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An Oracle White Paper

October 2012

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3:


Integration Products and Technologies Primer
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Disclaimer
The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended
for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is
not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not
be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and
timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at
the sole discretion of Oracle.
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Introduction......................................................................................... 1
Enterprise Application Integration Styles............................................. 2
Data-centric Integration...................................................................... 3
Open Interface Tables, Views, and Concurrent Programs...............3
Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator................................... 4
Integration through Native Interfaces.................................................. 6
PL/SQL and Java APIs................................................................... 7
Process-centric Integration................................................................. 7
Oracle Workflow............................................................................. 7
Event-driven Integration...................................................................... 8
Oracle Workflow Business Event System....................................... 9
B2B Integration................................................................................. 10
Oracle XML Gateway and Oracle E-Commerce Gateway.............10
Integration through Web Services..................................................... 11
Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway.......................11
Oracle Fusion Middleware Adapter for Oracle Applications (also
called Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter)...................................... 13
Oracle Integration Repository........................................................... 14
When to Use What – A Comparative Guide...................................... 16
Native Interfaces Versus Web Services........................................ 16
Service Oriented Integration Versus Event Driven Integration......18
Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway Versus
Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter.................................................. 19
Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway Service
Invocation Framework Versus Other Web Service Clients............21
Oracle Workflow Versus Oracle BPEL Process Manager.............21
Oracle Mediator Versus Oracle BPEL Process Manager Versus
Oracle Service Bus....................................................................... 23
Oracle Integration Repository Versus Oracle Enterprise
Repository.................................................................................... 26
Oracle XML Gateway Versus Oracle E-Commerce Gateway
Versus Oracle B2B....................................................................... 28
Conclusion........................................................................................ 29
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Introduction

One of the most pervasive challenges for organizations is integrating their individual software
applications, ERP, and custom installations that automate their business tasks and processes.
Increasingly, organizations are realizing that collaboration with supply chain partners can
enhance their productivity, and that aligning business processes across enterprise
departments can reduce operational costs. It has become important to address each
integration need with the right approach and the right enabling technology.

Enterprise application integration presents technical as well as non-technical challenges.


Some of the non-technical challenges are high integration cost, risks, and changing
business needs due to mergers, acquisitions, diversification, reorganization, and compliance
to new industry standards. Common technical challenges include integrating applications in
heterogeneous environments and maintaining consistent information across systems with
different interfaces, data models, and process designs.

Oracle E-Business Suite recognizes the importance of integration and has opened several key
integration points supporting different integration technologies. While an integration point may
be available through various technologies and products, it is important to use the best
approach for the particular integration requirement. This document outlines common enterprise
application integration styles and the various Oracle E-Business Suite products and
technologies provided within the application technology layer to address the specific needs of
these integration styles. This document also presents a comparative guide on when to use
which integration-related Oracle E-Business Suite product.
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Enterprise Application Integration Styles


Enterprise Application Integration is the ability to link different types of
enterprise applications and business processes together so that they can
communicate smoothly and effectively to conduct e-business. These
applications may reside within the same enterprise (inter-application
integrations) or span multiple enterprise boundaries connected over the
Internet, such as for integration with partner applications.
Depending upon what, why, when, and how two or more enterprise
applications need to be integrated, enterprise application integrations can be
broadly categorized into the following styles:

Figure 1: Enterprise application integration styles

• Data-centric integration
• Integration through native interfaces
• Process-centric integration
• Event-driven integration
• B2B integration
• Integration through Web services
Oracle E-Business Suite provides a robust set of native technologies and
products to address each of the above integration styles.

Figure 2: Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3 integration products and


technologies
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

For many of the integration technologies and products from Oracle E-


Business Suite, there are optional products from Oracle Fusion
Middleware that add on value to the integration.

Figure 3: Oracle E-Business Suite integration products and


technologies with related Oracle products

Data-centric Integration
Data integration is the process of consolidating, managing, and moving
information from different data sources, including databases, data files, and
applications such as ERP, CRM, legacy, and data warehouses. In most data
integration scenarios, data is moved on a regular schedule that ranges from
hourly to nightly or biweekly intervals. Data integration is usually used in
conjunction with services that ensure data integrity, such as data de-
duplication and data cleansing.
Data-centric integrations address the requirement of bulk data replication
across different systems and bulk data upload. An example of data-centric
integration is bulk upload of recurring transactions such as sales orders
which need to be tallied for commission payment to appropriate salespeople.

