Fixed SOA Suite CS Error in Oracle Cloud: Validation Failed – Unable to Create Service / Invalid Storage Container

Situation

This post should provide some help for those working for the first time with SOA CS in the Oracle Cloud.

After working a lot with ACCS, OCCS, Developer CS, and JCS, surprisingly I struggled with the provisioning of SOA CS in the Oracle Cloud. Part of the problem was that the storage service seems to be accessed in (at least) three different ways within OPC .

  1. The syntax StorageName-IDDomain/chosenContainerName workes fine for DB and Java CS. There also you can create the storage container while provisioning the service.
  2. I have seen slides at OOW2017 where the storage container name was specified as a single identifier, e.g. “xyzcontainer” (however I cannot find the my paparazzi for that cloud service right now).
  3. For SOA CS none of this worked. Also the reported solution in the ODC forum did not apply in this case. The tooltip actually suggested the syntax 1).

    Also the error message(s) is not that helpful. “Validation Failed” could mean anything. “Check the log file for the real cause” makes me wonder in case of a PaaS service. What worked for SOA CS is using pre-creating the container and using the REST endpoint of the storage service.

Some Details

For SOA CS, when using the syntax that nicely worked for DB and JCS as described in 1) be prepared to see the following error message:

If you are trying to use the REST endpoint of the storage service, you might see the following rather cryptic error message if you are slightly off with the syntax.

Solution

What worked for me:

  • Precreate the storage container with the storage service console
  • Get the REST endpoint from the storage service. This is a bit hidden under Storage / View Details.
  • The syntax of the endpoint is like this:
    https://Storage-a534966.storage.oraclecloud.com/v1/Storage-f275638b05994123123123
  • Append the container name to the REST endpoint
  • Use this as storage container name

Improvements

Anyway. Thanks to Jenny for suggesting solution 3.)! IMHO, error messages given by SOA CS need improvement, also the handling of storage container needs be unified across all services and communicated in a much better way. As I already posted for Big Data CS-CE, the tooltip information for storage container is conflicting with the documentation.

A few days ago, I forwarded these issues to Oracle and received feedback that they will work on 1) improving our Cloud UI / UX design and consistency, 2) delivering useful tooltips and error messages.

For those who care: I started to write a posting about design criteria for a good PaaS.

Application Container Cloud (ACCS) supports Java EE

This is my personal entry for the ODC appreciation day that was initiated once more by Tim Hall.

Intro

Oracle’s Application Container Cloud Service (ACCS) is a cloud native, container based runtime for applications and microservices implemented with Java, Node.js, Ruby, Python and PHP. It’s simplicity makes it most attractive. All you need to do is bundle and upload your code, and add a .json file to let ACCS know how to start your application.

Since a couple of days ACCS is now supporting Java EE as well – this is great news! Note, that there is still Java Cloud Service JCS, which gives you a fully fledged WebLogic domain. However, JCS is more complex to set up and to deploy to, so ACCS is a good option for those that only want to deploy and run a Java EE module.

ACCS with Java EE

The provisioning, as shown in the following screenshot, is PaaS-worthy, easy enough as with any other ACCS deployment type.

ACCS: Application Container Cloud Service with Java EE

 

ACCS with Java EE, Some Details

Here are some more facts as they are currently known:

  • You can simply upload a .war file. The .json manifest that is required to tell ACCS how to start a Java application is not mandatory for Java EE since the module is running in WebLogic.
  • The current versions used in ACCS when deploying a Java EE module are: WebLogic 12.2.1.2 (which supports Java EE 7), running on Java 8.
  • ACCS with Java EE currently does not support clustering.
  • ACCS does not let you access the WebLogic admin console. This is fine. It’s PaaS!
  • ACCS with Java EE can make use of Java Flight Recorder. In continuous mode, all profiling and event data is captured. If Java Flight Recorder is not in continuous more, then 60 seconds of data is captured. You can download the files and use Java Mission Control to analyze the recordings.
  • The URL syntax to invoke a deployed web module is as follows:

    https://<ACCSName>-<IDDomain>.apaas.<REGION>.oraclecloud.com/<DocRoot>

  • Typically the URL to call a deployed application is shown in the ACCS service console. Note, that the DocRoot -even if required to call the deployment – is not shown.
  • A Java EE deployment is running across 2 instances as default which requires a load balancer to be provisioned by ACCS. Currently OTD is used.
  • If you feel brave enough, just give it a go and deploy the sample app.
  • If you are lost working with ACCS by yourself, then follow this tutorial, explaining how to deploy a Java EE module to ACCS. The instruction mentioned in the tutorial worked OOTB for me.

Possible Improvements

As you know, I usually write about features and showstoppers. A few minor things that should be improved in my opinion:

  • A few minor details are not visible in the console. E.g. the used Java version is not fully displayed.
  • Not sure if it is documented somewhere, but I would love to read more precisely about current restrictions for Java EE in ACCS. Actually I dropped the hint for some colleagues at Oracle to blog about it.

Is it Java EE or EE4J now?

You may have heard that Java EE went to the Eclipse foundation. The new name will be EE4J. Do you have to change all your slide decks and articles? Actually no. For some more details have a look at this article.

Acknowledgement

Many thanks to the team of Abhishek and Sriram for helping to clarify some questions and providing quick and precise feedback!

Purge / Empty / Drain a Kafka Topic in Oracle Event Hub Service (or any other Kafka broker)

I did not find this solution myself, but I am also not sure where I discovered it. Just a note to myself.

Actually it is becomes useful once you enabled client access to your Oracle Event Hub Cloud Service, since the web based console itself does not implement every functionality that is provided by Kafka.

On another thought: what if the Event Hub Console implemented draining a topic in the web console? And maybe it could also display the number of messages stored in topic.

Access Oracle Event Hub Kafka from External Kafka Client or Tool

Access Oracle Event Hub from external Tool or Command-Line Client

Oracle Event Hub provides a managed Kafka PaaS solution. To access it from an on-premises client you have to make sure to enable the ports to Event Hub Zookeeper and the Kafka broker.

Access to Kafka Broker

First lets enable access to Kafka broker. To do so, check the OPC Event Hub service for the connect string.

Create Event Hub Broker Access Rule

Then create a new access rule. Warning: In general you should not allow public access to access your Event Hub service! This is just for demo purposes to make the tool work. In case of doubt create a rule with your own IP address and talk your friendly security officer first of all.

The creation of the rule might take a few seconds:

Create Zookeeper Access Rule

Once the rule for the Kafka broker is created, we need to create a rule for Zookeeper which is using port 2181:

Explore Kafka Tool (or other)

Now lets start our Kafka tool (for demonstration purpose) only, configure the connection details for the Zookeeper IP and port, and then try to connect to Oracle Event Hub Service:

Voila, it is working 🙂 You can explore your topics or even create new ones. Note that  Oracle Event Hub uses a special naming convention for topics.

Oracle Event Hub Cloud Service: What you need to know about Topic Names

There are a number of things related to topics in Oracle Event Hub service that everybody should be aware of:

  • Oracle Event Hub topics created with the web console are automatically prefixed with the OPC ID domain.
  • Event hub topics can be created via the Kafka command-line from any host (assuming you allow the clients to access Event Hub CS). These topics are not prefixed with the OPC ID domain.
  • Topics created with the CLI (without ID domain prefix) are not shown in the service console.

IMHO, this is behaviour is not very useful for various reasons:

  • If you are planning to use Event Hub as a drop in replacement for another Kafka installation you won’t be able to create the proper topic names for already existing topics with the service console.
  • You have to add the ID domain prefix in every client. This is particularly bad e.g. for a Java producer. Hard-coded ID domains will show up sooner or later in the source code.
  • Being forced to use the ID domain prefix in every client might turn out to be a security issue. Did you note that most bloggers blacken their ID domains in screenshots when writing about OPC?