The Top Five Records Management Problems and Why They Resemble Raising a Teenager

Here are five issues that you will encounter with dealing with both teenagers and record management.  These five records management problems come from observations that are firsthand experiences from client engagements across multiple industries, as well as from raising teenagers, and from actually being an ex-teenager.

  1. Clean up your mess before I have to do it.

Basic retention management (not necessarily full-blown records management) is a lot like having to clean your teenager’s room.  The teenager had ample opportunity to do it themselves, but failed or neglected to do so.  Your employees also have old, irrelevant, and often contradictory documents lying around, and have neglected to clean them out. This can cause records management problems down the road.

By scheduling the elimination of old, outdated content, the records manager is essentially acting as the parent with the broom and dustpan.

2. Be in this house before your curfew, or else.

No teenager likes to be told when they have to come home. However, if they are out past their curfew, usually it’s a recipe for disaster.

If you company records are not disposed in a timely fashion per legal mandates, it’s like they missed THEIR curfew.  Having such records in the house after their time is up also is a recipe for a legal disaster.

During post-mortem type follow ups, it’s often observed that a customer has records that need to be processed due to disposition rules being triggered, but the customer has failed to actually process the items.  A teenager could be simply grounded for missing curfew; your company’s punishment may be more severe. Simple steps can eliminate future records management problems.

3. You live in my house, you must follow my rules.

Teenagers typically hate the rules set forth by their parents.  Teenagers consider their lives to be their own business, where a parent shouldn’t infringe.

Employees often think that they are the owners of content, and can control who has access to it, and the company should not infringe.  This opinion is not true, the company owns it if created on company time and utilized company resources in such creation.  Company rules must apply to who keeps what, who sees what, how such items are retained, and so forth to avoid records management problems.  It’s the company that will go to court if legal issues arise when the “rules of the house” are not followed.

4. All my friends are doing it.

No two companies are the same.  Even if the companies perform near identical work, record keeping requirement rules can be substantially different between states and localities where your “friends” live.  (Besides, if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it?)

5.I forgot.

It’s amusing to see what a teenager “remembers” and what a teenager “forgets”.  Your employees “forget” from time to time, or are simply preoccupied with other, meaning “more interesting”, tasks.

Applying consistent record and retention policies removes the “I forgot” excuse for not disposing of old content and out of date records and prevents records management problems.

The five records management problems above illustrate raising teenagers and records management both are indeed similar.  They both seem to be thankless jobs in the moment, but when looking back in retrospect, both can be considered successful if consistent (and persistent) strategies are first deployed and then followed.

If you have questions about records management, please contact us today:

[pardot-form id=”15987″ title=”Blog – William Phelps – The Top Five Records Management Problems and Why They Resemble Raising a Teenager”]


Taking Advantage of Oracle Process Cloud Service Advanced Features

Taking Advantage of Oracle Process Cloud Service Advanced Features

How to Minimize Future Development by Building Reusable Common Processes

By: Courtney Dooley | Content Developer

When you look at few of your business processes do you see any similarities?  Do the same individuals approve different process requests?  Are documents processed and archived in a similar manner?  Oracle Process Cloud has multiple ways to reuse development and minimize future development and maintenance efforts.


QuickStart Applications

  1. Overview

QuickStart Applications are pre-defined applications intended as a starting point for particular type of process.  To create a new QuickStart Application, simply click the Create button from the PCS Composer homepage, and choose the option “QuickStart App”.  The QuickStart Apps page will open displaying all available QuickStart templates, including QuickStart templates that come with the Process Cloud Service.

A QuickStart Master Template can be created from any Oracle Process Cloud Application.  Converting an application to a QuickStart Master Template allows you to restrict modifications to specific elements of the application or select the option “Allow Advanced View” which gives users creating a QuickStart Application the ability to edit all elements of the new application.  This may be necessary as Form elements and process flow are not available in the controlled modification options.

  1. Development Tips

When developing a QuickStart Application it is important to remember that various individuals in different departments may use this template.

  • Keep elements general – rather than using a role of IT Supervisor use Supervisor. Generalizations will reduce the effort to customize an application to a specific need.
  • Use application variables as often as possible – The application name can be retrieved and displayed as the form title rather than setting a static form title.

