Siebel Open UI and Oracle Policy Automation 12 Integration Version 12 #1
Trawling through the mass of sessions at Oracle OpenWorld 2016, it was not surprising, in the area of Oracle Policy Automation, how much focus was given to the integration with Oracle Service Cloud (which you and I know as RightNow). Sales Cloud also got a mention. But when it comes to integration with Oracle Policy Automation 12 and Siebel Open UI, there is precious little information on the ground in relation to the Interview Service.
As my professional situation caused me to find myself working with a another team doing Siebel CRM to Oracle Policy Automation 12 integration a few weeks ago, I thought I would make a list of the different areas that commonly are issues when integrating these two platforms. It will also be an opportunity to talk about the specifics of this integration (and there are quite a few).
Once I’ve done that, I will be (hopefully) announcing something interesting at the end of the articles. Anyway let’s get started. For the purposes of your integration, you would be advised to make sure that you have Oracle Policy Automation 12, a fairly late release if possible to take advantage of the extra buttons on the interface in respect of viewing Mapping Information (there are obviously other reasons for staying up-to-date!):
Secondly, I would suggest a Siebel release that is later than Innovation Pack 15.5. Many of the Siebel Workflow Processes that handled the integration have been changed with this release and they will hopefully be used going forward, and certainly are in Siebel Innovation Pack 16.
Thirdly, you should make sure you have a good grasp of the integration architecture. As it different to the Service Cloud integration, there are some specifics you need to know before you begin. Just to be clear, we are going to be examining how Oracle Policy Automation integrates to Siebel Open UI using the Interview service – Siebel Open UI will render the screens defined in Oracle Policy Automation in a dynamic and attractive way. We are not going to be talking about the more traditional Assess or Answer services that are associated with non-UI integrations.
Connections in Oracle Policy Automation Hub
The Oracle Policy Automation Hub uses the concept of Connections to broker communication between Oracle Policy Models and your application. A Connection can be a connection to anything, as long as the application on the other end responds in a way that Oracle Policy Automation understands. To put it simply, your application or data source must implement a set of standard methods and arguments for those methods to create an abstraction that Oracle Policy Automation Hub can work with. The names of some of these methods are CheckAlive, GetMetaData, Load, Save to name just a few. The Connector Framework is documented on the Oracle Policy Automation Documentation website. To make it even easier, you can think of the Framework as providing a metadata service, and a data service. The first provides a way for Siebel CRM to share metadata information, and the second is the set of mechanisms that will look after saving, loading data at the start or end of your chat with Oracle Policy Automation. Let’s summarize how Siebel CRM handles these two Connector Framework API services.
Siebel CRM needs to share it’s metadata with Oracle Policy Modelers so that they can build rules using Siebel Business Components and Fields, using the correct cardinality in their relationships and without having to recreate the Siebel metadata in Oracle Policy Modeling. So Siebel CRM needs to provide CheckAlive and GetMetadata methods. The first is little more than a “ping” that confirms that Siebel is alive and well, and the second is the key to being able to view the metadata in Oracle Policy Modeling.
The CheckAlive method lets Siebel CRM tell the Oracle Policy Automation Hub that the connection is alive and well. It is the first step in Oracle Policy Automation 12 Integration with Siebel. You can see if it succeeded or failed by looking in the Oracle Policy Automation Hub Connection Page, for example:
Of course you are really hoping for this, when CheckAlive is responding correctly.
More importantly, this Connection can be used by the Oracle Policy Modeler in their design of rules, whether it be editing the mapping for an Attribute – notice how this attribute is mapped to the Name field inbound and this will be loaded at the start of the session.
In the second screenshot, the Entity is being mapped to a Siebel Business Component and we can see the structure of the underlying Siebel CRM data (HLSCase_Suspect from HlsCase).
Finally in the last screenshot we can see the Project Mapping settings, establishing the root of the Siebel CRM metadata hierarchy. In this case, the Business Component HLS Case.
None of these activities would be possible without the GetMetadata method working properly. As the name suggests, they allow Oracle Policy Automation Hub, and by extension users of the Hub who design rules, to access metadata from a Connection. Connections can be updated over time, so the Refresh button can come in handy to reveal new fields or changed field names as is sometimes the case with Siebel CRM. This really is the first big step in Oracle Policy Automation 12 Integration with Siebel CRM.
The Load and Save, and the new Checkpoint-based methods at some stage in the future are all handled, in this case, from within Siebel CRM. That’s right. The Workflow Processes that manage the step by step process of walking through your Oracle Policy Interview Screens, displaying Attributes and so on, are already in Siebel CRM. In addition there are a number of other components (XSLT, Administration Screens, static HTML files and so forth) that go together to enable you to handle Load and Save successfully.
But we will discuss them in the next post about Oracle Policy Automation 12 Integration.