Friday May 29, 2015

Building a Scalable, Highly Available Oracle API Gateway 11g Infrastructure in a Cloud Environment by Marcelo Parisi


clip_image002Introduction

One of the major challenges that companies face in adopting a cloud computing platform is the secure provisioning of services in the cloud. Oracle API Gateway (OAG) 11g can be a very powerful tool in this sense, since it focuses on service protection, with authentication mechanisms, message encryption, and security/policy functionalities.

In this article, we will see how to create a cloud-based OAG infrastructure, with high-availability and scalability support. Both high-availability and scalability operations will be covered here. We’ll be using virtual machines (VMs) and storage concepts, along with OAG and Oracle Traffic Director (OTD). While a physical load balancer will also be necessary, its configuration is beyond the scope of this article.

The service infrastructure—Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Service Bus or any other kind of service provider environment that needs to be exposed in a secure manner through the environment we’ll be building—will also not be covered in this article.

This article assumes a Network File System (NFS) v4 and Network Information Service/Lightweight Directory Service Protocol (NIS/LDAP) compliant environment. If you don’t support it, the article will indicate the changes so that you can run on a NFSv3 environment without NIS/LDAP.

There is no capacity planning or sizing work done on this article. The number of CPUs, memory and filesystem size are all just for demonstration purposes and should be revisited in a production environment.

OAG and OTD documentation should always be consulted. This document is not intended to replace any of the product’s official documentation.

Finally, please note that OTD is supported only in Exalogic environments.

Infrastructure Architecture

In this article, we’re going to build a brand new infrastructure from scratch to support this environment. We’ll consider two VMs for OTD and, initially, three VMs for OAG, one of them for administration purposes only. The environment infrastructure architecture will resemble the architecture in Figure 1, below:

As you can see, we have high availability on both the OTD layer and the OAG layer. Both layers are scalable either horizontally or vertically. This article discusses scalability only on the OAG layer.

We’re going to create five VMs—three for OAG, with Oracle Linux 5.6; two with Oracle Linux 6.6 for OTD. I suggest using VM Templates or cloning to make this task easier. The VMs’ configuration should resemble the table in Figure 2, below: Read the complete article here.

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SOA Suite 12c: Multithreaded instance purging with the Java API by Maarten Smeets

clip_image002Let’s tackle a single topic at a time in this blog post SOA Suite 12c provides a Java API to perform operations on the SOA infrastructure and things running there such as composites and instances. There are several blog posts available on how to do this in SOA Suite 10g and 11g. However since 12c is relatively new, I decided to try if I could easily access the Java API in 12c and if the API was still similar to 11g or had undergone major changes. As a usecase I decided I wanted to purge instances. This is usually done by database scripts on the SOA infra database. If however you do not have direct access to the database, this can be used as an alternative. I could of course have done the same by using WLST. I found that purging instances by using the Java API was slow so I decided I would like to try this using multiple threads working in parallel. The resulting code is provided in this post.

Implementation

In order to separate the different topics which will be discussed in this blog post I split the implementation in three parts. JDeveloper 12c, Purging composites and Multithreading.

JDeveloper 12c. Using the SOA Suite Java API

In JDeveloper 11g I would have to add the required libraries in the project properties and I could create a Java class which could access the Java API. In JDeveloper 11g I would have to add the following library references: WebLogic 10.3 Remote-Client, SOA Runtime, JRF API. I decided to try the same in JDeveloper 12c. When adding the SOA Runtime however, JDeveloper 12c decided I would want to develop a composite and ‘refactored’ my project to allow development of composites. This wasn’t what I wanted however. In order to avoid this issue/feature I decided to add a single JAR to my 12c project containing required classes instead of using the SOA Runtime library reference. I added oracle.soa.wlstman.jar from my ORACLE_HOME/soa/soa/oracle.soa.fabric.11.1.1 folder (yes, the 11.1.1 folder is still there in 12.1.3). I of course also needed to add Weblogic 12.1 Remote-Client and JRF API to get it working. I have not tried manually editing the pom.xml to include the SOA Runtime dependency, so I can not say if this will avoid the project refactoring done by JDeveloper. Read the complete article here.

