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Announcements and Technical Advice for the Oracle
Utilities product community from the Product Management team

  • September 25, 2019

Oracle Utilities Application Framework 4.4.0.2.0 Released

Anthony Shorten
Senior Principal Product Manager

The latest version of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework (4.4.0.2.0) will be released with the latest on-premise and Oracle Utilities SaaS Cloud Services over the next few weeks. This release contains a series of new and improved capabilities that products using this release can take full advantage of. The key capabilities in this release are as follows:

  • Introduction of Market Transaction Management into the Oracle Utilities Application Framework (Oracle Utilities Saas Cloud exclusive). The Market Transaction Management (MTM) objects are now included in the objects delivered with the Oracle Utilities Application Framework for use exclusively by the new MTM capabilities delivered in the Oracle Utilities SaaS Cloud Services. This also includes additional ILM capabilities to manage market message objects as part of the ILM solution.
  • Integration API Improvements. More detail is now included in the REST API specification in the Open API documentation including more descriptions and valid values for lookups.
  • Mobile Framework Changes (Oracle Utilities Saas Cloud exclusive). For the Oracle Utilities SaaS Cloud, the Mobile Framework has been enhanced to support additional capabilities in the Oracle Identity Cloud, including federation, and support Oracle Object Storage for managing mobile deployment files.
  • REST URI Change. The URI for the REST API has been a configurable component in past releases. In this release a new generated URI will be used using configuration at both the service and operation level, in an effort to implement a consistent interface across product lines. The new format for the URI, by default is as follows:
https://<host>:<port>/rest/<context>/api/iws/<owner>/<resourceCategory>/<component>/<operation>

Where:

<host> Host Name
<port> Port Number
<context> Server Context
<owner> Product Owner
<reourceCategory> Service Category
<component> URI Component
<operation> Operation Name

Note: Older URI functionality, mainly used by the Mobile Framework, will be supported for backward compatibility in the interim but will be slowly phased out to use this capability.

  • New REST HTTP Method Support. In past releases of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework, the POST HTTP method was only supported for all REST calls regardless of the transaction type or operation used. In this release, the PUT, GET and PATCH HTTP methods are now supported on REST based services by specifying the relevant method on each operation in the REST operation management capability. For example:

Example REST HTTP Method

Note: For backward compatibility, the POST method is defaulted for existing services.

  • Security Improvements. The User Group Services Management Portal has been improved to provide lower cost management of membership including dynamic portals for improved maintenance of application services, both linked and non-linked relationships.
  • Privacy Improvements. In past releases Object Erasure was introduced to support privacy legislation across the world. In this release, it is now possible to manually transition the life-cycle of an erasure object to support on-demand privacy situations.
  • Update Of UI Libraries. This release updates the Oracle Jet Libraries to a new version that supports a wider range of browsers, device types and provides additional widget support as a foundation release for future planned features.
  • To Do Improvements. The new To Do portal has been enhanced to support functionality to denote explicit work on an individual To Do. By using this functionality, an authorized user can go directly to the data referenced in the To Do to reduce navigation time. The Current To Do dashboard zone now supports quick completion of a To Do, detection of any related To Do and the ability to close this and related To Do in a simpler manner. These changes are part of the planned To Do management changes rolled out over a number of releases.
  • New ILM Enabled Objects. This release adds ILM support for the Process Flow and Statistics Snapshot Objects. 
  • Style Sheets as Managed Content. On the Oracle Utilities SaaS Cloud direct file references for code are not permitted for the management and storage for eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT) files. In this release, these translations used in Inbound Web Services and Outbound Messages on External Systems, can now be stored and reference as Managed Content objects in the database. This means these previously file based translations can be defined as managed content and managed using the migration tools, such as Configuration Migration Assistant (CMA), to reduce maintenance costs and risks on the Oracle Utilities SaaS Cloud. This capability is not available for other uses of XSL files in the Oracle Utilities Application Framework as they are not applicable to the Oracle Utilities SaaS Cloud.

