Clemens Utschig

Subscribe to Clemens Utschig feed
Some 'more, in-depth' information on Oracle BPEL PM, ESB and other SOA, day2day thingsClemens Utschig - Utschig
Updated: 11 hours 28 min ago

This blog was migrated to

Sun, 2009-12-13 12:04
After a while of non blogging - I started again - this time, under the oracle flag - at

Hope to see you there.

SOA Suite patchset and "lost" instances

Fri, 2007-07-06 14:09
It has been a long time since I have blogged the last time - mainly due to the huge amount of miles flown over the last 2 months.

After being in europe for conferences where I did evangelism on our next generation infrastructure, that is based on Service Component Architecture, it was time to revisit my roots and do some consulting in a POC as well as helping one of our customers with their performance problems.

Meanwhile, while I was on the road, we have released the patchset, which includes among many small fixes here and there - some real cool enhancements, e.g
  1. A fault policy framework for BPEL, which allows you to specify policies for faults (e.g remoteFault) outside of the BPEL process and trigger retry activities, or submit the activity with a different payload from the console.

  2. Performance fixes for Oracle ESB - which boost the performance way up

  3. Several SOAP related fixes, especially around inbound and outbound WS-Security - if you happen to have Siebel and use WS-Sec features, the patch will make you happy

  4. Adapters: several huge improvements on performance and scalability

  5. BPEL 2 ESB: several fixes with transaction propagation as well more as sophisticated tracking
You can download it from metalink - patch number is 6148874

After working on for the last 3 weeks, we added an enhancement to implement a federated ESB, where an ESB system binds to another via UDDI. The enhancement request's number is 6133448 and will be part of (our next patch release) - and works exactly the way it works today in BPEL

Back to my performance adventure.
The customer reported that under high load of his instance, a lot of async instances (that were submitted to the engine) "got lost", which means - they could not find any trace of a running instance, nor have the target systems that were called out of the process being updated. Strange, isn't it?

A quick look into the recovery queue (basically a select against the invoke_message table) revealed that a lot of instances have been scheduled (status 0) - but somehow they stayed in the queue. Hugh, why that? Restarting the server helped, some instances were created but, - hugh still way to many weren't.

Checking the settings that we preseed - we figured out - that there is an issue with them. Looking into the Developer's guide it states:

"the sum of dspMaxThreads of ALL domains should be <= the number of listener threads on the workerbean".

Hmm - checking orion-ejb-jar.xml, section workerbean, in the application-deployments/orabpel/ejb_ob_engine folder revealed
  1. there are no listener-threads set and
  2. there are 40 ReceiverThreads
means? Given that we seed each domain with dspMaxThreads being 100, if you have five domains, 500 workerbean threads would be needed - way to much. And what happened to listener-threads?

<message-driven-deployment name="WorkerBean" instances="100" resource-adapter="BPELjms">

A quick check with the JMS engineering enlighted me on that. As we use JMS connectors now - you need to change the ReceiverThreads, to match the above formula.


- and tune the dispatcherThreads on the domains to a reasonable level.

Next question: what are dispatcherThreads, and what does the engine need them for?

"ReceiverThreads specifies the maximum number of MDBs that can process BPEL requests asynchronously across all domains. Each domain can allocate a subset of these threads using the dspMaxThreads property; however, the sum of dspMaxThreads across all domains must not exceed the ReceiverThreads value.

When a domain decides that it another thread to execute an activity asychronously, it will send a JMS message to a queue; this message then gets picked up by a WorkerBean MDB, which will end up requesting the dispatcher for some work to execute. If the number of WorkerBean MDBs currently processing activities for the domain is sufficient, the dispatcher module may decide not to request for another MDB. The decision to request or an MDB is based on the current number of active MDBs, the current number pending (that is, where a JMS message has been sent but an MDB has not picked up the message), and the value of dspMaxThreads.

Setting both ReceiverThreads and dspMaxThreads to an appropriate value is important for maximizing throughput and minimizing thread context switching. If there are more dspMaxThreads specified than ReceiverThreads, the dispatcher modules for all the domains will think there are more resources they can request for than actually exist. In this case, the number of JMS messages in the queue will continue to grow as long as request load is high, thereby consuming memory and cpu. If the value of dspMaxThrads is not sufficient for a domain's request load, throughput will be capped.
Another important factor to consider is the value for ReceiverThreads - more threads does not always correlate with higher throughput. The higher the number of threads, the more context switching the JVM must perform. For each installation, the optimal value for ReceiverThreads needs to be found based on careful analysis of the rate of Eden garbage collections and cpu utilization. For most installation, a starting value of 40 should be used; the value can be adjusted up or down accordingly. Values greater than 100 are rarely suitable for small to medium sized boxes and will most likely lead to high cpu utilization just for JVM thread context switching alone."

