CI/CD working with EiPaaS Oracle Integration (OIC)

Everyone is aware of the continuous integration and continuous development relevance which is nowadays the mantra of DevOps practices.

Oracle Integration is obviously part of the end2end lifecycle development being involved for connecting legacy applications usually deployed on-premise and SaaS applications often provided by Oracle Cloud or hosted on other Cloud providers.

It doesn’t matter where the applications are, where the integration is; the continuous delivery of new integration processes and versions need to be included in a smart and automated tool able to reduce the gap between the different developer teams.

Developers, who have the ownership to build new services and IT Operators, who have the task of deploying new code versions to the different environments, need to converge on one single tool to simplify complex procedures that can be simply considered as two sides of the same coin.

The common need is to keep all environments aligned with the latest implementations, possibly having everything monitored and tracked to grant audit activities in terms of compliance; this is a must when the project is starting to become critical and relevant at the enterprise level.

Oracle Integration (OIC), as you know, includes Visual Builder Cloud Service which allows open-source standards-based integration to develop, collaborate on, and deploy applications within Oracle Cloud.

Just for this, it’s easy to use Visual Builder Studio, the built-in tool, that allows developers to manage the software life cycle automating the development.

Oracle VB Studio natively supports Oracle Integration artifacts, so we can leverage this one to easily promote our integration flows from an environment to another one moving for example our integration projects from development to test environment once you we completed the new implementation and of course ready to test it.

That’s the right path to be used for promoting projects from Test to Production or from Production to a DR environment, this one probably running on a different OCI Region.

Working with the current implementation you can:

  • Export integration flows
  • Import integration flows
  • Delete integration flows

As shown below in the picture, the options we have working with Oracle Visual Builder Studio and OIC

Herewith an example of pipeline that you can easily configure to automate the Export / Import procedure and defining in cascade all steps (“jobs”) to define the required actions, of course this one below just for demo purposes. This procedure will be later explained step-by-step just in case you want to reproduce this one for your own purposes

In order to export our assets from the development environment, for example, it’s enough to configure our source and target environments about the OIC instances

How to configure our OIC environments?

This is a straightforward operation working with VB Studio, as shown below:

We can create all connections we need to configure properly the tool

Once we have configured our instances, we need to build our “pipeline” so to automate the procedure when needed

Each pipeline can include all “jobs” we need (in the previous screenshot we have used two different jobs “select your OIC project” and “import OIC project”) so to build the right chain among the different available “jobs”

To create a job, select the Build link from the left panel of the Visual Builder studio and then we can create a new job

Each job has some options and parameters to be configured as below the screenshot shows:

Select the “Parameters” tab to configure the string parameter:

The “Default Value” is the value of the integration flow version on our OIC instance to be selected and moved to the new instance. Of course, this value can be changed when we run the build so to properly set the right integration flow version

Now it’s time to select the “Steps” tab to identify the OIC instance from where we want to export our integration flow

If needed, we can also include the asserter recording just flagging the box. In this case we are moving (exporting / importing) the integration flow named “ECHO” and working with its *.iar file once we have exported this one.

Now you can click the “After Build” tab to configure it as below described. The *.iar extension is the default extension of the integration flow when you decide to download it.

Click save and that’s all. Our first job is properly configured now.

To proceed we are now ready to configure the second job (“import OIC project”).

In this case, the first step to be accomplished is the configuration of the “Before Build” tab as below shown and adding a “Copy Artifacts” option

And now, as we did with the first job, we can properly configure the OIC instance target, in our sample, but in this case for the import action.

We can also check the box about the “activate integration” option so that our integration flow will be imported and started just to have this one ready to be invoked by applications

Also, in this case, we can now save our configuration.

Once these operations have been completed, we are ready to test our pipeline selecting the start button on the right side of the web page and below shown

If the execution of our “build” is properly configured, we can see the “green flag” of our jobs once we run it

Furthermore, we can drill down the execution to look at the log information just in case something wrong having also the chance to download the file including the log for further analysis or if we need to share this one with other people or applications.

From the Visual Builder Studio “Home page” we can also get information about statistics and previous executions so to track the activities managed on the different resources we have

This is for sure the best way to properly manage our environments and the best approach to have under control the lifecycle of our projects and their deployment.

For further information, look at the really interesting content already published here:

Oracle Blog

https://blogs.oracle.com/vbcs/post/cicd-for-oracle-integrations-with-visual-builder-studio

https://blogs.oracle.com/integration/post/cicd-implementation-for-oic

Oracle Documentation:

https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/visual-builder/visualbuilder-manage-development-process/build-your-applications.html

#BuildWithAI 2021 Team Tribute

#BuildWithAI Hackathon 2021 comes at a different point in time. Last year it was a little of an unknown. This is the second year that this event has been run and there was more of an understanding about what to expect and who might be participating.

As like last time, it is a privilege to write this article as there has been significant effort to get to these outcomes. If all I do is to highlight those that have been generous with their time, knowledge and willingness to participate, then it is a service that I will do every time. Here is a recount of some of the teams that participated at the #BuildWithAI Hackathon 2021 (and who were the winners).

This is a tribute.

The one ask that I do have for those is to connect. Connect with the problem; connect with the team and make this tribute more than an article but a way to #BuildWithAI.

Continue reading “#BuildWithAI 2021 Team Tribute”

Today is the best time for pursuing your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure certification!

There is nothing like experience. Having been there and having done that is the best benefit that one can offer to those who require our services, the knowhow. Cloud, specifically Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), is a skill that is in high demand. One way to validate the gained experience is via a certification from your IaaS provider of choice. You are reading this blog post on Red Thunder, which means that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is your vendor of choice!

