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Oracle SOA 12.2.1 – Awesome features!

Here is a quick overview of some of the new features of Oracle SOA 12.2.1 that we are excited about. We are looking forward to using the new features with our customers; they will provide significant benefits!

Integration Workload Statistics in EM

Workload metrics are very useful for high volume implementations. BPEL 10g had some of these metrics and they were not available in SOA 11g. Now we can search and view these metrics in EM. Workload metrics help in planning capacity of SOA servers. One suggestion to Oracle: it would be nice be able to monitor these metrics and alert by setting thresholds. Here are the few useful metrics:

  • Internal Queue metrics
  • BPEL Activity metrics
  • Service/Reference/Wire metrics
  • CPU and Memory for specific time
  • Dehydration metrics

Resiliency: Circuit Breaker

Failing instances consume resources and slows down SOA servers. This was problem in prior releases if you have failing instances due to external services issues etc. This enhancement allows you to monitor and suspend upstream services and then resume them after period of time that you configured. This helps in eliminating system outages due to one or more bad services. Note that Circuit Breaker is not enabled by default.

Several other things that I like about this feature:

  • We can enable this feature globally or at service level
  • Alerts can be sent when endpoint suspended.

Composite instance patching

Another excellent feature is modifying a composite without redeploying, so that pending instances can use updated service using patch artifact (SCA-INF/patch.xml). It creates sparse patch archive. WLST commands are available to validate and apply (deploy) the patch. This feature is only supported in production mode with database based MDS.

SOA in-memory

This is another useful feature for high volume implementations, which uses a coherence cache and configurable write-behind thread to defer DB writes for completed instances. Note that EM only reads from Database, not from coherence cache.

JavaScript and REST

With this version we can implement JavaScript Action and REST branch action in OSB, with no conversion to SOAP in the middle layer. The JavaScript activity is available in BPEL.

Debugger Enhancements

The XSLT Debugger is very useful for developers, and includes the ability to use conditional break points. You can modify XSLT during debug and you don’t need to restart. In addition, you can use Exception break points for Oracle Service Bus. It halts the process and goes to debugging mode when an exception occurs.

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