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Updated: 11 hours 43 min ago

The VERSION column - A unsung treasure

Wed, 2017-06-21 20:58

If you use an Oracle Utilities Application Framework based product you will notice the column VERSION exists on all objects in the product. There is a very important reason that this column exists on the tables.

One of the common scenarios in an online system is the problem called the lost update problem. Let me explain, say we have two users (there can be more), say User A and User B.

  • User A reads Object A to edit it.
  • User B reads Object A as well to edit it at the same time.
  • User B saves the Object changes first.
  • User A saves the Object changes.

Now, without protection, the changes that User B made would be overridden by User A's changes. We have lost User B's changes. This is the lost update problem in a nutshell.

Now using the VERSION column changes the above scenario:

  • When User A and User B reads the object, the current value of VERSION is noted.
  • Whenever the object is updated, the value VERSION is checked. If it is the same than the value of VERSION when the record was read then value of VERSION is incremented as part of the update.
  • If the value of VERSION does not match, the product will issue a "Concurrency Error" and ask the user to retry the transaction (after reloading the changed object).

In our scenario, User A would receive the message as the value of VERSION has incremented, and therefore differs, since it was read by that user.

VERSION is a standard column on all objects in the system and applies no matter what channel (online, web services or batch) updates the object.

Hidden gems in OUAF 4.3.0.4.0

Thu, 2017-06-01 21:45

Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.3.0.4.0 has just been released with a few products and you will find a few hidden gems in the installation which provides a couple of useful features for those upgrading.

Here is a summary of some of those features:

  • You will notice that now the product requires the Oracle Java Required Files (JRF). These files are additional libraries Oracle uses in its products to standardize diagnostics and administration. The JRF is provided as a profile you apply to your Oracle WebLogic domain to provide additional facilities and features. It install JRF it is recommended to down the Fusion Middleware Infrastructure release of Oracle WebLogic as it includes all the files necessary to apply the template. These libraries are used by various components in the product and each release we will implement more and more of the advanced functionality they provide.
  • One of the biggest gems is that JRF implements a new additional console in the form of Fusion Middleware Control. Customers familiar with Oracle SOA Suite will be familiar with this new console. It is a companion console and has some additional features around Web Services management and other administration features (including recording for replays) for common tasks. Here is an example of the console running with one of our products:

Oracle Fusion Middleware Control

  • The JRF inlcudes a prebuilt diagnostics framework (FMWDFW) setup for use with WLDF. The WebLogic Diagnostics Framework (WLDF) is a framework where you configure rules for detecting issues in your domain. When an issue arises, WLDF automatically collects the relevant information into a Diagnostics Package which can be sent to Oracle Support for diagnosis. This collects any relevant information (including flight recordings if you enable that) and creates a zip file full of diagnostic information to help solve the issue. The prebuilt setup can be used with OUAF products and can be altered to detect additional issues if necessary. At the present it helps detect the following:
    • Deadlocks
    • Heapspace (memory issues)
    • Stuck Threads (it can be configured to detect hogging threads as well)
    • UncheckedException - These are general errors

The JRF is a collection of useful libraries and utilities that are now enabled with Oracle Utilities Application Framework to help you be more efficient and also detect issues for you to manage.

Scripting, Groovy and Java for extending the product

Sun, 2017-05-28 23:55

In a recent past release of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework, we introduced Groovy as an alternative development technology for server side extensions on our products. This now means we have three technologies that can be used to extend our products:

  • XPath/Xquery based scripting engine known as scripting
  • Java
  • Groovy

Now, the issue becomes which technology do I use for my extensions. Here are a few guidelines to help you:

  • In terms of performance, there is not much difference between the technologies as, at the end of the day, they all result in byte code that is executed by the product. The product runtime does not discriminate the technology at that level. There is a slight advantage of Java/Groovy over Scripting for extremely large volumes.
  • If you are doing complex algorithmic or operating system level interaction it is recommended to use either Groovy or Java instead of scripting. While scripting can satisfy the most common of extensions, it may not be as efficient as Java/Groovy.
  • If you are intending to move to the Oracle Utilities SaaS offerings, you cannot use Java for any extensions. This is due to the fact that Java tends to be low level and also you cannot deploy your own JAR/WAR/EAR files in a Saas environment. If you use Oracle PaaS then you have full access so you can use Java in those cases.
  • Groovy was adopted as a language as it is the foundation of the Oracle Cloud offerings in general for extensions. The Groovy implementation across the Oracle Cloud is whitelisted so that it is restricted to accessing classes that do not have direct access to operating system resources. In this case we supply Groovy libraries to provide a contained integration with these resources.
  • One of the major considerations is total cost of ownership. Typically if you use a mixture of languages in your implementation then the cost of maintenance of those extensions tends to be higher if you chose to use a single language. This is true for any product that has multiple ways of extension as while flexibility is a great asset, it can come with additional costs. I usually recommend that you pick one of the technologies and stick with it for your extensions unless, for some reason, you need to use a mixture.
  • In terms of best practices, a lot of implementation partners tend to use scripting for the vast majority of their extensions and only use Groovy/Java when scripting is not applicable for some reason.
  • One of the big advantages of scripting and Groovy is that the code assets are actually contained in the database and migration is all handled by either Bundling (for small migrations) or using Configuration Migration Assistant (CMA). The use of Java for extensions, typically requires a manual synchronization of data as well as code.

From a vendor perspective, it does not matter which technology you choose to use. Personally, I would use scripting and the only use Groovy as necessary, it is easier to manage and you do not have physical JAR/WAR/EAR files to manage which makes your code/data synchronization much less an issue in a complex migration strategy. It also means you can move to the cloud a lot easier, in the future.

High and Maximum Availability Architectures

Thu, 2017-05-25 17:51

One of the most common questions I get from partners is what are the best practices that Oracle recommends for implementing high availability and also business continuity. Oracle has a set of flexible architectures and capabilities to support a wide range of high availability and business continuity solutions available in the marketplace.

The Oracle Utilities Application Framework supports the Oracle WebLogic and Oracle Database and related products with features inherited from the architecture or native facilities that allow features to be implemented. In summary the Oracle Utilities Application Framework supports the following:

  • Oracle WebLogic Clustering and high availability architectures are supported natively including support for the load balancing facilities supported, whether they be hardware or software based. This support extends to the individual channels supported by the Framework and to individual J2EE resources such as JMS, Data Sources, MDB etc..
  • Oracle Coherence high availability clustering is available natively for the batch architecture. We now also support using Oracle WebLogic to cluster and manage our batch architecture (though it is exclusively used in our Oracle Cloud implementations at the moment).
  • The high availability and business continuity features of the Oracle Database are also supported. For example, it is possible to implement Oracle Notification Service support within the architecture to implement Fast Connection Failure etc.

Oracle publishes a set of guidelines for Oracle WebLogic, Oracle Coherence and Oracle Database that can be used with Oracle Utilities Application Framework to implement high availability and business continuity solutions. Refer to the following references for this information:

REST Support clarifications

Tue, 2017-05-23 19:10

In the Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.3.0.3.0 release, the support for REST has been enabled for use as a complementary interface method adding to the SOAP support we already have in the product.

The REST support in the Oracle Utilities Application Framework was originally developed to support our new generation of the mobile connection platform we used for the Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management platform and limited to that product initially. Subsequently, we have decided to open up the support for general use.

As the REST support was originally designed for its original purpose, the current release of REST is limited to specific aspects of that protocol but it is at a sufficient level to be used for general purpose functions. It is designed to be an alternative to SOAP integration for customers who want to a mixture of SOAP and REST in their integration architectures.

In the initial release, the REST support has been implemented as part of the online channel to take advantage of the Oracle WebLogic facilities and share the protocol and security setup of that channel. In a future release, we have plans to incorporate enhanced REST features in a separate channel dedicated to integration.

