Loading Data from Oracle Identity Cloud Service into Oracle BI Cloud Service using REST


This post details a method of extracting and loading data from Oracle Identity Cloud Service (IDCS) into the Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS). It builds upon the A-team post IDCS Audit Event REST API which details the REST API calls used.

One use case for this method is for analyzing trends regarding audit events.

This post uses REST web services to extract JSON-formatted data responses. It also uses the PL/SQL language to wrap the REST extract, JSON parsing commands, and database table operations in a Stored Procedure. It produces a BICS staging table which can then be transformed into star-schema object(s) for use in modeling. The transformation processes and modeling are not discussed in this post.

Finally, an example of a database job is provided that executes the Stored Procedure on a scheduled basis.

The PL/SQL components are for demonstration purposes only and are not intended for enterprise production use. Additional detailed information, including the complete text of the PL/SQL procedure described, is included in the References section at the end of this post.

Rationale for Using PL/SQL

PL/SQL is the only procedural tool that runs on the BICS / Database Schema Service platform. Other wrapping methods e.g. Java, ETL tools, etc. require a platform outside of BICS to run on.

PL/SQL may also be used in a DBaaS (Database as a Service) that is connected to BICS.

PL/SQL can utilize native SQL commands to operate on the BICS tables. Other methods require the use of the BICS REST API.

Note: PL/SQL is a very good at showcasing functionality. However, it tends to become prohibitively resource intensive when deploying in an enterprise production environment. For the best enterprise deployment, an ETL tool such as Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) should be used to meet these requirements and more:

* Security

* Logging and Error Handling

* Parallel Processing – Performance

* Scheduling

* Code Re-usability and Maintenance

Using Oracle Database as a Service

Determining Security Protocol Requirements

If the web service requires a security protocol, key exchange or cypher not supported by the default BICS Schema Database Service, another Oracle Database Cloud Service (DBaaS) may be used.

Note: For the most consistent response, specify a database version of or greater, or any version of 12c. If the database is not at the required version, PL/SQL may throw the following error: ORA-29259: end-of-input reached

To detect what protocol a web service uses, open the IDCS Login page in a browser, click the lock icon, and navigate to the relevant security section. A Chrome example from an IDCS Login page is below:


Preparing the DBaaS

If DBaaS is used, the following steps need to be performed.

Creating the BICS User

Create a BICS user in the database. The use of the Job privilege is discussed later in the post. Example SQL statements are below:


Managing Trusted Certificates

Create an entry in a new or existing Oracle database wallet for the trusted public certificate used to secure connections to the web service via the Internet. A link to the Oracle Wallet Manager documentation is included in the References section. Note the location and password of the wallet as they are used to issue the REST request.

The need for a trusted certificate is detected when the following error occurs: ORA-29024: Certificate validation failure.

An example certificate path found using Chrome browser is shown below. Both of these trusted certificates need to be in the Oracle wallet.


Granting Network Access

This post uses the UTL_HTTP package which requires the user to have permission to access web services via an Access Control List (ACL).

The need for an ACL privilege is detected when the following error occurs: ORA-24247: network access denied by access control list (ACL).

Grant the BICS_USER authority to connect to the network access control list (ACL). To determine your unique network ACL name run the following:


Using the network name from above run the following:

principal   => ‘BICS_USER’,
is_grant    => true,
privilege   => ‘connect’);


Preparing the Database Schema

A staging table needs to be created prior to compiling the PL/SQL stored procedure.

This post uses a staging table named AUDIT_EVENT. The columns are those chosen from the REST API for Oracle Identity Cloud Service. A link to the document may be found in the References section. This post uses the following columns:


The SQL used to create this table may be viewed here.

Using API Testing Tools

The REST requests should be developed in API testing tools such as SoapUI and Postman. The JSON expressions for parsing should be developed and tested in a JSON expression testing tool such as CuriousConcept. Links to these tools are provided in the References section.

Note: API testing tools such as SoapUI, CuriousConcept, Postman, and so on are third-party tools for using SOAP and REST services. Oracle does not provide support for these tools or recommend a particular tool for its APIs. You can select the tool based on your requirements. As a starting point and for some examples refer to the A-Team post IDCS OAuth 2.0 and REST API.