FormTitle.value = data.getParameter(‘’);

  • Leave application elements configurable – If you have an element that requires specific values that will change for each application, put in a placeholder or leave the values empty for QuickStart Application creators to modify.
  • Keep it simple – the more complex a QuickStart Master Template is, the less likely it will be used as it may be difficult to alter to fit the needs of various business processes.
  1. Ideal Use Cases

These QuickStart Applications work best when they are created as a starting point.  A fully developed QuickStart application will limit its versatility and may cause additional development efforts to both remove unwanted elements as well as creating the missing functionality that is needed.

QuickStart Master Templates that will require minimal maintenance long term will make useful QuickStart Applications.  Keep in mind that multiple applications maybe created from this template, and if the QuickStart Master Template requires an update, so will every application created from it.

Cloned Applications

  1. Overview

Any Application within Process Cloud can be cloned to create a new application.  This will create a new application from the last published version of the Original application.  All elements within the cloned application will be the same as the original including elements which are not editable such as process ID and form name.

  1. Development Tips

If the application being developed is likely to be cloned for other purposes, the following tips will help minimize confusion between applications.

  • Set process instance title – since process ID is not an editable value, and process tracking information can only be filtered by process ID and not application name, specify the process title in the predefined variables to include the application name.

  • Name application elements generically – Process name unlike ID is editable; however Form, Integration, and Decision names cannot be modified. Keeping naming conventions generic will help minimize confusion when used in other applications.
  1. Ideal Use Cases

Production Applications which need to be slightly modified for a separate business process is ideal for this option.  Developers can save hours of work starting with a fully functional Application which may need minor changes to fit the need of a new process.

Called Applications

  1. Overview

Called applications can minimize application maintenance, development, and troubleshooting when created and used wisely.  Called applications should contain message start processes with defined inputs and outputs that link data between applications.  When a called application is deployed, a web service URL is supplied for other application to integrate with.  This allows common processes to be referenced rather than duplicated in multiple applications.


  1. Development Tips

When developing Called Applications, it’s important to develop inputs and outputs that will meet the needs of any application calling it.

  • Naming inputs and outputs – When a developer sets up the connection to the called application, the inputs and outputs should be easy to understand what values should be passed.

  • Application Name – Naming the application appropriate to the process will help other developers know which application has the process they need to reference.
  1. Ideal Use Cases

Sub-processes that will be used within multiple applications are ideal for this option.  Processes which may have a sequence of service calls or decisions allow for maintenance to be done in a single location rather than updating multiple applications.  Below are a couple of examples of great uses for this option.

  • Archiving Content – attachments that may need folders located or created prior to moving the attachments to those folders or have metadata assigned to those content items.
  • Management Approval Process – a process with a specific series of approvals which will not change based on the form or content being approved.
  • Concurrent Processes – A process that can be executed concurrently with its originating process. The called application can be invoked at the beginning of the originating process and the output received at a later point in the originating process.  The called application in this case may have a timed event which will wait until a specific date to complete.

So as you can see, Process Cloud offers many ways to start new development by reusing existing applications.  By developing applications that can be used in multiple business processes, you can reduce the time spent not only developing new applications but maintaining old ones as well.

Contact Us for more tips and tricks for developing smart Oracle Process Cloud Applications!

[pardot-form id=”15726″ title=”Blog – Ways to Reuse Your Development – Courtney Dooley”]

Imaging Upgrade with FMW

Imaging Upgrade with FMW

By: John Schleicher | Sr. Technical Architect

Last August Oracle announced the release of Fusion Middleware  You are welcome to look at that here:

What is not obvious in the announcement however is the ability to support the Fusion Middleware (FMW) Imaging component post release.  This is of particular concern to Accounts Payable (AP) Solutions based using the Application eXtension Frameworks (AXF) Solution Accelerator.  Clients with these AP solutions of which many still sit on pre baselines now have a migration path to maintain their software within support and that allows them to take advantage of current Fusion Middleware infrastructure, newer features, and the latest security offerings.  Just within the scope of infrastructure upgrade customers can expect to take advantage of:

  • Updated JDK with current security updates.
  • New/current Operating System (OS) support
  • Security patches delivery
  • Cloud integrations available via 12c FWM

Why should AXF Solution customers be interested in the upgrade?  As mentioned earlier they now have a fully functional migration path for their AP software that extends their premier support window past December 2018 extending it 4 years to Dec 2022.    AXF Solutions that leverage the customizable coding form will soon have a 12c compatible upgrade to fill out their solution as well.    This release of this component is imminent.  With that, the customizations built into their 11g solutions can be applied to the 12c based Application Developer Framework (ADF) project that is configured post upgrade.