For more information about the REST platform support, including the limitations of this initial release, refer to the Web Services Best Practices whitepaper from My Oracle Support (Doc Id: 221475.1).

Multiple Policy Support (4.3.0.4.0)

Wed, 2017-05-17 23:28

One of the features of the latest Oracle Utilities Application Framework (V4.3.0.4.0) is the support for multiple WS-Policy compliant policies on Inbound Web Services. There are a number of ways to achieve this:

  • Annotations - It is now possible to specify multiple inline policies (standard ones and custom ones) with order of precedence also supported via a Sequence. It is also now possible to delegate to security within Annotations to Oracle Web Services Manager. This means it is now possible to mix inline with external policies. For example:

Multiple Policies as Annotations

  • Oracle WebLogic - It is possible to attach the policies supported by Oracle WebLogic to the individually deployed Web Services on the container level. This supports multiple policies (order of precedence is designated by the order they appear in the Web Service) on the individual Web Service.
  • Oracle Web Services Manager - It is possible to attach additional policies using the container (Web Services Manager includes the Oracle WebLogic supported policies, additional advanced policies and access controls) and like Oracle WebLogic, the order of precedence for multiple policies is the order they are attached to the individual Web Service. For example:

OWSM Policy Example

Now why have multiple policies in the first place. Well, you do not have to use multiple policies but there are a few use cases where it makes sense:

  • Some WS-Policies are for transport security and some are for message security only. Using a combination allows you to specify both using different policies. I should point out that most WS-Policies contain a transport and message combination so it reduces the need for multiple policies in the container.
  • You can create WS-Policy compliant custom policies, as long as they are supported by Oracle WebLogic or Oracle Web Services Manager, and those can have separate transport or message security definitions.
  • You should reuse web services as much as possible. You can choose not to expose the WS-Policy in your service but then use different policies for different interface systems. This might sound illogical but you may have different levels of security depending on the source of the call. In this case you would tell your sources the different policies they must adhere to.

Multiple policies are an optional feature but can be used to support a wide range of different interface styles.

SOA Suite Security with Inbound Web Services

Wed, 2017-05-17 19:06

With the introduction of Inbound Web Services the integration between these services and Oracle SOA Suite now has a few more options in terms of security.

  • It is possible to specify the WS-Policy to use to secure the transport and message sent to the product web service on the SOA Composite. The product supports more than one WS-Policy per service and any composite must conform to one of those policies.
  • As with older versions of the product and SOA Suite, you can specify the csf-key within the domain itself. This key holds the credentials of the interface in meta-data so that it avoids hardcoding the credentials in each call. This also means you can manage credentials from the console independently of the composite. In the latest releases it is possible to specify the csf-map as well (in past releases you had to use oracle.wsm.security as the map).

Now the process to do the configuration is as follows:

  • Using Oracle Fusion Middleware control, select the Oracle SOA Suite domain (usually soa_domain) and add the credentials (and map) to the domain. The credentials can be shared across composites or you choose to setup multiple credentials (one for each interface for example). In the example below, the map is the default oracle.wsm.security map and key is ouaf.key (just for the example):

Example Key and Map

  • Now the credentials and the WS-Policies need to be specified on the composite within Oracle SOA Suite. This can be done within SOA Composer or Oracle JDeveloper. Below is an Oracle JDeveloper example, where you link the WS-Policies using Configure SOA WS Policies at the project level in Oracle JDeveloper for each external reference. For example:

Configure SOA WS Policies

  • You then select the policy you want to use for the call. Remember you only use one of the policies you have configured on the Inbound Web Service. If you have a custom policy, that must be deployed to the Oracle SOA Suite and your Oracle JDeveloper instance to be valid for your composite. For example a list of policies is displayed and you select one:

Example Policy Selection

  • Edit the Policy to specify additional information. For example :

Editing Policy

  • At this point, specify which csf-map and csf-key you want to use for the call in the Override Value. In the example below the csf-key is specified. For example:

Example Key specification

The security has been setup for the composite. You have indicated the credentials (which can be managed from the console) and the policy to use can be attached to the composite to ensure that your security specification has been implemented.