With all the above in place, and a tuned dehydration store, we got them back on the track, even under high load all messages where picked up, and ended up as instances - recap:
  1. Make sure your settings of ReceiverThreads do match the sum of dspMaxThreads of all domains, and are set appropriately.

  2. If you have external adapters in use, that connect e.g to AQ, make sure AQ is tuned and also the adapter - this is where you are most likely to get timeouts, that would also contribute to recvoverable messages.

BMW Oracle racing scores against Luna Rossa (Prada)

Tue, 2007-05-15 12:57
It's amazing, it's love, and it's passion - sailing, the ocean, the winds, the gybes, the will to win.

All this is America's Cup, the race for the old bowl.

JFK said this a while back ..
"We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came." --USA President John F. Kennedy, at a dinner for the crews in Newport, RI on the eve of the 1962 America's Cup Match.

today BMW Oracle got back into the race, by amazing tactics, and a sheer wonder of teamwork - 1:1 - let's wait for tmrw

Dave Chappell choins Oracle as Chief SOA Technologist

Wed, 2007-05-09 11:28
Wow - what a blast, the so called "Pope of ESB" (according to one of our customers) joined Oracle last week - see here.

Being back from 4 weeks in Europe to give training, help customers, as well as speak at several conferences - I met Dave yesterday first time as oracle employee at java one - rocks!

Also, some weeks ago I have been interviewed by the on SOA, and what value it can bring into organization, when not viewed as "yet another IT pet project".

You can read the whole interview here

Oracle Develop hits the road

Tue, 2007-04-10 23:33

Oracle Develop: The Premier Conference for Developers

This spring, Oracle Develop—the premier conference for developers—is coming to a city near you. Don't miss it. You'll experience two days of expert-led, in-depth technical sessions, hands-on labs, advanced how-tos, and detailed tutorials. Work alongside the world's leading experts to expand your knowledge of popular technologies like Enterprise Java, SOA, .NET, Databases and PL/SQL, as well as Ajax, PHP, Spring, and more. This is your opportunity to network with local technologist while learning from the world's best.

More information can be found here

Sjoerd Michels contributes to SOA Best Practice Series, on automated deployment

Sun, 2007-04-01 21:00
I am very happy (and proud) that I managed to get Sjoerd Michels (AMIS), one of our fellow SOA champions in europe, on board to contribute a new chapter to my SOA Suite Best Practice Series on OTN.

"In this Technical Note, you will learn to set up an automated build and deployment environment for your Oracle SOA Suite project. (Release of Oracle SOA Suite features improved automated build capabilities; instead of the Oracle-specific obant Ant tool, plain-vanilla Ant is now used for building and deploying BPEL suitcases.) The goal is to automatically build Oracle's SOA Suite Order Booking demo application and deploy it to an Oracle Application Server instance that runs Oracle SOA Suite. Oracle's demo application is ideal here because it uses all the components in Oracle SOA Suite: Oracle Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), Oracle BPEL Process Manager, and Oracle Business Rules. The demo application also includes a number of Web services that are programmed in Java."

The whole article can be found here and while this one just got published there is lot more to come, especially around BPA, end to end design, and governance.

The next month will bring me back to europe to visit customers, help reviewing architectures, as well as speaking at several conferences throughout. Here is a sneak preview
  • SOA Telecom conference, Paris
    • Where I'll deep dive into implementing SOA in large enterprises and the many caveats when doing so

  • JAX (EAKON) 2007, Wiesbaden
    • After last year, I am happy to be back - this time on the SOA Management track, to evangelize together with a couple of good friends on the importance of the human factor

  • EOUC 2007, Amsterdam
    • The first year, the emea oracle user conference takes place, and it will be a blast - looking through the agenda, the lineup of sessions is unbelievable. I am happy to be part of it. This time it will be about technology, and the advanced concepts of the BPEL language.
If you are around, just send a ping, or come by the SOA booth after the session to say hello ..

Oracle SOA Suite review - Oracle sows the seeds for SOA

Wed, 2007-01-24 02:47
Infoworld published a review of our SOA Suite here today.

Here is one quote

My experience with the Oracle SOA Suite revealed a top-notch toolset well-culled from a variety of sources without much sacrifice to aptitude or usability. When it comes to message routing and services orchestration, Oracle SOA Suite meets or exceeds most needs for governance, security, insight, and optimization at a price that’s hard to beat.
James R. Borck is senior contributing editor of the InfoWorld Test Center.

Emjoy reading,..

OOP 2007 Keynote - Pictures

Wed, 2007-01-24 01:37
As already announced earlier, I had a keynote an OOP this year (on "managing successfull SOA projects") here in munich. Aside from all the really good speakers and a very geeky crowd - snow finally caught even me :D

What a blast, monday evening - and a full room of interested people - something you don't see too often at conferences, where the exhibition starts on tuesday.

Everytime I speak at a conference on this topic I learn something new, from questions after a session as well as from how the crowd reacts. This time the biggest take-away from OOP - the waterfall is dead, at least there :D

Here are 2 pictures from my keynote.

Presenting at ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 in Orlando

Sat, 2007-01-20 16:15
As fellow blogger Wilfred van der Deijl wrote on his blog, I got an email too, invitation to speak there - last year I got the slots from my manager (thx Dave :D), this year the are my own - awesome.

I'll present on 3 topics, two for beginners, and one intermediate
  • Managing successful SOA projects, a view beyond agile science
    The session will give an inside view into methodologies applied to govern successful SOA projects.We will discover some of the common challenges by examining the different phases of a project and by splitting the project into different categories - each representing its own set of issues, and how these can be successfully mastered - applying the right tools and the right skills. An insiders view - to make your SOA projects successful.

  • Oracle 11g — Oracle's Next Generation SOA Infrastructure
    which will give a sneak preview on 11g - the all integrated SCA based SOA plattform

  • Advanced Concepts of the BPEL Language
    which is one of the sessions from last year that was very well attended and that I also presented at Oracle Open World last year
Last year the conference was really well attended and Washington DC was great - although insanely hot and humid, which made every walk outside a little bit of a sauna, bath trip.

I hope to see you there - This conference is definetely worth the trip, and hey Daytona is not that bad :D

Heading for Europe - to support one of our key SOA Suite customers

Sat, 2007-01-20 15:47
After a bad abdominal virus this week, that seems to pollute the Bay Area, and got me a sleepless night in the ER at UCSF Med - I am somewhat well again, and on my way to Europe.

I got the chance of a keynote at the OOP 2007 in Munich (Germany), speaking about Managing successfull SOA projects - and the importance of the human/organizational side in SOA projects.

If you happen to be at the OOP or around Munich, I think the entry to the demo pods / show floor is free - so come by and visit me - I'll be there to answer questions around SOA in general, demo the SOA Suite and meet customers.

Also during the week I'll be visiting one of our customers in Germany to make sure their large, and fledged SOA implementation hits the target.
With this in mind, and all the feedback we receive from the fields in our OTN forums I am very happy to see the industry and the market adopting our SOA Suite, the latest edition of, an all over integrated plattform from Governance, Development and Security, to BPEL as well as ESB.

Business Integration Journal changes its name - and the last BIJ contains my new article

Wed, 2007-01-10 15:06
"Business Integration Journal (BIJ) is changing to Business Transformation & Innovation (BTIJ) to better reflect the current editorial content being published and new topics readers want covered.

Targeted at the intersection of business and IT, BTIJ carries on the “how-to” and “what-works” tradition of Business Integration Journal helping IT and business managers quickly adapt to changing business needs, continuously innovate successful new products and services, and consistently gain and maintain a competitive advantage.

In the last edition of the BIJ - as we know it - my article on SOA projects got published - and I am very proud of it.

"A World of Assumptions That Make an SOA Project the Perfect Storm—and What You Should Know About Them by Clemens Utschig-Utschig. This article shows that, while Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) brings many advantages, it doesn’t alleviate the need for good planning, organization, and training."

The whole article can be found here

A new SOA year has begun - what will the SOA Santa bring?

Thu, 2007-01-04 16:00
Wow, the new SOA year is here - and many cool things are about to arrive. But before looking into the future, let's look back into 2006 - and what happened there.