There are additional advantages as well:

  • Capture improvements are the most functional for Imaging customers in 12c. A new recognition processor engine opens up the capture engine to non-Windows operating systems.  Cloud/DOCS interfaces are present.  Outlook EWS capability for mail client offers more security.  There is also additional scripting capabilities built in.
  • For Imaging clients using Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) in their solution, the new engine offers much better reporting capabilities and no dependency on browser type and version. Existing reports will require regeneration but the toolset is much more robust and any additional development will see much better statistical monitoring capabilities.
  • SOA improvements lie in cloud integration and tools that ease new development.

Some TekStream clients have partially upgraded their solutions to pick up new features of capture and overcome expired certificates in the 11g client.  This partial upgrade can be done as this component can be easily separated from the rest of the AP solution.  In doing so however creates a hybrid solution with two separate weblogic servers.  With the release this is no longer necessary.

Why should you contact TekStream for the upgrade?  TekStream is the premier systems integrator with Oracle products in the WebCenter Content, Portal, Sites, and Imaging arenas.  We have laid the groundwork to perform the upgrade with minimal risk of downtime through considerable product knowledge, multiple iterations through the process, and stringent internal procedures.  The upgrade process is quite complex with lots of components, pre and post upgrade configurations (some documented, some not).  Let us help you to make this as painless a process as possible to reap the benefits of an up to date imaging solution.

Stay tuned for more information about Upgrading your AXF Imaging Solution Accelerator solution.

Have more questions? Contact TekStream today!

How to Migrate Custom Soap WSDLs in Oracle WebCenter Content

tekstream blog - custom soap wslds migration

How to Migrate Custom Soap WSDLs in Oracle WebCenter Content

By: Greg Becker | Technical Architect

Oracle WebCenter Content Soap WSDLs can be very useful to expose various WCC services that can be called from a web service request as one of the possible integration methods into WCC. RIDC Java APIs can also be used however in some scenarios, for example where there may not be experienced Java developers on staff, the Soap WSDLs may be the chosen integration method.

A number of out-of-the-box Soap WSDLs available exist that expose common WCC services such as Search and CheckIn. Recently a client that used the ContentFolios component wanted to interact with them using a Web Services approach. Since these particular services are not available out of the box as Soap WSDLs, they needed to be created. We started by creating the new custom Soap WSDLs in a development environment and performed a standard testing cycle.

For more information regarding Customizing WSDL files please check out this link:

After a successful testing cycle, the custom Soap WSDLs need to be migrated to the production environment. After reviewing the Oracle documentation we realized that there isn’t much if any documentation available regarding how to migrate the custom Soap WSDLs from one environment to another. We took a look at the files that are created on the file system when a custom WSDL is created and then came up with the following steps that can be used to handle the migration.

  • Create the new custom Soap WSDLs in your development environment and configure it as you wish:
    TekStream blog Custom Soap 1
  • Next, create a new empty Soap WSDL in your production environment using the exact same name as the one that you created in the development environment:
    TekStream blog Custom Soap 2
  • Copy the file hda from the custom directory in development to the corresponding directory in production. You’ll notice the path below which is typically <domain_home>/ucm/cs/data/soap/custom/:
    TekStream blog Custom Soap 3
  • Choose Action -> Generate WSDLs

TekStream blog Custom Soap 4

Once you perform these steps, the Soap WSDLs should be available in the target environment for use. When the WSDL files are generated, copies of the new custom WSDL file will be moved to a directory within web layout so that they can be downloaded and passed to a developer for use.

I hope that this information is useful for your custom Soap WSDL migration needs. Please ensure that you take a backup of any files that you modify as this approach may not be recognized by Oracle Support, but it has worked as documented for a number of clients. Please contact TekStream if you’d like further information or if you have a similar project need that we can assist with.