A certification is also a great way to start gaining experience, and the good news is that there is no better time for earning OCI certifications than today because for the rest of 2021 you can pursuit and earn OCI certifications for free!!! Not only can you secure a free 30 day trial on OCI (including always free resources), but also you can study all the OCI learning material free of charge. Oracle and Oracle University have released all the learning material that serves as a guide to OCI certifications, in addition to free OCI training, OCI certification testing is also free until 31 December, 2021

These are the some of the OCI certifications that you can pursuit and earn free of charge:

Summarizing, the learning material from Oracle University is free of charge, the certification testing is also free until 31 December, 2021. You can subscribe to a free 30 day Oracle Cloud Infrastructure trial, which you can use for doing OCI labs, and you can keep the always free resources for life; resources such as Compute, Virtual Cloud Network, Autonomous Database, Network Load Balancer, among others. Therefore, whether you are new to OCI or already have hands-on experience today is the best time for pursuing your OCI certification.

To learn more, visit the Free OCI Certification Promotion page.

#BuildWithAI 2021 – Another Step

Last weekend (from Friday 29th Oct to Tuesday 2nd Nov), was the #BuildWithAI Hackathon 2021 where participants, mentors, sponsors and organisers gathered together to solve real world challenges with AI. This event does not standalone. In a world full of change, this (from my perspective) started last year in the #BuildWithAI Hackathon 2020 and continued to build.

This article is about the event but the event itself is just “Another Step”.

Continue reading “#BuildWithAI 2021 – Another Step”

AWR Data Warehouse Repository using Autonomous Database

In Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) there is the ability to host an AWR Data Warehouse which enables you consolidate all your detailed performance data of all your database and store in a central location.

This enables you to do long-term analysis trend across your AWR data to determine, performance, capacity impact on the databases in your IT estate.

In OEM 13.5, Oracle now supports the AWR Warehouse repository for Autonomous Data Warehouse.

If you don’t have the infrastructure or capacity to store AWR data on-premise, you can now send your data to the Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW) in Oracle Cloud (OCI).

There are enormous benefits to using Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW). One of many benefits is that you can scale up/down cpu and storage whilst the database remains online.

Continue reading “AWR Data Warehouse Repository using Autonomous Database”

Field Level Encryption with Oracle Integration and OCI Vault

Integration platforms are often required to handle confidential information such as personal details, payment information or other data protected by compliance and regulatory standards such as HIPAA, GDPR, PII and PCI.

Various methods exist to protect data from unauthorized access while data is in transit and at rest. These approaches typically encrypt the entire payload. As a complementary approach Field Level Encryption has an important role to play by ensuring that only appropriately configured clients can read sensitive data fields. This approach also allows clients without the encryption keys to work with the non-sensitive data which would be impossible to do with a fully encrypted payload.

Although Field Level Encryption (FLE) is not natively supported in Oracle Integration (OIC) today, this blog will explore several options that will allow you to implement FLE with OIC. In this blog, I will present these options, discuss some guiding principles and showcase some sample implementations.

Continue reading “Field Level Encryption with Oracle Integration and OCI Vault”

Discover Autonomous Database in Enterprise Manager (EM)


In Enterprise Manager (EM) release 13.4 and 13.5, the Autonomous Database can be discovered as a target along with your other target databases on-premise deployments.

In this post I will share with you on how easily you can discover your Autonomous Database.

Continue reading “Discover Autonomous Database in Enterprise Manager (EM)”

#DaysOfArm (15 of X)

This is my 15th #DaysOfArm article that tracks some of the experiences that I’ve had so far. It’s been a little while since I’ve worked on this series however saying that … much of what I’ve been doing didn’t seem different from any other type of environment.

And just to recap from the first post (here) on June 12 2021.

It’s been just over 2 weeks since the launch of Ampere Arm deployed in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Check this article out to learn more (here). And it’s been about one week since I started looking into the new architecture and deployment, since I started provisioning the VM.Standard.A1.Flex Compute Shape on OCI and since I started migrating a specific application that has many different variations to it to test it all out.

This is my next learning where I looked into Let’s Encrypt to create a set of free certificates for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure A1.Flex VM Instances.

Continue reading “#DaysOfArm (15 of X)”

Process Excel files with OIC + Oracle Functions

In this blog post I will explore how we can extend the native capabilities of Oracle Integration (OIC) with Oracle Functions to process Excel files.

Although OIC can handle a number of file formats natively, .xlsx or .xls files need a bit of extra love.

The inspiration for this blog comes of the back of several customer enquiries into this subject.

The simple solution for most customers is to convert the Excel file formats to CSV and subsequently process them with OIC. I will use this approach here too but with a little bit of help from other OCI services such as Oracle Functions, an API Gateway and Object Storage.

A video of this demo is available here.

Continue reading “Process Excel files with OIC + Oracle Functions”

C# Serverless on OCI

I had a meeting the other day with an Oracle Partner and the discussion was about serverless solutions and Oracle Functions was introduced. And the natural question to ask was, “What is your preferred language?”.

They answered, “Mostly PHP. We also use C#”.

I had to think a little. And navigating to the fnproject.io (the open-source project that Oracle Functions is based upon), it was clear that C# was supported. Here’s a quick tour through that experience.

fnproject.io supported languages – golang, Java, javascript, python, ruby and C#.

A couple of quick points:

  • I didn’t need to install ASP.Net anywhere.
  • I’m not bound by Windows as the host operating system.

And if ASP.Net is your language of choice, you can also check out Deploy highly available ASP.Net applications on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure in the Oracle Architecture Center (here).

Continue reading “C# Serverless on OCI”
%d bloggers like this: