Thursday Feb 26, 2015

Why I'm Excited About Oracle Integration Cloud Service - New Video

Having worked with Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) products for many years, I have come to the conclusion that,

in the early days, SOA was a solution looking for a problem.  

Businesses deployed standalone CRM, ERP, and other applications that were closed off from easy integration and had few if any small services that could be assembled as part of a composite application, thereby limiting the value of SOA.

Pre-integration Video LinkFast forward to today and “services“ are everywhere providing easy justification for SOA. If you want to deliver new offerings on your web site for your customers quickly, you don’t start from scratch. You leverage internal and external services (ex: GetCustomerRecord, GetCreditScore, etc.) and your project is already partially completed. That’s great progress but it took over 20 years for the concept of SOA (coined in 1994) to become the accepted standard in most medium-to-large enterprises.

Integration complexity

In contrast, Oracle Integration Cloud Service marks a dramatic shift in how we approach integration… equal to the shift from EAI to SOA but with one major difference. Instead of requiring a new learning curve on how to integrate with loosely coupled SOA, Oracle Integration Cloud Service goes in the opposite direction with a focus on ease of use. And instead of integration from scratch, its pre-integration; instead of your best guess, its crowdsourced recommendation ratings. In the past, it was a shame that the application developers who knew their respective CRM, ERP, service, marketing, etc. applications best didn’t embed the integrations themselves into the integration platforms. With Oracle Cloud Integration Service and the Oracle Cloud Adapters…that’s what happened.

And so I wrote the script for this video to graphically convey the ease of use and dramatic shift that Oracle Cloud is bringing to integration into a story of how Oracle Integration Cloud Service can connect a disconnected business.

It’s not very often that a solution to a long-standing problem is such a major shift in the right direction. It’s my belief this has happened with Oracle Integration Cloud Service.Built by Oracle

Watch the new video now to see for yourself.  I expect it will be 3 minutes of time well used. 

Link to video

Monday Nov 17, 2014

Enhance your Customer Experience with Oracle RightNow Cloud Adapter

Oracle RightNow Cloud, the eminent component of Oracle Service Cloud, makes it possible for organizations to better understand their customers, and quickly deliver apt answers through preferred service channels and devices. Whether your organization needs to deliver web customer service, enable a cross-channel contact center, or provide faster service in the field - Oracle RightNow Cloud makes it easy for customers to engage with your brands; your employees to serve customers; and your organization to adapt to changing business needs.

To fulfill more connections, more channels, and provide even greater flexibility of integration to better serve customers needs, Oracle Cloud Adapter for RightNow has been introduced on the market leading SOA Suite 12c platform.

Oracle Cloud Adapter for RightNow

The Oracle Cloud adapter for RightNow provides intuitive wizard based approach common to all Oracle Cloud Adapters. It eliminates the complexity of cloud integration by encapsulating session management, simplifying security, and pruning many manual steps. The graphical adapter provides highly declarative way to discover the RightNow objects and operations of choice, and build the integration. The RightNow Cloud Adapter lets you connect to other cloud and on-premise applications via Oracle SOA Suite 12c which supports over 200 integration adapters and technologies.

The time to market for service solutions spanning RightNow Cloud and on-premise applications (viz. E-Business Suite, Siebel, SAP), or other cloud applications will be significantly reduced by leveraging the RightNow Cloud Adapter. These solutions also expand the value of the applications to the organization. Some of the examples of complementary business solutions that will benefit from RightNow Cloud Adapter include:

  • Agent Dispatch for Field Service:  RightNow Cloud Agent interacts with a customer via phone, chat or email and leverages back office functionality to schedule and dispatch a technician.
  • Service interactions for Sales and Marketing: Share customer information with your marketing and sales automation applications, as well as enable your sales account management teams to view service incidents with products.
  • Agreement Renewals: Enable RightNow Cloud customers to renew agreements/contracts residing in a different application.
You can access the datasheetdocumentation, and more information about the RightNow Cloud Adapter on this website.

