Uploading Files For Integration: Developer Options

When designing your integration architecture it is important to know the features and tools available to you from the target systems. This article illustrates the methods you can see to get data loaded to your Fusion Applications instance for processing. This could be a one-time load of setup data, an incremental load of new data, or closer to the continuous sharing of records from an integrated system.

Data Loaders

Broadly speaking there are three categories of loaders available in Fusion Applications, commonly delineated by product family. Typically each is self-contained, supporting both their own objects and their dependents, however in most cases when more than one product family is in use then their use will be combined.

  1. In ERP applications (such as Financials, Projects, Procurement) the data loading is done through what is known as External Data Integration Services. This is exposed in the Navigator, under Tools and "File Import and Export". The follows a model where empty templates are downloaded, completed, and converted into raw data files. These are then uploaded to the Webcenter Content repository via the menu and the Load Interface File for Import scheduled process, and once complete the data is processed using a task-specific process, such as general ledgers Journal Import. Read more here.
  2. In Oracle Sales Cloud (Fusion CRM) applications, the load to the repository is done using the "Define File-Based Import" task available within Functional Setup Manager within the Navigators Setup and Maintenance area. This follows a similar template-upload-process model and is explained in detail in this dedicated guide. You can also see an example of importing customer accounts using this Oracle Learning Library series.
  3. In HCM applications there are two loaders. The HCM File-Based Loader use the same File Import and Export navigator menu as ERP applications, with subsequent data processing done via the Workforce Management - Data Exchange pages. The alternative HCM Spreadsheet Loader is available via Oracle ADF Desktop Integration (ADFdi) add-in for Excel. The File-based Loader is intended for larger volumes and repeated loading, with more support for complex and historical data in comparison to the simple spreadsheet loader. Read more here.

    Web Service Loaders

    In addition to the standard functional loaders described above, each product family also now supplies a set of services for performing the load and processing programatically.

    • Fusion ERP provides the Financial Utilities Service (/finFunShared/FinancialUtilService), which accepts content in BASE64 encoding directly in the request payload. The service supports operations to store the file in UCM and submit the related processing jobs for both loading into the interface tables and final processing. It also offers the ability to interrogate the job status. Find more in OER by searching for FinancialUtilService. Also the Fusion Service Tester tool available here includes a sample using this service, for loading content to the Webcenter Content Server.
    • Fusion HCM has the Loader Integration Service web service (/hcmCommonBatchLoader/LoaderIntegrationService) that allows you to submit the ESS jobs for loading files in the repository into the staging tables and submit the final data processing. This therefore assumed files are already in the WebCenter Content server repository (in the hcm/dataload/import account directory). More details in this useful HCM Integration whitepaper.
    • Fusion CRM / Sales Cloud includes the File Import Activity Service (/mktImport/ImportPublicService) for sending files to the repository and performing all the subsequent processing. See OER and the whitepaper in Using Web Services to Do File-Based Data Import

    In addition to using web services for loading of batch files, obviously if the requirement is for more real-time integration then the solution remains web services, albeit the functional services available to create, update, delete applications data. The external event triggers the call to the related service in Fusion Applications, such as a custom marketing tool might call the SalesLeadService to create a new lead in Oracle Sales cloud.

    WebCenter Content Server

    As part of the Fusion Applications technology stack, WebCenter Content Server is leveraged for it best-of-breed content management features, such as for all file attachments. Starting in Release 7 it replaced the sFTP infrastructure used for the transmission and storage of data files for processing by the loaders. Whilst the native WebCenter Content Server has many administrative features with powerful capabilities, only a subset are exposed in a Fusion Applications deployment. If you are entirely new to this tool check out this embedded video showing a simple manual file upload from Fusion Applications:

    As you can see, for file uploads you get a Content ID value for each file and this is a key input in most code-based integration solutions, such as data processing web services mentioned before, or the Load HCM Data for Coexistence page. You may also have noticed the accounts input parameter, representing a location for the files. In most cases this corresponds to the functional load type, such as fin/generalLedger/import for the Financials Journal Import and hcm/dataload/import for the HCM File-based Loader. There is a table of these account values to use in the respective features of Fusion ERP in the common implementation guide here, for Fusion HCM it's always one static value (hcm/dataloader/import), and for Sales cloud it masks the account by loading content via the UI or inside the web service request payload.

    To better support the native WebCenter features there is a simplified tool that presets many of the options to simplify the process. This is known as the WebCenter Content Document Transfer Utility for Oracle Fusion Applications, providing a wrapper for the native loader utilities. This can be download from the 'Individual Component' section of the Oracle WebCenter page on OTN. It consists of a set of Java programs (mainly UploadTool and DownloadTool) and their supporting libraries. After loading into the repository using this tool, additional steps are required for the actual staging and processing of the data (e.g. using the web services described above). This simple upload process returns just the status and the Content ID for the file. Here is an example of usage:

     java -cp "oracle.ucm.fa_client_11.1.1.jar" oracle.ucm.client.UploadTool 
      --url="https://{host}/cs/idcplg" --username="HCM_IMPL" --password="Welcome1" 
      --primaryFile="/scratch/HRDataFile.zip" --dDocTitle="Department Load File" 
      --dSecurityGroup="FAFusionImportExport" --dDocAccount="hcm/dataloader/import"

    Just as this tool wraps some of the services, you can also use many of the other WebCenter Content Servers integrations services. These are described in this API guide. If this is still not low-level enough to meet your requirements you may consider other native WebCenter Content Server capabilities, such as the Remote Intradoc Client (RIDC). This offers a proprietary set of Java libraries aimed at custom integration coding. It supports its own intradoc proprietary protocol, along with HTTP and JAX-WS.You can read more about this here.

