Friday, June 14, 2013

SOA Black Belt Workshop, Day 3: Architecture Internals

The topic of today was architecture internals.

Adapters: added value 

We were supposed to start with Fault handling, but the adapter session by Niall was preponed. He is a very good presenter, but unfortunately part of the slide deck was the usual marketing mumbo jumbo about how easy it is to integrate to any system. Since this day was "architecture essentials", I would have enjoyed a discussion on whether you want to use an adapter or build a 'proper' web service in Java more. The lab that accompanied this session was fun: we needed to fix the adapters that were configured beforehand. It was very much like what happens in real life.

Fault handling: expect the unexpected

The session on fault handling did not cover anything new as far as I am concerned. There is a lot of material out there that covers this topic. A lot of emphasis was placed on transaction management. This makes sense in the context of Fault handling, but it made the whole thing a bit repetitive. I would have preferred a shorter presentation about the different fault types and then a lab where we would actually build complicated fault handling scenario's (catchAll, fault policies, rolling back transactions). 

Security: we all have our role

Flavius explained the OPSS framework, virtual directory and how you can manage application roles in Enterprise Manager. This is particularly relevant in a human task service. A lot of people I know use groups in LDAP for that which makes the groups way to fine grained to be manageable. The other feature I was not aware of was using a light weight OVD by turning on 'virtual' in the WebLogic console.


Performance tuning essentials: a journey through the database 

Niall then traced all the database inserts and updates for a simple BPM process. It was interesting, but the title was misleading. The important part to remember is that every design decision you make in your composite as a developer will result in a write to the database. Performance is not always the key requirement, but it is something to take into account, of course.

Fusion apps: oer is the new irep

Niall showed us the Oracle Enterprise Repository for Fusion apps. It contains all the business objects, Web Services and other artefacts that you need to integrate with Fusion Apps. A lot of the integration is still based on an API model, rather than services. From a product vendor perspective it makes sense, but as an implementer you need to make sure that you don't expose all these fine grained services on your Enterprise Service Bus. 

Anti patterns are the new patterns

Ravi Sankaran did the last session over the phone. He presented a number of anti patterns, reasons why they occur and recommendations to follow to avoid them or only apply them if needed. The content was interesting but listening to somebody over the phone in a hot room (27 degrees and humid outside) after three days of training is not the best condition for knowledge transfer. I will have to take a look at the slides as soon as they are available.

The evening

J├╝rgen organized a boat tour and a really really nice dinner at a very interesting restaurant and handed everyone their blackbelt. It was a great way to talk to some new people and to see something of the city at the same time. 

Tomorrow is the last day, then it is back to reality again...

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