Preparing and Calling the IDCS REST Service

This post uses the AuditEvents and Token methods of the IDCS REST API 

Preparing the Token Request

IDCS uses the OAuth 2.0 framework for authorization. This requires an access token to be requested and provided via the Token method of the API.

Before preparing the REST request, a Web Application needs to be created in IDCS. This administrative function is not covered in this post. You will need the Client ID and the Client Secret generated with the web application.

You must encode the Client ID and Client Secret when you include it in a request for an access token. A Base64 encoding tool such as Base64 may be used to perform this step. Place the Client ID and Client Secret on the same line and insert a colon between them: clientid:clientsecret and then encode the string. An example encoded result is


You will need the wallet path and password discussed in the Preparing the DBaaS section above. An example path from a linux server is:


You will need the URL for the Token method of the URL such as:


The APEX_WEB_SERVICE package is used to set the headers and parameters described below.

Two HTTP request headers are needed. The first is a Content-Type header and the second is an Authorization header. The authorization header value is the concatenation of the string ‘Basic ‘ with the Base64 encoded result of the Client ID and the Client Secret as shown below:

v_authorization_token := ‘Y2xpZW50aWQ6Y2xpZW50c2VjcmV0’;
apex_web_service.g_request_headers (1).name := ‘Content-Type’;
apex_web_service.g_request_headers(1).value := ‘application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=UTF-8’;
apex_web_service.g_request_headers(2).name := ‘Authorization’;
apex_web_service.g_request_headers(2).value := ‘Basic ‘||v_authorization_token ;

The parameter method is set to POST and two HTTP request parameters are needed. The first is a grant_type and the second is a scope as shown below:

p_http_method => ‘POST’,
p_parm_name => apex_util.string_to_table(‘grant_type:scope’),
p_parm_value => apex_util.string_to_table(‘client_credentials~urn:opc:idm:__myscopes__’,’~’)

Note: The urn:opc:idm:__myscopes__ in the scope parameter value is used as a tag by Oracle Identity Cloud Service clients requesting access tokens from the OAuth authorization server. Access tokens are returned that contain all applicable Oracle Identity Cloud Service scopes based on the privileges represented by the Oracle Identity Cloud Service administrator roles granted to the requesting client.

Calling the Token Request

The APEX_WEB_SERVICE package is used to call the request and store the result in a CLOB variable as shown below:

l_ws_response_clob := apex_web_service.make_rest_request (
p_url => l_ws_url,
p_http_method => ‘POST’,
p_parm_name => apex_util.string_to_table(‘grant_type:scope’),
p_parm_value => apex_util.string_to_table (‘client_credentials~urn:opc:idm:__myscopes__’,’~’)
,p_wallet_path => ‘file:/u01/app/oracle
,p_wallet_pwd => ‘password

The result of the call is shown below with a partial token. The token is actually over 2,000 characters long.

{“access_token”:”eyJ4NXQjUzI1NiI6Ijg1a3E1M… “, “token_type”:”Bearer”,”expires_in”:3600}

Note: The response includes the expires_in:3600 parameter. This means that your token is no longer valid after one hour from the time that you generate it.

Parsing the Token Response

The APEX_JSON package is used to parse the token response and store the result in a VARCHAR variable as shown below. Additional information about this package is included as a link in the References section.

f_idcs_token := apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘access_token’);

The result of the parse is just the token itself which is used to prepare the Audit Events request.

Preparing the Audit Events Request

The Audit Events request is prepared two or more times. Once to get a first response containing one event that has a field holding the total number of events. Then subsequent requests are made to retrieve all of the events.

IDCS has a limit of how many events are returned for each request. This post uses 500 as a chunk size value which may be modified. Check with the web services administrator for the maximum number of events per request. Also ensure that the number of events inserted into the BICS table equals the total number found in the initial response.

The number of subsequent requests needed is calculated as the total number of events divided by the chunk size, rounded up to the nearest integer. For example 614 events divided by 500 would result in two subsequent requests needed.

