Monday, November 25, 2013

Browsing the Meta Data Services Repository of the Oracle SOA/BPM Suite 11g

In this article I explain a handy way to browse the MDS on the SOA/BPM server from JDeveloper, as well as how to download its content using Enterprise Manager, and finally an (as far as I know) undocumented feature to look up artifacts using a browser.

This article has been updated on November 26 to include the option regarding downloading the MDS content.

The Meta Data Services (or MDS for short) of Oracle's SOA/BPM Suite is used to manage various types of artifacts like:
  • Process models created with Process Composer,
  • Abstract WSDL's and XSD's,
  • Domain Value Map's (DVM), and even
  • Artifacts  of deployed composites.

Browsing the MDS from JDeveloper

To find out what actually is deployed in the MDS you can setup an MDS connection within JDeveloper to the server. Such a connection can be handy, for example to verify if replacements of variables in the MDS artifacts are properly done when deploying. Using this connection you can open those artifacts in JDeveloper and check the source.

To create an MDS connection go to the Resource Palette -> New Connection -> SOA-MDS. This will pop-up a tab from which you can create a database connection to the MDS for example the dev_mds schema. Having created the database connection you have to choose the partition to use for the SOA-MDS connection. To be able to check-out processes created whith Composer from the MDS or to save them in the MDS, you create a SOA-MDS that uses the obpm partition. As the name already suggests, this is in BPM-specific partition. To browse the other artifacts I mention above, you use the soa-infra partion, which is shared by both SOA and BPM.

In the figure below you can see two types of connections, above to the soa-infra and below to the obpm partition. In the (soa-infra) apps you can find the reusable artifacts that you have deployed explicitly (like abstract WSDL's, XSD's, EDL's).

What you also see is a deployed-composites folder that shows all composites that have been deployed. When expanding a composite, you will find that all artifacts are shown. This is a much easier way to verify that you do not deploy too many artifacts to the server then by introspecting the SAR file, I would say. Except for .bpmn files (that at the time of writing are not yet recognized by this MDS  browser) you can open all plain text files in JDeveloper.


Downloading the MDS from Enterprise Manager

Now let's assume that you have not been given access to the MDS's DB schema on the environment (perhaps because it is Production), but you do have access to the Enterprise Manager. For this situation my dear colleague Subhashini Gumpula pointed me to the possibility to download the content from the MDS as follows:

soa-infra -> Adminstration -> MDS Configuration  -> and then on the right side of the screen: Export.


This will download a soa-infra_metadata.zip file with its content!

Looking up Artifacts in the MDS Using a Browser

Now let's assume that you also have not been given access to Enterprise Manager on the environment, but you can access using the HTTP protocol. Thanks to my dear colleague Luc Gorrisen I recently learned that you can browse it using part of the URL of the composite, as follows:

http://[server]:[port]/soa-infra/services/[partition]/[composite_name]/apps/[artifact_folder]

For example, to look up the abstract WSDL of some ApplicationService that is used by some StudentRegistration business process, I can use the following URL.

http://capebpm-vm:7001/soa-infra/services/default/StudentRegistration/apps/ApplicationService/1/ApplicationServiceStorage.wsdl

Mind you, this is not restricted to only the WSDL's it is using.

Ain't that cool?!

No comments: