Tug’s Blog

My journey in Big Data, Hadoop, NoSQL and MapR

Accessing User Principal in a Web Service

| Comments

WS-Security provides a standard way to secure Web Services. Since based on SOAP it is agnostic of the stack you are using. When using JAX-RPC implementation, you are running in a J2EE container. In this post I am giving a tip to access the Principal object.

I have a service service, and I need to access some user information in its implementation class ( org.tug.ws.sample.SimpleServiceImpl ). This service is secure with WS-Security, with for example simple authentication, the following screenshot, is the configuration of inbound security in OracleAS 10gR3:

So the service is secured, here the code that you have to add in your service implementation (or handlers) to access the Principal object.

  1. Implement javax.xml.rpc.server.ServiceLifecycle
  2. Implement the init(Object context) method to access the ServletEndpointContext, that you can for example put as a local member of your implementation class.
public void init(Object context) {
  _servleContext = (ServletEndpointContext)context;
  1. Then you can access the principal object using the getUserPrincipal() method:
if (_servleContext.getUserPrincipal() != null ) {
  Principal userPrincipal = _servleContext.getUserPrincipal();

You can find more information about the Security in J2EE 1.4 Web Services in the Designing Web Services with the J2EE 1.4 Platform tutorial.

Update on Wednesday october 4th: Frank Nimphius, has use this entry to create a more detail article about End to End Security with Web Services Security.

Choose a Scripting Language? Groovy or JRuby?

| Comments

Last week I discussed dynamic languages with some consultants. This discussion was done in the context of integration of scripting technologies into Java EE environment. So the integration to the VM is important, I also think that the learning curve is a thing to consider.

It is true that, like any developer Iike to learn things everyday, this is why I have done some development with PHP, with Ruby On Rails, and obviously with Groovy, Javascript and many other dynamic languages.

The discussion moved quickly to an argument about which language is the best… Hard to say, but I would expect that to be more productive in enterprise it is better to use a “Java Like” syntax that allows you to leverage the power of scripts. Based on this comment it is for me a no brainer to say that Groovy is more interesting to a core Java developer than JRuby (or other Jython, Jacl, …). I do not even want to go in the details about VM integration, performances and so on…

So in this context, A. Sundararajan has posted a very interesting comparison of Java, Groovy and JRuby syntaxes.

More Groovy at Javaone !

| Comments

If like me you like scripting technologies and in particular Groovy and Grails, JavaOne 2006 will be a very good moment to learn more about it.

Beside the official sessions listed below, I would like to inform you of various events interesting for the Groovy community:

  • Informal “Groovy Community Meeting&rdquo”, Thursday night 5pm around the Oracle Demobooth where Guillaume, Graeme and Dierk will give you an opportunity to learn more about these projects
  • Groovy presentations at the Oracle Booth in the pavilion

The official sessions about Groovy and Grails are

BOF-0554 Dynamic Scripting Languages BOF  Tuesday 05/16/2006 10:30 PM - 11:20 PM Moscone Center Hall E 133
BOF-2521 Rapid Web Application Development With Grails  Thursday 05/18/2006 08:30 PM - 09:20 PM Moscone Center Esplanade 307-310
TS-1246 Simplify Enterprise Development With Scripting  Thursday 05/18/2006 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Moscone Center Hall E 134
TS-3273 Groovy = Java™ Technology+ Ruby + Python for the JVM™  Wednesday 05/17/2006 02:45 PM - 03:45 PM Moscone Center Gateway 104
TS-3714 Flash-Gridding with Java™ Technology: Using Project GlassfishSM, Jini™/JavaSpaces™, and Groovy as an Environment for an Open Source, Self-Assembling Supercomputer  Thursday 05/18/2006 02:45 PM - 03:45 PM Moscone Center Gateway 104
TS-5386 Groovy Goes RFID with Smart Sensors for Real-World Control  Tuesday 05/16/2006 05:45 PM - 06:45 PM Moscone Center Gateway 104

Grails on Oracle (OracleAS and OracleXE)

| Comments

OTN (Oracle Technology Network) Readers have noticed, that Oracle has published an article from Richard Monson-Haefel about Ruby On Rails on Oracle. This article introduces the Ruby On Rails framework and explains how to use it to access an Oracle database. (Oracle 10g Express Edition to be exact)

If you are not familiar at all with Ruby On Rails, it is important to notice that it has nothing to do with Java, J2EE. It is a Ruby based framework.  So yes Ruby On Rails is really interesting, powerful and so on… but for me as a Java developer I would like to do the same using Java (or equivalent) leveraging the investment that I have done in J2EE; also important I want to be able to deploy and manage applications that are developed this way using my tools such as Oracle Enterprise Manager Application Server Control.

The paradigm “coding by convention” that is the driver of Ruby on Rails has been leveraged to developed a new framework: GRAILS. Grails uses Groovy as the underlying language, so it runs on a JVM and can leverage any existing Java API.

If you are a Java developer you will find very interesting to use this framework to accelerate the development of Web applications. If you are not yet a Java developer but need to develop Web application faster, and deploy the to your J2EE application server, Grails is also a very good tools.

Since I have started with Richard’s article I will use the same application/database schema to develop my first GRAILS application, and also use the same structure in my article…(is it what we call lazy loading?)

What is Groovy? What is Grails?

Groovy is a dynamic language that leverage features from other languages such as Ruby, Jython, and Smalltalk. Groovy is running at the top of a Java VM and makes available any existing Java objects (so all the API) to Groovy. Groovy is currently under standardization with the JSR-241.  You can learn more about Groovy on the Groovy site and is project leader’s (Guillaume Laforge) blog.

GRAILS is to Groovy what Ruby On Rails is to Ruby. Originally named “Groovy On Rails”, this name has been dropped in favor of Grails to avoid confusion/competition. Like Ruby on Rails, Grails is designed to create CRUD (Create Read Update Delete) Web applications.  You can learn more about Grail on the Grails site and is project leader’s (Graeme Rocher) blog.

Let’s now dive in the sample application, for this, as stated earlier I am using the sample application described in the OTN articles.

Example: The product Catalog

Step 1: Set up the Oracle database

If you have not set up the schema and table from the article you just need to create the following objects:

    id NUMBER(10) NOT NULL,
    title VARCHAR2(60),
    issue NUMBER(4),
    publisher VARCHAR2(60),
    PRIMARY KEY (id)
    CREATE SEQUENCE comics_seq;

Based on the OTN article I have created this table in the ruby schema.

Step 2: Install Grails

Grails installation is straight forward and explained in the Installation guide, basically:

  1. Download the binaries (I used Grails 0.2)
  2. Setup the different environment variable (GRAILS_HOME, JAVA_HOME, PATH), I used Java 5.

You are done !

Step 3: create the Web Application

Now we have installed the product, the next step is to create the application itself.

Create the application

The create-app command is creating the full project, with the template with placeholder for the different components of your application such as configuration, MVC, and library and much more. To do it enter the following command, in your command line interface:

> grails create-app
[input] Enter application name:

As you will see, Grails uses Ant intensively, the create-app command will ask you for an application name, enter for example comics_catalog.

The created application contains now a list of directory allowing developer to start to build the application using Groovy, Grails and any Web components.

Add the Business Logic and Model:Domain Classes

One of the biggest differences between Grails and RoR, is the fact that the main components of your application development is not the Table like you have in RubyOnRails but the “Domain Class”.  The domain class are the core of the business application, they contains the state and the behavior of your application.

So the next step is to create a Domain Class for the Comics, to do that you just need to go in the home directory of your project, eg cd comics_catalog and run the create-domain-class.

> cd comics_catalog
> grails create-domain-class
[input] Enter domain class name:

When the command ask you to enter the class name, enter comics. Grails, will not use the same naming convention that RoR has, so you need to use the same name for the class and the table you want to map your object on. The persistence layer is made using GROM (Grails Object Relational Mapping) that leverage hibernate.

Note: In our case what we are doing is to leverage an existing database object and create the domain class at the top of it. Usually, Grails uses a different approach where everything is driven by the application, so you create the domain class first and then Grails will create the different database objects.

The Comics class does not have any information related to the mapping itself, so you have to create the different attributes in the domain class. This is where you you start to use Groovy, the domain class is located in the following location:

  • ./comics_catalog/grails-app/domain/Comics.groovy

Note hat by default Grails create the class with 2 attributes: id and version, keep them in place, and add title, issue and publisher. 

class Comics {
  @Property Long id
  @Property Long version

  // new properties for the Comics class
  @Property String title
  @Property Long issue
  @Property String publisher

  String toString() { "${this.class.name} :  $id" }

We are all set, we are ready to run the magic command that will create the different screens and flow.

Create the different screens from the domain class

You can now run the generate-all command to create all the different screens.

> grails generate-all
[input] Enter domain class name:

This command creates the different Views and Controllers, you can take a look to the directories:

  • ./comics_catalog/grails-app/controllers
  • ./comics_catalog/grails-app/views

Configure the database access

What we have to do is now to configure the application to use the Oracle database and schema.

Grails uses a configuration file for data source:

  • ./comics_catalog/grails-app/conf/ApplicationDataSource.groovy

Let’s edit this file to connect to our Oracle database.

class ApplicationDataSource {
  @Property boolean pooled = true
  @Property String dbCreate = "update" // one of 'create', 'create-drop','update'
  @Property String url = "jdbc:oracle:thin:@localhost:1521:XE"
  @Property String driverClassName = "oracle.jdbc.OracleDriver"
  @Property String username = "ruby"
  @Property String password = "ruby"

Nothing special concerning the properties such as URL, DriverClassName, username and password.

The one that is interesting is the dbCreate, that allows you to configure the behavior on the schema to create or not objects.In our sample the table exists, so we want to reuse the object, but we want to be sure that we have all the mandatory objects, columns too, so I selected update.

The next thing to do is to add the Oracle JDBC driver to the application, to make it available. To make it available you just need to copy the JDBC driver into the lib directory of your application. In my case I am using Oracle XE so I copy the file from the following location:

  • ORACLE_XE_HOME/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/server/jdbc/lib/ojdbc14.jar to
  • ./comics_catalog/lib/

Step 4: Run the application

Grails provide a way to run the application in stand alone mode, the command is run-app. This command starts an Web container (based on Jetty) with the application deployed.

grails run-app

Note: Jetty will start on port 8080, in order to start in on a different port like e.g. 9090 use:

grails -Dserver.port=9090 run-app

You can now access the application using the following URL:


Your browser should show the list of comics from the Comics table.

List of Comics

You can create a new entry by clicking on the “New Comics” tab, and view/edit/delete existing record by clicking on the “Show” link.

Edit/Create entry

As you see the creation of an application is really easy. The next step is to deploy the application in your application server.

Step 5: Deploy the application

Grails provides a command to package the application as a WAR ready to be deployed, so in the root directory of your project you can run the following command:

grails war

When you run this command you end with a WAR with the name of your application located in the root of your project, in our case: comics_catalog.war

If you take a look to this WAR you’ll see that it is quite big ~10Mb, this is because all the libraries are included in the Lib directory of the web application. You can see the exact structure of the WAR in the ./tmp (./comics_catalog/tmp/war) directory of the application.

You can deploy the application as it is to Oracle Application Server 10g, but to avoid the issue with the class loader you should configure the Web application to load the local classes first. It can be done during deployment with the class loader configuration screen:

You can also save this configuration in a deployment plan to facilitate later deployment.

When the deployment is done you can access the application using the OracleAS host and port, something like:


You can now administer and monitor the application like any other J2EE application deployed in OracleAS 10g.

Better Deployment Options

  • I personally do not like the idea of shipping all the Jar files in the WAR file, so instead you can use the OracleAS Shared Libraries to create a Grails library by uploading and configuring all the Jars. And package the War without all these libraries.
  • Also you should be able to configure Hibernate/Spring to use a standard define Data source and use the JNDI name to lookup the connections.


GRAILS like Ruby On Rails are really interesting frameworks allowing developers to create quickly Web application that access relational database and especially the Oracle Database.

Grails is quite new (release 0.2), but the documentation is really nice and complete. I will encourage all developers that are interested by such framework to use it and provide feedback to the development team.

I will try provide other post about deployment of Grails on OracleAS, but also related to other interesting features of this framework, for example Ajax support, Validations etc etc.


Oracle BPEL: Debugging ‘Internal’ SOAP Messages

| Comments

When you develop applications that use SOAP based Web Services you very often use an HTTP proxy to capture the request and response that are exchanged between the clients and servers. For this you can use the Oracle HTTP Analyzer that is part of the toolset of Oracle JDeveloper, Axis TCP Monitor, or a packaged version of it that you have with Oracle BPEL Process Manager.

BPELs are making extensive usage of SOAP messages, and it could be interesting to debug the different call to the partnerlinks. Oracle BPEL PM, to avoid HTTP calls and make optimized SOAP message when the partnerlink that you are invoking is deployed as a BPEL. So in the default configuration you do not see the different calls. In this article I explain how you can configure the server to be able to do it.

For this I will be using:

  • Oracle BPEL Process Manager developer install running in an OC4J 10g Stand Alone (
  • obtunnel, that is a package version of Axis TCP Monitor located in <BPEL_HOME>\bin\obtunnel.bat
  • LoanFlow demo that you can install in 2 steps:

Starting the Oralce BPEL Tunneling tool:

Just run the command <BPEL_HOME>\bin\obtunnel.bat You will see the following application:

By default the TCPMonitor launched from BPEL listens on the port 1234 and proxies for the default Oracle BPEL port 9700. So in this context you will capture all the requests is you access the server on the port 1234.

It is not sufficiant here since the different partnerlinks endpoint are not dynamique and are set to the port 9700. So in this case you wont’s see the request coming from the BPEL to a local partner link (and I am not talking about the SOAP Optimization yet).

One way that I use to work around this issue in development –may be we have more simple solutions, but this is the one that I use– is to change the port of the OC4J and make the proxy listening on the port 9700. In this case you will be able to capture the requests made from BPEL to its partnerlinks.

Changing the Port of OC4J and the TCP Monitor

I. Change the HTTP port of OC4J used by BPEL

  1. Open <BPEL_HOME>\system\appserver\oc4j\j2ee\home\config\http-web-site.xml
  2. Edit the port attribute of the root element web-site to enter a different value

eg: <web-site port="9701".... Stop your BPEL Process Manager

II. Start a new TCPMonitor on port 9700

  1. In the TCPMonitor sceen click on the Admin Tab
  2. Enter 9700 for the “Listen Port #” field (since we want to be sure the partnerlinks are called correctly)
  3. Enter 9701 (or the value you entered for the HTTP port) for “Target Port #”.
  4. Click Add
  5. Click on the new tab “Port 9700”. If you have an error message like “java.net.BindException: Address Already in use: JVM_Bind” this is simply because your BPEL process manager is not stopped. In this case stop the BPEL server, and start the TCPMonitor by clicking the Start button.

III. Restart you BPEL Server

Nothing special here you just need to start your server, and check that the BPEL PM is now listening on the HTTP port that you have entered, in my case 9701:

  • http://localhost:9701/BPELConsole

You can now go on the test page of the LoanFlow process (either on the port 9700 or 9701) and invoke the process. I am using 9701 since I want to capture the calls make by the Business Process to its partnerlinks.