Wednesday Oct 29, 2014

Oracle Cloud Adapter-Customer Insights Webcast: Advanstar

When your company tagline is "Connecting our Customers with Theirs", you can't afford to get integration wrong.   Watch this brief on-demand webcast now to learn why Advanstar chose Oracle integration including the new Oracle Cloud Adapters to replace their legacy integration solution to simplify IT and provide real time synchronization between cloud and on-premise applications.Advanstar Title Slide

As you may have seen at Oracle OpenWorld 2014, there has been tremendous interest in the new Oracle Cloud Adapters for simplifying the cloud to on-premises integration challenge.  In this webcast by Advanstar and OSI Consulting, you will learn how Advanstar used the "Oracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com" to connect their sales reps to Oracle E-Business Suite.  As described in the webcast, here were some of the challenges that drove them to the Oracle Solution:

Challenges Prior to the Oracle Solution:

  • Informatica batch integration using a cloud replication service was not acceptable
  • Lack of real-time integration
  • Data replication jobs ran into each other causing conflicts
  • High volume caused increased problems

Oracle Integration Solution Benefits:

  • Simplified cloud integration using the new Oracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com
  • Faster integration of future applications
  • Instant updates for sales reps - real time data synchronization

Advanstar Web PageOracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com Screenshot

Learn tips & tricks in the second half of this webcast from integration expert Hilal Khan from OSI Consulting who implemented the Oracle SOA Suite solution.  Hilal will walk you through the simple steps to select the cloud application (Salesforce.com in this case) business objects from within the Oracle SOA Suite cloud adapter as well as the value of the offline configuration to simplify development so you don't need to be connected with the SaaS application throughout your development.  Hilal will also describe the benefits of faster and easier troubleshooting, more time for testing, and quicker overall development.  

Start simplifying your cloud integration today by viewing this short 28 minute webcast now

Watch Now

To view addition webcasts from the Oracle SOA Customer Insights Webcast Series, click here

Additional Webcasts

Tuesday Sep 30, 2014

Tips & Tricks: Oracle Cloud Adapters Expert Panel & More - OOW Recap

After a morning that kicked off with audience applause following the demo of the Oracle Cloud Integration Service iPaaS offering, a packed house during the Oracle Service Integration (SOA) Strategy session…the day of integration sessions continued.

Just about to implement the new Oracle Cloud Adapters and looking for expert insight?

Whether you are looking for an easier way to integrate cloud applications with your on-premise applications or maybe a partner looking to develop your own Oracle Cloud Adapter you can monetize…here are a few highlights from the Monday session:

Hilal Khan from OSI Consulting showed many images from the Oracle Cloud Adapter wizard including the image below highlighting the value of the “offline” mode that lets you build the integration without having to continually maintain a session with the SaaS application.   A significant ease-of-use feature that lets you build your integration much faster.  

Offline mode

Richard Holmes from Engineers Australia showcased a very comprehensive single slide view of their unified integration of Oracle middleware components including the Oracle Cloud Adapter that integrates Salesforce.com into their application infrastructure.  This infrastructure is what powers their MyPortal web site.  He then gave an impressive 5-minute demo showcasing the final end-user experience when using the Engineers Australia MyPortal. 

Engineers Australia

And finally, Raghu Kadirvelu from Bristlecone gave a thorough explanation of how the Oracle Cloud Adapter SDK works to let you build your own cloud adapters.  In the image below he described the flow of the Oracle Cloud Adapter SDK including the design time attributes in JDeveloper, the generation of the WSDL, the Cloud SDK runtime managing the session API, security API, transformation API, and the endpoint API.

Oracle Cloud Adapter SDK

If you have not heard of the Oracle Cloud Adapters, here is a quick synopsis:

Cloud integration was often a complex task involving many manual tasks including managing support for multiple previous versions of the application, session management, additional mapping tasks for transforming data between the cloud application and other applications and more. The new Oracle Cloud Adapters greatly simplify these manual steps and reduce maintenance costs by introducing a wizard-based standardized solution for integrating applications regardless of deployment in the cloud or on-premise.

UPDATE: The presentation from this session (direct link) is now uploaded.  You can search for other integration and SOA presentations on the OpenWorld portal or by accessing the Focus On SOA document.

Thursday Sep 25, 2014

OpenWorld Preview: Service Integration Strategy Session - Cloud, API Mgmt and More

Every year at Oracle OpenWorld, there is one headliner/must-see strategy session on Oracle SOA Suite/Service Integration.Session Image This year, the headliner integration session will cover some big topics including cloud integration, API Management, and much more.

I interviewed Director of Product Management for Oracle Service Integration Simone Geib who is co-presenting with Senior Director of Product Management Vikas Anand, to get a sneak peak at what is coming in this integration strategy session:

Bruce:

This appears to be the most exciting strategy session in the last 5 years.  Why is there so much interest?

Simone:

This is a very special year for the Oracle Service Integration team.  I don't think we have ever had so many new and game changing enhancements to talk about.  We will share our strategy around the main industry trends: API management, cloud, mobile, and IoT. We will also discuss the new upcoming SOA Suite features for our power users and also give insight into what we have planned specifically for business users.

Bruce:

You mentioned API management...can you give a preview on what will be covered?