Open Interface Tables, Views, and Concurrent Programs


Open interface tables are used as an external integration point for data to be
imported into Oracle E-Business Suite. These tables serve as a staging point
for inbound data prior to batch validation and import into transaction tables.
Usually, open interface tables are associated with concurrent programs.
Concurrent programs systematically examine data for flaws by using rules,
algorithms, and look-up tables and then take appropriate action to cleanse the
data. During data cleansing, data that is incorrect, incomplete, improperly
formatted, or duplicated is marked for correction, and validated data is
moved to appropriate base tables in Oracle E-Business Suite. Records marked
for correction can be edited and resubmitted for import.
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Similarly, for an outbound flow of information from Oracle E-Business Suite


to external applications, data can be exported from open interface tables.
The associated concurrent program extracts the data from the base tables
and stores it in the open interface tables. Various Oracle E-Business Suite
products have also defined open interface views that group related data for
easier processing. These views can be used for reporting or for data export.
This approach assumes that the data from external sources is already loaded
to open interface tables for inbound transactions, or that the data will be
extracted from open interface tables and views by external applications for
outbound transactions. Oracle XML Gateway and Oracle E-Commerce
Gateway load data to open interface tables after any required trading
partner validation and code conversions for their respective inbound
transactions. Similarly, Oracle XML Gateway and Oracle E-Commerce
Gateway use open interface tables, views, and concurrent programs for
outbound transactions.
Oracle E-Business Suite customers can also use data-centric integration tools,
such as SQL Loader programs, Oracle Golden Gate, or Oracle Data
Integrator, to load the bulk data into open interface tables or extract bulk
data from open interface tables and views. Oracle Golden Gate works against
the change data capture logs of databases and can work across a
heterogeneous database landscape, while Oracle Data Integrator works
directly against the database tables and uses an extract, load, and transform
approach to handling data.

Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator


Data consolidation sometimes requires manual intervention such as manual data
verification or minor data changes in batch data just before uploading data to
Oracle E-Business Suite. The data that needs to be reviewed and updated may
vary frequently, and it may not be feasible to automate the changes. Oracle Web
Applications Desktop Integrator provides a quick way to address such
requirements, by integrating Oracle E-Business Suite with familiar desktop
applications such as spreadsheets.
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Figure 4: Uploading data to an Oracle E-Business Suite


application from an Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator
spreadsheet
Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator is a metadata driven framework
that allows data to be downloaded into the spreadsheet from a file or from the
Oracle E-Business Suite database using a SQL query or Java program. The
resulting spreadsheet is created in an application-specific format, where the
end user can review data, edit data, and then upload data back to Oracle E-
Business Suite. Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator performs basic
validation before uploading data to open interface tables. Then, depending on
the integrator definition, Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator
validates the uploaded data against business rules and submits the associated
concurrent program to import the data to the base transaction tables.
Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator enables Oracle E-Business
Suite end users to do the following:
• Create a formatted document such as a spreadsheet on the desktop
containing application-specific fields for data entry.
• Import data into the desktop document from the database using a SQL query
or Java program, or from a text file.
• Work with the data in the desktop application while enforcing the owning
application's business rules.
• Upload data from the desktop document into Oracle E-Business Suite.
• Validate the data being uploaded and receive immediate feedback about
the results of the validation during the upload process.
• Submit a program to import data from the open interface staging tables to
Oracle E-Business Suite base tables.
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Figure 5: Creating and managing custom integrators from Oracle E-


Business Suite Desktop Integration Framework
Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator also provides the Oracle E-
Business Suite Desktop Integration Framework, which is a wizard-driven
design-time tool to create, update, and manage custom desktop integrators. It
supports function-based security and lets you include UI widgets such as a
date-time picker and lists of values within the generated spreadsheets.
Because Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator downloads and
uploads data to and from a spreadsheet on a local desktop over the
network, this product is recommended for small scale data consolidation
and data conversion scenarios.
For more information on Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator and
Oracle E-Business Suite Desktop Integration Framework, refer to the
following documentation:
• Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator Implementation and
Administration Guide
• Oracle E-Business Suite Desktop Integration Framework Developer's Guide

Integration through Native Interfaces


Every enterprise application has its own technology stack, which usually supports
customization using native technologies. APIs are interfaces that an enterprise
application developer exposes to provide access to application logic, business
rules, and data. Customers can then use these APIs to build, customize, and
extend the enterprise application for their usage. An example of using native
interfaces is creating an application wrapper that saves additional custom
information in custom tables along[RA1] with application-specific information. In
such cases, the customer usually has a custom implementation
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

at different layers – that is, a custom user interface in the presentation layer,
custom application logic, and custom tables. Another example is using native
APIs to retrieve statistics from Oracle E-Business Suite database and create
custom reports.

PL/SQL and Java APIs


Oracle E-Business Suite publishes APIs that can be used to create or update
business objects, re-use seeded business logic and rules, and retrieve
business data. These APIs are native technologies and are suitable for
working within the network; they are not suitable for integration across
instances using remote invocations across networks. These APIs are
recommended for Oracle E-Business Suite customizations and extensions.

Process-centric Integration
A business process is a coordinated set of business functions that may be
driven by human actions or governed by automated business rules. Complex
business processes may involve multiple enterprise applications, whereas
simple processes happen within one application, such as a performance
appraisal process within an HR application.

Oracle Workflow
Oracle Workflow provides a workflow management system that supports
business process-based integration within Oracle E-Business Suite applications.
It enables modeling, automation, and continuous improvement of business
processes, routing information of any type according to user-defined business
rules. Oracle Workflow Builder provides a graphical drag-and-drop process
designer.
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Figure 6: Oracle Workflow Builder

Oracle Workflow supports processes with looping, parallel, merge, and


diverging flows. The routing and business rules can be defined in the form of
PL/SQL or Java APIs. Oracle Workflow lets people receive notifications of
items awaiting their attention through e-mail, and continues the process
based on their e-mail responses. Users can also view their list of things to do,
including necessary supporting information, and take action using a standard
Web browser.
Oracle Workflow processes together with the Business Event System can be
used for point-to-point message based integration, or as a messaging hub
for complex system integration scenarios. You can model business processes
that include complex routing and processing rules to handle events
powerfully and flexibly.
For more information on Oracle Workflow, refer to the following
documentation:
• Oracle Workflow User’s Guide
• Oracle Workflow Developer’s Guide

Event-driven Integration
Event-driven integrations can address the requirement to allow asynchronous
actions or initiate a long-running offline business process on the occurrence of a
business event. This type of integration is also used to monitor key business
events and status updates. It provides a non-intrusive mode of enterprise
application integration. For example, an enterprise application can raise a
business event whenever a purchase order is created or updated. Interested
parties can subscribe to this business event, and depending upon business rules
send an alert or notification to the floor manager on stock levels.
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Oracle Workflow Business Event System


The Oracle Workflow Business Event System provides event-driven
processing in Oracle E-Business Suite. On occurrence of a business event in
Oracle E-Business Suite, the Business Event System triggers event
subscriptions that specify the processing to execute for that event.
Subscriptions can include the following types of processing:
• Executing custom code on the event information
• Sending event information to another workflow process
• Sending event information to named communication points called
agents on the local system or external systems
• Sending event information to a Web service as a SOAP request

Figure 7: Business event subscription action types

You can communicate events among systems within your own enterprise and
with external systems as well.
For more information on the Oracle Workflow Business Event System,
refer to the following documentation:
• Oracle Workflow Developer’s Guide
• Oracle Workflow API Reference
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

B2B Integration
B2B is the integration of an enterprise application and its business processes
with external business applications operated by customers, suppliers, and
trading partners. Business data are exchanged between trading partners in
standard format. These integrations are driven by industry-level standards
such as OAG, IFX, and EDIFACT.

Oracle XML Gateway and Oracle E-Commerce Gateway


Oracle XML Gateway is a product from Oracle E-Business Suite that
facilitates the bidirectional communication of business critical data between
Oracle E-Business Suite applications and third party applications or trading
partners in the form of well-formatted XML messages. It is used to generate
and consume DTD-based XML messages triggered by business events. These
XML messages can be exchanged with trading partners through any of three
communication modes – Oracle Transport Agent, Web services, or JMS.
Oracle XML Gateway leverages Oracle Workflow, the Business Event
System, Oracle Advanced Queuing, and other database components.

Figure 8: Trading partner setup for Oracle XML Gateway

Oracle E-Commerce Gateway allows electronic exchange of data between


trading partners in ASCII file format. Interface data files are exchanged in a
standard format to minimize manual effort, speed data processing, and
ensure accuracy. A third party EDI Translator is required to map the flat file
data between Oracle E-Business Suite and the EDI standard of choice such
as ASC X12 or EDIFACT.
For more information on Oracle XML Gateway and Oracle E-Commerce
Gateway, refer to the following documentation:
• Oracle XML Gateway User’s Guide
• Oracle e-Commerce Gateway User’s Guide
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

• Oracle e-Commerce Gateway Implementation Manual

Integration through Web Services


Heterogeneous and hybrid IT environments are common in today’s
enterprises. In a heterogeneous environment, applications are built on
different technology platforms, operating systems, and programming
languages. In a hybrid enterprise environment, the enterprise uses both on-
premise and cloud-based applications. Integration through Web services is
the recommended integration approach for such environments.
Web services provide interoperability between applications running on
disparate platforms. The fundamental specifications that Web services are
based on are SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), WSDL (Web Services
Description Language), and UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and
Integration). SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI are XML-based, making Web service
protocol messages and descriptions human readable. These SOAP messages
are transported over the standard internet transport protocol, HTTP/HTTPS.
Web service-based integration addresses the following requirements:
• Integrating enterprise applications from different vendors
• Integrating enterprise applications built on different technologies
• Integrating enterprise applications with business or trading partner
applications
• Point-to-point system integration with loose coupling of participating
applications
• Integrating on-premise enterprise applications with on-cloud or hosted
enterprise applications

Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway


Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway is a SOA-based integration
infrastructure product from Oracle E-Business Suite that helps organizations
to provide, consume, and monitor Web services for integrations in a
heterogeneous ecosystem. It has four major components –Oracle Integration
Repository, Service Provider, Service Invocation Framework, and Service
Administration.
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Figure 9: Out-of-box service enablement of Oracle E-Business Suite

Service Provider (for inbound) – In Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated


SOA Gateway, Service Provider exposes the public integration interfaces as
standard Web services. Interfaces of the following types can be exposed as
SOAP-based Web services: PL/SQL, Concurrent Program, XML Gateway,
Business Service Object, and Java APIs for Forms (a subset of Java APIs).
When Service Provider receives a SOAP request for an Oracle E-Business
Suite Web service, it ensures that the request is authenticated against JAAS-
based security and authorized against Oracle E-Business Suite function
security. It supports both Username Token (in PlainText) and SAML Token
(Sender Vouches) based authentication types. Valid Web service requests are
executed by the underlying Oracle E-Business Suite API. The response from
the API is sent as a SOAP response to the calling Web service client for a
synchronous interaction pattern.
Service Invocation Framework (for outbound) – The Oracle E-Business
Suite Integrated SOA Gateway Service Invocation Framework (SIF)
provides the ability to invoke any third-party external public Web service
that is exposed and available for consumption through the standard Web
service communication mode of SOAP over HTTP. The response can be
consumed by Oracle E-Business Suite through any of the following:
• Oracle Workflow process
• Oracle Forms
• PL/SQL API
• OA Framework page
• Java program
• Java or PL/SQL based Concurrent program
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Figure 10: Wizard-driven WSDL parser from Business Event Subscription


page

Service Invocation Framework leverages the Oracle Workflow Business Event


System to invoke and consume Web services. It supports the Username
Token (in PlainText) based authentication type. The required user credentials
are secured in FND_VAULT.
Service Administration provides a set of administrative capabilities
such as monitoring service requests through Service Provider and
configuring logging and auditing for Web services through Service
Provider.
Oracle Integration Repository is described later in this paper.

Oracle Fusion Middleware Adapter for Oracle Applications (also called Oracle E-
Business Suite Adapter)
Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter provides comprehensive, bidirectional,
multimodal, synchronous and asynchronous connectivity to Oracle E-Business
Suite from non-Oracle applications through Oracle Fusion Middleware SOA
Suite. It exposes integration interfaces in Oracle Integration Repository as JCA
services, which can be consumed from Oracle BPEL Process Manager and Oracle
Service Bus.
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Figure 11: Oracle Applications Module Browser - Search and browse


Oracle E-Business Suite interfaces while creating an adapter service
in a BPEL process from Oracle JDeveloper
The key features of Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter include secured, trusted
connection to Oracle E-Business Suite, application context-ready transaction
support, and connectivity to multiple versions of Oracle E-Business Suite. It
service-enables the integration interfaces of Oracle E-Business Suite in
earlier releases including Release 11i and Release 12.0.

Oracle Integration Repository


Oracle Integration Repository is a catalogue of all the public integration
interfaces of Oracle E-Business Suite. It exposes integration interfaces of the
following types: PL/SQL API, Java API, concurrent program, Oracle XML
Gateway message, Oracle E-Commerce Gateway message, Business Service
Object, open interface table or view, and business event.
Oracle Integration Repository displays detailed information about each
interface, such as a description of the API, the methods in the API, and the IN
and OUT parameters of each method along with their meaning. The
information in the repository is automatically updated with each Oracle E-
Business Suite
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

release. Web service-enabled interfaces display the Web service information


such as the WSDL, Web service status, and associated authentication types.
Additionally, Oracle E-Business Suite users with Oracle Integration
Repository administrator privileges can perform Web service life cycle
activities such as generating and deploying the service from the Interface
Detail page of Oracle Integration Repository.

Figure 12: Generating Web service artifacts for a PL/SQL API from Oracle
Integration Repository

Oracle E-Business Suite customers can also upload Oracle E-Business Suite
customizations and extensions to the repository to get a unified view of
Oracle E-Business Suite and their customizations. The custom interfaces can
be uploaded to Oracle Integration Repository in three simple steps:
• Annotate the custom interface source file following the published Oracle
Integration Repository annotation standards and guidelines.
• Validate the annotated source file using the Oracle Integration Repository
Parser tool. Annotations are extracted as an ildt file.
• Upload the ildt file containing the parsed annotations using the
FNDLOAD utility. The custom interface information is then accessible
from Oracle Integration Repository.
For more information on Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA
Gateway, Oracle Integration Repository, and Oracle E-Business Suite
Adapter, refer to the following documentation:
• Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway User’s Guide
• Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway Developer’s Guide
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

• Oracle Fusion Middleware Adapter for Oracle Applications User’s Guide

When to Use What – A Comparative Guide


The following section is a guide to selecting the appropriate technologies,
Oracle E-Business Suite products, and related Oracle products for your
integration requirements.

Native Interfaces Versus Web Services


Technology plays a key role in selecting the integration approach. Web services
come from the current technology stack, and they have a clear advantage over
APIs built on native technologies such as PL/SQL or Java. Still, there are
scenarios where it is beneficial to use interfaces in native technologies.
Integration using Web services is the ideal approach for integrations across
corporate firewalls, such as integrating on-premise enterprise applications
with on-cloud or hosted enterprise applications. The advantage of using Web
services is that they transport XML-based SOAP messages using the standard
Internet transport protocol, HTTP. That is, these messages are transmitted
over port 80, an open port for Web server firewalls.
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Figure 13: Native interfaces versus Web services

In general, standard Web services are designed to work seamlessly in


heterogeneous environments that reside on disparate operating systems and
platforms. Even if your enterprise has homogeneous environments, if you are
looking to integrate an Oracle E-Business Suite application with an enterprise
application from any other vendor, then Web services that provide loose
coupling is the recommended integration style. For intra-application
integration between two Oracle E-Business Suite modules – for example,
Order Management and Supply Chain Management, if both Oracle E-Business
Suite products expose the desired public APIs built on the same technology,
such as PL/SQL or Java, then it is recommended to integrate using those APIs
in native technologies instead of Web services. In this case, integration using
native technologies with procedure calls within the same JVM will be much
faster than Web service requests over HTTP.
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Service Oriented Integration Versus Event Driven Integration


Generally, industry practice recommends using service oriented integration
to send service requests in the following circumstances:
• You know what service to run and when to execute the service.
• You want to be notified when service completes its execution successfully.
• You want to receive the results of service invocation.
Conversely, use event driven integration to announce an event in the following
circumstances:
• You want to notify all consumers that might be interested.
• You do not care how each consumer will react to an event.
• You do not want to wait for reactions from consumers.
One key point to consider is that service oriented integration provides loose
coupling; a change in a service or a halted service can break or interrupt the
Web service client processing. Event driven integration, on the other hand,
provides nearly decoupled integration; a change in a consumer is non-
intrusive and will not affect the announcer processing.
In Oracle E-Business Suite, business events are raised to indicate the
occurrence of a key business activity or a change in the state of a key
business object. Internally, these business events are used to initiate
business workflows or business-to-business transactions, integrating with
other Oracle E-Business Suite applications.
The question of Web service based integration versus business event driven
integration may arise in scenarios such as the following. An enterprise has a
requirement to check the stock level in a warehouse whenever there is a
change in the quantity ordered in a purchase order. Suppose that the Oracle
E-Business Suite purchasing application publishes a PL/SQL API to get the
order quantity for a purchase order, and that it also publishes a business
event that is raised whenever the purchase order is updated. The PL/SQL API
can be exposed as a Web service. In this case, there are two options:
o Poll the purchasing database continually through the Web
service for any change in order quantity.
o Subscribe to the business event and listen to any changes in

order quantity. In such a scenario, subscribing to the business event is

the recommended integration strategy.

Conversely, consider a scenario where you want to select a supplier based on the
quote price. Oracle E-Business Suite has published an API to get the quote price.
Suppose that a business event is also raised whenever there is a change in the
quote price. In this case, it is advisable to use the Web service to get the quote
price from Oracle E-Business Suite instead of subscribing to the business event.
Following are the key considerations for cases in which you should use
Oracle E-Business Suite Web services rather than using business events
through the subscription model:
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

• The consumer program needs to create, update, or delete a key business


object in Oracle E-Business Suite.
• The consumer program is a business critical process that depends on the
status of business object in Oracle E-Business Suite (provider side).
On the other hand, the subscription model fits for the following cases:
• The consumer program uses the status of business object in Oracle E-
Business Suite for reporting or notification purposes.
• The consumer program is not business critical, and failure of the consumer
program does not affect or stop the business process within Oracle E-
Business Suite.

Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway Versus Oracle E-Business Suite
Adapter
The Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter from Oracle SOA Suite is the only
solution that service-enables Oracle E-Business Suite in Release 11i and
Release 12.0. However, from Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.1 on,
customers have two options for SOA-based integration with Oracle E-
Business Suite: Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter and Oracle E-Business
Suite Integrated SOA Gateway. This section will examine when to use Oracle
E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway versus Oracle E-Business Suite
Adapter for SOA-based integrations with the most recent release of Oracle
E-Business Suite, Release 12.1.3.
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Figure 14: Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway versus


Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter
There are a few distinctive characteristics of these two service enabling
products. Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway provides service
enabling capability from Oracle E-Business Suite, while Oracle E-Business
Suite Adapter is a solution from Oracle Fusion Middleware shipped as part of
Oracle SOA Suite. Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway exposes
Oracle E-Business Suite public APIs as standard Web services, whereas
Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter provides JCA-based services. The standard
based Oracle E-Business Suite Web services available through Oracle E-
Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway can be invoked from any standard
Web service client such as Apache Axis, WLS JAX-WS, BPEL, or .NET clients.
Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter is available from the Oracle JDeveloper SOA
plug-in for BPEL and Oracle Service Bus.
The next decision factor depends on the underlying technology of the public
interface. Java-based interfaces – Business Service Objects and Java APIs for
Forms (a subset of the Java interface type) – are exposed as Web services
through Oracle Integrated E-Business Suite SOA Gateway only. Open
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Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

interface tables and EDI maps are two interface types that are not supported
as Web services through Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway in
Release 12.1.3. Consequently, if you know which API you want to use as Web
service, check the underlying interface type. PL/SQL APIs, concurrent
programs, and Oracle XML Gateway message maps can be exposed as Web
services from Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter as well as Oracle E-Business
Suite Integrated SOA Gateway.
The next deciding factor is whether you have any requirements such as
support for an asynchronous interaction pattern, transaction in distributed
processing, and other Web service standards such as MTOM and Reliable
Messaging. These requirements are supported for Oracle E-Business Suite
Adapter by nature of the parent Oracle SOA Suite and OWSM framework.
Finally, if you need a SOAP-based Web service, then you should use Oracle E-
Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway instead of Oracle E-Business Suite
Adapter, which provides JCA-based Web service binding.

Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway Service Invocation Framework


Versus Other Web Service Clients
Next, consider the outbound scenario for service-based integration with Oracle E-
Business Suite. Service Invocation Framework from Oracle E-Business Suite
Integrated SOA Gateway provides a built-in capability to invoke and consume
external Web services. With SIF, integration developers need not deal with
complex SOAP APIs to invoke and consume Web services. Here are some
scenarios when you may want to invoke and consume external Web services from
Oracle E-Business Suite:
• Synchronous Request only interaction pattern: on occurrence of a key
business event in Oracle E-Business Suite, initiate an external business
process such as a BPEL-based process exposed as a Web service. This is an
example of Invoke-and-forget.
• Synchronous Request-Response interaction pattern: as part of your
business logic, use a service provided by an external provider such as
getting the current exchange rate for a currency. This is an example of
Invoke-and-consume.
If you have a requirement to consume an external service as part of an
Oracle E-Business Suite extension, you should use SIF. You may need to
consider an alternate Web service client if the Web service provider
demands support for following:
• Asynchronous Web service with callback
• Advanced security policies such as Username Token with Password Digest or
SAML Token
• Web service requests with MTOM, Reliable Messaging, or Addressing
• Any binding other than SOAP
Oracle Workflow Versus Oracle BPEL Process Manager
Oracle Workflow is a complete workflow management system that supports
system-centric and human-centric business process based integrations in
Oracle E-Business Suite. Oracle BPEL Process
21
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Manager is a Web service orchestration, standards-based business process


product from Oracle SOA Suite. Oracle BPEL Process Manager along with
other components such as Human Workflow, Business Rules, and Mediator
can be used to automate complex business processes.
Common questions are: Does Oracle BPEL replace Oracle Workflow? For
Oracle E-Business Suite extensions, can I build a custom Workflow process
or do I need to construct a BPEL process? The answers depend on the
scenario and the integration requirement.

Figure 15: Oracle Workflow versus Oracle SOA Suite (Mediator,


BPEL, Human Workflow, Business Rules)
22
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

In general, you can define simple to medium business processes using Oracle
Workflow.
Starting in Release 12.1.x, Service Invocation Framework from Oracle E-
Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway provides a mechanism to invoke
external Web services from Oracle E-Business Suite. As part of a workflow
process in Oracle E-Business Suite, you can invoke an external Web service
by raising a business event. However, if your business requirement is to
invoke a Web service in real-time as part of business process, then you may
need to consider a BPEL process. Because the reason is that SIF uses a Java-
based rule function to invoke a Web service, whereas a workflow process is a
database level process and so the event is executed in deferred mode. Hence,
if you have business logic implemented in Java, then you can invoke web
service synchronously from Java layer.
Also, as of Release 12.1.3 SIF does not support the asynchronous with
callback interaction pattern. Consequently, if the target Web service
prescribes the asynchronous with callback interaction pattern, then you
should use BPEL, which supports this pattern. If a key requirement is
support for advanced notifications such as SMS, voice, or instant messaging,
then you should consider using Human Workflow with BPEL.
Additionally, if you foresee extensive use of XPath, XSLT, or XQuery-based
data manipulation steps between process activities or steps, then you should
consider Mediator with BPEL, since Oracle Workflow does not support these.
Oracle Workflow does support error and exception handling. The Workflow
Engine traps errors produced by function activities by setting a save point
before each function activity. If an activity produces an unhandled exception,
the Oracle Workflow Engine performs a rollback to the save point and sets
the activity to the ERROR status. However, if you need to implement complex
compensation and error handling logic in your business process, then BPEL
supports these.
Another aspect to consider is how you model business processes. Oracle
Workflow processes can be defined using a standalone desktop tool called
Oracle Workflow Builder. BPEL and BPM provide a more user-friendly
graphical tool to build and review business process, available as a plug-in to
Oracle JDeveloper.

Oracle Mediator Versus Oracle BPEL Process Manager Versus Oracle Service Bus
If your requirement calls for SOA components from Oracle Fusion
Middleware, consider the following points to decide when to use Oracle
Mediator versus Oracle Service Bus, and Oracle Service Bus versus BPEL.
23
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Figure 16: Oracle Mediator versus Oracle Service Bus

While Oracle Service Bus provides enterprise service virtualization, re-use,


and management, the Mediator component provides certain localized
mediation capabilities. The lifecycle of a Mediator component is tightly
coupled with that of the SOA composite application that provides the
application logic. Within the context of a single composite application,
Mediator provides following capabilities:
• Connectivity abstraction from a business process
• Inline data transformation and mapping
• Message filtering
The key considerations for choosing Oracle Service Bus over Oracle Mediator
are:
• Traffic shaping - throttling, prioritization, and parallel processing
• End point management - service pooling, load balancing, system fault
isolation, and recovery
• Enterprise level service mediation
Oracle BPEL Process Manager from Oracle SOA Suite provides robust
business process orchestration and management capabilities. Oracle Service
Bus can be used for simple transactional service aggregation scenarios;
however, being a stateless engine, it is best used for short-lived single
transaction semantics.
24
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Figure 17: Oracle Service Bus versus Oracle BPEL Process Manager

The key considerations for choosing BPEL over Oracle Service Bus are:
• Service needs to maintain state
• Service requires complex transaction management
• Multiple transactions required
• Compensation logic required on rollback
• Long-running business process
25
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

• Exception handling requires human workflow


• Service needs to handle asynchronous callbacks reliably

Oracle Integration Repository Versus Oracle Enterprise Repository


Like many enterprise applications, Oracle E-Business Suite exposes public
Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to integrate and customize various
Oracle E-Business Suite applications. All public integration interfaces of
Oracle E-Business Suite are listed in Oracle Integration Repository as a
catalogue. Oracle Integration Repository is a single point of access for
Oracle E-Business Suite customers, partners, and system integrators to
look for the public integration interfaces of Oracle E-Business Suite
applications.
Oracle Enterprise Repository from the Oracle SOA Governance solution is a
metadata repository that provides a solid foundation for delivering
governance throughout the service-oriented architecture lifecycle by acting
as the single source of truth for information surrounding SOA assets and
their dependencies.
A frequent question raised by Oracle E-Business Suite customers is where to
host information related to Oracle E-Business Suite extensions or
customizations – in Oracle Integration Repository or Oracle Enterprise
Repository?
26
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Figure 18: Oracle Integration Repository versus Oracle Enterprise


Repository

From Release 12.1.1 on, Oracle Integration Repository is an integral part of


Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway. Also, starting in Release
12.1.2, Oracle Integration Repository supports custom interfaces of certain
interface types. Although Oracle Enterprise Repository is from Oracle SOA
Governance Suite, you can store and manage any IT related assets. So if you
are looking for advanced governance capabilities that co-exist with assets
from other vendor based enterprise applications, then Oracle Enterprise
Repository may be the answer. Especially when you are looking for
dependency or impact analysis of Oracle E-Business Suite customizations
with non-E-Business Suite assets, the ability to define and store custom asset
metadata, and the ability to notify interested subscribers of any changes in
asset metadata, then Oracle Enterprise Repository may be the candidate.
Oracle Integration Repository does provide limited information about the
relationships between assets, such as the concurrent program associated with
an open interface table, the Service Data Objects used by Business Service
Objects, and the business events raised by APIs. Note that Oracle E-Business
Suite is not currently integrated with Oracle Enterprise Repository.
27
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Oracle XML Gateway Versus Oracle E-Commerce Gateway Versus Oracle B2B
Oracle E-Business Suite provides built-in support for various business-to-
business transactions across various industries. Oracle XML Gateway and
Oracle E-Commerce Gateway provide the infrastructure to support the
business-to-business transactions, while the relevant Oracle E-Business Suite
applications predefine and ship the transactions to provide a meaningful
transaction process flow. These transactions support industry standards such
as OAG, Rosettanet, UCCNet, cXML, EDIFACT, ASX12, and ODETTE. XML-
based transactions are provided through Oracle XML Gateway, whereas
ASCII flat file-based transactions are provided through Oracle E-Commerce
Gateway. The EDI transactions through Oracle E-Commerce Gateway are
batch-oriented, while Oracle XML Gateway messages are event-based and are
transactional in nature.
In fact, because Oracle XML Gateway provides a set of tools and services to
define custom transactions, you can use Oracle XML Gateway for any DTD-
based XML transactions. However, Oracle XML Gateway does not support
XSD-based XML message creation or consumption. Consequently, Oracle E-
Business Suite supports built-in OAG transactions only through version 7.2.1;
the more recent versions of OAG based on XSD are not supported through
Oracle XML Gateway. Oracle XML Gateway supports the following transport
and communication protocols: HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, JMS, and SOAP over
HTTP/HTTPS. Similarly, you can use Oracle E-Commerce Gateway for any
ASCII flat file-based transactions. You may need to use third party EDI
translators for mapping and conversion to industry standards such as
EDIFACT, ASX12, and ODETTE. The transport and communication of EDI
transactions through VAN depends on third party implementation.
Oracle B2B is a binding component from the Oracle SOA Suite platform that
enables the secure and reliable exchange of business documents between an
enterprise and its trading partners. Oracle B2B supports business-to-business
document standards, security, transports, messaging services, and trading
partner management. Oracle B2B also supports Health Level 7, which enables
health care systems to communicate with each other.
Protocol Oracle XML Oracle E- Oracle B2B
Gateway
Type Commerce
Gateway
Document Only DTD based ASCII flat file All versions of EDIFACT, EDI X12,
HL7.
Protocol versions of OAG based only, RosettaNet PIP business
(7.1, documents, OAG,
7.2) and cXML depends on cXML, Positional flat file (includes
third SAP
transactions that party EDI iDoc). UCCnet, NCPDP Telecom,
are EDIEL.
shipped by Oracle translators.
E-
Business Suite
applications.
RosettaNet PIP
business
documents
are supported
through
Supply Chain
Trading
28
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Integration Products and Technologies Primer

Connector.
Packaging MIME, SOAP Not applicable. MIME 1.0, S/MIME 2.0, S/MIME
3.0,
protocol ASCII flat files SOAP, XML digital signature
(XMLDSig),
are generated XML encryption (XMLEncrypt)
and
consumed.
Transport SMTP, HTTP, Not applicable. AQ, Email (SMTP 1.0, IMAP 1.0,
POP3),
Protocol HTTPS, JMS ASCII flat files File, FTP and SFTP (SSH FTP),
HTTP
are placed in (HTTP 1.0, HTTP 1.1) and HTTPS
file
system. File (HTTPS 1.0, HTTPS 1.1), JMS,
TCP/IP
transport may
be
handled by
third
party software.
Message AS1-1.0, AS2-1.1, MLLP-1.0,
ebMS-1.0,
exchange ebMS-2.0 (ebXML Messaging
Service),
protocol RosettaNet-01.10, RosettaNet-
V02.00,
Generic File-1.0, Generic AQ-1.0,
Generic
FTP-1.0, Generic SFTP-1.0,
Generic JMS-
1.0, Generic HTTP-1.0, Generic
Email-1.0,
Generic TCP

Conclusion
Oracle E-Business Suite provides various options to integrate its functional
capabilities with other Oracle applications as well as third party enterprise
applications. To completely use the power of integration, it is imperative to
understand different enterprise integration styles and the different products
in the application technology layer of Oracle E-Business Suite that cater to
each of these integration styles, as well as the other Oracle products that
supplement these products from Oracle E-Business Suite. It is important to
understand when to use which product offering. This white paper outlines
the recommended integration strategy for Oracle E-Business Suite
applications with any other application.
29
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3: Copyright © 2012, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is provided for information purposes only and the
Integration Products and Technologies Primer contents hereof are subject to change without notice. This document is not warranted to be error-free, nor subject to any other
October 2012 warranties or conditions, whether expressed orally or implied in law, including implied warranties and conditions of merchantability or
Author: Rekha Ayothi fitness for a particular purpose. We specifically disclaim any liability with respect to this document and no contractual obligations are
Contributing Authors: Clara Jaeckel, Rajesh formed either directly or indirectly by this document. This document may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
Ghosh , Steven Chan, Veshaal Singh means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without our prior written permission.

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