Got questions? Contact us today:

Using Oracle Records Management for Content Retention | TekStream

records management content retention

Using Oracle Records Management for Content Retention

By: Brandon Prasnicki | Technical Architect

The Oracle Records Management Solution has a powerful Retention Management Process built within it that handles the lifecycle of your content.  The disposition rule workflow is defined at a retention category level.  When content is ingested into the system, the content item can be tagged with the retention category in the form of a metadata field.  With this assignment the content item will follow the disposition process.

The disposition process works as follows:

BP blog behold the legal hold

  1. In general, a content or record item is ingested into the WebCenter Content / Records Management/ Retention Management repository with certain fields (AKA ‘tags’ or ‘metadata’) that describe the content. The content item generally has a filing date or some other date that can be used for defining the retention period of the item.
  2. The item is retained by the system for the defined period of time.
  3. “Something” happens that ends the normal retention period. Either the content item simply met its defied retention end date, or some other user action (‘cutoff’, ‘cancelled’, etc.)  action determines that the disposition approval process should begin.
  4. The disposition approval by the disposition rule approver(s) happens. This can be as simple as a one-step approval to allow the destruction to happen, or it can be complex with multiple steps and prompt the user to first do an approval, create a new revision of a record, notify authors etc.
  5. The defined disposition action occurs. Normally this is Destruction.  However, the Oracle Records Management Solution offers many options for this action including retaining the metadata, only removing previous revisions, archiving to NARA etc.

Now what happens when there is some legal preceding that legally requires your organization to stop the disposition process for some items?

Behold the Legal Hold.  One of the many strengths of WebCenter content management solution is that the Oracle WCC Records Management solution has ‘freeze’ functionality built into the retention management feature.

folder pic bp blog post


Freeze (Legal Holds)

Stops all disposition actions and any deletions or updates



a. Navigate to Records -> Configure -> Retention -> FreezesDefining and applying the legal hold is easy for Records Managers with the appropriate Records rights.

screenshot 1

b. Click ‘Add’ and create the freeze:

screenshot b

Once defined, the freeze can be applied to individual content items from a search (or screen) result, or an entire record folder can have the freeze applied to it.  Within the system, after the freeze (Legal Hold) is applied, you will see a blue pause button indicating the item is held and no further disposition processes will happen.

a. To apply the legal hold, Select the first item and click -> edit -> freeze -> show All Freezes
Select the appropriate freeze and enter a freeze reason. Click OK

screenshot 4screenshot 5

Once the legal preceding is finished, the Records Manager with the appropriate rights, can view the items frozen by this legal hold, and do an unfreeze easily within the system.

TekStream is ready to show you all the features that are available for your retention management and records management solution needs!  Please fill out the form below for a demonstration!

Defining Your Upgrade and Cloud Strategies: A New Path to Oracle WebCenter Portal

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Defining Your Upgrade and Cloud Strategies: A New Path to Oracle WebCenter Portal

By: Kevin Donnelly | Director of WebCenter Portal Consulting

It’s never as easy as the marketing says. Often, a Portal application has so many dependencies that you find yourself stuck in the ground rather than moving up to where you want to be. Priorities lie elsewhere, and you end up with a portal which is up against – or past – end of life, running on old hardware on the verge of being completely unsupported, with no guidance or path laid out on how to successfully move onto a modern platform.

Portal applications are particularly prone to getting caught up in an end-of-life cycle. Typically, a business’s intranet/extranet Portal application serves as a clearinghouse and an aggregation point for a wide variety of different functions – both directly through the Portal, and indirectly through integrations to the backend. This tends to result in the perceived value of upgrades and additional functionality being higher for those endpoints being exposed through the Portal than to the Portal itself; and with any major piece of software, it can fall behind the curve for support. Once that happens, it’s a slippery slope to falling multiple versions behind, paying more for support (or losing support altogether), and turning into a complete legacy portal implementation that no-one wants to touch for fear of breaking the whole implementation.

Unfortunately, crossing your fingers and hoping nothing goes wrong has never been a good IT plan.

If you are in the situation of having a legacy, currently (or soon to be) unsupported Portal implementation, you need to actively consider your path to a more modern, supported, stable platform – both software and hardware. Below are some initial questions typically asked when helping enterprises build their transition path to a more stable Portal implementation.

