Monday May 05, 2014

Archiving/ILM Introduction - Part 1

As part of Oracle Utilities Application Framework 4.2.0.2.0 and Oracle Utilities Customer Care And Billing 2.4.0.2.0, a new Archiving/Data Management engine based around the Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) capabilities within the Oracle Database (with options).

The first part of the solution is actually built into the Oracle Utilities Application Framework to define the business definition of active transaction data. Active transaction data is transactional data that is regularly added, changed or deleted as part of a business process. Transaction data that is read regularly is not necessarily active from an ILM point of view. Data that read can be compressed, for example, with little impact to performance of that data.

Note: The ILM solution only applies to the objects that are transactional and that ILM has been enabled against. Refer to the DBA Guide shipped with the product for a list of objects that are shipped with each product.

To set the business definition of active transaction data is using a master configuration record for ILM. For example:

Master Configuration

It is possible to define the data retention period, in days, for individual objects that are covered by the data management capability. These settings are set on the Maintenance Object Options shipped with the ILM solution. For example:

Maintenance Object Options

Essentially the configuration allows for the following:

  • A global retention period can be defined, in days. Objects that are covered by ILM can inherit this setting if you do not want to manage at the Maintenance Object level.
  • Each Maintenance Object that is enabled for ILM, has a number of Maintenance Object options to define the following:
    • ILM Retention Period In Days - Sets the retention period for the object at creation time.
    • ILM Crawler Batch Control - The batch control for the crawler which will traverse the objects and set the ILM dates and ILM flags.
    • ILM Eligibility Algorithm - The algorithm containing the business rules to assess the eligibility of individual objects for data management. This algorithm can be altered to implement additional business rules or additional criteria to implement object specific rules. For example, it is possible to implement specific rules for specific object definitions (i.e. say, have different rules for residential customers to industrial/commercial customers).
  • An ILM crawler has been provided for each object to set ILM dates and assess eligibility for objects. This batch process can be run whenever the business rules need to be implemented for data management and also used for when the business rules need to be changed, due to business changes.

At the end of this stage, a number of ILM specific fields on those objects have been set ready for the technical implementation of the ILM facilities in the database (which will be a subject of a future post).

The date that is set by this configuration does not mean that this data will disappear, it just defines the line where the business hands the data over to the technical database setup.

As you can see from this post, the data management capability from the business perspective is simple and flexible. You can define take the default eligibility rules and setup as provided or customize this first stage to implement more complex rules that match your data retention rules.

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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