The UTL_HTTP package is used instead of the APEX_WEB_SERVICE package to avoid a limitation of 1,024 characters on the length of a header value. The access token is used in a header value and is over 2,000 characters. The error received with the APEX_WEB_SERVICE call is: ORA-06502: PL/SQL: numeric or value error: character string buffer too small.

Preparing All Requests

All requests need to have the following:

The wallet path and password specified. These are specified globally as shown below:

utl_http.set_wallet(‘file:/u01/app/oracle’, ‘password‘); — For Trusted Certificates

Persistent connection support enabled as shown below:

utl_http.set_persistent_conn_support(FALSE, 1); — Set default persistent connections (1)

Begin the request as shown below:

req := utl_http.begin_request(l_ws_url, ‘get’,’http/1.1′);

Note: The result is stored in a variable named req which is of the req type defined in the UTL_HTTP package as shown below:

— A PL/SQL record type that represents a HTTP request
url VARCHAR2(32767 byte), — Requested URL
method VARCHAR2(64), — Requested method
http_version VARCHAR2(64), — Requested HTTP version
private_hndl PLS_INTEGER — For internal use only

The following three HTTP headers set are shown below:

utl_http.set_header(REQ, ‘Content-Type’, ‘application/scim+json’);
utl_http.set_header(REQ, ‘Cache-Control’, ‘no-cache’);
utl_http.set_header(REQ, ‘Authorization’, ‘Bearer ‘ || l_idcs_token); — The received access token

All but the last need persistent connection support as shown below:

utl_http.set_persistent_conn_support(req, TRUE); — Keep Connection Open

Note: The last request does not have the above setting so will default to FALSE and the connection to the service will be closed.

Preparing Individual Requests

Individual requests need to have the following:

The URL set as shown below:

l_ws_url := https://idcs-hostname/admin/v1/AuditEvents?count=1′; — Get first event for total event count

Subsequent URLs are as shown below:

l_ws_url := https://idcs-hostname /admin/v1/AuditEvents?count=500&startIndex=1&sortBy=timestamp;

Note: subsequent requests need the startindex parameter incremented by the chunk size (500).

Calling the Audit Events Request

The Audit Events requests are called using the UTL_HTTP package as shown below:

resp := utl_http.get_response(req);

Note: The result is stored in a variable named resp which is of the resp type defined in the UTL_HTTP package as shown below:

— A PL/SQL record type that represents a HTTP response
status_code PLS_INTEGER, — Response status code
reason_phrase VARCHAR2(256), — Response reason phrase
http_version VARCHAR2(64), — Response HTTP version
private_hndl PLS_INTEGER — For internal use only

Troubleshooting the REST Request Calls

Common issues are the need for a proxy, the need for an ACL, the need for a trusted certificate (if using HTTPS), and the need to use the correct TLS security protocol. Note: This post uses DBaaS so all but the first issue has been addressed.

The need for a proxy may be detected when the following error occurs: ORA-12535: TNS:operation timed out. Adding the optional p_proxy_override parameter to the call may correct the issue. An example proxy override is:


Parsing the Audit Event Responses

The APEX_JSON package is used to parse the responses.

Before parsing begins the staging table is truncated as shown below:

execute immediate ‘truncate table audit_event’;

An example of a response containing just one event is below:

,”message”:”Authentication failure User not found.”
,”ssoComments”:”Authentication failure User not found.”
,”ssoUserAgent”:”Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/53.0.2785.143 Safari/537.36″
,”meta”: {“created”:”2016-10-04T09:38:46.353Z”
,”idcsCreatedBy”: {“value”:”UnAuthenticated”
,”idcsLastModifiedBy”: {“value”:”UnAuthenticated”


Parsing the First Response

The first JSON response of one event is read into a varchar variable as shown below:

utl_http.read_text(resp, l_ws_response_varchar, 32766);

The variable is then parsed as shown below:


Note: the above result is implicitly stored in a global package array named g_values. This array contains the JSON members and values.

