XOG (XML Open Gateway) is a SOAP web service that allows you to get information into and out of your CA PPM instance.
Today we’ll share some of our favorite moments from a great webinar our partner IT-ROI offered on XOG best practices, as well as a link to their free tool to help you XOG like a pro.
XOG Best Practices Webinar
“XOG is like poker—five minutes to learn but a lifetime to master,” says Federico Pena, Founder and President of IT-ROI in his XOG Best Practices Webinar. Federico is uniquely qualified to discuss the subject; he’s been xogging since the days of Niku, long before blogging came along.
To start a XOG call—if you’re using a XOG client or writing a web service application in Java or ASP.NET—go to one of the following URLs:
<servername:port>/niku/wsdl or <servername:port>/niku/xog.
This is your SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) endpoint, where XOG gives you three service action options: Invoke Action, Query, & Object. You’ll probably ignore the first item, “Invoke Action,” and use the “Object” web service the most—it lets you extract data from CA PPM and gives you templates to push data back in.
The third service option, the “Query” Application Programming Interface (API), makes any NSQL (Niku Structured Query Language) within CA PPM available for extracting data, via web service call. As you know, every NSQL contains attributes, and those can be filtered by elements.
Federico’s favorite Field Key ID accepts comma-separated values: name=”key_id_in.” “The beauty is, you can send one value or multiple values to extract data,” says Federico.
XOG | Object Migrations & XSLT
“Whenever we extract data from CA PPM, particularly objects or anything on the admin side, it’s very difficult to add additional filtering,” says Federico.
XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) is complicated to learn, simple to write, and easy to mimic.
To migrate an object from one environment to another, Federico opens an object and points out that when you bring an attribute back into CA PPM, you bring back all the language codes, queries, portlets, and views related to the object.
Referential integrity is critical. “It would be the same as building something through studio,” says Federico. “Before you create an attribute associated with a lookup, you have to make sure the lookup is there. Right? So if you’re trying to send something, you want to make sure all the referential data is there.”
But when you make a call with XOG, if you’re not doing any type of Japanese, Chinese, or Korean characters, the call could cause a character-set issue when you load the data back in.
“This is where XSLT comes in very powerfully,” says Federico.
A basic XSLT file can clean up your object and remove the problematic components: the XOG output, last user to update, language codes, pages, portlets, processes, auto-numbering, partition models, and job definitions. What Federico calls “all the garbage and nonsense.”
By using the XSLT file, Federico takes an object with 175,000 lines of code, cuts away 99% of it, and creates a slim object with 2,300 lines of code. Within seconds, it’s ready for simple clean up and loading back into CA PPM.
For hundreds of XSLT examples and helpful XOG best practice tips, watch Federico’s webinar.
Free XOG Tool
IT-ROI developed the XOG and Query Bridge (XQ) tool and generously offers it to the PPM Community. “There’s a web based version and a desktop version that allows you to do XOG requests for On-Premise, and if you’re On-Demand, it lets you do a quick query against the database . . . and it dynamically builds an NSQL for you,” says Federico.
“This allows you not only to do straight-foward XOGs but also bulk XOGs. You can literally come here and say, I need to run a whole folder and do batching.”
XOG & Query Bridge (XQ) Demo
As you’ve probably guessed, this easy-to-use tool is a hit in the PPM crowd. Watch how it works in a short XOG & Query Bridge demo video below.
Amy Yarrington recently posted an XQ review on the CA Community boards and said, “We’ve been on Clarity (On-Demand) for about five years, and . . . I’ve always used the command line tool that CA provides, which works, but is not exactly user friendly.”
“Enter the XOG & Query Bridge tool from IT ROI (which is FREE, by the way!) It’s AWESOME! . . . I used the simple version to create my write files one-by-one then zipped them all up and submitted them as one bulk request into my test environment. Naturally this won’t eliminate the need for you to clean up the files and remove unwanted stuff that gets pulled out before you XOG things back in. The XOG Bridge does, however, also offer an XSLT tranformation tool that could assist with that. I haven’t used it yet because I’m not that advanced with XOG, but if I had it might have helped me resolve a few issues that caused me some grief. Once I had all the bugs worked out of my individual files, moving everything into Production very literally took FIVE MINUTES. Amazing.”
Read the rest of Amy’s review here.
Thanks again to our great partner IT-ROI for making the XQ tool available for free to the PPM community. We think you’ll really appreciate the time it saves.
If you like this topic, check out the following CA PPM Quick Tips Videos: What is XML Open Gateway (XOG), which gives a basic overview of XOG with a demonstration on downloading XOG and finding your execution files, How to Execute a XOG, which demonstrates how to read a resource from CA PPM, and How to Make System Portlets Update New Attributes (XOG out, XOG in), which fixes that problem of new attributes failing to show up in your portlets.
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