Infrastructure Approach: On-Premise, Off-Site, Cloud, or Hybrid models?

One driving force behind changes and migrations of legacy software (Portal or not) has always been underlying hardware changes. It’s no coincidence that changes to the support of underlying server software aligned with a number of legacy software migrations. This was seen when Microsoft’s Support for Windows Server 2008 ran out, and it appears to be ramping up again as Oracle’s Solaris 10 leaves Premier Support in less than 9 months. Other considerations are hardware life – owning a physical server means that there will be times when purchasing new servers are necessary – and the simple support appetite for continuing to hardware in-house. More and more companies are looking at a Cloud infrastructure to host their software needs, but question if it’s a good overall fit.

When working with someone to help build that transition path, we find the best by using a solid justification based in true cost and functionality. This includes not just the immediate costs of migration to a new platform, but the ongoing cost of the infrastructure, support of the platform, software licensing (which often differs between on-premise, virtual, and Cloud environments!), and future hardware/software purchases or renewals.

From a functionality perspective, it is important to look at all of your options to be sure you are choosing what best fits your needs. First, choose a category – choose Cloud when you want to get out of the business of owning hardware, and Hybrid when there are applications which can’t move off-premise, etc. What the Oracle Cloud offers is different than what you will get at AWS or Azure; and even within any of these there are significant different options which will result in very different certifications, costs, and maintenance/administrative controls and experiences.

Portal Application Support Approach: Lift and Shift, Migrate, or Rebuild?

As with infrastructure decisions, a good application roadmap requires due diligence and strong planning. One of the characteristics of Portal implementations is that no two are exactly alike – because no two are serving quite the same audience, or have exactly the same needs. That being said, many of the same underlying questions and scenarios continually repeat themselves. There is a tendency to think that since your particular implementation is unique, that the problems you face are unique as well – and that is rarely the case. The first step to planning the future of your existing Portal implementation is taking a good look at not just the current implementation, but your current needs – how have your business needs changed since this was put in place? What new business problems or challenges may have come up? What functionality may no longer exist in a new version or product that would still need to be handled? Is there an absolute need to stay on a particular release due to compatibility issues in the short or long term; and how can that balance with other requirements?

Once the end stage is determined, a good roadmap will be sure to cover the entirety of the path to get your Portal implementation where it needs to be. Environment planning (Dev / Test / Staging, etc.) can give you a path to get a toe in the water of a new infrastructure; but those needs often change drastically in a Cloud or Hybrid environment. Are you planning with the support needs of the current Portal in mind? Are you fully mapping your functionality and your content? The plan also needs to consider the quirks of the legacy system – what customizations and integrations can be reused? How can you migrate the legacy content into a new system?

In the table below, there are a number of common legacy Oracle-based Portal implementations that we’ve worked with, built roadmaps for, and performed migrations on – whether lift-and-shift to a Cloud or Off-Premise environment, or as a fully new Portal implementation. Each of these has some similarities of approach, but also their own challenges to overcome, regardless of the destination.

Portal SoftwareCurrent VersionSupport StatusCommon Implementation Characteristics
WebCenter Portal Server WebCenter Spaces11. (August 2015)Premier Support (ends Dec 2018)• Content and Document Management done via integration with WebCenter Content • Search provided by Secure Enterprise Search or via WebCenter Live Search • Integrations to other Fusion Middleware Platforms • Custom Applications provided via ADF Task Flows • Customized User Interface via Skins and Templates • “Deep” extension of out-of-box tooling typically via replacement rather than extension
WebCenter Portal Framework11. (August 2015)Premier Support (ends Dec 2018)• Content and Document Management done via integration with WebCenter Content • Applications typically included many custom ADF Task Flows • Functionality typically implemented via custom code • Pages were often built within the application and deployed rather than via web tooling
WebLogic Portal10.3.7 February 2016Premier Support (ends Dec 2018)• Most functionality implemented through custom integration and development • Application functionality typically the primary focus of the Portal • Java-based development; typically very customized with complex portlets/applications
Oracle Portal (11g/10i) December 2011 10.1.4 September 2005Sustaining Support (Indefinite)• Heavy custom development, including the PDK and JSR and standards-compliant portlets • Often PL/SQL applications are integrated through out-of-the-box portlets • Generally tight integrations with other Oracle backends
WebCenter Interaction10.3.3 December 2011Sustaining Support (Indefinite)• Integrates to a variety of backends, including custom web applications (Java, .NET and other) • Identity integration typically to an Active Directory or LDAP environment, although users are often managed directly through the Portal • Typically a long-standing portal implementation, exposing diverse applications to its user base • Search indexing in the 10.3.3 version will need regular rebuilds and is often an issue
AquaLogic Interaction6.5 MP1 June 2008End of Life• ALI 6.5 is fully out of support, so typically companies will have either good internal knowledge of the system, or it has remained stable for some time. • Integrates to a variety of backends, including custom web applications (Java, .NET and other) • Identity integration typically to an Active Directory or LDAP environment, although users are often managed directly through the Portal • Typically a long-standing portal implementation, exposing diverse applications to its user base