Simone: 

API Management solutions are about delivering easy and managed access to enterprise API's across the Digital Enterprise - covering on-premise, cloud and hybrid deployments and reaching beyond the traditional boundaries of IT. Businesses need tools that streamline API creation, collection, publication, discovery, registration and monitoring for mobile and on-premise applications.  We will discuss these topics during the session.

Bruce:

Definitely expanding well beyond traditional behind-the-firewall integration.  Good to hear this will be covered.  What about Cloud Integration in the areas of Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) and new Oracle Cloud Adapters?

Simone:

We will cover both of these areas.  Oracle's Cloud integration strategy is multi-faceted, from using existing on premise SOA deployments with our new cloud adapters, to being able to run SOA environments in the cloud, to new cloud-based iPaaS services with a simplified user experience for quick SaaS to SaaS and SaaS to on-premise application integration. Whatever the needs, Oracle's strategic direction for cloud integration has you covered. 

Bruce:

Good to hear.  Integration based in the cloud (iPaaS) or on-premise as well as support for the applications in the cloud or on-premise.  I see what you mean by fit your business requirements.  There has been a lot of buzz specifically in iPaaS, so looking forward to that.  So what about enhancements for existing customers?  What can you share for the "power" user of Oracle SOA Suite?

Simone:

Sure.  In response to what our customers are asking for, the plan is for an upcoming SOA Suite release to offer operational enhancements like smaller database footprint, agile patching of running composites, multi tenancy and more.  Details will be revealed during our session.

Bruce:

So plenty for the power IT user.  What about the business users.  What is available and underway for them?

Simone:

We will cover topics, new and futures, that target the business user.  Customers use SOA Suite to deploy critical integration processes and applications to run their business. With Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) and other analytics capabilities, you gain historical and real-time critical insight into the business using out of the box dashboards and reports. When certain patterns are detected and thresholds are reached, there is a need to easily configure automatic corrective action.  We will cover what joined SOA Suite in the 12c release and what is underway.

Bruce:

Looks like even deeper visibility into the business than what's available now.  And finally, how to integrate all of the data coming from Internet of Things (IoT) and other Fast Data sources.  Can you provide some background here?

Simone:

Absolutely.  We will discuss new developments related to managing and filtering the critical vs. non-critical information streaming from devices, social media, and more and how to integrate this with the rest of the infrastructure.  How do you detect instant business threats and how do you quickly identify business opportunities that otherwise might not have been detected by traditional threshold-based alerts?  Rather than implementing a disparate architecture, Oracle has put significant effort into unifying event processing into the same interface as the enterprise integration platform with the goal of simplifying integration instead of requiring customers to have another "integration platform" to manage.

Bruce:

Thank you Simone and looking forward to the session.  You'll have to talk fast to cover all of that in 45 minutes!

Please see the abstract for this and other integration sessions in the Focus on SOA document.  
For everyone attending, mark you calendars for the session below.   Hope to see you there.

Service Integration Product Strategy: Oracle SOA Suite 12c, the Cloud, and API Management

Vikas Anand, Senior Director, Business Integration Product Management, Oracle

Simone Geib, Director, Business Integration Product Management, Oracle

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM Moscone South - 302            CON7736

Thursday May 22, 2014

Oracle SOA Suite - Highlighted Consumer Goods Customer References

If your business is Consumer Goods and you're looking to better integrate your systems and business partners, check out this first of a series of "Oracle SOA Suite - Industry Focus" covering a few Consumer Goods customer references.  These customersOracle SOA Suite Consumer Goods Customers have much in common including the objective of integrating business operations, financials, inventory management, warehouse, and procurement.

From a technology perspective, you will see how these companies have integrated with cloud applications, and enabled mobile access to Oracle applications.  Here is a list with links to customer case studies, customer snapshots, videos, Oracle Magazine articles and more: 

Jurlique deployed Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle WebLogic Server, and Oracle Application Development Framework to automate online ordering processes and support rapid growth in its skincare business.

For more information on Oracle SOA Suite customer references, go to www.oracle.com/customers and filter on Middleware/Oracle SOA Suite

For more information on Cloud Integration, check out the "Simplifying Cloud Integration" white paper. 

Thursday Apr 10, 2014

Ricoh Differentiates Business with Unified Cloud and On-Premise Integration

Ricoh Americas Corporation specializes in office imaging equipment, production print solutions and is a global leader in information mobility for today's changing workforce. Ricoh is in a very unique position of being on the forefront of IT innovation. Their underlying IT infrastructure leverages service integration to deliver on a cutting-edge and comprehensive IT framework using Oracle SOA Suite. Ricoh seamlessly handles cloud and on-premise integration along with mobile enablement of their existing enterprise applications. 