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Monday Mar 09, 2015

Governance made easy – Oracle API Catalog 12c by André Evensen

clip_image002Oracle recently launched a new product in their governance portfolio. As more and more applications, particularly in the mobile domain, rely on external APIs, the need for proper governance is ever growing.

Many organizations use ad hoc tools like spread sheets and wikis to keep track of their APIs. The API Catalog 12c may allow organizations to replace these tools with an online catalog that provides visibility to their APIs for application development.

The API Catalog is a lightweight product that positions itself as a stepping-stone on the way to “real” SOA governance. It includes a meta-model for API assets and tools for automatically populating it with APIs from specified servers. Developers can use the catalog to search for APIs they want to use.

Simplified, the API Catalog seem to provide answers to three important questions:

  • What APIs exist?
  • What do these APIs do?
  • How can they be consumed?

I will describe, from a high level perspective, how the API Catalog addresses these questions and why this may be a great tool for your organization. Read the complete article here.

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Sunday Mar 08, 2015

API Catalog 12c Full Overview by Luis Weir

clip_image002Oracle has recently released Oracle Enterprise Repository (OER) 12c and Oracle API Catalog (OAC) 12c.I am particularly exited on the latter as it aims to simplify management of APIs and promises to be able to create catalog of your services and APIs rapidly. Furthermore, although OER 12c maintains the same richness as in OER 11g, this product is targeted to advance users that are in need to address more complex governance requirements whereas OAC it’s a light-weight version of OER however tailored to address specific use cases of API management such as cataloguing, discovering and rating APIs.
This blog is about my first impression when installing, configuring and using Oracle API Catalog. In the blog I provide all steps I followed to achieve these tasks and at the end I provide a summary of my experience and feedback of the product.

Installation Pre-requisites

  • Download Weblogic Server 12.1.3 and OER 12.1.3 software binaries from following link (note that OAC uses same OER installer)

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/repository/downloads/index.html

  • You will need an Oracle Database installed (you may also download database from previous link). If you already have an environment with an Oracle Database available you can check supported versions from following link

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/ias/downloads/fusion-certification-100350.html

  • Ensure you have installed JDK 7.0 Update 55 or later. You can download it from the following link:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html

  • Oracle API Catalog Home Page and Installation Guide:

https://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1213/oac/index.html
https://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1213/oac/install-cat/toc.htm

Installation

Firstly install Oracle Database and Weblogic Server as per instructions.

Then continue with installation of OAC 12c as per following instructions: https://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1213/oac/install-cat/intro.htm#CATIG146
Following key screenshots taken during installation of Weblogic Server and OAC and also some tips: Read the complete article here.

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Saturday Mar 07, 2015

In-depth look into Oracle API Catalog (OAC) 12c by Robert van Molken


clip_image002With the release of Oracle Enterprise Repository 12c another product was released. Oracle API Catalog 12c (OAC) allows you to build a catalog of your organization APIs. OAC provides a layer of visibility to those APIs so application development knows what and which one to use.  OAC includes a simple metamodel for an API asset, automation to populate OAC, and the ability for users to search OAC for APIs and understand the details of the APIs to assess their fit in the user’s application.

Installation

I’m not going to bore you with the details about the installation by giving a installation guide. It took me about 40 minutes from scratch (excluding downlOERoad time). The steps are describes in the installation guide Oracle provides. OAC is part of the OER 12c installation jar, but can be licensed and installed, as an own managed domain, without licensing and installing OER.

The steps to take on high level (from scratch):

  1. Download and install Oracle Database, Fusion Middleware Infrastructure 12c, Oracle Enterprise Repository 12c, RCU patch 18791727 and Weblogic patch 18718889 (these last two are important, else you can’t install OAC).
  2. Run RCU (oracle_common/bin/rcu.sh|bat) and create the OAC repository
  3. Run Weblogic Domain creation (weblogic/bin/config.sh|bat) and create a new which includes OAC.
  4. After installation and startup of weblogic and managed service you can find the OAC console at url: http://serverhost:8111/oac

Note: if you harvesting from another weblogic server (like SOA Suite 12c), the weblogic patch should also be installed there.

