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Technical Advice for Oracle Tax and Utilities products
Updated: 50 min 38 sec ago

ConfigTools Best Practices Whitepaper

Tue, 2014-09-23 16:15

The ConfigTools facility allows customers to implement customizations to Oracle Utilities products. A Best Practices whitepaper has been released to provide implementers additional advice and techniques for this facility to use it effectively.

The whitepaper covers such topics as:

  • Overview of each ConfigTools objects such as Business Objects, Business Services, Query Zones, UI Maps, Data Areas etc including additional advice and techniques for efficient use.
  • Using Fields, Managed Content, Standard components, Lookups and Extended Lookups for building flexible solutions
  • Developing Multi-lingual solutions
  • etc

The whitepaper is available at My Oracle Support from ConfigTool Best Practices (Doc Id: 1929040.1)

Oracle OpenWorld Sessions - Oracle Utilities

Thu, 2014-09-11 20:04

I will be presenting three sessions at Oracle Openworld this year. Feel free to come to the sessions if you are attending and have a chat with me on your implementations and general feedback.

The three sessions I am conducting are:

I will also be around the Oracle Utilities area for general discussions with customers and also be appearing at demo grounds.

See you there.

Using Oracle's MAA with Oracle Utilities Products

Thu, 2014-09-11 19:47

The Oracle Utilities family of products use Oracle standard technology such as the Oracle Database and Oracle Fusion Middleware (a.k.a. Oracle WebLogic). As we use those technologies the features and techniques for those products in Oracle's Maximum Availability Architecture can be applied to Oracle Utilities products.

Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture is a set of processes and guidelines for implementing high availability solutions. For Oracle Utilities products the following MAA solutions are applicable:

Other MAA documents are also applicable for Oracle Exadata, Oracle ExaLogic and Oracle VM. The guidelines and processes can be used to design and configure specific MAA solutions for Oracle Utilities products at your site.

Whitepaper List as per August 2014

Mon, 2014-08-11 19:54
The following Oracle Utilities Application Framework technical whitepapers are available from My Oracle Support at the Doc Id's mentioned below. Some have been updated in the last few months to reflect new advice and new features.

Unless otherwise marked the technical whitepapers in the table below are applicable for the following products (with versions):