Join us for this webcast and learn how Ricoh Americas Corporation straight from the CIO of Ricoh Americas, Balaji Rangaswamy. Shawn Crowley Fusion Middleware Specialist from Oracle, who worked on site at Ricoh Americas on the solution implementation, throws light on the details that sets Ricoh apart.

Wednesday Mar 19, 2014

Zero to SOA in Minutes! Announcing the SOA/BPM 11g 11.1.1.7.0 Virtual Machine appliance

I am pleased to announce the availability of Oracle's SOA/BPM/OSB 11g 11.1.1.7.0 Virtual Machine appliance. This VirtualBox virtual machine is meant for testing and evaluation purposes only. It is not certified, nor licensed for any production use. It is our most comprehensive virtual machine to date, with the following Oracle products installed, configured and functionally integrated within the appliance:
  •     Oracle Linux 6 Update 4 (64-bit)
  •     Oracle Database Express Edition 11g Release 2
  •     Oracle SOA Suite 11.1.1.7.0 (includes Service Bus)
  •     Oracle Event Processing 11.1.1.7.0
  •     Oracle BPM Suite 11.1.1.7.1
  •     Oracle Webcenter Content (Enterprise Content Management) 11.1.1.7.0
  •     Oracle Webcenter Suite 11.1.1.7.0
  •     Oracle Webcenter Portal 11.1.1.7.0
  •     Oracle JDeveloper 11.1.1.7.0
  •     Oracle JRockit
  •     Java SE Development Kit

Refer to the README document for full details on the appliance features, installation guide, memory configurations, URLs, credentials and other recommended software.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why do we need a SOA Developer Virtual Machine?

Virtual Machines (VM) play an important role in increasing developer productivity; saving hours, if not days, of provisioning effort in standing up a fully functional, configured Fusion Middleware platform for testing and evaluation. Think of it as your very own Platform as a Service (PaaS) on your laptop/desktop!

What can I use the VM for?

A developer VM can prove useful for a variety of reasons: quick internal demos, proof of concepts, testing etc. For those new to Oracle SOA or BPM Suite, it can serve as a powerful tool to learn these technologies, which is why it is very popular for developer learning and training sessions. In fact, the VM includes pre-configured lab artifacts - "PO Processing" and "Sales Quote" - that are used in Oracle instructor-led training sessions and in the "Getting Started" books on Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle BPM Suite.  

What benefits does the VM provide beyond simply installing the Oracle SOA Suite?

For enterprise development, installation of Oracle SOA Suite (or any single piece of software for that matter) is only a fraction of the overall effort needed to build an end-to-end configured development environment. Typical effort in standing up an integrated software stack on a "bare-metal" would involve the following provisioning tasks:

  • Create base image: Install supported version of the Linux OS e.g. Oracle Linux, Ubuntu, EC2 AMIs etc.
  • Setup base image: Security policies, firewalls, port forwarding rules, hard drive partitions on block storage
  • Install pre-requisite software: Java, Database
  • Install Fusion Middleware: SOA Suite, BPM Suite, Web Center and any other modules, run RCU with correct schema names and passwords
  • Setup Fusion Middleware: WLS domain with correct templates needed for SOA+BPM+BAM+Service Bus+WebCenter
  • Configure Modules: Association between BPM and WebCenter Content/Portal with the correct security setup 
  • Install additional tools/software: JDeveloper IDE, extensions
  • Optimize the environment: WLS console properties, front-end host, external listen address etc. for your network topology
  • Create accounts: Seed demo user accounts with email addresses (or other user accounts)

While you can always automate the above-mentioned steps, having a pre-provisioned DevOps style machine image can help you reduce development costs. It can get you from zero to a fully working SOA environment in minutes, on any developer's laptop. The benefits go beyond simply time to provision, it allows you to do more with less resources. For example, the VM allows developers to quickly switch between multiple running instances, each testing a new feature or version without the need for additional hardware.

We sincerely hope you enjoy using this VM and would love to hear your feedback!

Wednesday Feb 19, 2014

"Drive-In Theater Webcast" Recap - Oracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com

I hope you were able to make it to the Oracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com webcast.  In case you had car trouble, the replay and slides are available (link).  As you learned, the new Oracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com takes the complexity Drive-In Webcastout of integration by encapsulating session management, security and other tasks into the same intuitive wizard-based approach that has been so popular with our other adapters.  During the webcast, we started with a visual description of the challenges that can occur with a growth in disparate toolkits and then converged onto the Oracle solution for unifying cloud and on-premises integration with a single standards-based toolkit.   Then Vikas Anand gave a demo of Salesforce.com/E-Business Suite real time integration followed by a quick demo of how to set up the adapter.

