90% Faster with Middleware Platform

· Victoria State Revenue: Winner of the BPM Innovation Award

· Victoria State Revenue Has Direct Impact with Oracle BPM

· REDISA Orchestrates with Oracle Applications and Middleware

· KBACE Discusses Process Management with Oracle BPM

· Apex-Brasil Automates Project Workflow and Improves Monitoring of Foreign Trade Initiatives (Also in Portuguese)

· Panduit Delivers on the Digital Business Promise

· Total E&P Indonesie Cuts Time for Administrative Tasks by 90%

· eChartered Live for More Than 2000 Engineers

Content & Collateral

· Datasheet: Oracle BPM Suite 12c

· White Paper: Deliver on Intelligent Business Process Management

· White Paper: What’s New in Oracle BPM 12c

· Podcast Series: The Case for Adaptive Case Management

· eBook: Bridging the Gap Between Vision and Execution with BPM

· Launch Webcast: Introducing Oracle BPM12c

· Analyst Report: MWD Advisors Oracle BPM Technology Review

· Assessment: Discover if your company is lagging or leading due to BPM readiness

· Sessions from OOW14: Focus On BPM12c


On Demand Assets

Blog Series

· Oracle BPM’s Role in Delivering on the Digital Enterprise
· Straight from Engineering: Dive into Oracle BPM 12c
· Oracle’s View of Intelligent Business Process Management
· Bridging the Gap between Vision and Execution with Oracle BPM
· And more: blogs.oracle.com/bpm

Resource Kits

· Oracle BPM 12c

· Oracle BPM in the Public Sector

· Oracle BPM in Financial Services

· Kickstart your IT Service Center to Maximize Productivity

SOA & BPM Partner Community

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Wednesday Jun 10, 2015

Intelligent BPM Systems with Oracle BPM Suite 12c – Available On Demand


clip_image002Intelligent BPM systems automate both structured and unstructured business processes and improves business operations. It is a unified and comprehensive solution for modeling, analyzing, executing, and optimizing business processes across divisions, systems, and applications. Oracle BPM Suite 12c helps create intelligent business processes. Watch the on-demand webcast here!

SOA & BPM Partner Community

For regular information on Oracle SOA Suite become a member in the SOA & BPM Partner Community for registration please visit www.oracle.com/goto/emea/soa (OPN account required) If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Tuesday Jun 09, 2015

BPM Suite 12c Implementation Boot Camp material

At the SOA Community Workspace (SOA Community membership required) you can find the BPM 12c bootcamp 12c 01.2015.zip training material.

This boot camp is an ideal starting point for an implementer who is planning to learn Oracle BPM Suite 12c and use it on BPM projects. The course provides a combination of lecture segments that present conceptual and feature background and hands-on labs that provide practice with the tooling.

clip_image002It introduces process developers to Oracle BPM Suite 12c. It covers the key concepts, features and processes needed to begin using the design-time and run-time capabilities on BPM projects. Throughout the training, you will benefit from hands-on exercises based upon two case studies. At the conclusion of the course, you should feel comfortable to start using BPM Suite 12c for process modeling, simulation, analytics, business rules and human workflow. For more information please visit:

SOA & BPM Partner Community

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Monday Jun 08, 2015

The Internet of Things Will Be Huge, Is Your IT Infrastructure Ready to Support It? by Harish Venkat


clip_image002IDC predicts that the worldwide IoT market will grow from $1.3 trillion in 2013 to $3.04 trillion in 2020 (1). IDC also states that within three years, 50% of IT networks will transition from having excess capacity to handle the additional IoT devices to being network constrained. (2)
As further evidence, analyst firm 451 Research reported an increase in M&A spending in 2014 that pushed 'Internet of Things'-related deal-making past the $14bn mark, a fortyfold increase in acquirer spending compared to 2013. (3)
This rate of growth cannot be ignored. IoT is inevitable and will create tremendous opportunity for a new wave of services built around connected devices. It will also pose challenges to IT and infrastructure leaders for the following reasons:

  • The volume of data that will come off devices will be enormous and capable of completely overwhelming network infrastructures.
  • IT infrastructures will need to support these vast amounts of data.
  • Solutions that aren’t fully integrated will fail to deliver needed data and analytic capabilities. All devices will need to be integrated with all other devices, so seamless integration of applications and technologies will be critical.
  • Realizing business value from IoT will be dependent upon scalable and flexible infrastructures that can integrate and secure data received from various components and devices.

How can you prepare? A good first step is to modernize IT infrastructures and upgrade legacy architectures. As is the case with other technology trends like mobile, big data, and social, IT needs to be agile and strongly aligned with the business. This means anticipating and responding to business needs quickly, providing real-time information that informs decision-making, and being scalable to support planned and unplanned growth. Read the complete article here.

SOA & BPM Partner Community

For regular information on Oracle SOA Suite become a member in the SOA & BPM Partner Community for registration please visit www.oracle.com/goto/emea/soa (OPN account required) If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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