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Oracle® Communications Network Integrity Developer's Guide
Release 7.1

E23701-03
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10 Introduction to Discrepancies

This chapter provides an overview of discrepancies in Oracle Communications Network Integrity.

About Discrepancies

When Network Integrity detects a difference while comparing import and discovery data, it generates a discrepancy. The discrepancy captures all vital information about the difference, such as the entity and the name of the attribute or relationship containing the difference, the type of difference, and the values on both sides (that is to say, on the Compare, and the Reference sides).

These topics are further explored in:

About the Compare and Reference Sides

When dealing with discrepancies, the data from the two sides are named Compare and Reference. The significance is that the Compare side is the side of the scan that triggered the discrepancy comparison.

If a scan using a discovery action was also configured to detect discrepancies, the discrepancies created by that scan have discovery data on the Compared side, and import data on the Reference side.

On the other hand, if a scan uses an import action with detect discrepancies configured, the Compared fields of a discrepancy contain import data, and the Reference fields contain discovery data.

The discrepancy field CompareSource holds a value that indicates the origin of the compare-side data. The value is NETWORK for a discovery or an Assimilation scan, or INVENTORY for an import scan.

Table 10-1 shows CompareSource values for different discrepancy origins.

Table 10-1 Listing CompareSource Values for Different Discrepancy Origins

Discrepancy Origin Compared Side CompareSource Reference Side ReferenceSource

Discovery Scan

Discovery Data

NETWORK

Import Data

INVENTORY

Import Scan

Import Data

INVENTORY

Discovery Data

NETWORK

Assimilation Scan

Discovery Data

NETWORK

Import Data

INVENTORY


About Discrepancy Types

There are seven types of discrepancy; they can be divided into four groups of related issues.

Network Integrity does not allow new discrepancy types to be defined.

Attribute Value Mismatch

This discrepancy indicates that an entity exists in both the Compare and Reference results, but an attribute was found not to have the same value on both sides.

Each discrepancy reports a mismatch problem on a single attribute. An entity can have multiple Attribute Value Mismatch discrepancies reported, if it has several mismatched attributes on both sides.

Table 10-2 shows discrepancy attributes and descriptions.

Table 10-2 Attribute Value Mismatch: List of Discrepancy Attributes

DisDiscrepancy Attribute Description

compareEntity

This is the target entity whose attribute has a mismatched value.

referenceEntity

This is the matching entity on the other side of the discrepancy detection.

childTargetEntity

Not used. This has no value.

attributeOrRelationshipName

This holds the name of the attribute containing the mismatch.

compareValue

The value of the attribute on the target entity.

referenceValue

The value of the attribute on the matching entity on the other side.


Extra Entity and Missing Entity

This discrepancy indicates that an entity (and any dependent children) is present on one side of the comparison, but is absent from the other side.

An Extra Entity discrepancy indicates that the entity is present in the Compared side, but not in the Reference side.

A Missing Entity discrepancy indicates the reverse: the entity is absent is the Compared side, but present in the Reference side.

Figure 10-1 shows a representation of the discrepancy types.

Figure 10-1 Examples of Extra Entity and Missing Entity

Illustrates extra and missing entity

Table 10-3 shows discrepancy attributes and descriptions.

Table 10-3 Discrepancy Attributes and Descriptions

DisDiscrepancy Attribute Description

compareEntity

This is the parent entity on one side of the comparison.

referenceEntity

This is the parent entity on the other side of the comparison.

childTargetEntity

This is the extra child entity on one side.

The entity exists on the Compared entity tree when the discrepancy type is Extra Entity.

The entity exists on the Reference entity tree when the discrepancy type is Missing Entity.

attributeOrRelationshipName

This holds the name of the association on the parent entity, which references the childTargetEntity.

compareValue

Not used. This has no value.

referenceValue

Not used. This has no value.