We had over 150 questions and here are few selected questions and the answers:

Q: Will this work with Oracle SOA Suite 11g or is this an upcoming 12c feature?

A: The Oracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com is available today and works with SOA Suite 11g

Q: What adapters are coming in the future?

A: Check out the video from Oracle OpenWorld with Thomas Kurian and Demed L'Her available on Oracle Media Network (6:15)

Q: Does the adapter work with Oracle Service Bus and Oracle BPM Suite?

A: Yes, as of release 11.1.1.7

Q: Does the Oracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com let you integrate to other cloud and on-premises applications?

A: Yes, the adapter connects Salesforce.com to Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle SOA Suite has over 200 integration adapters and other technologies to support integration to a wide range of cloud and on-premise applications

Q: Where can I find more detailed technical information?

A: Check out Oracle Technical Network (OTN) on Oracle Adapters for the documentation on the Oracle Cloud Adapters

Q: What is the price for the cloud adapter?

A: Download the public "Oracle Technology Global Price List" and search for "Cloud Adapters"

We hope you enjoyed the webcast, even though you would have needed to view it from your iPad on the dashboard of your car to experience it like the image but it's fun to think about alternate communication channels such as a drive-in.  Maybe next time.  Here is the link to the replay (link)

Thursday Jan 16, 2014

Oracle Introduces Cloud Adapter to Simplify Salesforce.com Integration

A game changer addition to Oracle…” is how Matt Wright, CTO of Rubicon Red put itMatt Wright

If you have been asking yourself:

“Do I need another integration toolkit separate from my existing platform just for cloud integration?” or “Should I use the limited functionality integration tools within each cloud application I need to integrate?...Won’t that lead to a complex mess of disparate and overlapping integration?” 

If so, take a look at Oracle Cloud Adapters. This release significantly simplifies integration of Salesforce.com and lets companies more easily get a complete and unified view of customer and back-end data spanning cloud and on-premises applications using Oracle SOA Suite and the Oracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com. Check out this Oracle Media Network Video (screenshot on the right) of Matt Wright, Maulik Shah, Technical Lead for Brocade Communications, and Badhri Rajagopalan, Practice Director SOA Integration with Bluenog.

Salesforce.com Integration

To address the questions posed above, this release illustrates Oracle’s integration strategy. Instead of companies having to deploy a cloud integration platform focused on cloud applications and then having a separate integration platform for existing applications, Oracle SOA Suite provides a single solution for integrating applications regardless of deployment location (public cloud, private cloud, or on-premises). This approach is designed to simplify integration and lower total cost of ownership in contrast to managing multiple disparate integration platforms and/or app-embedded integration toolkits, most of which use proprietary languages.

Although Oracle SOA Suite customers have been showcasing their cloud integration success stories for years at Oracle OpenWorld, this release eliminates many of the manual steps, automates session management tasks, and significantly simplifies security. Oracle SOA Suite customers already familiar with Oracle Application Adapters will see that the Oracle Cloud Adapters use the same wizard-based approach to provide visibility into the Salesforce.com business objects directly from within Oracle SOA Suite to simplify integration.

Customers using Oracle Applications such as E-Business Suite, Oracle Fusion Applications, etc. already have simplified integration since Oracle SOA Suite components are integrated or embedded into these applications. Combined with the Oracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com, customers of both Oracle and Salesforce.com applications will have seamless integration spanning applications across the cloud and on-premises.

To learn more about simplifying integration, check out the Oracle white paper “Simplifying Cloud Integration

To download the Oracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com, go to Oracle Technical Network for Oracle Integration Adapters

and join us for the Webcast "Simplify Integration with Oracle Cloud Adapter for Salesforce.com"

Register for Webcast

Monday Jan 13, 2014

Spend a Day in the Cloud at Oracle Cloud World

Cloud and mobile are breakthrough technologies which are helping companies innovate and differentiate. Gone are the traditional ways of managing, customizing, and extending business applications. With the change in technology trends, IT is viewed more as a strategic partner, and organizations are looking to focus more on a "customer-first" strategy than ever before. However, companies are still dealing with age old problems of getting IT and business to work together, making the IT infrastructure less rigid, and struggling to better align priorities across the enterprise. While cloud and mobile take-over solving traditional problems, customers aren't getting the right insight across their cloud, mobile and on-premise apps and 50% of these initiatives get abandoned due to the complexity of integration and fear of security compromises.

