Sometimes we walk past something interesting in the street and we don’t even know we’ve done it. The same is true with the online documentation for Oracle Intelligent Advisor. There is just so much good stuff in there, sometimes I read something without actually reading it. Such is the case of the Checkpoint-Only Connector Example.
As many of you will know, the concept of checkpoints allows, in laypersons terms, for an interview to be suspended and then resumed at a later time. The resume functionality positions the user on the last Screen they visited – so they do not have to go through all the Screens of the interview again.
As many of you may also know, the concept of creating checkpoints (SetCheckpoint) and retrieving them (GetCheckpoint) is part of the Connector framework – and is available both for XML-based and REST-based integration scenarios. But what is sometimes less clear, is that the checkpoint mechanism is essentially independent and unrelated to the Load at Start and Submit at End process that we associate with connector-enabled interviews.
What does that mean in concrete terms? It means it is possible to build a connector, that only offers SetCheckpoint and GetCheckpoint methods. No other methods are needed. In that case, of course, your connector will only create and load checkpoints. It will not manage anything else.
So far, so good. The final strand to this is that such a connector would be very useful to demonstrate the concept (from the user perspective) of a checkpoint, in a demonstration scenario. So it would be cool if we could build one, you know?
And this is where the documentation comes in. Right there in black and white, the online pages tell us that there is a prebuilt example of a SOAP-based checkpoint-only connector ready to download. Now, this connector is minimalist – the checkpoint is held in memory by the connector, so don’t expect to go and find it anywhere in the file system or a database – but it is fully functional and super useful for demonstrating what a checkpoint actually is used for – we can demonstrate both design time and run time experience with this prebuilt example.
There are a fair few steps to run through to get it working, which we will look at in the video below. Here are the prerequisites:
- Access to an Oracle Intelligent Advisor Hub – you’re going to need to create a Connection and do some other stuff when the time comes, such as deploy an interview with Oracle Policy Modeling.
- Access to a bunch of tools on your PC, such as ensuring you have Java JDK installed and you have a development tool such as Eclipse where you can build the provided source code.
- Download some files and add them to the built source code for a WAR ready to use
- Deploy the WAR on WebLogic or Apache Tomcat
- Set up the Connector in the Hub
- Create or Open and Project and use your new Connector!
Other than that, all that is needed is a bit of time – so shall we begin? Head on over to the online documentation at this page to get started. Then you can watch the video below and before you know it, you will be able to demonstrate checkpoints with no problems.