The value of the JSON member named totalResults is retrieved and stored in a variable as shown below:

v_resultSet := apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘totalResults’);

This is the total number of events to be retrieved and is all that is wanted from the first response.

Parsing the Subsequent Responses

Subsequent Responses may contain a number of events up to the setting of the chunk size (500 in this post). These responses will need to be stored in a temporary CLOB variable.

The DBMS_LOB package is used to manage the temporary CLOB variable. Additional information about the package may be found in the References section.

This variable is created at the beginning of the parsing and freed at the end of the procedure as shown below:

dbms_lob.createtemporary(l_ws_response_clob, true);

This variable is also trimmed to zero characters at the beginning of each chunk of events using the following:

DBMS_LOB.TRIM (l_ws_response_clob, 0);

The response is read by a LOOP command. Each iteration of the loop reads 32,766 characters of text and appends these to the temporary CLOB variable as shown below:

while not(EOB)
utl_http.read_text(resp, l_ws_response_varchar, 32766);
if l_ws_response_varchar is not null and length(l_ws_response_varchar)>0 then
dbms_lob.writeappend(l_ws_response_clob, length(l_ws_response_varchar), l_ws_response_varchar);
end if;
WHEN utl_http.end_of_body THEN

The CLOB result is then parsed into the implicit package array of JSON elements and values as shown below. This array contains a number of events equal to or less than the chunk size setting (500).


Each event in the array is retrieved, has its columns parsed, and is inserted into the BICS staging table as shown below:

for i in 1..v_chunkSize LOOP
v_loadCount := v_loadCount + 1;
IF v_loadCount > v_resultSet THEN NULL;
apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].eventId’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].id’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].actorId’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].adminRefResourceName’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].actorName’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].actorDisplayName’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].message’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].ssoComments’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].ssoProtectedResource’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].ssoUserAgent’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].timestamp’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].actorType’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].adminResourceName’)
,apex_json.get_varchar2(p_path => ‘Resources[‘ || i || ‘].ecId’)
v_row_count := v_row_count + 1;

After the last chunk of events is processed the procedure terminates.

Scheduling the Procedure

The procedure may be scheduled to run periodically through the use of an Oracle Scheduler job. A link to the Scheduler documentation may be found in the References section.

A job is created using the DBMS_SCHEDULER.CREATE_JOB procedure by specifying a job name, type, action and a schedule. Setting the enabled argument to TRUE enables the job to automatically run according to its schedule as soon as you create it.

An example of a SQL statement to create a job is below:

dbms_scheduler.create_job (
job_type => ‘STORED_PROCEDURE’,
enabled => TRUE,
start_date => ’21-DEC-16 10.00.00 PM Australia/Sydney’,
repeat_interval => ‘freq=hourly;interval=24’ — this will run once every 24 hours

Note: If using the BICS Schema Service database, the package name is CLOUD_SCHEDULER rather than DBMS_SCHEDULER.

The job log and status may be queried using the *_SCHEDULER_JOBS views. Examples are below:



This post detailed a method of extracting and loading data from Oracle Identity Cloud Service (IDCS) into the Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS).

The post used REST web services to extract the JSON-formatted data responses. It used a PL/SQL Stored Procedure to wrap the REST extract, JSON parsing commands, and database table operations. It loaded a BICS staging table which can be transformed into star-schema object(s) for use in modeling.

Finally, an example of a database job was provided that executes the Stored Procedure on a scheduled basis.

For more BICS and BI best practices, tips, tricks, and guidance that the A-Team members gain from real-world experiences working with customers and partners, visit Oracle A-Team Chronicles for BICS.


Complete Procedure

REST API for Oracle Identity Cloud Service

Scheduling Jobs with Oracle Scheduler

Database PL/SQL Language Reference

APEX_WEB_SERVICE Reference Guide

APEX_JSON Reference Guide

UTL_HTTP Package Reference Guide

Soap API Testing Tool

Curious Concept JOSN Testing Tool

Base64 Decoding and Encoding Testing Tool

Using Oracle Wallet Manager

Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service Tasks

DBMS_LOB Reference Guide


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