Doc Id Document Title Contents 559880.1 ConfigLab Design Guidelines This whitepaper outlines how to design and implement a data management solution using the ConfigLab facility.
This whitepaper currently only applies to the following products:
560367.1 Technical Best Practices for Oracle Utilities Application Framework Based Products Whitepaper summarizing common technical best practices used by partners, implementation teams and customers. 560382.1 Performance Troubleshooting Guideline Series A set of whitepapers on tracking performance at each tier in the framework. The individual whitepapers are as follows:
  • Concepts - General Concepts and Performance Troublehooting processes
  • Client Troubleshooting - General troubleshooting of the browser client with common issues and resolutions.
  • Network Troubleshooting - General troubleshooting of the network with common issues and resolutions.
  • Web Application Server Troubleshooting - General troubleshooting of the Web Application Server with common issues and resolutions.
  • Server Troubleshooting - General troubleshooting of the Operating system with common issues and resolutions.
  • Database Troubleshooting - General troubleshooting of the database with common issues and resolutions.
  • Batch Troubleshooting - General troubleshooting of the background processing component of the product with common issues and resolutions.
560401.1 Software Configuration Management Series
A set of whitepapers on how to manage customization (code and data) using the tools provided with the framework. Topics include Revision Control, SDK Migration/Utilities, Bundling and Configuration Migration Assistant. The individual whitepapers are as follows:
  • Concepts - General concepts and introduction.
  • Environment Management - Principles and techniques for creating and managing environments.
  • Version Management - Integration of Version control and version management of configuration items.
  • Release Management - Packaging configuration items into a release.
  • Distribution - Distribution and installation of releases across environments
  • Change Management - Generic change management processes for product implementations.
  • Status Accounting - Status reporting techniques using product facilities.
  • Defect Management - Generic defect management processes for product implementations.
  • Implementing Single Fixes - Discussion on the single fix architecture and how to use it in an implementation.
  • Implementing Service Packs - Discussion on the service packs and how to use them in an implementation.
  • Implementing Upgrades - Discussion on the the upgrade process and common techniques for minimizing the impact of upgrades.
773473.1 Oracle Utilities Application Framework Security Overview A whitepaper summarizing the security facilities in the framework. Now includes references to other Oracle security products supported. 774783.1 LDAP Integration for Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products A generic whitepaper summarizing how to integrate an external LDAP based security repository with the framework. 789060.1 Oracle Utilities Application Framework Integration Overview A whitepaper summarizing all the various common integration techniques used with the product (with case studies). 799912.1 Single Sign On Integration for Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products A whitepaper outlining a generic process for integrating an SSO product with the framework. 807068.1 Oracle Utilities Application Framework Architecture Guidelines This whitepaper outlines the different variations of architecture that can be considered. Each variation will include advice on configuration and other considerations. 836362.1 Batch Best Practices This whitepaper outlines the common and best practices implemented by sites all over the world. 856854.1 Technical Best Practices V1 Addendum Addendum to Technical Best Practices for Oracle Utilities Customer Care And Billing V1.x only. 942074.1 XAI Best Practices This whitepaper outlines the common integration tasks and best practices for the Web Services Integration provided by the Oracle Utilities Application Framework. 970785.1 Oracle Identity Manager Integration Overview This whitepaper outlines the principals of the prebuilt intergration between Oracle Utilities Application Framework Based Products and Oracle Identity Manager used to provision user and user group security information. For Fw4.x customers use whitepaper 1375600.1 instead. 1068958.1 Production Environment Configuration Guidelines A whitepaper outlining common production level settings for the products based upon benchmarks and customer feedback. 1177265.1 What's New In Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4?  Whitepaper outlining the major changes to the framework since Oracle Utilities Application Framework V2.2. 1290700.1 Database Vault Integration Whitepaper outlining the Database Vault Integration solution provided with Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.1.0 and above. 1299732.1 BI Publisher Guidelines for Oracle Utilities Application Framework Whitepaper outlining the interface between BI Publisher and the Oracle Utilities Application Framework 1308161.1 Oracle SOA Suite Integration with Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products This whitepaper outlines common design patterns and guidelines for using Oracle SOA Suite with Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products. 1308165.1 MPL Best Practices
This is a guidelines whitepaper for products shipping with the Multi-Purpose Listener.
This whitepaper currently only applies to the following products:
1308181.1 Oracle WebLogic JMS Integration with the Oracle Utilities Application Framework This whitepaper covers the native integration between Oracle WebLogic JMS with Oracle Utilities Application Framework using the new Message Driven Bean functionality and real time JMS adapters. 1334558.1 Oracle WebLogic Clustering for Oracle Utilities Application Framework This whitepaper covers process for implementing clustering using Oracle WebLogic for Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products. 1359369.1 IBM WebSphere Clustering for Oracle Utilities Application Framework This whitepaper covers process for implementing clustering using IBM WebSphere for Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products 1375600.1 Oracle Identity Management Suite Integration with the Oracle Utilities Application Framework This whitepaper covers the integration between Oracle Utilities Application Framework and Oracle Identity Management Suite components such as Oracle Identity Manager, Oracle Access Manager, Oracle Adaptive Access Manager, Oracle Internet Directory and Oracle Virtual Directory. 1375615.1 Advanced Security for the Oracle Utilities Application Framework This whitepaper covers common security requirements and how to meet those requirements using Oracle Utilities Application Framework native security facilities, security provided with the J2EE Web Application and/or facilities available in Oracle Identity Management Suite. 1486886.1 Implementing Oracle Exadata with Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing This whitepaper covers some advice when implementing Oracle ExaData for Oracle Utilities Customer Care And Billing. 878212.1 Oracle Utilities Application FW Available Service Packs This entry outlines ALL the service packs available for the Oracle Utilities Application Framework. 1454143.1 Certification Matrix for Oracle Utilities Products This entry outlines the software certifications for all the Oracle Utilities products. 1474435.1 Oracle Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities Overview This whitepaper covers the Oracle Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities. This is a pack for Oracle Enterprise Manager. 1506830.1 Configuration Migration Assistant Overview
This whitepaper covers the Configuration Migration Assistant available for Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.2.0.0.0. This replaces ConfigLab for some products.
1506855.1 Integration Reference Solutions
This whitepaper covers the various Oracle technologies you can use with the Oracle Utilities Application Framework. 1544969.1 Native Installation Oracle Utilities Application Framework This whitepaper describes the process of installing Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products natively within Oracle WebLogic. 1558279.1 Oracle Service Bus Integration  This whitepaper describes direct integration with Oracle Service Bus including the new Oracle Service Bus protocol adapters available. Customers using the MPL should read this whitepaper as the Oracle Service Bus replaces MPL in the future and this whitepaper outlines how to manually migrate your MPL configuration into Oracle Service Bus.