Depending on the WS-Policy you choose to use, there may be additional transport and message protection settings you will need to specify (for example if you use policy specific encryption, outside the transport layer, you may need to specify the encryption parameters for the message). For full details of Oracle SOA Suite facilities, refer to the Oracle SOA Suite documentation.

Testing, the Oracle difference

Mon, 2017-05-15 00:43

Recently I attended the customer forums in London, to discuss the future of our product lines and also outline the work we have done over the last year. One of the questions that came up was the a discussion of the major advantages of using the Oracle Functional Testing Advanced Pack for Oracle Utilities which is part of the Oracle Testing solution.

In the industry, functional testing, in an initial implementation and the subsequent upgrades of any product, is a major part of the implementation. Typically to reduce risk, implementations commonly decide to reduce the scope of testing, to meet deadlines, which increases the overall risk.

One way of addressing this is to adopt automated testing. While this sounds logical it can have hidden costs:

  • Traditional tools use user interface based scripting which basically records the screen and the interaction of the screen. In the old days in my career, I used to call this screen scraping. I am sure it is more than that, effectively it is using the screen recording, including the data entered, as a rerunnable test.
  • Typically, data that is entered in the recording is embedded in the script used for recording. This means if you wanted to reuse the script you would probably need to record it again or have some programming resource to change the script. Effectively you need a specialist script programmer to maintain the testing assets for you.
  • If the user experience changes, even due to a patch, the script may or may not work as originally intended which may return inconsistent results or you will need to re-record the asset again. This is more likely when you upgrade as new modern user experiences are introduced over time.
  • Testing assets are really programmable objects that are typically maintained by a programmer rather than a testing resource. Whilst, these programming languages are made easier and easier to use they are still programming.

Now, whilst it is possible to use the Oracle Application Testing Suite in the traditional sense as outlined above, when it is coupled with the Oracle Functional Testing Advanced Pack for Oracle Utilities it is much different and addresses the issues seen in a traditional automated testing approach.

  • Oracle Functional Testing Advanced Pack for Oracle Utilities includes a full set of reusable components that are the SAME components used by the QA teams at Oracle on a day to day basis. The fact they are used on a daily basis by the product QA, reduces the risk of them actually executing and being able to be used against the product versions.
  • The solution is based upon Oracle Application Testing Suite which is used by hundreds of Oracle customers across many Oracle products such as eBusiness Suite, Peoplesoft, Fusion, JD Edwards etc. Oracle Utilities is just one of the latest products to use the Oracle Application Testing Suite. In fact, some of the products have licensed packs as well that can be used with in conjunction with the Oracle Utilities pack.
  • The components represent the full functions of the main functionality of the product they are supplied for. The only components we do not provide are the components that cover the administration objects. These objects are typically not cost effective to automate in an implementation, due to their very low usage after implementation.
  • The supplied components are customization aware where algorithms, change handlers, etc are handled by the component automatically.
  • The Oracle Functional Testing Advanced Pack for Oracle Utilities supplies a number of utilities to allow partners and implementations to add custom components to the solution for any customization not handled by the base components (this should be relatively rare).
  • The process to use the pack with the Oracle Application Testing suite is more assembly (orchestration) rather than programming. Oracle Flow Builder, which is included in the solution, is a simple browser based too that allows business processes to be modeled with simple drag and drop of the components in the order they represent the business process. This allows a lower skilled person to build the flows rather than a programmer.
  • The testing flows becomes a test script through a generator. The resulting script does not need to be altered or maintained by a developer after it is generated.
  • Data for the flow is independent of the flow which encourages reuse. For example, it is possible to attach different data to represent different scenarios to a single flow. Flows can also contain multiple scenarios if desired. This extends even after the flow is expressed a test script where the physical data is separated out so it can be replaced at runtime rather than design time.
  • The whole solution is designed for reuse so that the number of assets you need is actually far less than traditional methods. This reduces costs and risk.
  • It is possible to reuse your flows across product versions. For example, it is possible to test multiple releases of products to reduce your upgrade risk by aligning the same flows to different versions of the supplied components.

