Thursday Apr 10, 2014

New Web Services Capabilities available

As part of Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.2.0.2.0, a new set of Web Services capabilities is now available to replace the Multi-Purpose Listener (MPL) and also XAI Servlet completely with more exciting capabilities.

Here is a summary of the facilities:

  • There is a new Inbound Web Services (IWS) capability to replace the XAI Inbound Services and XAI Servlet (which will be deprecated in a future release). This capability combines the meta data within the Oracle Utilities Application Framework with the power of the native Web Services capability within the J2EE Web Application Server to give the following advantages:
    • It is possible to define individual Web Services to be deployed on the J2EE Web Application Server. Web based and command line utilities have been provided to allow developers to design, deploy and manage individual Inbound Web Services.
    • It is now possible to define multiple operations per Web Service. XAI was restricted to a single operation with multiple transaction types. IWS supports multiple operations separated by transaction type. Operations can even extend to different objects within the same Web Service. This will aid in rationalizing Web Services.
    • IWS  makes it  possible to monitor and manage individual Web Services from the J2EE Web Application Server console (or Oracle Enterprise Manager). These metrics are also available from Oracle Enterprise Manager to provide SLA and trend tracking capabilities. These metrics can also be fine grained to the operation level within a Web Service.
    • IWS allows greater flexibility in security. Individual Services can now support standards such as WS-Policy, WS-ReliableMessaging etc as dictated by the capabilities of the J2EE Web Application Server. This includes message and transport based security, such as SAML, X.509 etc and data encryption.
    • For customers lucky enough to be on Oracle WebLogic and/or Oracle SOA Suite, IWS now allows full support for Oracle Web Services Manager (OWSM) on individual Web Services. This also allows the Web Services to enjoy additional WS-Policy support, as well as, for the first time, Web Service access rules. These access rules allow you to control when and who can run the individual service using simple or complex criteria ranging from system settings (such as dates and times), security (the user and roles) or individual data elements in the payload.
    • Customers migrating from XAI to IWS will be able to reuse a vast majority of their existing definitions. The only change is that each IWS service has to be registered and redeployed to the server, using the provided tools, and the URL for invoking the service will be altered. XAI can be used in parallel to allow for flexibility in migration.
  • The IWS capability and the migration path for customers using XAI Inbound Services is available in a new whitepaper Migrating from XAI to IWS (Doc Id: 1644914.1) available from My Oracle Support.

Over the next few weeks I will be publishing articles highlighting capabilities for both IWS and the OSB to help implementations upgrade to these new capabilities.

Tuesday Apr 08, 2014

Oracle Service Bus transports available

As outlined in the whitepaper Oracle Service Bus Integration with Oracle Utilities Application Framework (Doc Id: 1558279.1) available from My Oracle Support, the Multi-Purpose Listener (MPL) is bsing replaced by Oracle Service Bus (OSB). Whilst transaction inbound to the Oracle Utilities Application Framework based product are handled natively using Web Services, transactions outbound from the products are handled by Oracle Service Bus. Consequently a number of protocol adapters have been developed that are installed in Oracle Service Bus to allow Oracle Service Bus to initiate the following outbound communications:

  • Outbound Messages
  • Notification Download Staging (Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing and Oracle Public Service Revenue Management only)

The transports are now available from My Oracle Support as a patch on any OUAF 4.2.0.0.0 and above product as Patch 18512327: OUAF Transports for OSB 1.0.0.

Installation instructions for Oracle Service Bus and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse are included in the patch as well as the whitepaper.

Monday Apr 07, 2014

Password Change Sample

In the Technical Best Practices whitepaper ((Doc Id: 560367.1), available from My Oracle Support, there is a section (Password Management Solution for Oracle WebLogic) that mentions a sample password change JSP that used to be provided by BEA for WebLogic. That site is no longer available but the sample code is now available on this blog.

Now, this is an example only and is very generic. It is not a drop and install feature that you can place in your installation but the example is sufficient to give an idea of the Oracle WebLogic API available for changing your password. It is meant to allow you to develop a CM JSP if you required this feature.

There is NO support for this as it is sample code only. It is merely an example of the API available. Link to this code is here. Examine it to get ideas for your own solutions.

The API used will most probably work for any security system that is configured as an authentication security provider.

Private Cloud Planning Guide available for Oracle Utilities

Oracle Utilities Application Framework based applications can be housed in private cloud infrastructure which is either onsite or as a partner offering. Oracle provides a Private Cloud foundation set of software that can be used to house Oracle Utilities software. To aid in planning for installing Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products on private cloud a whitepaper has been developed and has been published.

The Private Cloud Planning Guide (Doc Id: 1308165.1) which is available from My Oracle Support, provides and architecture and software manifest for implementing a fully functional private cloud offering onsite or via a partner. It refers to other documentation to install and configure specific components of a private cloud solution.

About

Anthony Shorten
Hi, I am Anthony Shorten, I am the Principal Product Manager for the Oracle Utilities Application Framework. I have been working for over 20+ years in the IT Business and am the author of many a technical whitepaper, manual and training material. I am one of the product managers working on strategy and designs for the next generation of the technology used for the Utilities and Tax markets. This blog is provided to announce new features, document tips and techniques and also outline features of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products. These products include Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing, Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management, Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management and Oracle Public Service Revenue Management. I am the product manager for the Management Pack for these products.

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