My first year, living in San Francisco and working within a wonderfull group, envisioning future and creating our next generation products went by - and I must admit it was far better than I thought it'd be.

First, and most important - we delivered SOA Suite - the first major, integrated SOA plattform. Not just integrated, but also with two new key components, the Oracle Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and Rules. Since OOW 2006 we we presented the first public available release, our customers are using it heavily to build their next generation SOA - and according to many of them - they enjoy doing so :D

Also, we signed an OEM agreement with IDS Scheer, to build the ORACLE BPA Suite on top of it. Using Business Process Architect - for the first time Business Processes will make it all the road down to be executable, and all the way back to feed real world data into simulation and continous refinement.

Another also, was the overwhelming amount of SOA related sessions at Oracle Open World, and the great feedback we received. It was a blast, more than 40000 people made the city for one week being red, being Oracle. Elton John played during the big Oracle party, and so on.

Open SOA - went live - and with it the big players in the SOA market space, to drive next generation, easy to use standards.

So after all what's in for 2007?

While we all work hard on delivering 11g - our next generation SOA infrastructure, based on Service Component Architecture (SCA) and supporting Service Data Objects (SDO) - we expect a patchset for (which will offer a ton of new features, and little fixes here and there).

BPEL 2.0 will see the light of life - after more than 2 years, and the last public review finished, some more polishing needs to happen - and then we are ready to go. With it - BPEL will present a number of long awaited cool features, such as the new variable layout ($inputVariable) and scoped partnerlinks.

Evangelism on SOA will continue to drive the spirit of SOA and help customers adopting to it - I really look forward to even more presence around the globe, and many customers going live on SOA Suite.

Personally for me - it's moving on with my SOA Best practices series on OTN, supporting people around the globe and the OTN forums, doing evangelism on SOA & help creating 11g. More than enough.

From JavaPolis to Nordwijk aan Zee

Wed, 2006-12-13 11:41
After two intense and really cool days at JavaPolis .. and a our slot on standards based applications, that caught a lot of interest - it's now off to an internal architects camp meeting in the Netherlands to discuss on future product strategy.

For the organizers of JavaPolis - it was a great time theree - and 2 thumbs up - for a VERY well organized conference. For me it was something new, speaking in a cinema, and definetely in front of the biggest screen ever (15 * 8 meters)

More pictures can be found here

So I'd recommend for next year to put JavaPolis 2007 into your calendar and join me and 1000 other java geeks :D

Coming back from Gartner's SOA Summit and heading out to Europe

Fri, 2006-12-08 15:32
for the last days we have been at Gartner's SOA Summit, to show our new SOA Suite and discuss the latest trends on SOA and Integration.

Two sessions, of the many I attended, left me thinking on SOA and where we go from here.

Darrell Plummer, Gartner Analyst, held a How to workshop on creating SOA applications, which turned out great.. He fostered a broad discussion in the audience, on what methodologies to use, what a service really is - beyond WSDL, and so forth. A nice metric: out of 15 slides he wanted to show, he showed 5 :D (the rest of the time went into discussion)

and the Chief Architect of Eskom, talked about SOA and his experiences in South Africa - about a company, that adapted to agility, about key stakeholders, and the value of SOA. Overall - SOA is about humans - two thumbs up.

After being home for two days - I'll head to Europe today night (yes on LH 459, Kranich) - for JavaPolis, and to visit customers. Getting the chance to speak at JavaPolis 2006 is a great opportunity to evangelise on standards based SOA - and also that we got a slot for the university part.

Hugo Brand (from our EMEA PM team), Demed Lher (OEMS/ESB PM) and me will talk about Pragmatic SOA, and how you can build composite SOA applications today.

So if you are around, come by to get a 3 hour, intense, and interactive how to session - or just to say hello :D

Oracle SOA Suite Patterns and Best Practices, Part 1 and 2

Thu, 2006-12-07 16:50
While having this idea for a while now, it took considerable time to make it reality, first to allocate the necessary time, and maybe even more to get over the start of writing :D

The first 2 chapters are live and can be found here.

Chapter 1: Virtualizing your service endpoints in ESB and using them from BPEL
Chapter 2: Using the Service Registry to enable a dynamic, reusable SOA

- more to come soon

Jeff, Mr. B2B is on the way finishing his contribution on BPEL and B2B and how those two components can make trading simple and solid.