If you are running on any of these platforms and are looking to move to a modern platform and/or a Cloud-based implementation; feel free to reach out to TekStream Solutions for a conversation, or check out the TekTalk webinar replay: Upgrading WebCenter Portal to the Cloud.  We’d be happy to talk to you about your plans for Portal migration, and how to best put you on the path to success.

Using Records Management Solutions To Handle WebCenter Content Requirements


Using Records Management Solutions To Handle WebCenter Content Requirements

By: Brandon Prasnicki | Technical Architect

Oftentimes there are requirements customers have that have the feel of customizations, but actually can be handled by out of the box functionality with Records Management (or in the simplest WCC form this feature can be referred to as ‘Retention Management’) functionality. Oracle WCC has a records management solution that has features that are obvious (disposition, audit, metadata history, etc.), but it also has some features that may be useful for core WCC requirements that might otherwise be costly customizations. Here is a list of a few of three of these common requirements:

  1. Global updates via the UI
    1. WebCenter Content Management solution (with records management disabled): can do this with folder propagation and archiver but anything query based via the UI is a customization
    2. Retention Management solution: A Global Updates submenu within the main Records menu is available when the appropriate RM rights are assigned
  2. Security Restriction based on Revision, Metadata updates and Delete
    1. WebCenter Content Management solution (with records management disabled): there would need to be some custom component that would hook into service to see if user had a role that allowed revisioning and/or metadata updates to restrict beyond normal RW access. Also a UI customization to disable the checkout/check-in would be needed.
    2. Retention Management solution: RM restriction flags can be set on the definition of a category, and when content is assigned to this category via metadata, the restrictions are in place. Then the appropriate RM rights can be assigned to these users with special permission to perform these functions. *Note that records categories don’t need to have disposition assigned, and categories can be assigned by deriving the xCategoryID field with a profile rule.
  1. Review
    1. WebCenter Content Management solution (with records management disabled): Some customization to trigger a scheduled event based on a review date and query, or some basic workflow needs to be manually generated
    2. Retention Management solution: There is out of the box functionality that marks an item ‘vital’ and users responsible to do the review are emailed assigned to do the review with a review action.


  1. Global updates

Global updates is an out of the box feature available in records management for users that have the ‘search and update’ and ‘no security’ RMA right.

retention management 1

When RMA rights of ‘Search and update’ and ‘No Security’ are assigned to a role, these users will see a new records menu item called ‘Global Updates’ where they can use a query based form to update values en masse.

retention management 2

When building the query, you can preview the results and even schedule the run if it is a large job.

retention management 3

  1. Security Restrictions

When creating a retention category, the following security restrictions are available:

retention management 4

The restrictions can be defined as follows:

  1. Restrict Revisions: All content in this category cannot be revisioned by users whom do not have the RMA Right of Record.Revise (even if they have WCC write access).
  2. Restrict Deletes: All content in this category cannot be deleted by users whom do not have the RMA Right of Record.Delete (even if they have WCC delete access and are author).
  3. Restrict Edits: All content in this category cannot have the metadata updated by users whom do not have the RMA Right of Record.Edit (even if they have WCC write access).
  4. Transfer or Accession to NARA (AKA ‘permanent’): No revisions, deletes, edits are allowed even for users with these RMA rights.

retention management 5

         3. Review

When the Records management solution is leveraged (Retention Management is enabled), there are new fields on the form that are available. Simply check the vital flag and fill out the reviewer and period information, and this user will get an email to review the item!

retention management 6

TekStream is ready to show you all the features that are available for your retention management and records management solution needs! Please fill out the form below for a demonstration!

