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  • May 29, 2014

Understanding the Value of SOA

Guest Author

Written By: Debra Lilley, ACE Director, Fusion Applications

Again I want to talk from my area of
expertise of Fusion Applications and talk about their design fundamentals. If
you look at the table below and start at the bottom Oracle have defined all of
the business objects e.g. accounts, people, customers, invoices etc. used by Fusion
Applications; each of these objects contain all of the information required and
can be expanded if necessary.

 That Oracle have created for each of these business
objects every action that is needed for the applications e.g. all the actions
to create a new customer, checking to see if it exists, credit checking with
D&B (Dun & Bradstreet <
http://www.dnb.co.uk/>
) , creating the record, notifying those
required etc. Each of these actions is a stand-alone web service. Again you can
create a new actions or subscribe to an external provided web service e.g. the
D&B check.

The diagram also shows that all of
development of Fusion Applications is from their Fusion Middleware offerings.

Then the Intelligent Business Process is
the order in which you run these actions, this is Service Orientated Architecture,
SOA. Not only is SOA used to orchestrate actions within Fusion Applications it
is also used in the integration of Fusion Applications with the rest of the
Oracle stable of applications such as EBS, PeopleSoft, JDE and Siebel. The
other applications are written with propriety development tools so how do they
work with SOA? It’s a very simple answer, with the introduction of the Oracle SOA
platform each process within these applications was made available to be called
as a web service. I won’t go into technically how that is done but what’s known
as a wrapper to allow each of them to act in this way was added.

Finally at the top of the diagram are the
questions that each Fusion Application process must answer, and this is the
‘special’ sauce that makes them so good, the User Experience, but that is a
topic for another day, or you can read about it in my blog http://debrasoracle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/going-on-record-about-fusion-apps-cloud.html or Oracle’s own UX blog https://blogs.oracle.com/usableapps/

The concept behind AppAdvantage is not new
the idea that Oracle technology can add value to your Oracle applications
investments is pretty fundamental. Nishit Rao who is in AppAdvantage team
provided myself and other ACE Directors with demo kits so that we could demonstrate
SOA running with the applications. The example I learnt to build was that of
the EBS inventory open interface. The simple concept is that request records
can be added to a table and an import run that creates these as transactions in
inventory. What’s SOA allows you to do is to add to the table from any source
and then run this process automatically whereas traditionally you had to run
the process at regular intervals because you didn’t know if the table was empty
or not. This may just sound like a different way of doing the same thing but if
the process is critical for your business then the interval was very small and
the process run potentially many times unnecessarily. Using SOA it only
happened when necessary without any delay.

So in my post today I’ve talked about how SOA
is used with Fusion Applications and in the linking with more traditional
applications but that is only the tip of the iceberg of potential, your applications
are just part of your IT systems and SOA can orchestrate your data across all
of them; the beauty of open standards.

 Debra Lilley, Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.  Lilley has 18 years experience with Oracle Applications, with E Business Suite since 9.4.1, moving to Business Intelligence Team Lead and Oracle Alliance Director. She has spoken at over 100 conferences worldwide and posts at debrasoraclethoughts

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