Note: As this setting is defaulted to using managed content at the global level, on-premise customers wanting to continue to use the file based XSL file support MUST alter the XSL Location setting for the External Messages Feature Configuration to F1FL to configure backward compatibility. For example:

XSL Location Feature Configuration

  • Data Conversion Improvements (Oracle Utilities Saas Cloud exclusive). As part of the Oracle Utilities SaaS Cloud Service, the Oracle Utilities Cloud Services Foundation product provides a capability to perform conversion activities as a part of a migration to the cloud, if necessary. In this release a new set of conversion specific processes are now included with each service to provide a comprehensive conversion experience. These new batch programs can be used as provided or extended to support more complex situations.
  • Date And Time Formatting Improvement. By default, date and time fields are retrieved and extracted in an internal 'OUAF' format. In this release, various changes have been implemented to support indicating that all date and time fields should be converted to standard XSD format. The plug-in driven extract batch program supplied by the product has been enhanced to include a new parameter to indicate the date format.  The F1-ConvertXMLToDelimited and F1-ConvertXMLToFileFormat business services have been enhanced to include a new parameter to indicate the date format.
  • Improved Batch Error Handling. Batch jobs may fail because of technical or environmental reasons that are transient in nature, such as an interruption in the availability of the database.  With the previous batch implementation, temporary failures would result in the batch thread being marked in Error status and a customer alert.  Since these issue cannot always be resolved, batch processing now supports automatic thread re-submission when a failure occurs for technical reasons. The thread will now move to a status of  "Interrupted" and the system will attempt a number of retries before moving the thread to "Error".
  • Cloud Deprecated Features. To take full advantage of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure a number of Oracle Utilities Application Framework features are now not applicable on the Oracle Utilities Cloud SaaS Service to avoid duplication. In this release, the following features are no longer supported on Oracle Utilities Cloud SaaS implementations only:
    • Log analysis features of the Oracle Cloud, available from Oracle Utilities Cloud Service Foundation, have rendered the following Debug Mode buttons (Start Debug, Stop Debug, Clear Trace, and Show Trace) superfluous and there have been disabled on Oracle Utilities Cloud SaaS implementations.
    • On Inbound SOAP Web Service in the Operation collection, the Request and Response schema elements are not supported. Implementations may still use the Request and Response XSL fields to support this requirement.
    • On External System/Outbound Message profile, the Response Schema and the W3C Schema are not supported. Implementations may still use the Request and Response XSL fields to support this requirement.
  • Development and UX Improvements. The Oracle Utilities Application Framework introduces new and updated development capabilities in line with the user experience changes to reduce the coding time. In this release the following capabilities were introduced or enhanced:
  • Alternate Row Headers on Data Explorers. To be accessible it is now possible to add the rowheader=true tag onto the data explorer to be picked up by accessibility features of the platform.
  • Updated Icon Set. The icon set has been updated to include new and updated icons.
  • More Visible Error Messages. Error messages have been optimized to be more efficient and more visible to prevent unnecessary scrolling.

Example Error Message

  • Query Filter Error Minimized. The filter query area now can minimize automatically to maximize the filters.
  • Escape Key Support. When popping up a help window, it can now be dismissed with the use of the escape key.
  • Timeline Zone Redesign. The look of the timeline has been changed to reflect the principles of the new user experience introduced in 4.4.0.0.0 with a more visible calendar and new icon set.

Exanmple Time Line

  • Marking a List Element in Error. The error trapping has been enhanced to allow the marking of a specific list element in error. This also extends to support for Groovy which allows the Groovy script to denote which element is in error.
  • Online Help Engine UX Overhaul. The first stages of the online help overhaul have been completed to align the major parts of the engine with the new experience. For example:

New Online Help

Note: This release includes new and updated capabilities introduced in Oracle Utilities Application Framework 4.4.0.1.0, which was a cloud exclusive release as well as new and updated capabilities introduced in this service pack.

Note: Whilst some of these changes are best used on the Oracle Utilities SaaS Cloud, they can also be applied to on-premise, IaaS and PaaS implementation of the products, unless otherwise indicated as Cloud Exclusive.

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