BPM Document Integration with Content Management Framework Folders

Business process management

BPM Document Integration with Content Management Framework Folders

By: John Schleicher | Sr. Technical Architect

Oracle BPM (workflow) of both BPMN and BPEL flavors offers document integration as basic functionality as well it should. Human workflow is inherently tied to documents that support the activity in question. To provide this capability workflow accommodates documentation (aka attachments) in task based schemas and within the User Interface forms that support it. Workflow programs can pass documentation to tasks by carrying them in the schema as files or URL references. The BPM form documentation component then exposes those documents for viewing and allows for the addition and deletion of the same.

The default storage of the documents is made within the underlying workflow database schema but administrators can configure the workflow engine to leverage the content management data store as an alternate location. Information about this can be found in the SOA Administrator’s guide and numerous blogs.

The content storage alternative offers storage improvements over the original configuration but still is fairly limited in ability as compared to interacting with documentation within the content system itself. Though the ability to view existing documents, add or delete documents and define a few optional criteria exists with the BPM based user interface, more sophisticated elements of content such as managing revisions or viewing history are not available. You can also search for content documents and attach them to the workflow through the BPM attachments UI component. This may offer some integration but ultimately requires the users to be accessing both content and BPM interfaces in a fairly disjoint fashion to be somewhat effective. Shouldn’t there be a more effective mechanism?

When faced with a requirement to migrate a manual workflow system based on file folders the answer became obvious. If the workflow documentation was segregated into logical folders within content (basically into framework folders) then workflow could access the content UI based on that workflow associated folder. So instead of using the existing BPM document component, the URL specifying the framework folder was substituted as a go button or link in the BPM form which would render the content UI for that folder with the document listing. Adding new documents can likewise be provided by another go button tying it to the Add capability of the content URL so the users can click a button, add a title, browse and upload a document to the folder and workflow.

There was initially some concern over the lack of a document listing on the BPM form. The concern was easily allayed however by the common activity of separating the tabbed content document listing from the BPM form and simultaneously displaying it on a dual monitor system. Power users have ready access to the document listing with this configuration (as shown in the below diagram). Also the separation of the listing offers more real estate for the rest of the form. For my case I extended the comments component into the vacated space formerly reserved for the list of documents.

There are other benefits to leveraging the content UI straight from workflow. The first of course is the ability to leverage document versioning. Secondly, document access beyond the workflow lifespan is easily possible, as well as applying search metadata against the folders and documents to allow non-workflow association to be realized. For the out of the box workflow/content integration when workflow is complete, how do you get to those documents? For the direct integration outlined here, you are already creating the folder, so you can also apply some metadata for searching folder contents and you have the ability to find workflow documentation well beyond the life of the workflow.

This new configuration has some coordination required between workflow assignees and content roles. Workflow users require sufficient privileges to view, add/delete, and update content. This administration is simple enough and can be tied to the framework folder that is associated with the root element for the workflow activity.

So what could be classified as a drawback? For one, the simplistic ingestion of documents into the storage requires a bit more programming. The workflow system (whether BPMN or BPEL) must now leverage the UNIVERSAL_CREATE mechanism of content’s GenericSoapPort webservice to create logical folders for the workflow and then create/upload any documents coming into the workflow. The logical folders must be oriented around a unique key to be able to reference the folder throughout the workflow as the form must provide the specific folder’s URL for access of documentation. Also applying metadata for post workflow searches is a small overhead as well. So ultimately this is a little more complicated than the original but not prohibitively so.

So I have outlined a relatively straightforward integration of Oracle BPM and Content storage for workflow documentation. If your BPM project is aligned on folders or another logical key it may be an option for your documentation access.

BPM Workflow tab adjacent to Content Framework Folder Listing

BPM Workflow

Have more questions? Contact TekStream today!