Note: In Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.2.0.1.0, Oracle Service Bus Adapters for Outbound Messages and Notification/Workflow are available 1561930.1 Using Oracle Text for Fuzzy Searching This whitepaper describes how to use the Name Matching and  fuzzy operator facilities in Oracle Text to implemement fuzzy searching using the @fuzzy helper fucntion available in Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.2.0.0.0 1606764.1
Audit Vault Integration This whitepaper describes the integration with Oracle Audit Vault to centralize and separate Audit information from OUAF products. Audit Vault integration is available in OUAF 4.2.0.1.0 and above only.
1644914.1
Migrating XAI to IWS
Migration from XML Application Integration to the new native Inbound Web Services in Oracle Utilities Application Framework 4.2.0.2.0 and above.
1643845.1
Private Cloud Planning Guide
Planning Guide for implementing Oracle Utilities products on Private Clouds using Oracle's Cloud Foundation set of products.
1682436.1
ILM Planning Guide
Planning Guide for Oracle Utilities new ILM based data management and archiving solution.
1682442.1
ILM Implementation Guide for Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing
Implementation Guide for the ILM based solution for the Oracle Utilities Customer Care And Billing.

Password Change Sample - Updated

Wed, 2014-07-16 17:31

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.

Introduction to BatchEdit

Sun, 2014-07-06 21:14

BatchEdit is a new wizard style utility to help you build a batch architecture quickly with little fuss and technical knowledge. Customers familiar with the WLST tool that is shipped with Oracle WebLogic will recognize the style of utility I am talking about it. The idea behind BatchEdit is simple. It is there to provide a simpler method of configuring batch by boiling down the process to its simplest form. The power of the utility is the utility itself and the set of preoptimized templates shipped with the utility to generate as much of the configuration as possible but still have a flexible approach to configuration.

First of all, the BatchEdit utility, shipped with OUAF 4.2.0.2.0 and above, is disabled by default for backward compatibility. To enable it  you must execute the configureEnv[.sh] -a utility and in option 50 set the Enable Batch Edit Functionality to true and save the changes. The facility is now available to use.

Once enabled, the BatchEdit facility can be executed using the bedit[.sh] <options> utility where <options> are the options you want to use with the command. The most useful is the -h and --h which display the help for the command options and extended help. You will find lots of online help in the utility. Just typing help <topic> you will get an explanation and further advice on a specific topic.

The next step is using the utility. The best approach is to think of the configuration is various layers. The first layer is the cluster. The next layer is the definition of threadpools in that cluster and then the submitters (or jobs) that are submitted to those threadpools. Each of those layers has configuration files associated with them.

Concepts

Before understanding the utility, lets discuss a few basic concepts:

  • The BatchEdit allows for "labels" to be assigned to each layer. This means you can group like configured components together. For example, say you wanted to setup a specific threadpoolworker for a specific set of processes and that threadpoolworker had unique characteristics like unique JVM settings. You can create a label template for that set of jobs and dynamically build that. At runtime you would tell the threadpoolworker[.sh] command to use that template (using the -l option). For submitters the label is the Batch Code itself.
  • The BatchEdit will track if changes are made during a session. If you try and exit without saving a warning is displayed to remind you of unsaved changes. Customers of Oracle Enterprise Manager pack for Oracle Utilities will be able to track configuration file version changes within Oracle Enterprise Manager, if desired.
  • BatchEdit essentially edits existing configuration files (e.g. tangosol-coherence-override.xml for the cluster, threadpoolworker.properties for threadpoolworker etc). To ascertain what particular file is being configured during a session use the what command.
  • BatchEdit will only show the valid options for the scope of the command and the template used. This applies to the online help which is context sensitive.
Using the utility

The BatchEdit utility has two distinct modes to build and maintain various configuration files.

