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Retrieve BPEL payload from the database


Given an instance id, how to get the payload used to invoke the BPEL, from the dehydration database (called SOA infrastructure database in 11G)?

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You have two options, each with its pros and cons:

Option 1. Extract payload from process instance data (i.e. "cube instance")

  • Lookup instance handle using conversation Id or instance Id
  • Call the com.oracle.bpel.client.IInstanceHandle.getField("bpelVariableName") API to get the payload. If the variable is a message type, the returned object is a Map and you can get the Element via map.get("partName"). If the variable is an element type, the returned object is an Element object.


  • If your BPEL process change the value of the input variable, this API It will get the latest value, not the initial one.
  • It may not be able to get the variables from the faulted instances. It may only work with successful instances

Option 2. Extract payload from audit trail

  • Lookup instance handle using conversation Id or instance ID
  • Fetch audit trail from instance handle using IInstanceHandle.getAuditXXX() API
  • Use substring functions to extract initiating payload


  • You need to do your own parsing of XML in order to extract the initial payload
  • If you use auditLevel to dial down the audit trail to a certain degree, or even totally suppress it, you may not be able get the payload from audit trail

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