Using Business Objects With the Oracle Process Cloud Service

Young businessman with big blue cloud

Using Business Objects With the Oracle Process Cloud Service

By: Courtney Dooley | Content Developer


Imagine you’re outlining an Oracle Process Cloud Application that you need to build. You then realize you need the data that’s entered into your form to be passed to a Process, filtered through a Decision, and used as an input for a REST API call.  That scenario could have you creating a Field, Data object, Decision input object, and a REST API request body.  However, if you start by defining a Business Object that contains all the data you will need for these functions, you may find you only need one.  Below describes how you can keep your data organized within your Process Cloud Application, and shorten the time needed to create and link these objects. Oracle PCS is extremely versatile and can help you leverage the Oracle Process Cloud optimally.

Creating Application Wide Business Objects With Oracle PCS


  1. Define your Business Object to Allow the Most Versatility

A Business Object is a set of data you will be storing throughout your process.  It may be two or three string values, a combination of dates, amounts, and personal data. Or, it may be a complex set of arrays.  Business Objects can take many forms which allows for a wide range of business needs.  The key for success is to have a versatile Business Object to avoid creating new Business Objects for data at different points in your workflow process.

For example, you want to create a form that will ask for a user’s name, address, phone number, and email.  From this you will derive the user’s region where you can then perform a lookup to get the user’s account number.  A shorter process, rather than having a Form Object with field values, a Decision Object for the region derived, and then an API Request Body to do the account lookup; it is best practice to create a single Business Object with all six values defined within it.  Make sure to specify that account number is an array as the user may have more than one account.

  1. Create your Business Object in your Process Cloud Application

There are multiple ways to create business objects within the Process Cloud

Creating New Business Objects

This option does not require any code or formatting and will walk you through creating your Business Object, step by step.  For details on this option, Click Here.

Business Objects 1

Importing Business Objects – From XML Schema

If you have an xsd file for a web service you will be using, or if you have an XML Schema already written, this option allows you to import that file to define your attributes.  For more information on this feature, Click Here.

Business Objects 2

Importing Business Objects – From JSON

If you know you will be using a REST API call within your process, this option allows you to paste in the JSON that will define your request body.  You can also write your own JSON to define what attributes you will be using in this Business Object.  Simply format your attribute as outlined below. The values are examples of the types of values you are expecting.

“Name” : “Your Name”,

“Phone_Number” : “123-555-9876”,
“Address” : “123 Baker St, New York NY 54321”,
“Email” : “”,
“Account_Number” : [{
“Account_Number” : 123123

“Account_Number” : 234234


Business Objects 3

  1. Using Business Objects

Now that you have your attributes defined in your new Business Object, you can create a form in a snap.  Whether you’re creating a Web Form (Oracle’s newest form builder) or a Basic Form (Frevvo), you can drag and drop your Business Object into your form and have the fields built out for you.  Just follow the steps below:

Web Forms:

  1. Create a New Web Form, or Edit one you’ve previously created.
  2. From the Business Types Palette, drag and drop your new Business Object
  3. Business Objects 4All of the fields will appear as you outlined in your Business Object, including the ones your user will not be filling out.
  4. Business Objects 5Now you can modify the fields to the layout you prefer. You can also remove the fields you don’t want on your form.

Basic Forms:

  1. Create a New Basic Form, or Edit one you’ve previously created.
  2. Click on the Manage Business Objects Business Objects 6 icon in the Form Header menu.
  3. In the Form Business Objects window, move your Business Object from the “Available” Column to the “Selected” Column.
  4. business object aAfter clicking “OK”, your business object will be available in the Data Sources Business Objects.
  5. business object bYou can either click the green plus sign for the individual objects you wish to add to your form, or you can click the green plus sign for the entire object to create all fields.
  6. business object cNow you can modify the fields to the layout you prefer, as well as remove the unwanted fields.
Processes, Decisions, and Integrations

Throughout your application development process you will find many places where you need to define the type of input and output you will be expecting.  Now that you have defined your Business Object, it can be used for any data object input or output.

Sub Processes:  Inputs and Outputs

business object d

Decision Rules: Inputs and Outputs:

business object e

Integrations: Request Body and Response Body

business object f

As you can see, Business Objects can unify your Application Data and can significantly speed up the development process.  By planning ahead and making smart choices for your Business Objects, you can create a complex Application simply.


Contact Us for more tips and tricks on developing smart Oracle Process Cloud Applications or general use cases for the Oracle Process Cloud.