The testing solution from Oracle Utilities is far more cost effective than traditional methods with the content allowing implementations to quickly adopt automated testing with a lower implementation risk. Customers who have used the solution have found they have tested more, reduced their testing costs and increased accuracy of their solutions.

Oracle Utilities Work And Asset Management V2.2.0.0.0 Released

Thu, 2017-05-11 16:14

Oracle Utilities Work And Asset Management (WAM) V2.2.0.0.0 has been released and is available from Oracle Delivery Cloud. This version is also based upon Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.3.0.4.0 (also known as 4.3 SP4).

Included in this release are usability enhancements, an update to the Esri GIS Integration, Preventive Maintenance Event processing, and Construction Work Management.  

With these new additions we are now able to support the full asset lifecycle, from design and construction to retirement, opening up the gas and electric distribution market.  Construction Work Management adds the final piece to the Asset Lifecycle process.

  • Asset Performance Management - The Asset Performance Management features have been enhanced to offer new ways to calculate Asset Health Index scores and to set up Preventive Maintenance triggers based on the Asset Health Index.   We also offer integration points for third party predictive maintenance products to affect the Asset Health Index.
  • Compatible Units - Compatible Units are job standards that can be used to provide consistency and assistance when creating work designs.  Compatible Units can be created for either internal resources or for contractors.
  • Construction Work Design - Work Designs are critical to utility distribution companies.  The work design process leverages the compatible units to quickly scope and estimate the costs of work.  You are able to create multiple versions to designs to compare various construction options such as overhead or underground work.  You can also create design versions to compare contractor work.  When you pick a design to execute, you are able to easily transition the work design into a work package without having to create new work orders from scratch.
  • Construction Work Orders - Construction work orders differ from regular work orders because we are creating new assets rather than maintaining existing assets.  A construction work order also manages Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) accounting to ensure the work in progress is accounted for correctly.  The closeout process allows you to create new WAM assets to start their lifecycle in WAM and also creates the fixed asset property unit data to feed the corporate accounting system.
  • "As Built" Reconciliation - One of the big challenges for organizations is the reconciliation of the work design to the actual construction.  The actual construction work often diverges from the estimate due to the wide variety of variables that occur on a project.  WAM v2.2 offers a full reconciliation process to allow you to revise the values of assets, move costs between construction and maintenance accounts, review and adjust property unit valuation, and provides support for mass asset valuations.
  • PM Event Processing -  You can now package up a group of work templates into a PM Event and trigger that event as a group rather than one work template at a time.  This can be used for outage work or any repetitive work that requires multiple work orders to be created.

  • Esri GIS Integration - The user experience of the Esri GIS Integration was completely revised to provide a more intuitive experience.  Esri mapviewer components are directly integrated into the Work and Asset Management product.  Customers can publish any map component as an Esri Web Map and enroll that Web Map into WAM.  This includes feature layer maps as well as any thematic maps or metrics that customers choose to publish.

Esri Integration

 

Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing V2.6.0.0.0 is now available

Sun, 2017-05-07 23:28

Oracle Utilities Customer Care And Billing V2.6.0.0.0 is now available for download and installation from Oracle's Delivery Cloud. This is the first Oracle Utilities product to release on the Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.3.0.4.0, also know and 4.3 SP4.

The latest Oracle Utilities Application Framework includes the latest updates, new functionality, content we have delivered from our cloud offerings and new versions of platforms. The release media includes a new set of updated documentation:

  • Updated versions of the online documentation which are available using the Oracle Help engine online and in offline format as well.
  • New technical documentation about installation, operations and security.
  • We have released a new API Guide for the management API's now included in the release documentation. These API's are used by our new management interfaces and our next release of the OEM Management Pack for Oracle Utilities.
  • As in my last posts OUAF 4.3.0.4.0 Release Summary you can see the Framework features that are now available for Oracle Utilities Customer Care And Billing customers that can be utilized.

With the general availability of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.3.0.4.0 a series of articles and new versions of whitepapers will be released over the coming months to highlight new features available for the use on the cloud and on-premise implementations of these products.

OUAF 4.3.0.4.0 Release Summary

Thu, 2017-04-06 20:28

The next release of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework (4.3.0.4.0) is in its final implementation across our product lines over the next few months. This release improves the existing Oracle Utilities Application Framework with exciting new features and enhanced existing features for our cloud and non-cloud implementations. Here is a summary of the key features of the new Oracle Utilities Application Framework.

Main Features CMA Improvements

The following highlights some improvements to CMA processing.

Ad-hoc Migration Requests

A new migration request BO has been provided to allow for building ‘ad-hoc’ migration requests using a list of specific objects.  It’s called the “entity list” migration request.

A special zone is included to find records to include in the migration request.  This zone allows you to choose a maintenance object that is configured for CMA and enter search criteria to get a list of objects to choose.  The zone supports linking one or more objects for the same MO en masse.


Once records are linked, a zone allows you to view the existing records and remove any if needed.

Selection

Grouping Migration Requests

Migration requests may now be grouped so that you can maintain more granular migration requests that get grouped together to orchestrate a single export of data for a ‘wholesale’ migration.  The framework supplies a new ‘group’ migration request that includes other migration requests that logically group migration plans.  Edge products or implementations may include this migration request into their own migration request.


Mass Actions During Migration Import Approval

When importing data sets, a user may now perform mass actions on migration objects to approve or reject or mark as ‘needs review’.


Groovy Library Support

Implementers may now define a Groovy library script for common functionality that may be included in other Groovy scripts.

There’s a new script type:


Scripts of this type define a Groovy Library Interface step type to list the Groovy methods defined within the script that are available for use by other scripts.


Additional script steps using the Groovy Member step type are used to define the Groovy code that the script implements.

Groovy scripts that choose to reference the Groovy Library Script can use the createLibraryScript method provided by the system to instantiate the library interface.

Search Menu Capability

A new option in the toolbar allows a user to search for a page rather than using the menu to find the desired page.


All menu items whose label matches what the user types are shown (as you type):


Additional Features

The following is a subset of additional features that are included.   Refer to the published release notes for more details.

  • URI validation / substitution. Any place where a URI is configured can now use substitution variables to support transparency across environment. The fully substituted value can also be validated against a whitelist for added security.
  • Minimizing the dashboard suppresses refresh. This allows a user to improve response when navigating throughout the system by delaying the refresh of zones in the dashboard while it is minimized.
  • New support for UI design. Input maps may now support half width sections.  Both display and input maps may support “floating” half width sections that fill in available space on the UI based on what is displayed.
  • Individual batch controls may now be secured independently.
  • Ad-hoc batch parameters are supplied to all batch related plug-in spots. Additionally, plug-in driven batch programs may now support ad-hoc parameters.
  • Elements in a schema that include the private=true attribute will no longer appear in the WSDL of any Inbound Web Service based upon that schema.

OUAF 4.3.0.4.0 Release Summary

Thu, 2017-04-06 20:28

The next release of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework (4.3.0.4.0) is in its final implementation across our product lines over the next few months. This release improves the existing Oracle Utilities Application Framework with exciting new features and enhanced existing features for our cloud and non-cloud implementations. Here is a summary of the key features of the new Oracle Utilities Application Framework.

Main Features CMA Improvements

The following highlights some improvements to CMA processing.

Ad-hoc Migration Requests

A new migration request BO has been provided to allow for building ‘ad-hoc’ migration requests using a list of specific objects.  It’s called the “entity list” migration request.

A special zone is included to find records to include in the migration request.  This zone allows you to choose a maintenance object that is configured for CMA and enter search criteria to get a list of objects to choose.  The zone supports linking one or more objects for the same MO en masse.


Once records are linked, a zone allows you to view the existing records and remove any if needed.

Selection

Grouping Migration Requests

Migration requests may now be grouped so that you can maintain more granular migration requests that get grouped together to orchestrate a single export of data for a ‘wholesale’ migration.  The framework supplies a new ‘group’ migration request that includes other migration requests that logically group migration plans.  Edge products or implementations may include this migration request into their own migration request.


Mass Actions During Migration Import Approval

When importing data sets, a user may now perform mass actions on migration objects to approve or reject or mark as ‘needs review’.


Groovy Library Support

Implementers may now define a Groovy library script for common functionality that may be included in other Groovy scripts.

There’s a new script type:


Scripts of this type define a Groovy Library Interface step type to list the Groovy methods defined within the script that are available for use by other scripts.


Additional script steps using the Groovy Member step type are used to define the Groovy code that the script implements.

Groovy scripts that choose to reference the Groovy Library Script can use the createLibraryScript method provided by the system to instantiate the library interface.

Search Menu Capability

A new option in the toolbar allows a user to search for a page rather than using the menu to find the desired page.


All menu items whose label matches what the user types are shown (as you type):


Additional Features

The following is a subset of additional features that are included.   Refer to the published release notes for more details.

  • URI validation / substitution. Any place where a URI is configured can now use substitution variables to support transparency across environment. The fully substituted value can also be validated against a whitelist for added security.
  • Minimizing the dashboard suppresses refresh. This allows a user to improve response when navigating throughout the system by delaying the refresh of zones in the dashboard while it is minimized.
  • New support for UI design. Input maps may now support half width sections.  Both display and input maps may support “floating” half width sections that fill in available space on the UI based on what is displayed.
  • Individual batch controls may now be secured independently.
  • Ad-hoc batch parameters are supplied to all batch related plug-in spots. Additionally, plug-in driven batch programs may now support ad-hoc parameters.
  • Elements in a schema that include the private=true attribute will no longer appear in the WSDL of any Inbound Web Service based upon that schema.

The blog is evolving

Tue, 2017-03-28 16:48

As you may of noticed, the blog has not been updated as regularly as it used to. Oracle is moving its blog platform soon to a new platform and during that process the number of blog changes has been limited to aid in the migration.

So here are the proposed plans for this blog:

  • This blog will be retired long term and replaced with a new Oracle Utilities Application Framework blog centered around technology and tips/techniques.
  • More people will be involved in creating new content with special guests coming into publishing content on the blog.
  • We are preparing new content for our next release 4.3.0.4.0 which is going to be exciting with new features and updated features. The new blog will house that content.

We are still preparing for the migration and I will keep you posted on this site when it will all happen. I will also post a final post to this blog pointing to the new exciting platform.

The blog is evolving

Tue, 2017-03-28 16:48

As you may of noticed, the blog has not been updated as regularly as it used to. Oracle is moving its blog platform soon to a new platform and during that process the number of blog changes has been limited to aid in the migration.

So here are the proposed plans for this blog:

  • This blog will be retired long term and replaced with a new Oracle Utilities Application Framework blog centered around technology and tips/techniques.
  • More people will be involved in creating new content with special guests coming into publishing content on the blog.
  • We are preparing new content for our next release 4.3.0.4.0 which is going to be exciting with new features and updated features. The new blog will house that content.

We are still preparing for the migration and I will keep you posted on this site when it will all happen. I will also post a final post to this blog pointing to the new exciting platform.