To understand how to bridge solving some of these traditional problems with an effective modernization of your business solution, you can start with the keynote address at the upcoming Oracle Cloud World. Here are five axioms that will be explored to lead business modernization all the way from start to success:

- Simplifying integration between on-premise and Cloud

- Connect and collaborate: Making your business applications more social 

- Improve time to insight:  Enable rapid business intelligence without IT overhead

- Extend for Mobile: Enable mobility with rich user experience

- Cloud Security: Reduce risk and meet cloud security service level agreements


Register for Oracle Cloud World today.

Wednesday Nov 13, 2013

Cloud to On-Premise Connectivity Patterns

Do you have a requirement to convert an Opportunity in Salesforce.com to an Order/Quote in Oracle E-Business Suite? Or maybe you want the creation of an Oracle RightNow Incident to trigger an on-premise Oracle E-Business Suite Service Request creation for RMA and Field Scheduling? If so, read on.

In a previous blog post, I discussed integrating TO cloud applications, however the use cases above are the reverse i.e. receiving data FROM cloud applications (SaaS) TO on-premise applications/databases that sit behind a firewall. Oracle SOA Suite is assumed to be on-premise with with Oracle Service Bus as the mediation and virtualization layerThe main considerations for the patterns are are security i.e. shielding enterprise resources; and scalability i.e. minimizing firewall latency. Let me use an analogy to help visualize the patterns: the on-premise system is your home - with your most valuable possessions - and the SaaS app is your favorite on-line store which regularly ships (inbound calls) various types of parcels/items (message types/service operations). You need the items at home (on-premise) but want to safe guard against misguided elements of society (internet threats) who may masquerade as postal workers and vandalize property (denial of service?). Let's look at the patterns.

Pattern: Pull from Cloud


The on-premise system polls from the SaaS apps and picks up the message instead of having it delivered. This may be done using Oracle RightNow Object Query Language or SOAP APIs. This is particularly suited for certain integration approaches wherein messages are trickling in, can be centralized and batched e.g. retrieving event notifications on an hourly schedule from the Oracle Messaging Service.

To compare this pattern with the home analogy, you are avoiding any deliveries to your home and instead go to the post office/UPS/Fedex store to pick up your parcel. Every time.

Pros: On-premise assets not exposed to the Internet, firewall issues avoided by only initiating outbound connections

Cons: Polling mechanisms may affect performance, may not satisfy near real-time requirements

Pattern: Open Firewall Ports

The on-premise system exposes the web services that needs to be invoked by the cloud application. This requires opening up firewall ports, routing calls to the appropriate internal services behind the firewall. Fusion Applications uses this pattern, and auto-provisions the services on the various virtual hosts to secure the topology. This works well for service integration, but may not suffice for large volume data integration.

Using the home analogy, you have now decided to receive parcels instead of going to the post office every time. A door mail slot cut out allows the postman can drop small parcels, but there is still concern about cutting new holes for larger packages.

Pros: optimal pattern for near real-time needs, simpler administration once the service is provisioned

Cons: Needs firewall ports to be opened up for new services, may not suffice for batch integration requiring direct database access

Pattern: Virtual Private Networking

The on-premise network is "extended" to the cloud (or an intermediary on-demand / managed service offering) using Virtual Private Networking (VPN) so that messages are delivered to the on-premise system in a trusted channel.

Using the home analogy, you entrust a set of keys with a neighbor or property manager who receives the packages, and then drops it inside your home.

Pros: Individual firewall ports don't need to be opened, more suited for high scalability needs, can support large volume data integration, easier management of one connection vs a multitude of open ports

Cons: VPN setup, specific hardware support, requires cloud provider to support virtual private computing

Pattern: Reverse Proxy / API Gateway

The on-premise system uses a reverse proxy "API gateway" software on the DMZ to receive messages. The reverse proxy can be implemented using various mechanisms e.g. Oracle API Gateway provides firewall and proxy services along with comprehensive security, auditing, throttling benefits. If a firewall already exists, then Oracle Service Bus or Oracle HTTP Server virtual hosts can provide reverse proxy implementations on the DMZ. Custom built implementations are also possible if specific functionality (such as message store-n-forward) is needed.

In the home analogy, this pattern sits in between cutting mail slots and handing over keys. Instead, you install (and maintain) a mailbox in your home premises outside your door. The post office delivers the parcels in your mailbox, from where you can securely retrieve it.

Pros: Very secure, very flexible

Cons: Introduces a new software component, needs DMZ deployment and management

Pattern: On-Premise Agent (Tunneling)

A light weight "agent" software sits behind the firewall and initiates the communication with the cloud, thereby avoiding firewall issues. It then maintains a bi-directional connection either with pull or push based approaches using (or abusing, depending on your viewpoint) the HTTP protocol. Programming protocols such as Comet, WebSockets, HTTP CONNECT, HTTP SSH Tunneling etc. are possible implementation options.