When resolving an Extra/Missing Entity discrepancy, the processor is tasked with either adding or removing an object from its target system. The processor must consider the system that it is managing (Import/Inventory or Discovery/Network), and examine the following discrepancy fields to determine the appropriate action:

  • DiscrepancyType

  • CompareSource

For example: A Discrepancy Resolution Processor is created to make corrections to an inventory system. When this processor receives an Extra Entity discrepancy, it must check the value of CompareSource. If this value is NETWORK, the extra entity occurs in the network, and therefore it must be missing from the inventory system. The processor takes the corrective action of creating this entity in the inventory system.

However, if the discrepancy type is still Extra Entity, and CompareSource value is INVENTORY, the extra entity occurs in inventory.

Table 10-4 shows the resolution operations for the example processor, given the actual factors to be considered. The Present in columns indicate the system has the extra entity. The Resolution Operation column lists the appropriate inventory operation to resolve this discrepancy.

Table 10-4 Appropriate Resolution Operations for Sample Processor

Discrepancy Type Compare Source Referece Source Present in Network Present in Inventory Resolution Operation

Extra Entity

Network

Inventory

Yes

No

Add the network entity into Inventory.

Missing Entity

Network

Inventory

No

Yes

Remove the inventory entity.


Note:

Table 10-4 assumes that the discrepancy detection action was triggered from a Discovery scan.

If the discrepancies are generated by a discrepancy detection action that listens for results from Import scans, the compare source and reference source are reversed, and subsequently, the appropriate inventory operations are reversed as well. (This situation is not usual, but is certainly possible.) See Table 10-5 for this example.

Table 10-5 Appropriate Resolution Operations for Sample Processor (Import Scan)

Discrepancy Type Compare Source Referece Source Present in Network Present in Inventory Resolution Operation

Extra Entity

Inventory

Network

No

Yes

Remove the inventory entity.

Missing Entity

Inventory

Network

Yes

No

Add the network entity into Inventory.


Network Integrity does not report Missing Entity discrepancies on the circuit of a root entity when the root entity is absent from either the Compared side or the Reference side.

For example, if a discovery scan finds Device1 with circuits A and B in the network, and the same device exists in inventory, but with circuits A, B, and C, Network Integrity reports a Missing Entity discrepancy on circuit C in the network.

In the above example, Network Integrity can fully compare the results for Device1 from the Compared side and the Reference side.

However, by default, when Device1 is not listed in the discovery results, Network Integrity does not report Missing Entity discrepancies on the device.

You can build a discrepancy detection action or extend the base discrepancy detection action to report missing Entity discrepancies on root entities. See "Working with Discrepancy Detection Actions and Processors" for more information.

Extra Association and Missing Association

This discrepancy indicates that an association in one entity (source) referencing another entity (target) is present on one side of the comparison, but is absent from the other side.

An Extra Association discrepancy indicates that the association is present in the Compared side, but not in the Reference side.

A Missing Association discrepancy indicates the reverse: the association is absent in the Compared side, but is present in the Reference side.

Each discrepancy indicates a problem with a single direction of association. If two entities have a bidirectional association with each other, and this bidirectional association is completely missing on one side, two discrepancies are generated by Network Integrity. One discrepancy with have the source and target entities switched from the other one.

Figure 10-2 shows a representation of the discrepancy types.

Figure 10-2 Examples of Extra Association and Missing Association

Illustrates extra and missing association

Table 10-6 shows discrepancy attributes and descriptions.

Table 10-6 Extra Association and Missing Association: List of Discrepancy Attributes

DisDiscrepancy Attribute Description

compareEntity

This is the source entity on one side of the comparison.

referenceEntity

This is the source entity on the other side of the comparison.

childTargetEntity

This is the target entity of the association.

The entity exists on the Compared side when the discrepancy type is Extra Association.

It exists on the Reference side when the discrepancy type is Missing Entity.

attributeOrRelationshipName

This holds the name of the association on the source entity which references the childTargetEntity.

compareValue

Not used. This has no value.

referenceValue

Not used. This has no value.


The processor must examine the discrepancy to determine whether the appropriate resolution operation is to add the association, or to remove it.

