zaterdag 22 april 2017

R: Utilizing multiple CPUs

R is a great piece of software to perform statistical analyses. Computing power can however be a limitation. R by default uses only a single CPU. In almost every machine, multiple CPUs are present, so why not utilize them?


vrijdag 7 april 2017

Oracle Mobile Cloud Service (MCS): An introduction to API security: Basic Authentication and OAuth2

As an integration/backend developer, when starting a project using Mobile Cloud Service, it is important to have some understanding of what this MBaaS (Mobile Backend as a Service) has to offer in terms of security features. This is important in order to be able to configure and test MCS. In this blog I will give examples on how to configure and use the basic authentication and OAuth2 features which are provided to secure APIs. You can read the Oracle documentation (which is quite good for MCS!) on this topic here.


maandag 27 maart 2017

Machine learning: Getting started with random forests in R

According to Gartner, machine learning is on top of the hype cycle at the peak of inflated expectations. There is a lot of misunderstanding about what machine learning actually is and what it can be done with it.

Machine learning is not as abstract as one might think. If you want to get value out of known data and do predictions for unknown data, the most important challenge is asking the right questions and of course knowing what you are doing, especially if you want to optimize your prediction accuracy.

In this blog I'm exploring an example of machine learning. The random forest algorithm. I'll provide an example on how you can use this algorithm to do predictions. In order to implement a random forest, I'm using R with the randomForest library and I'm using the iris dataset which is provided by the R installation.


maandag 20 maart 2017

Oracle SOA Suite: Find that composite instance!

When executing BPM or BPEL processes, they are usually executed in the context of a specific entity. Sometimes you want to find instances involved with a specific entity. There are different ways to make this easy. You can for example use composite instance titles or sensors and set them to a unique identifier for your entity. If they have not been used, you can check the audit trail. However, manually checking the audit trail, especially if there are many instances, can be cumbersome. Also if different teams use different standards or standards have evolved over time, there might not be a single way to look for your entity identifier in composite instances. You want to automate this.

It is of course possible to write Java or WLST code and use the API to gather all relevant information. It would however require fetching large amounts of data from the SOAINFRA database to analyse. Fetching all that data into WLST or Java and combining it, would not be fast. I've created a database package / query which performs this feat directly on the 11g SOAINFRA database (and most likely with little alteration on 12c).


maandag 6 februari 2017

Oracle Service Bus: Produce messages to a Kafka topic

Oracle Service Bus is a powerful tool to provide features like transformation, throttling, virtualization of messages coming from different sources. There is a (recently opensourced!) Kafka transport available for Oracle Service Bus (see here). Oracle Service Bus can thus be used to do all kinds of interesting things to messages coming from Kafka topics. You can then produce altered messages to other Kafka topics and create a decoupled processing chain. In this blog I provide an example on how to use Oracle Service Bus to produce messages to a Kafka topic.


zaterdag 4 februari 2017

Oracle Service Bus: Pipeline alerts in Splunk using SNMP traps

Oracle Service Bus provides a reporting activity called Alert. The OSB pipeline alerts use a persistent store. This store is file based. Changing the persistent store to JDBC based, does not cause pipeline alerts to be stored in a database instead of on disk. When the persistent store on disk becomes large, opening pipeline alerts in the Enterprise Manager (12c) or Service Bus console (11g) can suffer from poor performance. If you put an archive setting on pipeline alerts (see here), the space from the persistent store on disk is not reduced when alerts get deleted. You can compact the store to reduce space (see here), but this requires the store to be offline and this might require shutting down the Service Bus. This can be cumbersome to do often and is not good for your availability.

If you do not want to use the EM / SB console or have the issues with the filestore, there is an alternative. Pipeline alerts can produce SNMP traps. SNMP traps can be forwarded by a WebLogic SNMP Agent to an SNMP Manager. This manager can store the SNMP traps in a file and Splunk can monitor the file. Splunk makes searching alerts and visualizing them easy. In this blog I will describe the steps needed to get a minimal setup with SNMP traps going and how to see the pipeline alerts in Splunk.

donderdag 12 januari 2017

WebLogic Server: Logging the SOAP action in the access.log

WebLogic Server allows you to customize your access.log. This can be very powerful if you want to monitor for example service response times in a tool like Splunk (see here). When working with SOAP services though, especially those with many operations, it can be insufficient to monitor services to the level of the individual endpoint. You want to also know with which intent the endpoint is called. In this blog I will show how this can be achieved.