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

Security Lists for Minecraft

The Minecraft Server has been up and running for a little while now on my Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Always Free Tier. And it’s something that has become more valuable. The hours of crafting, building and mining is something that needs attention. I’ve experienced the situation when months of work has been wiped or worse hacked. It’s not a good feeling.

I’ve been using the Security Lists in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to define specific ingress rules. What I’ve done now is make that easier.

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#DaysOfArm (13 of X)

This is my 13th #DaysOfArm article that tracks some of the experiences that I’ve had so far. 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 is another retrospective with the OCI Arcade deployment the full stack is now being deployed on 1 OCPU with 6 GB of RAM in an Always Free Tier tenancy.

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Get OCI Arcade Free on Arm

There’s been numerous announcements about Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) adding Arm-based Compute to the list of Virtual Machine (VM) Shapes. Check some of the announcements (here) and (here).

You can also watch it (here) too with Clay Magouyrk, Executive Vice President, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Note: The link above has more content and videos.

Have you seen the OCI Arcade? We have built the architecture deployable on OCI Always Free Tier.

Recently in the OCI Always Free Tier, an additional services has been added to include 4 cores and 24 GB of RAM of Ampere A1 Compute. With this additional capacity, it made sense for OCI Arcade to be ported to this A1 Compute Shape. Here is what we did and why.

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Ansible Playbook for the OCI Arcade

The OCI Arcade with Kafka Streaming

I’m ever fine tuning this for the purpose of getting things done. For this I’m purposefully looking at the DevOps side of the picture. There are resources and a lifecycle that is better suited with Ansible or other CI/CD frameworks / pipelines.

I’ve extended the existing Oracle Resource Manager (ORM) automation. Have a look (here) about what I’ve done with ORM such that I used Ansible to do a couple of things.

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Turning a Compartment into a ORM Stack

Effective first, then efficient and then elegant …

Peter Laurie – mate and mentor.

I’ve been doing some collaboration with @stantanev around a project and part of the contribution that I was doing was getting some stuff setup / configured and deployed into Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. This wasn’t a standard copy-and-paste scenario. I was building it up as we went. And then I was done … But it felt unfinished because I didn’t want to just leave it there. I wanted to share what I have without me getting sucked into other work standing up new environments (noting in the last article – I am lazy). And in the first instance, I only had dev (where I was working) and I needed to create a new one so people can start experiencing what we delivered (quickly).

What I invested in was using Oracle Resource Manager “ORM” to help me take what I built in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and turn that into something that I could hand-over. Let’s have a look.

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Automating with OCI Oracle Resource Manager

I use this because I’m lazy.

This is true. After doing something that is repetitive because either I’m testing or incrementally improving what is happen, I get frustrated. So, I automate. In this scenario, here I have an application that I’ve been working with a few people (like @stantanev), and as such spending a little bit of time automating the provisioning of the stack made sense. I value my time as I value other people’s time.

Oracle Resource Manager (ORM) is part of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and is available in all tiers – Trials, Always Free Tier, Pay-As-You-Go or with Universal Credits. In short – EVERYONE gets it. The easiest way that I think of ORM, is that its a managed Terraform service within the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure environment. Let’s talk a look at it.

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#DigitalDefence – A Tribute To The Teams

It was fantastic to see / hear / participate in the closing ceremony of the #DigitalDefence Hackathon 2020. If you want to check the whole ceremony including some of locknotes, check it out here.

#DigitalDefence Hackathon 2020 Closing Ceremony recorded by Hackmakers (https://hackmakers.com)

It was great to see who won but also from the judging perspective, who else was in the Top 11 (yes 11, not 10) where we worked with our executive team including Cherie Ryan, Vice President at Oracle and our Regional Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand to pick the winners.

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#DigitalDefence Hackathon … The Why?

Head to https://hackmakers.com to register as a competitor or to showcase your project / product.

It’s almost 9 days before the event launches on the Friday night. Even before that, there are a series of workshops / webinars that we are hosting as part of the event in the days leading up to the event. Even then we are:

a/ Making sure that we have people, mentors, marketing, product managers, executives lined up to help where they can.
b/ Making sure that we have ideas, platforms, trials, programs, education material lined up to help where it’s feasible.
c/ Making sure that we help promote, advocate, market the event so those who would benefit would know about the event and attend.

All this effort for what outcome?

This says it all. And even though this is about #anomalydetection #deepfake #cybersecurity, much of this comes down to data – where the data can be sourced, how the data can be analysed, is the data reliable and can it be trusted.

Over the coming days leading up to the event – there will be plenty of chatter around it. Follow the event on LinkedIn. Some easy ways to follow are:

1/ Follow #DigitalDefence at https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/?keywords=digitaldefence
2/ Follow Hackmakers at https://www.linkedin.com/company/hackmakers
3/ Follow me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/lowe-jason/

I’ll be writing more about it here as we go and as new content is available. If you are interested to know or more if you want to join a team or showcase a project or product – head to the Hackmakers website https://hackmakers.com/ to learn more and register.

AUSOUG Connect 2018 – Talking Dev

ausoug-title-01.pngIn November 2018, I had the privilege to attend the Australian Oracle User Group national conference “#AUSOUG Connect” in Melbourne. My role was to have video interviews with as many of the speakers and exhibitors at the conference. Overall, 10 interviews over the course of the day, 90 mins of real footage, 34 short clips to share and plenty of hours reviewing and post-editing to capture the best parts.

Continue reading “AUSOUG Connect 2018 – Talking Dev”

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