woensdag 20 juli 2016

Oracle SOA Suite Code Quality: SonarQube Quality Gates, XML Plugin and custom XPath rules

There are several ways to do code quality checks in SOA Suite. In this blog post I will describe a minimal effort setup which uses Jenkins 2.9, SonarQube 5.6 and the SonarQube XML Plugin 1.4.1. SonarQube is a popular tool to check and visualize code quality. An XML Plugin is available for SonarQube which allows you to define custom XPath rules. At the end of this post I will shortly describe several other options which you can consider to help you improve code quality by doing automated checks.

Using SonarQube and the XML Plugin to do code quality checks on SOA Suite components has several benefits compared to other options described at the end of this post.
  • It is very flexible and relatively technology independent. It allows you to scan any XML file such as BPEL, BPMN, OSB, Mediator, Spring, composite.xml files
  • It requires only configuration of SonarQube, the SonarQube XML Plugin and the CI solution (Jenkins in this example)
  • It has few dependencies. It does not require an Oracle Home or custom JAR files on your SonarQube server. 
  • The XML Plugin has support (by SonarSource) so high probability it will still work in future versions of SonarQube.
  • Writing rules is simple; XPath expressions. it does not require you to write Java code to create checks.
What we can't do with this setup is check relations between files since the XPath expressions are executed on single documents (defined with an Ant-style file-mask). Usually though when compiling or deploying SOA Suite composites, it will fail if there are references to files which are not present.

donderdag 9 juni 2016

Seamless source "migration" from SOA Suite 12.1.3 to 12.2.1 using WLST and XSLT

When you migrate sources from SOA Suite 12.1.3 to SOA Suite 12.2.1, the only change I've seen JDeveloper do to the (SCA and Service Bus) code is updating versions in the pom.xml files from 12.1.3 to 12.2.1 (and some changes to jws and jpr files). Service Bus 12.2.1 has some build difficulties when using Maven. See Oracle Support: "OSB 12.2.1 Maven plugin error, 'Could not find artifact com.oracle.servicebus:sbar-project-common:pom' (Doc ID 2100799.1)". Oracle suggests updating the pom.xml of the project, changing the packaging type from sbar to jar and removing the reference to the parent project. This however will not help you because the created jar file does not have the structure required of Service Bus resources to be imported. To deploy Service Bus with Maven I've used the 12.1.3 plugin to create the sbar and a custom WLST file to do the actual deployment of this sbar to a 12.2.1 environment. A similar solution is described here.

Updates to the pom files can easily be automated as part of a build pipeline. This allows you to develop 12.1.3 code and automate the migration to 12.2.1. This can be useful if you want to avoid keeping separate 12.1.3 and 12.2.1 versions of your sources during a gradual migration. You can do bug fixes on the 12.1.3 sources and compile/deploy to production (usually production is the last environment to be upgraded) and use the same pipeline to compile and deploy the same sources (using altered pom files) to a 12.2.1 environment.

dinsdag 7 juni 2016

Oracle Database 11g: Virtual database columns

Views in the Oracle database have several uses. You can use them to provide a view of data in different tables as a single object to query. You can use views to achieve a virtualization layer. Also views can be used to provide a user specific view of data. Implementing views however also have some challenges if you want to 'do it right'. You should consider grants to the table and the view. Maybe create synonyms. You should also consider what will happen if someone does access the underlying table since your data can now be queried from a different place (no single source of truth anymore). Do you want to have the view implement similar functionality as a table by providing an instead-of trigger when performing inserts on the view? Sometimes a view might seem too much for what you might want to accomplish. Suppose you want to add a single calculated field to a table. In this case there is a much easier solution than creating a view. A virtual column. The virtual column was introduced in Oracle Database 11g. In this blog post I'll give a simple minimal example of how you can use a virtual column and some things to mind when doing. Disclaimer: this code will not conform to many standards and is only meant as a minimal example.

zaterdag 28 mei 2016

Integration Cloud Service (ICS): Execution Agent proxy issue: NumberFormatException

Integration Cloud Service (ICS) offers an Execution Agent which you can download and install on-premises. This provides a local ICS instance. The Execution Agent is useful in several situations. When you have an ICS trial, it is valid only for a period of 30 days. After initial installation (which does require an ICS subscription), you can use the Execution Agent indefinitely. Secondly, you have full control over the Execution Agent since it is a local installation and not managed by Oracle such as the Oracle Cloud instances. This means you can for example log all requests and replies, install and test a custom Cloud Adapter or browse the Service Bus log files and deployments in case something goes wrong. Currently this is not possible in the Oracle Public Cloud without creating SR's. This blog post is based on the below version of ICS and might not be valid in future versions.

You can download the Execution Agent from the Agents page:

The installation requires Oracle Enterprise Linux 6 UC4 or above. Read the documentation here.

maandag 11 april 2016

My first NodeJS service

Microservices implemented in JavaScript running on NodeJS are becoming quite popular lately. In order to gain some experience with this, I created a little in memory NodeJS cache service. Of course statefulness complicates scalability, but if I would also have implemented a persistent store to avoid this, the scope of this blog article would have become too large. Please mind that my experience with NodeJS is limited to a NodeJS workshop from Lucas Jellema and a day of playing with NodeJS. This indicates it is quite easy to get started. In this blog I'll highlight some of the challenges I encountered and how I solved them. Also I'm shortly describing what Oracle is doing with NodeJS. Because the JavaScript world changes rapidly, you should also take into account the period between when this blog is written and when you are reading it; it will most likely quickly become outdated. You can download the code from GitHub here.

woensdag 23 maart 2016

Oracle Integration Cloud Service (ICS): A developer's first impression

Oracle provides ICS (Integration Cloud Service) as a simple means for citizen developers to do integrations in the cloud and between cloud and on-premises. On the Oracle Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forum I got a chance to get some hand-on experience with this product in one of the workshops. In this blog post I will describe some of my experiences. I'm not the target audience for this product since I am a technical developer and have different requirements compared to a citizen developer. I've not been prejudiced by reading the documentation ;)

I experimented with ICS on two use-cases. I wanted to proxy SOAP and REST requests. For the SOAP request I used a SOA-CS Helloworld web-service and for the REST request I used an Apiary mockservice. I will not go into basics too much such as creating a new Connection and using the Connection in an Integration since you can easily learn about those in other places.

zondag 28 februari 2016

Asynchronous interaction in Oracle BPEL and BPM. WS-Addressing and Correlation sets

There are different ways to achieve asynchronous interaction in Oracle SOA Suite. In this blog article, I'll explain some differences between WS-Addressing and using correlation sets (in BPEL but also mostly valid for BPM). I'll cover topics like how to put the Service Bus between calls, possible integration patterns and technical challenges.

I will also shortly describe recovery options. You can of course depend on the fault management framework. This framework however does not catch for example a BPEL Assign activity gone wrong or a failed transformation. Developer defined error handling can sometimes leave holes if not thoroughly checked. If a process which should have performed a callback, terminates because of unexpected reasons, you might be able to manually perform recovery actions to achieve the same result as when the process was successful. This usually implies manually executing a callback to a calling service. Depending on your choice of implementation for asynchronous interaction, this callback can be easy or hard.