Monitoring large flow traces with Oracle SOA Suite by Martin Günther

End-to-end monitoring of BPEL process instances acro ss composite borders is a great feature of Oracle SOA/Business Process Management Suite 11g. It is shown in nearly every PreSales presentation and when you were used to know SOA Suite 10g or to work with other kinds of distributed, heterogenous systems it is a real improvement.

But when you implement large process chains you might realize that the newly won process transparency can raise new challenges. Imagine you have a root process which creates several instances of sub-processes. In such a case without doing any extra work you will get one flow trace for the process and all of its sub-process instances. For large process chains you need to consider the following facts:

  • Transparency: Although it shows an end-to-end view of the whole execution tree, trying to find a faulted sub-process might be a real challenge. It doesn’t matter if you start the search from the root process instance or from one of the sub-processes - the flow trace always displays all components of the execution context. When you click on a sub-process and you go back to the flow trace you might have to expand all child nodes again and again.
  • DataSetTooLargeException:  When your flow trace becomes longer and longer, you will observe, that there is a maximum size for the audit trail that can be displayed by Enterprise Manager. Usually it results in a java.lang.RuntimeException: oracle.soa.management.facade.DataSetTooLargeException: Requested audit trail size is larger than threshold … chars
    For large execution trees, sub-process instances might not be displayed or you might not be able to see things in detail.
  • Low Memory: It is not only the visible representation of your instance, which struggles. A huge audit trail implicitly means that your needed memory allocation for executing your process instance grows. It can grow to this extent that your process instance crashes because of running low in memory.

Read the complete article here.

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