Part 1: Model-driven provisioning of Fusion Middleware

Fusion Middleware provisioning has come a long way. With the release of SOA Suite 12c, developers can get a working environment up in minutes. What about a highly available, high performing, secure, and scalable platform?

Lets face it, provisioning production ready Fusion Middleware environments is not a walk in the park. And really it’s no surprise, its Middleware! It’s right in the middle of your systems and users, packed with a myriad of settings for you to tailor to bring value to your organization.

The Oracle Enterprise Deployment Guides for Fusion Middleware products take you through a step-by-step approach for building so-called production environments. It’s got all the kind of details you’d expect to see… but it is a "guide" not a gospel.

In reality, the EDG is the foundation, it’s the concrete slabs. With the EDG by your side, you will be building on solid, supported and proven infrastructure; ready for the onslaught of changes!

Configuration Management

"We’ve confirmed last year’s performance findings: high-performing organizations are still deploying code 30 times more frequently, with 50 percent fewer failures than their lower-performing counterparts." - State of DevOps Report 2014

Tools like Puppet and Chef (among the many other players like Ansible, Salt etc.) solve a very real problem. System configuration is hard to manage especially at scale.

Before these tools hit the market, configuration in the enterprise would often drift from a desired state and there was no easy way to detect or remediate this leading to inconsistent and unreliable platforms.

Let’s take a deeper look at one of these tools... Puppet.

What is the secret?

Puppet provides a domain-specific language (DSL) that can be used to define desired state of systems. It is vastly different from shell scripting. It is a fully declarative language that is designed specifically for configuring operating systems. It allows administrators to test desired changes safely, roll them out on demand and enforce them so that unintended deviations are detected and rectified. With model-driven configuration management solutions like Puppet, system administrators need to focus only on what they want not how.

Take this example below.

file { "/etc/important-setting.conf":
  content => "throttle-limit [300]",
  mode    => "644",
  owner   => "oracle",
  group   => "oinstall"
}

In this case, Puppet is being used to tune a throttle limit setting. This definition will ensure that the limit is always equal to 300 regardless of the initial state.

1. Initial State2. Puppet Apply3. End State
Setting doesn’t exist at all.Add the settingThe file containing throttling limit is se to 300. it is owned by oracle:oinstall with 644 permissions
Setting is differentUpdate the setting
File permissions are wrong on the fileFix the file permissions and update file contents if required
The file is not owned by the correct userFix the file owner and update file contents if required
The settings has already been updatedNo change

The ability to deliver the same result regardless of the initial state is known as idempotency. If you apply a configuration and it makes the change once, on re-run, it will simply ensure the change is still there (rather than fail on create because it is already there!). With tools like Puppet this enforcement or drift correction runs on a schedule. If you were using shell scripts to make changes, you would still need to manually code the idempotency in. With Puppet (and crew - Chef, Ansible etc), good automation principles are built into the language so the desired state is visible and works consistently allowing you to focus on innovation around your core business.

Operating System Configuration vs Fusion Middleware Configuration

Tools like Puppet and Chef, have extremely powerful out-of-the-box types such as file, package, user, group and exec. They apply operating system configuration well and it comes as no surprise these tools are being rapidly extended by the community to support complex applications such as the Fusion Middleware product families.

But how does it all work?

The out-of-the-box Oracle supported automation tools are mature but pre-date the new wave of Configuration Management toolsets to the enterprise. Oracle Fusion Middleware automation is all about WLST, silent installation and CLI execution. But in their raw form:

  • WLST is not natively declarative or idempotent
  • Neither is Silent installation, OPatch, BSU and RCU

What is concerning is the trend around wrapping shell or WLST scripts in Puppet with the exec type with no intention to support idempotency and good automation principles. As organizations scale their platform with new settings, they require an administrator to map Puppet resources to WLST code. They are building idempotency in through a number of exec calls and processing the CLI outputs which is not a small effort. This is time consuming and requires specific coding knowledge well beyond the concepts of Puppet and Chef.

A declarative model for Fusion Middleware

In the next post we will look at some real world approaches for Model-Driven provisioning of Fusion Middleware that are used by SOA, OSB, BPM, WebCenter, IDM & Siebel customers world-wide to drive consistency, repeatability and reliability.

Rubicon Red named in CIO Review top 100 Oracle Solution Providers

CIO-Review-CoverPage

This month’s issue of CIO Review's identifies the top 100 Oracle Solutions Providers for 2014, across across all aspects of the Oracle enterprises ecosystem, including solutions for industries such as Engineering and Construction, Financial Services, Healthcare, Insurance, Life Sciences, Oil and Gas, public sector amongst others; plus products such the Oracle Hyperion, E-business Suite, Oracle DB, Fusion Sales Cloud, Fusion HCM and many others.

Rubicon Red was one of only five solution provides in the Fusion Middleware space to be selected.

The final 100 companies was selected from thousands of vendors in this space,  by a distinguished panel made up of CEOs, CIOs, VCs, industry analysts and the editorial board of CIO Review.

Rubicon Red, and it's FusionCloud offering was highlighted by CIO Review; and was the featured cover story.

John Deeb, CEO was quoted as saying "We are of course honoured and very proud to be included within such a prestigious list, and this is further recognition of our success in leading customers to success on their Oracle Fusion Middleware journey."

The online edition of CIO Review can be referenced here.

Engineers Australia to present at Oracle OpenWorld on Cloud Integration

Richard Holmes the MIS Renewal Program Manager, Engineers Australia will be presenting at Oracle OpenWorld about their BPM and SOA journey with Rubicon Red, and in particular their experience at integrating with Salesforce.com.

The MIS program, was charged with replacing Engineers Australia's aging legacy IT infrastructure, redefining its business processes, and developing a new online and customer relationship management (CRM) functions to improve the services it provides to engineers.

Engineers Australia (EA) has a combination of SaaS and on premise applications, such as Saleforce and Oracle E-Business. As companies move applications to the cloud, they are hitting a major barrier to its adoption; application integration or the lack of it between cloud based and on premise applications. Initially EA integrated Salesforce using traditional APIs which has been complex and costly.

Richard will be speaking on the Customer Panel for Oracle SOA Suite Cloud Integration—Simple, Fast, and Secure [CON8011], where he will share Engineer Australia's experience in using  the Salesforce Adapter in conjunction with the Oracle BPM / SOA Suite to integrate on-premises apps with Salesforce. It details best practice and lesson learnt for integrating with the cloud, and how to use the cloud adapters to enable easier change management, rapid development and strong governance.

Session details are as follows:

Customer Panel: Oracle SOA Suite Cloud Integration—Simple, Fast, and Secure [CON8011]

This session covers integration challenges with software as a service (SaaS) applications and how Oracle has delivered compelling solutions to meet them. Speakers from Oracle and Oracle customers that have successfully delivered such integrations by using Oracle technology discuss best practices and deployment guidelines customers use to integrate with Oracle SaaS applications (Oracle Fusion Applications, Oracle Eloqua, Oracle RightNow, and so on), salesforce.com, Workday, SuccessFactors, and more.

Schedule: Monday, Sep 29, 5:15 PM - 6:00 PM - Moscone South - 302

State Revenue Office to present at Oracle OpenWorld on BPM Journey

Paul Dulfer, CIO, State Revenue Office, Victoria will be presenting at Oracle OpenWorld on their experiences  with Oracle BPM and SOA; and their journey with Rubicon Red in developing a successful BPM program.

Paul, will share how SRO were able to unleash the full capabilities of BPM and SOA to extend the useful life of core revenue management system through an incremental transitional program at a fraction of the cost of a highly disruptive major re-development, and at the same time move SRO from a Function Centric to a Process and Service Centric organisation and the associated benefits.

The  Customer Panel; The Path to Process Excellence—Notes from the Trenches [CON8094] also features features speakers from Flextronics and the State of Alaska.

Session Details

Business process management (BPM) is not just a one-time application development project. It is about continuous process improvement. In successful organizations, BPM has evolved from a single project to an enterprise wide initiative. In this session, you will hear from some of the Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite customers that have travelled the path to process excellence by adopting BPM to manage business processes across the organization. In the session, these customers share their experiences and best practices for developing a successful BPM program.

Rubicon Red launches FusionCloud

Get some Fusion from the Cloud     

At 9am AEST on the 3rd September 2014, Rubicon Red launched FusionCloud (www.fusioncloud.com) a fully automated environment provisioning and continuous delivery experience for Oracle Fusion Middleware, on the cloud.

FusionCloud presents organisations with a compelling proposition to simplify and automate the entire Oracle Fusion Middleware development lifecycle. The promise of DevOps and Continuous Delivery becomes a reality with FusionCloud, offering push button environment provisioning and code deployment . Both private and public cloud configurations are supported - the choice is yours.

FusionCloud Features - Pre-built Platform Templates - Provision FMW Platform on Demand - Model Once, Deploy Anywhere - Global Availability - Wizard based modelling - Build and Deployment Automation - Enables Hybrid Clouds - Secure Platform

Oracle SOA 12c Upgrade Feature Pack - Out of the box pre-configured, tested and automated upgrade to Oracle SOA and BPM 12c - 11g to 12c change control audit and trace report

If you would like to learn more, register your interest at www.fusioncloud.com

About Rubicon Red Rubicon Red offers organisations a set of innovative and market leading cloud and consulting solutions for Oracle Fusion Middleware customers. An Oracle Gold Partner and recognized global leader in Oracle Fusion Middleware, Rubicon Red delivers thought leadership, innovation and unrivaled expertise.

Founded in 2009 by two former senior executives from Oracle product management, Rubicon Red is an Oracle Certified SOA and BPM Specialist and has been awarded the Oracle Fusion Middleware Top Technical Champion APAC on multiple occasions.

With offices in the US, Australia and India providing 24 x 7 support and development services, Rubicon Red offers a range of services to architect, deliver, maintain and host your Oracle Fusion Middleware platform.

The Rubicon Red Name The idiom 'Crossing the Rubicon' describes passing a point of no return. It is associated with making a decision and never turning back. When new technologies enter the market, specifically disruptive and discontinuous technologies like Middleware (SOA, BPM, Mobility, Cloud), the choice to embrace this technology cannot be half-hearted.

Middleware platforms offer unlimited technical capability across many different areas – application development, integration, workflow, security, user interfaces and portals, social media for the enterprise, business intelligence, high performing apps, mobility, software as a service and more.

Customers that look to change their IT landscape, deliver true technical alignment to business services and to increase their organizational capabilities need to be prepared for that journey, they need to cross the Rubicon.

The Red part of our names represents our alignment with Oracle technologies. We offer deep product knowledge and expertise in all areas of Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Rubicon Red is the partner to guide you on your journey. We offer superior knowledge, experience and innovation across all aspects of developing and maintaining solutions on the Oracle Fusion Middleware platform.Learn more at www.rubiconred.com

Press Contact Name: Matt Wright Mobile: +61 405 105 505 Email: matt.wright@rubiconred.com

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