  • Initiation Mode - The first mode of the utility is to invoke the utility with the scope or configuration file to create and/or manage. This is done by specifying the valid options at the command line. This mode is recorded in a preferences file to remember specific settings across invocations. For example, once you decide which cluster type you want to adopt, the utility will remember this preference and show  the options for that preference only. It is possible to switch preferences by re-invoking the command with the appropriate options.
  • Edit Mode - Once you have invoked the command, a list of valid options are presented which can be altered using the set command. For example, the set port 42020 command will set the port parameter to 42020. You can add new sections using the add command, and so forth. Online help will show the valid commands. The most important is the save command which saves all changes.
Process for configuration

To use the command effectively here is a summary of the process you need to follow:

  • Decide your cluster type first. Oracle Utilities Application Framework supports, multi-cast, uni-cast and single server clusters. Use the bedit[.sh] -c [-t wka|mc|ss] command to set and manage the cluster parameters. For example:
$ bedit.sh -c
Editing file /oracle/FW42020/splapp/standalone/config/tangosol-coherence-override.xml using template /oracle/FW42020/etc/tangoso
l-
coherence-override.ss.be

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [tangosol-coherence-override.xml]
----------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  cluster (DEMO_SPLADM)
  address (127.0.0.1)
  port (42020)
  loglevel (1)
  mode (dev)

> help loglevel

loglevel
--------
Specifies which logged messages will be output to the log destination.

Legal values are:

  0    - only output without a logging severity level specified will be logged
  1    - all the above plus errors
  2    - all the above plus warnings
  3    - all the above plus informational messages
  4-9  - all the above plus internal debugging messages (the higher the number, the more the messages)
  -1   - no messages

> set loglevel 2

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [tangosol-coherence-override.xml]
----------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  cluster (DEMO_SPLADM)
  address (127.0.0.1)
  port (42020)
  loglevel (2)
  mode (dev)

> save
Changes saved
> exit
  • Setup your threadpoolworkers. For each group of threadpoolworkers use the bedit[.sh] -w [-l <label>] where <label> is the group name. We supply a default (no label) and cache threadpool templates. For example:
$ bedit.sh -w
Editing file /oracle/FW42020/splapp/standalone/config/threadpoolworker.properties using template /oracle/FW42020/etc/threadpoolw
orker.be

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [threadpoolworker.properties]
------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  minheap (1024m)
  maxheap (1024m)
  maxperm (256m)
  daemon (true)
  rmiport (6510)
  dkidisabled (false)
  storage (true)
  distthds (4)
  invocthds (4)
  role (OUAF_Base_TPW)
  pool.1
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)
  pool.2
      poolname (LOCAL)
      threads (0)

> set pool.2 poolname FRED

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [threadpoolworker.properties]
------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  minheap (1024m)
  maxheap (1024m)
  maxperm (256m)
  daemon (true)
  rmiport (6510)
  dkidisabled (false)
  storage (true)
  distthds (4)
  invocthds (4)
  role (OUAF_Base_TPW)
  pool.1
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)
  pool.2
      poolname (FRED)
      threads (0)

> add pool

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [threadpoolworker.properties]
------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  minheap (1024m)
  maxheap (1024m)
  maxperm (256m)
  daemon (true)
  rmiport (6510)
  dkidisabled (false)
  storage (true)
  distthds (4)
  invocthds (4)
  role (OUAF_Base_TPW)
  pool.1
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)
  pool.2
      poolname (FRED)
      threads (0)
  pool.3
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)

> set pool.3 poolname LOCAL

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [threadpoolworker.properties]
------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  minheap (1024m)
  maxheap (1024m)
  maxperm (256m)
  daemon (true)
  rmiport (6510)
  dkidisabled (false)
  storage (true)
  distthds (4)
  invocthds (4)
  role (OUAF_Base_TPW)
  pool.1
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)
  pool.2
      poolname (FRED)
      threads (0)
  pool.3
      poolname (LOCAL)
      threads (5)

> set pool.3 threads 0

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [threadpoolworker.properties]
------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  minheap (1024m)
  maxheap (1024m)
  maxperm (256m)
  daemon (true)
  rmiport (6510)
  dkidisabled (false)
  storage (true)
  distthds (4)
  invocthds (4)
  role (OUAF_Base_TPW)
  pool.1
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)
  pool.2
      poolname (FRED)
      threads (0)
  pool.3
      poolname (LOCAL)
      threads (0)

>
  • Setup your global submitter settings using the bedit[.sh] -s command or batch job specific settings using the bedit[.sh] -b <batchcode> command where <batchcode> is the Batch Control Id for the job. For example:
$ bedit.sh -b F1-LDAP
File /oracle/FW42020/splapp/standalone/config/job.F1-LDAP.properties does not exist - create? (y/n) y
Editing file /oracle/FW42020/splapp/standalone/config/job.F1-LDAP.properties using template /oracle/FW42020/etc/job.be

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [job.F1-LDAP.properties]
-------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  poolname (DEFAULT)
  threads (1)
  commit (10)
  user (SYSUSER)
  lang (ENG)
  soft.1
      parm (maxErrors)
      value (500)
>

The BatchEdit facility is an easier way of creating and maintaining the configuration files with little bit of effort. For more examples and how to migrate to this new facility is documented in the Batch Best Practices for Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products (Doc Id: 836362.1) whitepaper available from My Oracle Support.

