A Real-World Experience using AIA Productivity Tools

One of the joys of working in product development, especially in my earlier customer success advocate role, is the satisfaction received when helping resolve customers needs with your products!

A few months back, a key telecom customer needed to describe the semantic Enterprise Business Object (EBO) structure in a hierarchical/indented model to a flat spreadsheet so that designers can perform application mapping for the Process Integration Packs (a.k.a. PIP, basically pre-packaged integration accelerators for specific business process flows). I pointed them to a not-well publicised (and highly underestimated tool) called the XSL Mapping Analyzer (a.k.a XMAN).

Below is an email from the customer describing how useful they found the tool, in fact just one of the utilities! Thanks to the OCS Team (Balaji S G and Kurt) and KT (Sungwoo Yu) for this valuable feedback!

Side note: XMAN is actually a set of utilities my team built to parse XSL and EBO XSDs into various formats for semantic analysis of attribute level mapping; including HTML, CSV, flattened CSV and XML. It’s real power is in providing tactical SOA governance if you are using AIA canonicals, as it can help flag functional interoperability issues across projects using the same EBO, thereby encouraging service reuse and providing the ROI on your SOA. To learn more about XMAN usage, see my earlier blog post and OOW 2009 session.

— Email below published verbatim with prior owner’s permission —

Hi Balaji,

I’m glad to share my experience with Rajesh’ blog

Specially, I use to visit and learn a best practices using aia from that popular blog.

I’d like to briefly introduce my situation.

I’m working at telecom Project aims to build next generation BSS/OSS for 35 mil subscribers utilized by Oracle RODOD(Siebel,BRM,OSM, OPH and etc) .

I’m in charge of Integration team.

As we try to fit OOTB PIPs with our business, we need to analysis OOTB PIPs and design extension of PIPs.

These days our team cooperation with OCS for Communication PIP extension design on AIA Technical Document Design.

Although we cannot totally understand what existing input/output message and mapping in complex process integrations, we have to provide explain how prebuilt aia integration build interoperability with Siebel, BRM.

Basically, we can refer PIP implementation documents. However, if we closely looked at message level input/output and mapping details for reviewing service detail communication with edge application. It had been challenge.

At that time, I concerned that below so that I requested the OCS guidance

For we describe edge ABM structure or complex EBMs on spreadsheet, how can we describe different level elements on spreadsheet automatically?

Why we need to describe on spreadsheet, most of edge application function designer is not familiar with complex related xsd and different level of structure specially ebo.

So, when designed for extension of pips, Edge application function designer is unable to consider EBO structure.

If AIA team share used each operation EBM by spreadsheet, they will be easy to approach understanding EBO

Do you have any idea for that?

1.       How to automatically convert message structure xsd to table. (It could be different structure distinguished by indentation)

2.       If we describe different level elements distinguish using XPath, How we automatically extract XPath of all nodes from EBM.

Thanks to OCS(Balaji, Kurt) helps

We can utilize AIA Development Tools such as XMAN, XSD Flatter and generated XMAN reports RV11.1.

Particularly, XSD Flatter is right to solve above two problems.

For instance, I’m going to explain how I can extract element tree on spreadsheet from SalesOrderEBM.xsd

source $AIA_INSTANCE/bin/aiaenv.sh.

cd $AIA_Installed Directory/DeveloperTools/XSDFlattener/bin/

 

xsd2csv.sh -inputSchemaURL $AIA_Metadata_Directory /AIAComponents/EnterpriseObjectLibrary/Industry/Communications/EBO/SalesOrder/V2/SalesOrderEBO.xsd -rootElement ProcessSalesOrderEBM

As converted, I’ve got a csv file with x-path, cardinality, annotation and element tree with display hierarchy using indentation, and then reformatted below.

Even, I can convert ABM of Siebel Integration Object Message as well.

xsd2csv.sh -inputSchemaURL $AIA_Metadata_Directory /AIAComponents/ApplicationObjectLibrary/Siebel/V1/schemas/SWIOrderIO.xsd -rootElement ListOfSWIOrderIO

 

In addition, I aware generated RV11.1 XMAN report already provided whole EBM csv information by support.oracle.com

Also I can generate csv report from all of EBM using eol2csv.

eol2csv.sh -inputDir $AIA_Metadata_Directory /AIAComponents/ApplicationObjectLibrary/Siebel/V1/schemas -outputDir ~/eoloutput/AIAComponents/ApplicationObjectLibrary/Siebel/V1/schemas

Thanks

Sungwoo

Oracle OpenWorld 2010: Practical Insight on Using AIA Session

Session S316877 – Practical Insight on using Application Integration Architecture
at Moscone West L3, Room 3011
on Thursday, September 23 at 1:30pm

The session was quite well attended for a Thursday afternoon (and final day of OpenWorld) with almost 100 attendees. I shared some of the best practices we have learned from our customer implementation experiences, focusing on three areas:

  1. REUSE – if you are not reusing services, you might as well not use SOA
  2. BUILD NEW – using a holistic approach to SOA with governance utilities
  3. PLAN ROLLOUT – to ensure success in your SOA implementation

Here is the webinar of that session.

You can consider this session as a follow-up to the Oracle OpenWorld 2009 AIA Best Practices session.

Oracle AIA Foundation Pack Utilities and Tools

My earlier post on SOA Content and Technical Governance using AIA Foundation Pack show cased how design time utilities and tools – such as the PIP Auditor and XSL Mapping Analyzer (a.k.a. ‘XMAN’) – encourage deep implementation SOA governance, for both, content interoperability and technical compliance.

The Application Integration Architecture Foundation Pack Utilities and Tools white paper (December 2009) follows up with more details on the above mentioned (and other) useful tools. You can download these tools from the AIA Wiki page and start using them in your implementations today!

SOA Content and Technical Governance using AIA Foundation Pack

In an enterprise application integration scenario, SOA Governance is about visibility and control during the entire service lifecycle; including design time, where this boils down to maximizing the investments made in building the service portfolio to ensure that it provides for interoperability, reusability and extensibility.

AIA Foundation Pack Tenets

AIA Foundation Pack Tenets

The AIA Foundation Pack allows you to satisfy these criteria using content and technical level governance.

Content level governance – the key to Interoperability and Reusability

The AIA Foundation Pack provides content level governance at all the abstraction layers. The Enterprise Business Objects (EBO) and Enterprise Business Services (EBS) development go through thorough scrutiny with Subject Matter Experts (SME) from each of the Oracle application areas (yes, including Fusion applications) to come up with a rationalized object model. It then undergoes a standardization pass, which ensures adherence to standards such as UN/CEFACT Core Component Technical Specifications (CCTS) and XML Naming and Design Rules (NDR).

AIA EBO Development Methodology

AIA EBO Development Methodology

This level of governance renders the common object and services model instantly relevant as opposed to a theoretical model that is hard to implement, since it has been already vetted for mapping against most of the Oracle applications logical data models as part of the rationalization process.

Data models aside, the reason why the rationalization was even initiated in the first place is due to a compelling need at the business process level. The reference process models supplied with the Foundation Pack also allow you to drill down from the lowest levels of the process models right into the associated canonical objects and services. This allows you to now take your pick of the application capability that can best satisfy the business task at hand. Since the canonical layer has just “virtualized” your application capabilities, so you can start with the business problem instead of the constraints of the technology. This level of content governance not only relieves you from having to tackle with the typical SOA governance issues of having to decide on the right-sized service granularity, but it also creates a common platform for business and IT stakeholders to collaborate on i.e. shared semantics and a business process approach to integrations.

The content level governance just does not stop here, but goes deep into the implementation. Once the canonical objects are mapped to the actual application interfaces (Web Services, Component Interfaces, Interface Tables, APIs etc), these mappings can be then viewed using the XSLT Mapping Analyzer (XMAN) utility which analyzes the XSL maps and presents a tabular view of the EBO – Application mapping.

 

AIA XSL Mapping Analyzer (XMAN) Report

AIA XSL Mapping Analyzer (XMAN) Report

In the case of Oracle AIA PIPs, custom extensions to the Oracle provided maps are highlighted which allows for easier identification during upgrades.  In addition, map reports from existing Oracle PIP assets can be viewed to assist in and accelerate custom Application Business Connector Service (ABCS) development as well as ensure that your custom maps are in accordance with the Oracle best practices.

The tool can also be invaluable when comparing the same report from different transformations (potentially developed by different teams) to ensure that there are no mapping conflicts, which can be otherwise very difficult to detect.  (This is currently manual but in the process of being automated). More on the XMAN tool can be found in this post.

Technical level governance – the key to Extensibility and Reusability

With an ever-growing asset inventory of design patterns and programming guidelines, manual checking for compliance to the AIA Integration Developers Guides standards checklist can get a little tedious.

AIA PIP Auditor Summary Report

AIA PIP Auditor Summary Report

PIP Auditor is a tool designed to enhance productivity and improve the quality of the services by checking your AIA services for compliance to programming best practices and patterns found in the AIA Integration Developers Guide, as well as other industry best practices as appropriate. The report output is categorized per TOGAF standards and a compliance “score” is presented.

AIA PIP Auditor Detail Report

AIA PIP Auditor Detail Report

Developers can drill down into the problem areas and identify the areas to fix in order to achieve compliance. Violations can be drilled down into right down to the file level and where relevant, even down to the line/column number e.g. in the case of naming convention violations. The design of the tool is flexible enough to allow for incremental patching of new rules – more than 70 rules have already been implemented as part of an internal beta release, with more coming soon before we make it available on Metalink. More on the PIP Auditor tool can be found in this post.

There are a lot more productivity enhancing tools and utilities that are available as part of the AIA Foundation Pack, such as an Artifacts Generator and a Build Install Generator tools, which we will be discussing on this forum in future posts.