Table 10-7 shows the appropriate operation, given the values of discrepancy type, compare source, and reference source within the discrepancy.

Table 10-7 Appropriate Resolution Operations for Sample Processor

Discrepancy Type Compare Source Referece Source Present in Network Present in Inventory Resolution Operation

Extra Association

Network

Inventory

Yes

No

Add the association into the inventory entity.

Missing Association

Network

Inventory

No

Yes

Remove the association from the inventory entity.


If the discrepancies are generated by a discrepancy detection action that listens for results from Import scans, the compare source and reference source are reversed, and subsequently, the appropriate inventory operation are reversed as well. (This situation is not usual, but is certainly possible.)

Table 10-8 shows the appropriate operation for this particular situation.

Table 10-8 Appropriate Resolution Operations for Sample Processor: Result from Import Scan

Discrepancy Type Compare Source Referece Source Present in Network Present in Inventory Resolution Operation

Extra Association

Inventory

Network

No

Yes

Remove the association from the inventory entity.

Missing Association

Inventory

Network

Yes

No

Add the association into the inventory entity.


Ordering Error and Association Ordering Error

In some cases, the ordering of child or associated entities is significant. This discrepancy indicates that matched entities appear in different orders between the two sides. The only difference between the two types of discrepancy is that an Ordering Error indicates a problem with a parent/child association, while an Association Ordering Error indicates a problem with some other association.

Table 10-9 shows discrepancy attributes and descriptions.

Table 10-9 Ordering Error and Association Ordering Error: List of Discrepancy Attributes

DisDiscrepancy Attribute Description

compareEntity

This is the source/parent entity on one side of the comparison.

referenceEntity

This is the source/parent entity on the other side of the comparison.

childTargetEntity

Not used. This has no value.

attributeOrRelationshipName

This holds the name of the association having the ordering problem.

compareValue

Not used. This has no value.

referenceValue

Not used. This has no value.


About Discrepancy Status

The discrepancy status field identifies the state of a discrepancy within its lifecycle. The following figure gives an overview of this lifecycle:

Figure 10-3 shows a representation of the discrepancy types.

Figure 10-3 Discrepancy Status Lifecycle

Illustrates discrepancy status lifecycle

Every discrepancy begins with a status of OPENED when it is first detected. It can then be moved to one of two states by a user using a Web UI operation:

  • IDENTIFIED, by using a resolution action menu item

  • IGNORED, by using the Ignore menu item

When a discrepancy is in the IDENTIFIED state, a user can use the Submit operation to move it to the SUBMITTED state. At this point, the discrepancy has moved out of user control, and into the control of a resolution action.

The resolution action processes the submitted discrepancy, and reports the outcome by setting the status to:

  • PROCESSED, or

  • FAILED

If the status is PROCESSED, the operation has succeeded, and the discrepancy can no longer be acted upon. If the status is FAILED, it becomes available for the user to specify an operation again, just like when it was first opened.

A resolution action may set a discrepancy status to RECEIVED immediately after the submit operation. This status indicates that the resolution operation is in progress, and reports its final operation status later.

About Discrepancy Detail

Table 10-10 lists all the attributes of a discrepancy. The Java type of a discrepancy is DisDiscrepancy. Use Java getter and setter patterns to retrieve and set the attribute's value; For example: getPriority() to get the value of priority, and setPriority(String) to change its value.

Although the setters for all attributes are public, most fields should not be directly set by the processors. The following fields are safe to be used by processor Java implementations:

  • priority

  • notes

  • discrepancyOwner

The status and failureReason fields should be set using the context methods when inside a processor invoke() method. Otherwise, they can also be set using setters.

Table 10-10 Discrepancy Attributes

DisDiscrepancy Attribute Type Description

type

DisDiscrepancyType (Enum)

The discrepancy type.