New ConfigTools Training available on Youtube

Thu, 2014-07-03 18:12

The Oracle Public Sector Revenue Management product team have released a series of training videos for the Oracle Utilities Application Framework ConfigTools component. This component allows customers to use meta data and scripting to enhance and customize Oracle Utilities Application Framework based solutions without the need for Java programming.

The series uses examples and each recording is around 30-40 minutes in duration.

The channel for the videos is Oracle PSRM Training. The videos are not a substitute for the training courses available, through Oracle University, on ConfigTools, but are useful for people trying to grasp individual concepts while getting an appreciation for the power of this functionality.

 At time of publication, the recordings currently available are:


    New Batch Configuration Wizard (BatchEdit) available

    Tue, 2014-07-01 16:36

    A new configuration facility is available s part of Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.2.0.2.0 called Batch Edit. One of the concerns customers and partners asked us to address is to make configuration of the batch architecture simpler and less error prone. A new command line utility has been introduced to allow customers to quickly and easily implement a robust technical architecture for batch. The feature provides the following:

    • A simple command interface to create and manage configurations for clusters, threadpools and submitters in batch.
    • A set of optimized templates to simplify configuration but also promote stability amongst configurations. Complex configurations can be error prone which can cause instability. These templates, using optimal configurations from customers, partners and Oracle's own performance engineer group, attempt to simply the configuration process, whilst supporting flexibility in configuration to cover implementation scenarios.
    • The cluster interface supports multi-cast and unicast configurations and adds a new template optimized for single server clusters. The single server cluster is ideal for use in non-production situations such as development, testing, conversion and demonstrations. The cluster templates have been optimized to support advanced facilities in Oracle Coherence to use the high availability and optimize network operations
    • The threadpoolworker interface allows implements to configure all the attributes from a single interface including for the first the the ability to create cache threadpools. These special type of threadpoolworker dod not run submitters but allow implementations to reduce the network overheads for individual components communicating across a cluster. They provide a mechanism for Coherence to store and relay state of all the components in a concentrated format and also serve as a convenient conduit for the Global JMX capability.
    • The submitter interface allows customers and implementors to create global and job specific properties files.
    • Tagging is supported in the utility to allow groups of threadpools and submitters to share attributes.
    • The utility provides helpful context sensitive help for all its functions, parameters and configurations with advanced help also available.

    Over the next few weeks I will be publishing articles highlighting features and functions of this new facility.

    More information about Batch Edit is available from the Batch Server Administration Guide shipped with your product and the Batch Best Practices (Doc Id: 836362.1) available from My Oracle Support.

    Application Management Pack for Utilities Self Running Demonstration

    Thu, 2014-06-19 20:32

    A self running demonstration of the Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities is now available from My Oracle Support at Doc Id: 1474435.1. The demonstration in SWF (Flash) format, covers the features of the pack available for Oracle Enterprise Manager which is annotated for ease of use.

    The demonstration covers the following topics:

    • Discovery of the Oracle Utilities Targets
    • Registration of Oracle Utilities Targets
    • Starting and Stopping Oracle Utilities Targets
    • Patching Oracle Utilities Targets
    • Migrating patches across Oracle Utilities Targets
    • Cloning Environments including basic and advanced cloning
    • Miscellaneous functions

    The demonstration requires a browser with Adobe Flash installed. The demonstrate can be streamed from My Oracle Support or downloaded for offline replay.


    New ILM Whitepapers available

    Tue, 2014-06-17 14:03

    In Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.2.0.2.0 and above, a new archiving and data management capability was introduced to help customers design a cost effective storage solution and data management strategy for their implementations of Oracle Utilities products. The facility will allow customers to retain data according to their policies (legal or otherwise) whilst offering strategies for cost effective storage of that data.

    To help with the implementation of this new facility two new whitepapers have been published to My Oracle Support for download:

    Additional products will be releasing additional whitepaper as they release the ILM based components.