You can see some HTTP activities in your TCPMonitor, but if you look in details you only see request to the different WSDLs used by the LoanFlow…

I was like you expecting to be able to see the different SOAP requests and response, but BPEL does some optimization around local SOAP calls. So to be able to capture these requests you just need to turn of this optimization.

Turning Off the SOAP Shortcut

  1. In the BPEL console, click on the “Manage BPEL Domain” link (topright)
  2. You arrive in the configuration tab, look for the optSoapShortcut property and set it to false.
  3. Click Apply You can now go on the test page of the LoanFlow process (either on the port 9700 or 9701) and invoke the process. I am using 9701 since I want to capture the calls make by the Business Process to its partnerlinks.

Now you can see all the SOAP requests and responses between the LoanFlow BPEL and its partnerlinks.

Update on 08/02/2007

For people that are currently using Oracle BPEL the optSoapShortcut is not visible anymore in the console, but it is still possible to configure this by adding it manually in the domain configuration file available at:


Google Data APIs

| Comments

Google has published a new set of API (and format) to update and access data. It looks really interesting. These services are published using the REST paradigm and XML.

Based on this protocol Google is now exposing its Calendar. I am currently playing around with it, really fun. A good opportunity for portlets and widgets developments…

Note for Oracle JDeveloper 10g (10.1.3) users: I have define the GData and Calendar API as new library inside Oracle JDeveloper. But I had some issue compiling when I start to use any of the class coming from these library with the default configuration on Windows XP. I just switch from Oracle JVM to the standard JDK compiler in my project to avoid this “Error: Internal compilation error, terminated with a fatal exception”. To do this it is quite simple. Double click on your project, choose compiler in the left tree, and check the “Use Javac” option to force JDeveloper to use the standard javac command. (I will have to find where this issue come from…)

Oracle Industrial Telnet Server (ITS): The OracleAS Hidden Treasure..

| Comments

When I was working in Oracle Consulting I was surprised to see how many customers are using character mode applications, base on Oracle Forms. Lot of applications in wharehouses, harbour, … are using telnet terminal, usually remote/mobile using RF networks.

Moving to Java on the server was very hard for them because of the lack of support for easy character mode development based solutions.

OracleAS 10_g/ADFprovides such support with the Industrial Telnet Server (ITS)_. ITS is the telnet server running in a J2EE container as a J2CA adaptor, and uses JavaServer Faces to render the user interface. The advantage of using JSF for the UI, it allows developer to leverage automatically different renderers (HTML, Mobile and telnet) without changing the application.

Here an example of the different renderer provided by Oracle ADF Faces (Instant Messaging, PDA, HTML and Telnet) jsf-renderer.PNG

If you are looking for more information around Oracle ITS:

Oracle Fusion Middleware and Microsoft Interoperability - Developer’s Guide

| Comments

Download the Beta version of the Oracle Application Server Developer’s Guide for Microsoft Office Interoperability along with sample code (and other technical resources) from this new OTN page.

  • Windows Platform: Fusion Middleware is concurrently tested and delivered on Windows.
  • .NET/Windows Server System Integration: Fusion Middleware offers broad integration with Microsoft .NET and Windows Server System at multiple levels.
  • Office Interoperability: Fusion Middleware enables use of Office as the front-end for enterprise applications, as well as many ways to interact with enterprise information that can be read, parsed, and generated in Office-formatted documents.

SourceLabs SASH Certified on Oracle Fusion Middleware

| Comments

Oracle Fusion Middleware is now a certified platform for the SourceLabs “SASH” stack: Apache Struts, Apache Axis, the Spring Framework, and Hibernate. Visit this page to download free SASH software!

SASH is a distribution from SourceLabs that:

  1. Reconciles library versions and dependencies across the entire stack.
  2. Includes dependability fixes for the baseline open source projects
  3. Is rigorously tested according to the CERT7 method.
  4. Is commercially supported.