Thursday, October 27, 2011

Oracle Openworld 2011 through he eyes of an I8C employee

In the beginning of October I was one of the 45,000 attendees from 117 countries.

If someone would ask me next year what was on the 2011 Open World I will definitely remember these key words: CLOUD and EXA.

Exalytics and Supercluster were anounced during several keynotes. These new children of the EXA family will allow Oracle even better to power private clouds and their own public cloud. These machines are impressive and they are definitive an asset to your corporation ... if you can pay for them :-)
In any case the specs for Exalogic, Exadata and Supercluster are pretty amazing. Who would have thought a few years back that you could have a machine that can load a few TB of data in memory?

As mentioned before Larry Ellison also announced the Oracle Public Cloud. Their cloud offering is mixed in that way that it offers a SAAS model for CRM and HCM fusion applications and Oracle Database and a PAAS offering for Custom Java applications. Maybe the riot with Salesforce was only to get extra attention for this anouncement ;-)

While the cloud wars continued I was trying to get a roadmap for fusion middleware for the next years. I however could not seem to find it, which was a pity.

A keynote that did provide a roadmap was at JavaOne. For java 8 the most interesting items are for me: addition of lambda expressions, Java modularity and completion of the HotSpot/JRockit JVM convergence project. Also nice to hear was that Twitter will join the OpenJDK!

At openworld some of the most interesting sessions I followed were:
  • A hands on workshop for Oracle CEP: this is a really interesting tool. Even though you can freely download and play with it, it is nice to just walk in a room to play with the tool and get all the information that you want, straight from the PTS guys.
  • A more in depth talk on Oracle Coherence gave me some more insight in this product. A distributed cache is something that is used in many applications nowadays, mainly to boost performance to new limits. In middleware and more specifically in ESB solutions this technology is interesting to cache configuration data, offload frequently used data from the database, cache service results and sometimes it is even used for messaging.
  • Continuous integration for SOA and BPM projects: this was a very interesting session on how to do more Test Driven Development (TDD) in an Oracle SOA environment. They also showed how to use popular tools like ant and Jenkins.
  • There were also some panel sessions during the conference. The most interesting I found the one on OSB and how to tune this ESB for peak performance. By the questions from the audience you can really see that this ESB is widely used in massive deployments.
For me personally the only downside of Open World are the 25 hours I need to spend in the airplane :-)

Author: Jeroen V.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Random errors when using MQSeries adapter in Clustered Environment

In the following article, we will be describing an error that we've encountered in a clustered MSCS Cluster with MQSeries installed, using Microsoft BizTalk 2006 R2.

The Problem

Well, it's not exactly one error we've encountered. The problem actually exists of multiple random warnings that seem to be popping up in the event viewer when using the MQSeries adapter (using the MQSAgent2 COM+ component) whilst sending messages towards this adapter. Strangely enough, we also noticed these warnings popping up when there is absolutely no traffic going on on the server. 

Some samples of errors:

The adapter "MQSeries" raised an error message. Details "The remote procedure call failed and did not execute. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x800706BF)"

--

The adapter "MQSeries" raised an error message. Details "Unable to cast object of type 'System.__ComObject' to type 'Microsoft.BizTalk.Adapter.MQS.Agent.MQSProxy'."

--

The adapter failed to transmit message going to send port "prtSendSecLendMsgStatusSLT_MQSeries" with URL "MQS://BDAMCAPP100/MQPRD205/FIAS.QL.SLT_BT_IN.0001". It will be retransmitted after the retry interval specified for this Send Port. Details:"The remote procedure call failed and did not execute. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x800706BF)".

The Impact

It might seem that these warnings are "just" warnings, but whenever one of these warnings is encountered, it causes the sending of messages towards the MQSeries adapter to fail. This will trigger the BizTalk retry mechanism which works with a certain amount of retries. These retries can be scheduled by minutes, where the lowest value of this configuration is 1.

This means that, when an problem occurs and the message needs to be resent, there will be a minimum delay of 1 minute on every message. In an environment where large amounts of messages are being processed, this can be a huge painpoint.

The Solution

After investigation, we seem to have found that the source of this issue can be found on network level of the servers. Idle TCP sessions on the network of the client are closed within 1 hour. This seems to be a common default setting on a lot of environments, and is certainly not a bad thing.

The problem is that the default TCP Keep Alive interval in Windows seems to be 2 hours. So when a Keep Alive package is sent towards the cluster through an idle connection with more than 1 hour idle time, it will return an error since the TCP session on the network is already closed.

Obviously, the most logical thing to do to avoid these errors is changing the Keep Alive timeout time on the Windows (BizTalk) servers. Tis can be done by changing a registry value on your BizTalk servers, followed by a reboot.

The following link describes which value to set:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc782936(WS.10).aspx

Good luck!
Andrew De Bruyne

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Installing an old E1 adapters in recent versions of webMethods

Let’s say you have a current webMethods version 6.5 and you’re upgrading to version 8, but all subsystems are not upgrading.

The webMethods Enterprise one adapter (8.96 one-off Adapter for XPI 8.94) which came with the installation of webMethods 6.5 will be replaced when you install a new Enterprise one adapter in version 8.

It can be that your JDE environment is old and that the adapter of version 6.5 is the latest supported version. How can it be used now on webMethods version 8.
First step: Export the current Enterprise one adapter from version 6.5 (Developer -> export) and save it on your machine.



Now copy this export in the replicate -> inbound folder of your new version 8 installation.
Before you can install this package, you need to install the PSFT_PackageManagement package first.
Once that package is installed, open it’s pub page.


Click install inbound releases and select your exported zip file.


Select that exported zip to be installed and click save changes


The Enterprise one adapter from version 6.5 is now installed and your new webMethods version 8 installation can work with old JDE systems.

Author : JeroenW

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

TUCON2011

Last week TUCON2011 took place in Las Vegas, USA. As we are the only TIBCO partner, with its HQ in Belgium, Integr8 Consulting could not be absent this year! So together with my colleague, we went out to the far-west of the USA.

This year TUCON started with the keynote speakers and the BIG idea track. The focus of these BIG idea tracks is to hear from TIBCO customers and TIBCO visionaries, how they are using TIBCO technologies and how it provides them with the 2-second advantage. For those out there not knowing what the 2-second advantage is, here is a link to a video from Vivek (TIBCO CEO) explaining the 2-second advantage.

Putting the right information on the right time in the right context

These are my 4 keywords I remember from my TUCON visit:
  • Tibbr 
  • Context 
  • Silver 
  • Mobility
If it’s one thing that is clear, TIBCO is investing a lot in its social computing tool, tibbr. Tibbr is a tool; build specific for the work-space, which will allow you to follow subjects, applications and event streams. Using this approach it will be possible to put the information you receive, directly in the right context when and where you want it.

This brings me to the second keyword, context. One of the keynote speakers stated ‘what if you have a million of data events, but you can’t place it’. And that’s what it’s all about. If you can place the data at the right time in the right context, it will provide you with a 2-second advantage.

The third keyword is Silver. Silver is TIBCO’s brand name for its cloud services like you have ActiveMatrix for the SOA/BPM platform. Next to Tibbr, Silver will become a focus point for the future. You will get Silver Mobile, Silver Fabric, Silver Spotfire and many more. All providing you with Cloud services to start with Tibco technology in just a matter of seconds (at least in theory).

Now the fourth option will look a bit strange but this might become the biggest shifting of enterprise communication since the rise of the email (maybe a bit exaggerated) . With the upcoming boost of the smartphones, ipads, smart devices (like smart grid readers, which read your electricity usages, and send it to your electricity provider), new technologies are needed that will make it possible to use your mobile device as…. well as a workstation. If you’re interested on how Silver Mobile will work:

  • Silver Mobile will provide you with a platform that runs on your Android, iPhone or BlackBerry. Using the platform, you will receive a common API that you can use in your mobile framework (jQuery Mobile, etc…) when building your own app
  • Using Silver Fabric you can push, from the cloud, your apps to the Silver Mobile platform on your company’s iphones, blackberries, or androids.
  • The example shown on TUCON was showing the status of your BW applications on your iphone. In case something went down, you got a notification using the native notification bus from your mobile device.

In the sessions of Orange, we saw a M2M (Machine-2-Machine) example on how Orange is using mobile communication technology. Now imagine about the possibilities when you think again about ‘context’. You can analyze the date from a mobile device and correlate this context with build in embedded devices like GPS, etc… to provide you with … the context of the data.
To conclude, enterprises will have to adapt their architectures to provide more and more a context-aware mobility delivery architecture in order to ‘please’ there customers.

Announcements

Next to the BIG idea tracks, day 2 and 3 are technology tracks that provided us with some insights of the current developments done by TIBCO. Now I will start this chapter, like TIBCO started each session. Every information provided is purely informational and does not legally bound us / TIBCO to any delivery

I tried to follow a diverse schema trying to know as much as I can and these are the things that are still in my mind:
  • The ActiveMatrix platform will be extended with a rule engine, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Decisions. This product is build based on BusinessEvents and exposes it rules as services which can be used for example in a BPM process of ActiveMatrix BPM
  • TIBCO ActiveSpaces 2.0 data grid. Woow, was I overwhelmed with this technology. To be honest, I didn’t really know this technology, but from what I’ve seen on TUCON, I immediately want to start with it!
  • BusinessWorks plugins. Instead of adapter based technology, TIBCO is coming more and more with external plugins that can enhance BusinessWorks. Examples are tibbr, SalesForce, ActiveSpaces and an Aspect plugin that you could use for AOP programming in BW!
  • Hawk! What Hawk?? Yes indeed, Hawk is coming with a nice web interface that will provide you with a better overview of your TIBCO Administrative domains. And as most products will do, Hawk will also integrate with Tibbr and maybe Spotfire in the future.
  • Nimbus. This newly acquired technology provides you with a tool that can be used for documenting your business processes in a way your business can understand them. Don’t see it as an automation engine but rather as a tool for documenting (discovering) your business process. If TIBCO will connect AMX BPM and Nimbus, information is exchanged between them, it might become a strong product bundle.
  • TIBCO EMS / FTL. During the engineering roundtable, it came to a discussion on how the future will look like for messaging. In the end there is no real answer. EMS is still the messaging solution if you want a guaranteed reliable messaging solution. FTL is the future for TIBCO if it concerns really fast messaging.

If you visited TUCON this year, maybe you joined some other sessions and got other ideas then myself. Please share your experiences. By sharing information and putting it in the right context, we can get that 2-second advantage!

Author: G√ľnther