In the home analogy, a resident receives the parcel from the postal worker by opening the door, however you still take precautions with chain locks and package inspections.

Pros: Light weight software, IT doesn't need to setup anything

Cons: May bypass critical firewall checks e.g. virus scans, separate software download, proliferation of non-IT managed software

Conclusion

The patterns above are some of the most commonly encountered ones for cloud to on-premise integration. Selecting the right pattern for your project involves looking at your scalability needs, security restrictions, sync vs asynchronous implementation, near real-time vs batch expectations, cloud provider capabilities, budget, and more. In some cases, the basic "Pull from Cloud" may be acceptable, whereas in others, an extensive VPN topology may be well justified.

For more details on the Oracle cloud integration strategy, download this white paper.

Wednesday Oct 16, 2013

SOA Summit - Oracle Session Replay

SOA Summit Banner

If you think you missed the most recent Integration Developer News (IDN) "SOA Summit" 2013...good news, you didn't. 

At least not the replay of the Oracle session titled:

Three Solutions
for
Simplifying Cloud/On-Premises Integration

As you will see in the reply below, this session introduces

Three common reasons for integration complexity:

  1. Disparate Toolkits
  2. Lack of API Management
  3. Rigid, Brittle Infrastructure

and then the

Three solutions to these challenges:

  1. Unify Cloud On-premises Integration
  2. Enable Multi-channel Development with API Management
  3. Plan for the Unexpected - Future Readiness

The last solution on future readiness describes how you can transition from being reactive to new trends, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), by modifying your integration strategy to enable business agility and how to recognize trends through Fast Data event processing ahead of your competition.

Oracle SOA Suite customer SFpark's (San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Authority) implementation with API Management is covered as shown in the screenshot to the right

SFparkThis case study covers the core areas of API Management for partners to build their own applications by leveraging parking availability and real-time pricing as well as mobile enablement of data integrated by SOA Suite underneath.  Download the free SFpark app from the Apple and Android app stores to check it out.

When looking into the future, the discussion starts with a historical look to better prepare for what comes next.   As shown in the image below, one of the next frontiers after mobile and cloud integration is a deeper level of direct "enterprise to customer" interaction.  Much of this relates to the Internet of Things.  Examples of IoT from the perspective of SOA and integration is also covered in the session. 

turkcell image

Looking into the Future







-

For example, early adopter Turkcell and their tracking of mobile phone users as they move from point A to B to C is shown in the image the right.   As you look into more "smart services" such as Location-Based Services, how "future ready" is your application infrastructure? 

Check out the replay by clicking the video image below to learn about these three challenges and solution including how to "future ready" your application infrastructure:

SOA Summit Replay

Friday Oct 11, 2013

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 - Real-World Cloud Integration Session Highlights

Rajesh Raheja
It was a great week at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 in San Francisco. There are other blog posts that cover the overall themes, general SOA and Cloud sessions, so in this post, I would like to present my thoughts on two of my sessions focused on hybrid cloud integration.

The Monday evening Birds of a Feather session "Using Patterns to Simplify Integration of Cloud Services with On-Premises Applications" was a reminder of how important cloud integration was to real-world practitioners. We had 3/4 of the room filled with attendees at 7:15pm, with more than 80% actively engaged in cloud integration projects. What followed was a lively discussion around various topics of interest, which not only gave us great inputs from the product side, but also allowed attendees to learn from each other. The panel consisted of our product management and architecture team, including myself, Vikas Anand, Simone Geib, Ravi Sankaran; and also a last minute surprise entry by Dave Shaffer (Middleworks), who engaged the attendees with deep, probing questions.

Some insights from the attendees:
  • Number of Integrations: 5 or more cloud apps typically with a variety of SaaS apps including Cornerstone, E2Open, Eloqua, NetSuite, Oracle Fusion Applications, Oracle OnDemand, Salesforce.com, Servicenow. One customer had 19 different SaaS instances (one per country), and another had 30+ cloud based applications!
  • Business Processes: Sales and Marketing (Quote to Cash) and also ERP (Record to Report, Procure to Pay). Interestingly, while most used on-premises systems as "systems of record", in many cases, a a hybrid approach was preferred. Interesting implications for MDM and data governance in the days ahead.
  • Integration Styles: Most used all types of integration including real-time, bulk, batch and files. There was significant interest in Managed File Transfer (MFT) for monitoring file based interactions within the enterprise and to the cloud.
Challenges faced by the attendees in cloud integration:

  • Connectivity: Connection pooling, number of concurrent sessions, timeouts/limitations on usage of API callouts
  • Granularity: Too granular service operations
  • Reliability: Reliable message ordering and sequencing, reliability when cloud apps not available, handling retries automatically, traceability and audit in case of "lost" messages
  • Flexibility: Impact on API changes on point-to-point integration with cloud apps
  • Protocols: Plethora of protocols that don't necessarily simplify cloud integration: as one attendee put it ... "nowadays, everyone with an open HTTP port claims to be a cloud provider"

The session was a great lead-in for the Wed morning cloud integration session "Real-World Cloud Integration Simplified with Oracle SOA Suite" with myself, Vikas Anand and Raghu Kadirvelu (from Bristlecone Inc.).

I covered the general challenges faced with cloud integration, followed by Vikas who introduced new cloud adapters that simplify some of those challenges. Raghu then gave a live demo of Salesforce.com to Oracle E-Business Suite Opportunity-to-Quote integration. A prominent SOA architect has put a detailed blog post on the session, and here is what he had to say.

Best SOA Presentation at OOW13!

The reason I mention his quote is not to encourage you to read that blog post (ok, maybe that IS one reason :), but to highlight the fact WHY the message resonated so well with the audience. As the Birds of a Feather session indicated, the cloud integration challenges are real, and pandemic. Customers are frustrated with SaaS application vendors treating the problem superficially, confusing "connectivity" with "integration",  and claiming victory with YouTube videos show casing "10 minutes to integrate with <your favorite SaaS app>".

cloud integration challenges

This session highlighted the real challenges, what it takes to solve them, and gave a live working demo of how we believe Oracle SOA Suite can help. Overall, it was a fantastic session and a great pleasure meeting many of you personally.

Monday Oct 07, 2013

OpenWorld Recap - Oracle SOA Suite the Foundation for Cloud & Mobile

Oracle SOA Suite took center stage at the Oracle OpenWorld 2013 this year as a result of strong customer OOW Imageinterest in enabling mobile services and integrating with cloud applications. In case you missed it, here is a recap:

In the General Session: "Accelerate Business Innovation with Oracle Fusion Middleware" by Executive Vice President Thomas Kurian and Vice President of Product Management for Oracle SOA Suite Demed L'Her @demed. Some cool cloud integration and mobile enablement capabilities were demonstrated.

Thomas Kurian and Service IntegrationThe urgency for companies to rapidly integrate with cloud and mobile have significantly increased interest in service-based integration.   As a result, there were 8 sessions focused on mobile integration with Oracle SOA Suite and 7 sessions covering cloud integration.   Topics ranged from high-level integration strategies down to deep dive architectural best practices, customer presentations on how they have integrated with Salesforce.com and other SaaS vendors with Oracle SOA Suite and more.  

Thomas Kurian and Demed L'Her

Here are a few session titles that provide insight into the cloud & mobile topics. You can look to download the presentations as well here:

Oracle SOA Suite Customer Panel: Unifying Cloud Applications with On-Premises Applications

Take Your Services Mobile with Oracle SOA Suite (Customer Panel)

BPM and SOA Are Going Mobile: An Architectural Perspective

Mobile Apps for Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle ADF Mobile, SOA, Oracle Identity Management

Real-World Cloud Integration Simplified with Oracle SOA Suite

And for those looking to roll up there sleeves, there were hand-on labs covering topics like:

Build Mobile Apps for Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle ADF Mobile and Oracle SOA Suite

RESTful APIs with Oracle Service Bus

Developing REST for On-Premises or the Cloud

Another topic receiving signification attention is renewed interest in Business to Business (B2B) with presentations by SPS Commerce which has integrated over 9,000 partners, Stryker medical technologies, and British Telecom (BT).  See the zoomed in portion of the BT architecture below showing how their B2B architecture is integrated into the core infrastructure:

BT B2B

We had a record number of customers presenting in the SOA Sessions including Ricoh Americas, Agilent, Amway, Emdeon, British Telecom, Garmin, Ascension, ER2, Canon, BMC Software, Electronic Arts, Cisco, Xerox, IEEE,  Telefonica Mexico, Nextel, CableVision, DirecTV, Ally Financial, Stryker, Northern Trust, Green Mountain Power, Land O'Lakes and several others represented by partners. Here is how you can access the details on each of these successes: Oracle Open World 2013 Presentations.

Even if you missed this years OpenWorld, you can catch all the current trends and solutions by attending an Oracle Day 2013, and OTN Developer Day - Service Integration using Oracle SOA Suite, and other simplifying integration events at following site: Oracle Events.

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