Getting Started With Oracle BPM 11g

In a previous blog post I wrote a step by step guide on how to install Oracle BPM 11g. That was all good and well, but now what?

Continue reading

Oracle Content Management – IPM 11g Links

Looking for some useful links to information about installing Oracle IPM 11g?  We have been performing successful Oracle IPM 11g implementations and will be providing useful information, as well as, tips and tricks on this blog.

Here are the main links that have been leveraging for some valuable information related to this next generation ECM Suite:

Oracle Content Management Description URL
Overview http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/content-management/overview/index.html
Downloads http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/content-management/downloads/index.html
Documentation http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/content-management/documentation/index.html
UCM 11g Downloads http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/content-management/downloads/index-085241.html
IPM 11g Downloads http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/content-management/downloads/index-ipm-088963.html
 
 
 
Ryan Keller
ImageSource, Inc.
 
 

Excuse me, you got some AJAX in my UCM.

Now I know that SiteStudio 10gR4 is hardly brand new but for my own work I’m really starting to dig into it.  We’re running a version of Oracle UCM here at ImageSource that, well, not to put too fine a point on it, is getting a bit long in the tooth.  So, in order for me to play around with it, I ended up installing Oracle UCM 10gR3 on a development system.  I got to say that playing with all the new goodies is pushing getting our production system updated much higher up on my personal priority list!

There are so many new features that SiteStudio 10gR4 brings to the table that to go over them all in detail would take more time than I can spare.  With that in mind I’m going to focus on a new feature that really excites me: External Application Integration.

Oracle has provided us two brand spanking new services in this latest release: the WCM_PLACEHOLDER service, and the WCM_BEGIN_EDIT_SESSION service.  Now, with names like that I can forgive you if you are wondering where the sexiness is located. Let me assure you, it’s in there in spades.

WCM_PLACEHOLDER lets any external application you can think of, be it a custom thick-client, a web portal, or a mashup, get at any piece of content stored in UCM.  Wow!  Not only that but you can specify a rendering template (also stored in UCM) to format the data that’s returned. Double Wow!  So let’s say that you are creating a web portal and want to pull out, say, a word document that happens to contain a press release so you can extol the new virtues of Product 2.0 on the portal page.  With WCM_PLACEHOLDER you could load a link like the following using a standard HTTPRequest on the portal page:

http://myecmserver/idc/idcplg?IdcService=WCM_PLACEHOLDER&dataFileDocName=MY_AWESOME_PR_WORD_DOC
&templateDocName=MY_HTML_TEMPLATE

And get a fully rendered HTML fragment returned to you.  Even though it was a Word document, since we’re pulling it from UCM and using a region template that uses the DynamicConverter to convert that document into HTML, we don’t have to worry about it.  Because this is all done over HTTP we can leverage all the powerful AJAX methods that really are what modern website programming is all about.

You might be saying at this point “Okay, getting HTML back is okay I guess, but man, I really wish I could just get it in some easier format to work with it just as data and let my custom application do what I want with it.”  Luckily, WCM_PLACEHOLDER still has us covered. Continue reading

Oracle IPM 11g Released!

For those of you who have not heard Oracle has released the next generation of their Enterprise Content Management Software, Imaging and Process Management (IPM) 11g.  This version is the first major step that Oracle has taken to tightly integrate the product into Oracle’s overall software architecture…IPM 11g has been completely overhauled to be part of the Fusion Middleware (FMW) tech stack.  From the ECM perspective, Oracle now has a complete seamlessly integrated end to end offering that includes the storage repository, document management, business process management, library services, web publishing, records management, reporting/monitoring and application integration.  This creates many advantages for customers that use or plan to use other Oracle products in their workplace, as well as, integrating and leveraging existing investments in non-Oracle software.

I have been working as a Systems Engineer and Project Manager with the IPM software base for over 8 years, through the Stellent IBPM acquisition, all the way back to the Optika Acorde and eMedia days.  A couple major differences in implementing the latest Oracle 11g version are the requirements for Oracle Universal Content Management (UCM) for the storage repository and Oracle WebLogic Server for the application/web server.  I look at both of these requirements in a positive light.  UCM and WebLogic Server are powerful robust products that provide standard approaches to managing content storage and applications, respectively, from the FMW perspective.  With that said, if you do not have experience with either UCM or WebLogic, you will need to get up to speed with them to succeed in an IPM implementation.  Neither of these products can be installed through the “Next, Next, Next, Finished!” approach, so careful upfront planning and architecting is required to ensure a successful implementation.

Let’s talk about the new user interface a little bit.  Oracle has followed suit with the rest of the major players in the ECM world by creating a complete web based interface for performing all administrative and end user functions.  This makes administration duties of the system much easier than in past versions that require administration to be done through the “thick” client.  Also, by moving to the WebLogic Server the full featured web interface is now much more browser agnostic than in the past.  The image viewer comes in two flavors that support over 400 file formats; a zero footprint view only version and the a re-written java applet that allows for full annotations, annotation security, and server based conversion/rendering for access speed.  The following are a couple of screen captures of the user interface from IPM 11g:

The Client Interface

The Zero Footprint Viewer


Continue reading

Public Access to Records in Oracle UCM Can Make Web Sites Vulnerable

I was recently surprised to find a lot of companies running Oracle UCM systems that were exposed in a way that someone could hijack the website. We were looking for documents related to generic properties forms on the internet and quickly found 4 large government and corporate companies with systems left wide open with material relating to their websites. We logged on as a guest user and we could have deleted the web content or checked out the content and checked in new content giving us control of what is on their websites. I was able to get the emails of the contributors from the system and emailed them to let them know that they need to lock down their site. It was interesting that I never got a response from any of the people and that the web sites are still exposed. When mixing critical business content and public access you can’t take security and rights issues lightly. In this case, a simple checkbox can make the difference between fast access to important ECM records and becoming a victim of HTML theft.