Earlier in 2017 the Oracle A-Team released a Python library that abstracts the ICS REST API to make some management tasks that you may wish to perform easier. For example identifying a set of integrations and activating or deactivating them, or simply importing and exporting them. In this Definitive Tip we will look at the REPL tool and its benefits. The REPL tool can be downloaded here.
Tag: Definitive Tip
Enriching an integration from data in a database or DBaaS (Database as a Service) is not an unusual requirement. Many integration use cases today need to access a database that is on-premises. The means to connect to the database is fairly obvious – the connection agent. Our book goes into a lot more detail as to why that is, and the implications of using database connections.
However when it comes to Oracle’s DBaaS a service it would be very easy to assume that given that you’re using two different parts of Oracle’s PaaS that it would be straight forward to connect the two together without an agent. However, at least today whether its on-premises or DBaaS you need to use a connection agent. This does mean that you’ll need an IaaS node to host the connection agent.
This quirk is driven by the fact that there are some scenarios that this does actually make sense. For example – the Oracle domains need to have a high level of isolation, so when the DBaaS is in another domain then the decoupling via the agent makes sense. When your database is in a different zone of the cloud – then you’re running DB calls across what is effectively a wide are network – not good.
The question of conditional mapping comes up regularly on the ICS part of community.oracle.com which prompted us to write this blog. So if you want the output of an integration in element X to contain value from element A or B depending upon element C there are a number of answers, each having pros and cons. So let’s look at them before we offer an example of how we would solve the simpler more common problem.. Your choices are ….
- Use the power of XSLT within the mapping,
- Use the conditional option Within a Basic Map Data or an Orchestration pattern,
|Single path through the integration||Simpler to read and see visually||Can be used either in the condition oer the mapping. Easier to apply than XSLT directly.|
|ICS doesnt make it the easiest to write this, but reading is fairly easy||Easy to visually understand, but means more maintenance effort||Easy to incorporate, but makes the development process multistep|
- W3C – perhaps not the easiest to read, but definitely definitive,
- XMLSchool far more readable but keeps things simple, and focuses on XSLT to create (X)HTML content
In our book we talked about the difference between the agents offered by ICS, namely the Connection and Execution agents. Whilst we differentiated the two, we did focus on the connection agent as this is the type we expect to see used in most cases. However the execution agent still suffers from a level of confusion, and it has been helped by being called ‘ICS on-premises’.
As part of a number of recent conversations the questions and confusion of what the execution agent is and how it works has come up. There is the well known saying ‘a picture is as good as a 1000 words’ which prompted us to develop the diagram below as a power point slide – in its power point form much of the detail is used as an animated build up.