Valid values are:

  • ATTRIBUTE_VALUE_MISMATCH

  • EXTRA_ENTITY

  • MISSING_ENTITY

  • EXTRA_ASSOCIATION

  • MISSING_ASSOCIATION

  • ORDERING_ERROR

  • ASSOCIATION_ORDERING_ERROR

severity

DisDiscrepancySeverity (Enum)

The severity of the discrepancy.

The values are (from most severe to least):

  • CRITICAL

  • MAJOR

  • MINOR

  • WARNING

entityName

String

The name of the entity for which this discrepancy is raised.

externalEntityType

String

The name of the specification, if the entity has a specification. Otherwise, the same value as staticEntityType.

staticEntityType

String

The name of the base entity type of the entity.

attributeOrRelationshipName

String

This holds the name of the attribute or relationship having the discrepancy.

compareEntity

long (Weak Reference)

This is the entityID of the entity for which this discrepancy is raised.

compareSystem

DisSource (Enum)

Indicates whether the compare data comes from Network (Discovery) or Inventory (Import) system. Valid values are NETWORK and INVENTORY

compareValue

String

This is used by attribute value mismatch discrepancies to hold the value of the attribute on the compare side.

compareSource

String

The source value of the compareEntity. This value is copied from the Source field of the Scan configuration used to discover/import this entity into Network Integrity.

referenceEntity

long (Weak Reference)

This is the entityID of the entity of the discrepancy on the opposite side to the compareEntity

referenceSystem

DisSource (Enum)

This indicates whether the reference data comes from Network (Discovery) or Inventory (Import) system.

Valid values are NETWORK and INVENTORY.

referenceValue

String

This is used by attribute value mismatch discrepancies to hold the value of the attribute on the reference side.

referenceSource

String

This is the source value of the referenceEntity. This value is copied from the Source field of the Scan configuration used to discover/import this entity into Network Integrity.

childTargetEntity

long (Weak Reference)

Used by Extra/Missing discrepancies to indicate the child/target entityID of the entity of an association.

ancestorEntityName

String

This is the name of the ancestor (parent) entity for the discrepancy.

ancestorEntityType

String

This is the name of the specification, if the ancestor entity has a specification. Otherwise, it takes the same value as ancestorStaticEntityType.

ancestorStaticEntityType

String

This is the name of the base entity type of the ancestor entity.

parentResultGroup

DisResultGroup

This is a reference of the parent Scan Result Detail (that is, the Result Group) of the compareEntity.

path

String

This is the path to the entity for this discrepancy.

It is a comma-delimited list of entityIDs that describes the path from the root entity.

For Missing Entity and Missing Association discrepancies, it is the path to the compareEntity followed by the entityID of the referenceEntity.

For other discrepancy types, it is the path to the compareEntity.

priority

String

This is a user-editable field used to indicate the priority of this discrepancy.

This would typically be used for customer-specific categorization, enabling a finer control than using severity alone.

notes

String

This is a user-editable field for comments.

discrepancyOwner

String

This is a user-editable field used to indicate an external owner of the discrepancy.

It may be used for other purposes if desired.

operation

String

This holds the name of the resolution action being invoked.

operationIdentifiedBy

String

This is the ID of the user who identified the resolution action (the UI action to set the resolution operation, before the submit operation).

operationSubmittedBy

String

This is the ID of the user who submitted the resolution action.

submittedTime

Date

This is the timestamp when the status changed to OPERATION_SUBMITTED.

status

DisDiscrepancyStatus (Enum)

This is the current status of this discrepancy.

Valid values are:

  • DISCREPANCY_OPENED

  • DISCREPANCY_IGNORED

  • OPERATION_IDENTIFIED

  • OPERATION_SUBMITTED

  • OPERATION_RECEIVED

  • OPERATION_NOT_IMPLEMENTED

  • OPERATION_PROCESSED

  • OPERATION_FAILED

lastStatusChangeTime

Date

This is the timestamp when the status attribute was last updated.

reasonForFailure

String

This holds the error message set by the processor using context.discrepancyFailed() method.

entityID

long

This is an Internal identifier.