Also coming in the next time, migration, deployment concepts, and governance, all from the source.

We are also keen for your feedback, or if you like to contribute, jsut drop me a line with what you think helps the community most

Gartner Application Integration & Web Services Summit

Fri, 2006-12-01 19:42
Over the next week a part of our team will head out to Gartner's AIWS Summit in Orlando - and we all look forward, as it is a great opportunity to meet other evangelists and customers to discuss the latest trends and stories around SOA, and Application Integration.

Dave Shaffer - Director of SOA Product Mgmt - and head of our group, Devesh Sharma - Mr. BPA, Jeff Hutchins - the mastermind of Oracle's B2B and me will be there. So if you are around, come by the booth to chat, see SOA Suite @ work or just for fun - to meet some of the faces behind Oracle's SOA strategy and offering.

For those who have not heart of it yet - visit and hurry to register

c ya in orlando

Develop with Oracle Fusion Middleware and win a trip to Oracle HQ

Wed, 2006-11-29 23:32
Today - while looking for information on the OTN I fell over the below invitation ..

The Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer Challenge is looking for submissions in three exciting technology areas:
  • SOA-based applications or Web services

  • Web 2.0/Ajax-based user interfaces or mashups

  • Java-based applications demonstrating the combined use of Oracle and Open Source software
.. which can be found in full here.

Naturally we, all Oracle employees are excluded - so it's your term. Develop the coolest application on Oracle's new Fusion Middleware and win a trip to our Headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.

Oracle Open World 2006 slides and two new articles

Wed, 2006-11-29 18:17
After being quiet for quite a while now, I thought to publish some information from my open world sessions and links to two of my (joint) articles that were recently published.

My slides about Advanced BPEL topics, including Compensation, Transactions, and WSIF can be found here.

Matt Shannon from the Content DB team and me teamed up to demo the integration between Content DB and Oracle BPEL PM, which currently evolves into a sample - slides are here

Also the introduction during Oracle XTreme that me and my whole team gave - on using all the components together to create a composite application is online - and to be found here

Attention: you need to login with cboracle/oraclec6

Also two recent articles were published, ..

One on Data Services in the Java Developers Journal, where Doug Clarke from Toplink PM team and me paired up, to write about "Accessing data in the Service Oriented World" is here.

The second one, where Jesus from TwoConnect, Heidi Buelow- one of my fellows on our team and I teamed up - to demonstrate "WSI with BPEL and WCF in the real world". It can be found here.

Also, to keep my fellow readers informed, I just started off with my best practice series on the SOA Suite, which explores patterns and best practices when using the components - more on this soon.

The biggest Openworld ever closed its doors - and what a great time it was

Tue, 2006-10-31 03:36
Last week was definetely insane! 40.000 customers, 10! locations around San Francisco, and more than 1600 sessions, all dedicated to the power of information sharing.

As most of my team, I litterally spent the whole week at Oracle World, as we constantly went back and forth from the demo grounds, to Oracle Develop, located at the Hilton, and customer meetings.

The first highlight? The SOA Suite distribution (for all number junkies, it's made it also in time, to be released to OTN (here) - yeah!

In a nutshell, what did happen?
.. and the who is who of IT came by to contribute a keynote (john chambers, michael dell, and many others), plently of analysts gathered to ask about this and that - and from customers we got overwhelming feedback.

Also a bunch of whitepapers made it in time for Oracle World, perfectly in line with Thomas' Keynote on standards. They can be found here

My sessions on "Integrating Content DB with Oracle BPEL Process Manager", "Advanced BPEL" and "SOA in the real world" - were very well attended, and especially overwhelming was the crowd interested in the advanced stuff on BPEL, covering themes like transactions, compensation, fault handling and BPEL 2.0.

.. and while blogging here from some 34000 feet - somewhere over England en route to Germany, my laptop battery is going down, mostly because of the non working poweplugs on LH 455, whatever .. I'll blog more on OOW when I get the pics that friends took during the week.

Oracle Open World 2006 - and the last preparations - this time JDev team

Fri, 2006-10-20 15:41
Susan, member of our JDeveloper PM team, created a cool viewlet (and I think she will demo this in real during her session).

It's about BPEL and ESB development in Oracle's JDeveloper - you can be found here.

Enjoy - and even more if you come to see us live at this year's Oracle Open World.