    As a popular method of integration we'll be creating more content in this area in the future, covering different ways to leverage native WebCenter Content Server integration features with your Fusion Applications environments - for both SaaS and on-premises.

    Comments:

    Really useful overview - thanks.
    It looks like FinancialUtilService is definitely the one we're going to need for our integration.
    Is there a way I can contact you (or someone) to find out how we can set up a test of this?
    I'm guessing I can maybe seek out someone at OOW too?

    Posted by Peter Care on September 02, 2014 at 08:11 AM PDT #

    Hi Peter.
    Thanks for the feedback.

    You can read more about FinancialUtilService in a excellent document recently published in Oracle Support Document 1663757.1 (How to Automate the Import/Export of Bulk Transactions via UCM in Fusion Financials - Cloud). This explains the operations available, the parameters used, and offers sample payloads for testing too.

    You might consider using/checking the community forums for advice also, such as ours for generic items, or the financials one for product-specific items.

    https://community.oracle.com/community/oracle-applications/fusion_applications/customizations__extensions_and_integrations

    https://community.oracle.com/community/support/fusion_applications/financials_%26_project_portfolio_management_(fin_%26_ppm)

    If you're still stuck, come back to me here and I'll see how we can help.
    Kind regards
    Richard

    Posted by Richard Bingham on September 02, 2014 at 12:04 PM PDT #

    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for the info and it is really helpful.

    Got certain queries in my mind related to the extracts/reports delivered from fusion to UCM.

    If fusion setup is on-premise then generated reports could be uploaded to UCM in an automated way using a simple custom ODI scenario content upload utility.

    However did not get much information of delivery mechanism of reports in UCM, if fusion setup is on public cloud. Is there any out of the box mechanism available to deliver/upload extracts to UCM in an automated way. If no, then how this could be achieved in SaaS setup.

    Posted by Vivek on October 15, 2014 at 07:30 AM PDT #

    Hi Vivek,

    The Cloud Operations team can configure your BIP server with a new output destination, to put (extract) files in an output directory from which you can get sFTP access. i.e. http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E28271_01/fusionapps.1111/e26384/delivery_dests.htm#email_ftp

    For automated imports, then upload into UCM can be done via web services or the Java utilities mentioned above.

    Please work with them for this request.
    Kind regards
    Richard

    Posted by Richard Bingham on October 15, 2014 at 08:29 AM PDT #

    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for your input.
    However got some update on HCM extract deliver to UCM, and thought of sharing.
    With Patch Bundle 8.6 there is the workaround to deliver Fusion extracts directly to UCM.

    On Bi report configuration page choose "Delivery type" as "HCM connect"

    Provide following properties
    1. "Integration Name" = <SomeName>
    2. "Encryption" = None

    And reports get delivered to UCM, bypassing HCM connect.

    Regards
    Vivek

    Posted by Vivek on October 27, 2014 at 09:27 AM PDT #

    Thanks Vivek, nice tip.

    Posted by guest on October 28, 2014 at 07:25 AM PDT #

    Hi Richard,

    Once we run the BIP report, is there a way to get the output using the webservice?

    Posted by guest on December 10, 2014 at 09:48 AM PST #

    Hi.
    Yes, there are some BIP Web services you can use for this. Here is an example from our YouTube channel.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ltkl7KIS9M&list=PL1ZiAfFIniZf9rWVJqpSBjFcUhiHkqa1l&index=13

    Alternatively you can get Cloud Operations to setup a sFTP folder from which you can configure as a report 'destination' and get the output. See http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E28271_01/fusionapps.1111/e26384/delivery_dests.htm#email_ftp

    Kind regards
    Richard

    Posted by Richard Bingham on December 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM PST #

    Can I take away from this that there are no restrictions in using the underlying RIDC API to upload files to WCC that is part of HCM. Is the WCC underneath HCM configured to accept RIDC requests? You normally have to do this by settings the IntradocServerPort and SocketHostAddressSecurityFilter in config.cfg

    Posted by Kevin Smith on February 11, 2015 at 11:16 AM PST #

    Hi Kevin
    We're actually covering exactly this in a new blog post series currently running, see the first one here.
    https://blogs.oracle.com/fadevrel/tags/webcenter

    Hopefully this explains, but if you have remaining questions then please post them to the related article or our forum at
    https://community.oracle.com/community/oracle-applications/fusion_applications/customizations__extensions_and_integrations
    Thanks
    Richard

    Posted by Richard Bingham on February 12, 2015 at 03:04 AM PST #

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