Taking the first steps

When taking my first steps the official getting started guide can help you a lot. OAC has four high-level features. OAC collects services, it has a harvester which creates API assets in OAC. After harvesting you can add metadata to the API assets like description, tags and documentation. After harvesting and editing an API asset it can be published so it is visible for application development. Published APIs can be discovered and used  through the API Catalog console and via the Oracle JDeveloper Oracle Enterprise Repository plug-in.

Read the complete article here.

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Friday Mar 06, 2015

API article series by Niall Commiskey

clip_image001Thanks for the nice API management introduction:

Installing API Catalog

Using the API Catalog for harvesting SOA service APIs

Using API Catalog for harvesting Service Bus APIs

developer -

Users with the developer role have the ability to search OAC for published APIs from the OAC console or using the Oracle Enterprise Repository JDeveloper plug-in. The developer can examine the API metadata to better understand the API. The developer also has the ability to declare interest in the API and submit ratings and reviews for an API.

curator -

In addition to the capabilities available to the developer role, users with the curator role can run the harvester to create new API assets in OAC. After API assets have been created, curators edit them to update their metadata. The curator also has the ability to publish an API, which makes the API available for discovery by developers.

admin -

In addition to the capabilities available to the curator and the developer roles, users with the admin role have access to the Adminpage in OAC. From this page users with this role can administer the infrastructure of OAC by editing system settings, creating new users, creating new departments, managing sessions, and using the import/export tool. Users with this role can also configure the security features included with OAC.

Read the all the articles here.

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Tuesday Feb 17, 2015

API Manager available for download

Description of subscribe.png followsThis is the initial release of the Oracle API Manager 12c. Please see the Documentation tab for Release Notes, Installation Guides and other release specific information. You can also view the Oracle SOA Release Notes Page provided for this release.

For more information please visit

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Thursday Feb 12, 2015

Creating a Mobile-Optimized REST API Using Oracle Service Bus by Steven Davelaar

clip_image002

Fusion Middleware A-Team architect Steven Davelaar kicks off a new series that shows you how to use Oracle Service Bus (OSB) 12c to transform SOAP-based enterprise system interfaces into a mobile-optimized REST-JSON API.  Read part 1 and Read part 2

Introduction

To build functional and performant mobile apps, the back-end data services need to be optimized for mobile consumption. RESTful web services using JSON as payload format are widely considered as the best architectural choice for integration between mobile apps and back-end systems. At the same time, most existing enterprise back-end systems provide a SOAP-based web service application programming interface (API) or proprietary file-based interfaces. In this article series we will discuss how Oracle Service Bus (OSB) 12c can be used to transform these enterprise system interfaces into a mobile-optimized REST-JSON API. This architecture layer is sometimes referred to as Mobile Oriented Architecture (MOA) or Mobile Service Oriented Architecture (MOSOA). A-Team has been working on a number of projects with OSB 12c to build this architecture layer. We will explain step-by-step how to build this layer, and we will  share tips, lessons learned and best practices we discovered along the way. In this first part we will discuss how to design the REST API.

Main Article

Design Considerations

Let’s start with the first challenge: how do you design an API that is truly optimized for mobile apps? A common pitfall is to start with the back-end web services, and take that back-end payload as a starting point. While that may limit the complexity of transformations you have to do in OSB 12c (you could even use the automated “Publish-As-REST” function on a SOAP business service) it leads to an API which is everything but optimized for mobile. This brings us to our first recommendation:

The REST API design should be driven by the mobile developer.

He (or she) is the only one who can combine all the requirements, information and knowledge required for a good design:

  • he designs and builds the various screens, knows the supported form factors and knows exactly which data should be retrieved for which screen.
  • he knows the requirements for working in offline mode, and knows how this can be supported and implemented using his mobile development tool set.
  • he is responsible for data caching strategies to optimize performance in both online and offline scenarios
  • he decides which read and write actions can be performed in a background thread not impacting the user-perceived performance.

To illustrate how the above aspects impact the design of the API, we will introduce the sample “human resources” app that we will use throughout this article series. Lets start with the three screen mockups our API should support: Read the complete article here.

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Wednesday Feb 11, 2015

SOA/API developer tool tips by Luis Augusto Weir

clip_image001Having been delivering SOA projects for over a decade, I’ve come across many tools some of which I hate and avoid using them (unless a client demands so)  and others that have made my life easier when delivering projects.

