Whats New in Oracle Policy Automation 18B #2 Relationship Control Extensions

The main thrust of this post first came into my head when I was writing one of the recent Back to Basics posts about Relationships. And as if by magic, the Intelligent Advisor team went ahead and improved the product with something I felt was lacking. I should ruminate more often, perhaps they have telepathic powers over there. So in this post, What’s New in Oracle Policy Automation 18B #2, we are going to look at the new feature of the Control Extensions : the ability to customise the Relationship experience.

What’s New in Oracle Policy Automation 18B #2

The relationship above is a good example. In the course of a prototype, I designed the car and the passenger entities for a car-sharing enterprise. A car can have many potential passengers. For each journey, however, your passenger can only be in one car at a time. And yes, I understand that I could build a many-to-many and intersection the car and passengers or infer the current passengers or what have you, but this is just an example.

What’s New in Oracle Policy Automation 18B #2

So in the above example, you can see that I am in the process of selecting the passengers for each car. Putting aside the discussion about how best to model the data, there is a challenge here. The checkbox (which is the only display offered) is fine, but due to the lack of dynamism (?) in the display, the choices remain static. I mean by that you are able to choose an incoherent selection, with the same passenger being in multiple cars.

Of course, when you do so, the engine (correctly) gives you an error and you must correct your data entry. But what if we did it another way?

The core of this is the fact that now, in Oracle Policy Automation 18B, you can use the following in your Extensions:

control.getControlType() – which now will return “OneToMany” or “ManyToMany” and so forth for relationship controls. So your code could adapt the User Experience based on the cardinality.

control.getOptions() – returns an array of the different choices for the user ( the passengers in my case above). So you can retrieve the list of choices.

To help manage this kind of extension, control.getValue() returns an array of the selected values for your relationship (the instances that have been selected). So you can examine the selected values.

Let’s look at this code. It is, as always provided for educational and entertainment purposes (indeed, many will find my stream of consciousness code amusing). It is also available on the OPA Hub Website Shop page as a free PDF download. So let’s see What’s New in Oracle Policy Automation 18B #2 : Relationship Controls with an example.

(c) 2018 Richard Napier Intelligent-Advisor.com Website May 2018
Educational Example of Relationship Input Controls
I will remember this is for demonstration and educational purposes only

	customInput: function (control, interview) {
		if (control.getProperty("name") == "xPassengerSelect") {
			return {
				mount: function (el) {
					//console.log("Control " + control.getProperty("name") + " is a " + control.getDataType() + ", originally a " + control.getControlType());
					var myValues = [];
					//Previous values
					myValues = control.getValue();
					var myOptions = control.getOptions();
					//console.log("Obtained list of instances for control " + control.id);
					var myDropDown = document.createElement('select');
					myDropDown.setAttribute('id', control.instance.toString());
					myDropDown.setAttribute('data-instance', control.instance.toString());
					myDropDown.setAttribute('data-entity', control.entity.toString());
					myDropDown.setAttribute('multiple', 'true');
					for (j = 0; j < myOptions.length; j++) {
						var myoption = new Option(myOptions[j].text, myOptions[j].value)
							myoption.setAttribute("data-instance", control.instance.toString());
						myoption.setAttribute("data-entity", control.entity.toString());
						//console.log("Added list option " + myOptions[j].text);
					for (i = 0; i < myDropDown.length; i++) {
						currentOption = myDropDown[i];

						if (myValues.indexOf(currentOption.value) != -1) {
							$("select [data-instance='" + myDropDown.getAttribute('data-instance') + "']").filter("option[value='" + currentOption.value + "']").attr("selected", "selected");

					$(myDropDown).change(function () {

						//New Values Selected

						for (i = 0; i < myDropDown.length; i++) {
							currentOption = myDropDown[i];

							if (currentOption.selected == true) {

								//Disable All Values Matching Selected in other instances
								$("select [data-instance!='" + myDropDown.getAttribute('data-instance') + "']").filter("option[value='" + currentOption.value + "']").attr("disabled", "true")


					var deselectbutton = document.createElement("button");
					deselectbutton.setAttribute("type", "button");
					deselectbutton.setAttribute('data-instance', control.instance.toString());
					var deselectbuttontext = document.createTextNode("Deselect All");



						function () {
						$("select [data-instance='" + this.getAttribute('data-instance') + "']").filter(":selected").prop("selected", false);
							$("select [data-instance!='" + this.getAttribute('data-instance') + "']").attr("disabled", false);

					for (i = 0; i < myDropDown.length; i++) {
						currentOption = myDropDown[i];

						if (myValues.indexOf(currentOption.value) != -1) {
							$("select [data-instance='" + myDropDown.getAttribute('data-instance') + "']").filter("option[value='" + currentOption.value + "']").attr("selected", "selected")


				update: function (el) {},
				unmount: function (el) {}

So what are we looking at. There are probably four key areas in this rough prototype.

Lines 18 to 27 build a multiple-select drop-down instead of the check-boxes. Using HTML 5 data attributes, each option and each drop-down (there will be  drop-downs, one for each of the car ) is tagged with the instance name and the entity name. This is useful if you intend to have a page with lots of entity-related things on it , and it was useful in the Entity Collect example from a few weeks ago as well.

Lines  29 to 33 look through the existing values of the Control (maybe the user has already been working on this page, and has now come back to it for further editing) and selects programatically all those values that were chosen previously. Otherwise when you click the Next button and then the Previous button, you will no longer “see” your selections even though they actually have been selected.

Lines 38 to 58 handle the Change event if the user selects other items in the multi-select, and ensures that the corresponding items are deactivated in the other drop-downs.

Lines 58 to 78 create the Deselect All button for each drop-down, which removes all the selected items both from the drop-down and from the underlying control values, and re-enables the values in the other drop-downs.

Once again, I state for the record that this was just a “stream of consciousness” which became a bare-bones prototype. There are lots of holes in the code, and lots of repetition because I just wrote it in a single shot. So you have been warned.

It does, however, demonstrate the new functionality, so our post title What’s New in Oracle Policy Automation 18B #2 is fulfilled. This is something you could not really do in previous versions.

Have fun!

Richard Napier

Author: Richard Napier

Richard Napier joined Siebel Systems in 1999 and took up the role of managing the nascent Siebel University in Southern Europe. He subsequently was Director of Business Development and Education for InFact Group (now part of Business & Decisions) for 8 years. He now runs Intelligent Advisor IT Consulting OÜ. Owner of intelligent-advisor.com, he also is Co-Founder of the Siebel Hub.

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