Using the DataPower Orchestration Policy

Learn how to sequence message flow through DataPower using the Orchestration Policy.

PMDP Documentation Overview Using Orchestration Policy

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Functionality
  3. Configuration


The Orchestration Policy is a DataPower specific policy that is installed as part of the Akana IBM for Websphere DataPower option pack ( It is installed to the Policy Manager Management Console when the Akana Policy Manager for IBM WebSphere DataPower Console Policy feature is installed.

The policy allows you to define the sequence of messages as they flow through DataPower. This is achieved by:

  • Defining a request sequence using the Add Activity function where you can define one or more activities that represent policies that can be applied to the workflow.
  • Activities types supported by the Orchestration Policy include Invoke Service (default), Insert XML, Auditing, User-Defined DataPower Policy, Dynamic User Defined DataPower Policy, and Transformation. For more information, see PMDP Documentation Overview.
  • Configuring a reply that represents the message you want to send back to the user (client) of the virtual service. The reply applies to the entire policy configuration.
  • After the activities are defined, you can sequence the order you would like them to be executed in. To modify the sequence, use Move Up and Move Down.

Note: The minimum requirement for an Orchestration Policy is one Invoke Service Activity.

This policy is available in the Policy Manager Management Console if you have performed a DataPower integration by installing the Akana IBM for WebSphere DataPower Option Pack to the Akana Platform, and have installed and configured the Policy Manager and DataPower features as outlined in the Policy Manager for IBM WebSphere DataPower Installation Guide for Windows and UNIX Platforms.

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The Orchestration Policy is a Policy Manager operational policy that includes the following functionality:

Add Activity

Activities are added to an Orchestration Policy using the Add Activity function. The following activity types are supported.

Add Activity drop-down list box


After you have completed configuring Activities for the Dynamic User-Defined DataPower Policy, you must then sequence the activities to the required execution order. Each Activity includes a button bar with Move Up and Move Down buttons for positioning activities.

Sequence Activities

Copy Policy

If you have multiple deployment use cases that require the reuse of one or more DataPower Processing Rules, you can create one base Dynamic User-Defined DataPower Policy, add multiple Rules, save this as a baseline in the root level Policies folder, and use the Copy Policy function to replicate a copy of the policy each time you need to create a new one. This way you can save configuration time by removing the rules you do not need, and you can add and customize new rules.


You must configure whether to use the default message or User-Defined message for each activity, and in the Reply With section which applies to the entire activity configuration. You can customize message output to:

  • Modify a message.
  • Make a call-out to another service and get the results.
  • Utilize results to perform another action.
  • Attach results to the portion of original message and forward to the Back-end Service for the current virtualized service.
Attach Policy

Because each Orchestration Policy defines the workflow for a specific service operation, it must also be attached to that service operation.

  • The policy must be attached via the Policy Attachments Portlet at the Organization > Services > Operations level.
  • The policy should be attached in the Operation section of the Operational Policy Attachments Portlet, and not the Input Message or Output Message sections.
  • Utilize results to perform another action.
  • Attach results to the portion of original message and forward to the Back-end Service for the current virtualized service.

Operational Policy Attachments (Illustration of Orchestration Policy)

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Let's take a quick walkthrough of the Orchestration Policy configuration process to get you started.

Step 1: Add Policy

You can create a Orchestration Policy instance using Add Policy in the Policies > Operational Policies section.

Step 2: Modify Policy

When you Modify the Orchestration Policy on the Policy Details page, the initial policy will look like this:

Step 3: Configure Policy

Configure the Orchestration policy as follows:

  • Add a Transformation Activity to transform the DataPower request message into a request message for the mainframe. Place this in a message called mainframe_request.
  • Add an Invoke Service Activity using the mainframe account lookup service as the target. The result should go in a message called mainframe_response.
  • Add a Transformation Activity to transform the mainframe response message into an XML message with the account information. Place this in a message called account_data.
  • Add an Insert XML Activity to insert account_data into the message called message, which is the DataPower request message.
  • Add an Invoke Service Activity to send the DataPower request message to the back-end WebSphere service. The message now includes the account information from the mainframe.
Step 4: Attach Policy

Attach the Orchestration Policy to the DataPower service and deploy to DataPower. With these few simple steps, the DataPower service now includes a powerful orchestration that provides a rich integration function for the back end. The follow screenshot shows an example of an Orchestration Policy.

Example of completed Orchestration Policy

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