The below table is a recollection of tools I have used or come across which  I find useful and recommend SOA/API practitioners to use or at least evaluate. Enjoy :)

SDLC

Tool Name

Description + Links

Project/Scrum Management and Collaboration

Jira

Jira when used for scrum management is In my opinion is the the best tool I've used for managing scrums specially in an offshore / onshore distributed environment. It also has capabilities to manage GIT repositories which makes this an ideal tool for a complete cloud/based agile project with users all over the world.
https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira

Agilo

I used this tool some time back successfully in a large onsite SOA project and it worked very well for us. Product has come along way since then and It's more feature rich than it used to be. It has a 30 day trial.
http://agilosoftware.com/

Trello

Very simple, lean and easy to use project/task management and collaboration tool. It’s free for any number of users, can log-in using Google account.
Thanks Darren Atkinson for this tip!
https://trello.com
Furthermore there are some awesome plug-ins to use it for Agile projects:

https://www.burndownfortrello.com/

http://scrumfortrello.com/

Coop App

very clean UI supporting features such as share status updates, questions, links, and others.
http://coopapp.com/

PBworks

Suite of tools including in-app instant messaging, live notifications of changes to work spaces, live editing of documents, voice collaboration, wiki, and others. Can be used for full collaboration including project management.
http://www.pbworks.com/

Configuration Management

GitHub

I have been using this tool recently but found it amazing specially because of the GitHub client which is not intrusive to filesystem (like Tortoise and that create issues some times in the local file system) and very easy to use. It's social collaborative capabilities are awesome but also supports private projects however this latter feature it's not free. Also there are tutorials online.
https://github.com/
try.github.com

Get all tips from Luis here.

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Saturday Jan 31, 2015

API Catalog to Simplify API Management By Mala Ramakrishnan

Oracle is extending its API Management solution with a new product, API Catalog. This will give customers the ability to simplify the publication of API services that are developed in Oracle SOA Suite and other sources. Oracle API Catalog will be part of Oracle's broader API Management solution portfolio. Oracle API Catalog also integrates seamlessly with with Oracle Mobile Suite portfolio of products for mobile enablement. Oracle API Catalog harvests services in Oracle Fusion Middleware to allow one-click publish, submit ratings, or manage re-use across other consuming applications. Oracle's API Catalog is SOAP as well as REST/JSON compliant to easily support mobile mobile applications.

clip_image001

Here is a validation by one of our beta customers Peter Osborne, IT Technical Lead at LG&E and KU Services Company: "The Oracle API Catalog is a straightforward, easy-to-use governance tool for capturing what services exist, what these services do, and how they can be consumed. Within hours of installation, an organization can begin cataloging their SOAP and REST web services, regardless of the underlying service technology. The harvesting functionality provides a jump start on aggregating service details, while minimizing manual data entry and the risk of duplication and error. Finally, the included JDeveloper plug-in completes the lifecycle by providing a mechanism within JDeveloper to easily view and consume documented services."

To find out more information on Oracle API Catalog, visit us: Website and explore our Datasheet.

Thanks to Andre, Lucas and Luis for the first community feedback. Send us your feedback via twitter @soacommunity #APIcatalog12c & #OER12c

clip_image002André Evensen @anevensen ·  2h 2 hours ago

Harvesting services from WSDLs and publishing to #APIcatalog12c, works like a charm. @soacommunity #OracleSOA

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clip_image002[1]André Evensen @anevensen ·  8h 8 hours ago

Newly released #APIcatalog12c installed on SOA Suite 12c. Next: Harvesting services! @soacommunity #OER12c

clip_image006

clip_image007Luis Augusto Weir @Luisw19 ·  10h 10 hours ago

Publish your #API in minutes with #OAC new killer tool to manage APIs @soacommunity @oracleace @OTNArchBeat http://tinyurl.com/oac12c

clip_image008Lucas Jellema @lucasjellema ·  11h 11 hours ago

Oracle Enterprise Repository 12c is available for download at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/repository/overview/index.html … - including the brand new API Catalog @soacommunity

SOA & BPM Partner Community

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