OUAF 4.3.0.4.0 On its way

Sun, 2017-03-05 15:32

We are currently putting the final touches on the next service pack (SP4) for the latest Oracle Utilities Application Framework release (4.3). This is a very exciting release for us with a lot of functionality that we are using for the cloud implementations of our products being made available to customers on cloud as well as customers on non-cloud implementations.

Over the next few weeks I will be releasing a series of articles, highlighting some of  the major changes we have introduced into the service pack that will be of interest to people in the field for their non-cloud implementations.

The release adds new functionality, updates existing functionality and retires functionality that we have previously announced as deprecated. You will start seeing products released based upon this new service pack in the upcoming months.

It is a very exciting time for Oracle Utilities and this release will be a foundation for even more exciting functionality we have planned going forward.

OUAF 4.3.0.4.0 On its way

Sun, 2017-03-05 15:32

We are currently putting the final touches on the next service pack (SP4) for the latest Oracle Utilities Application Framework release (4.3). This is a very exciting release for us with a lot of functionality that we are using for the cloud implementations of our products being made available to customers on cloud as well as customers on non-cloud implementations.

Over the next few weeks I will be releasing a series of articles, highlighting some of  the major changes we have introduced into the service pack that will be of interest to people in the field for their non-cloud implementations.

The release adds new functionality, updates existing functionality and retires functionality that we have previously announced as deprecated. You will start seeing products released based upon this new service pack in the upcoming months.

It is a very exciting time for Oracle Utilities and this release will be a foundation for even more exciting functionality we have planned going forward.

EMEA Edge Conference

Sun, 2017-03-05 15:24

I will be attending the EMEA Edge Conference in Reading UK which will be conducted on April 25-26th 2017. I am planning to hold the same technical sessions as I did at the AMER conference earlier this year. As with that conference the sessions are a combination of what we have achieved, what we are planning and some tips and techniques to take back to your implementations of the products.

I would like to thank the participants of my AMER and JAPAC sessions who provided me with valuable insight into the market which we can factor into our ongoing roadmaps.

The sessions we are planning at outlined in my previous blog entry on the edge technical stream.

EMEA Edge Conference

Sun, 2017-03-05 15:24

I will be attending the EMEA Edge Conference in Reading UK which will be conducted on April 25-26th 2017. I am planning to hold the same technical sessions as I did at the AMER conference earlier this year. As with that conference the sessions are a combination of what we have achieved, what we are planning and some tips and techniques to take back to your implementations of the products.

I would like to thank the participants of my AMER and JAPAC sessions who provided me with valuable insight into the market which we can factor into our ongoing roadmaps.

The sessions we are planning at outlined in my previous blog entry on the edge technical stream.

Batch Scheduler Resources

Tue, 2017-01-31 20:16

In the last release of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework, we released an integration to the DBMS_SCHEDULER to manage and execute our batch processes. We supply a pl/sql based interface to our batch process.

DBMS_SCHEDULER is part of the database and therefore there are lots of advice on the internet to help use the scheduler effectively. I have compiled a list of some of the resources on the internet that may be useful when using this scheduler:

This list is not exhaustive so take a look at other resources you might find useful (look for DBMS_SCHEDULER in the search engine of your choice). Those coming to the Oracle Utilities Edge Conference should note that I am conducting a session on the scheduler and the integration on Feb 14 at the conference if you want more information.

Batch Scheduler Resources

Tue, 2017-01-31 20:16

In the last release of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework, we released an integration to the DBMS_SCHEDULER to manage and execute our batch processes. We supply a pl/sql based interface to our batch process.

DBMS_SCHEDULER is part of the database and therefore there are lots of advice on the internet to help use the scheduler effectively. I have compiled a list of some of the resources on the internet that may be useful when using this scheduler:

This list is not exhaustive so take a look at other resources you might find useful (look for DBMS_SCHEDULER in the search engine of your choice). Those coming to the Oracle Utilities Edge Conference should note that I am conducting a session on the scheduler and the integration on Feb 14 at the conference if you want more information.

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