One of the most common questions I get from partners is around batch scheduling and execution. Oracle Utilities Application Framework has a flexible set of methods of managing, executing and monitoring batch processes. The alternatives available are as follows:
- Third Party Scheduler Integration. If the site has an investment in a third party batch scheduler to define the schedules and execute product batch processes with non-product processes, at an enterprise level, then the Oracle Utilities Application Framework includes a set of command line utilities, via scripts, that can be invoked by a wide range of third party schedulers to execute the process. This allows scheduling to be managed by the third party scheduler and the scripts to be used to execute and manage product batch processes. The scripts return standard return codes that the scheduler to use to determine next actions if necessary. For details of the command line utilities refer to the Server Administration Guide supplied with your version of the product.
- Oracle Scheduler Integration. The Oracle Utilities Application Framework provides a dedicated API to allow implementations to use the Oracle DBMS Scheduler included in all editions of the database to be used as local or enterprise wide scheduler. The advantage of this is that the scheduler is already included in your existing database license and has inbuilt management capabilities provided via the base functionality of Oracle Enterprise Manager (12+) (via Scheduler Central) and also via Oracle SQL Developer. Oracle uses this scheduler in the Oracle Utilities SaaS Cloud solutions. Customers of those cloud services can use the interface provided by the included Oracle Utilities Cloud Service Foundation to manage their schedules or use the provided REST based scheduler API to execute schedules and/or processes from a third party scheduler. For more details of the scheduler interface refer to the Batch Scheduler Integration (Doc Id: 2138193.1) whitepaper available from My Oracle Support.
- Online Submission. The Oracle Utilities Application Framework provides a development and testing tool to execute individual batch processes from the online system. It is basic and only supports execution of individual processes (not groups of jobs like the alternatives do). This online submission capability is designed for cost effective developer and non-production testing, if desired, and is not supported for production use. For more details, refer to the online documentation provided with the version of the product you are using.
Note: For customers of legacy versions of Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing, a basic workflow based scheduler was provided for development and testing purposes. This interface is not supported for production use and one of the alternatives outlined above should be used instead.
All the above methods all use the same architecture for execution of running batch processes (though some have some additional features that need to be enabled). For details of the each of the configurations, refer to the Server Administration Guide supplied with your version of the product.
When asked about which technology should be used I tend to recommend the following:
- If you have an existing investment, that you want to retain, in a third party scheduler then use the command line interface. This will retain your existing investment and you can integrate across products or even integrate non-product batch such as backups from the same scheduler.
- If you do not have an existing scheduler, then consider using the DBMS Scheduler provided with the database. It is more likely your DBA's are already using it for their tasks and it is used by a lot of Oracle products already. The advantage of this scheduler is that you already have the license somewhere in your organization already. It can be deployed locally within the product database or remotely as an enterprise wide solution. It has a lot of good features and Oracle Utilities will use this scheduler as a foundation of our cloud implementations. If you are on the cloud then use the provided interface in Oracle Utilities Cloud Service Foundation and if you have an external scheduler via the REST based Scheduler API. If you are on-premise, then use the Oracle Enterprise Manager (12+) interface (Scheduler Central) in preference to the SQL Developer interface (though the latter is handy for developers). Oracle also ships a command line interface to the scheduler objects if you like pl/sql type administration.
Note: Scheduler Central in Oracle Enterprise Manager is included in the base functionality for Oracle Enterprise Manager and does not require any additional packs.
- I would only recommend to use the online submission for demonstrations, development and perhaps in testing (where you are not using Oracle Utilities Testing Accelerator or have the scheduler not implemented). It has very limited support and will only execute individual processes.