Wednesday Jan 29, 2014

Intuit Makes Learning Easy - Fusion Middleware Style

Intuit has always focused on improving the lives of more than 50 million people with its flagship products and services such as QuickBooks, Quicken and TurboTax.  Continuing with their focus on helping people take charge of the finances, they were looking to deploy a SaaS based solution, specifically a learning platform geared toward accounting professionals. They chose Oracle for assistance with ensuring that the platform can support a large number of users, provide 24/7 availability, scale effectively and deliver a seamless user experience.  In addition, Intuit wanted to be able to deliver courses on a single system via any device - PC, laptop or tablet. 

Intuit was able to train 132,000 customers and awarded 21,000 certifications in fiscal year 2013 and set even more ambitious goals for the next fiscal year.  They laid the foundation to expand their learning offerings on a worldwide scale.  This customer success focuses on enablement and improving the user experience,  but the business drivers for Oracle AppAdvantage can be any of the following: building security across all applications, providing a centralized and standardized identity management, single sign-on across desktop, mobile, social for apps or reducing IT overhead and helpdesk calls by providing online self-service. For more information on this customer success click here.

Tuesday Jan 28, 2014

Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leader Documentary Webcast on Pella

Oracle AppAdvantage is not about products; it is about business use cases. At Oracle we have the unique opportunity to see and understand how organizations - big and small, global and regional - use Oracle Applications and how they look to extend and enhance the value of their existing investments in Oracle Applications. As ACE Director, Debra Lilley had mentioned in her post last week, much like traffic and roads, it is okay to ask for directions while navigating applications. Oracle AppAdvantage is that strategic approach to using Oracle Fusion Middleware with Oracle Applications or other industry applications whereby organizations can extend their technology investments to fuel innovation and meet strategic business objectives.

The Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leader program has been put together to showcase organizations and their successful technology roadmaps driving innovation for the future while enabling business success today. As  part of this program, you will see Oracle's executives sit down with IT Leaders of organizations around the world to discuss the business, cultural, organizational and financial impact of the use of technology, and of the application of Oracle AppAdvantage, to drive innovation and build industry differentiation. These in-depth, on-site interviews will detail the business rationale, the road to planning, design & ultimately success as well as the IT Leader's vision for the future. We will get insights into the industry, we will explore touch points between business and IT collaboration, and more. Oracle Enterprise Architects and technical experts will be called in to walk us through the logical reference model so we understand the technology that is fueling the success. We will explore the cross-industry applications of technology. And, we will host a live Q&A session so that YOUR questions are answered by the experts.

We kick-off the IT Leader program with Pella - a well known doors and windows manufacturer in North America. Tune in Wednesday, February 12 at 10 am PT/ 1pm ET to see and hear from the IT Leaders at Pella as they describe how they are leveraging Oracle AppAdvantage to reinvent the way they interact with employees, customers, and business partners. Find out how technology is enabling continuous improvement throughout the manufacturing and sales cycles at Pella. Register for this complimentary webcast and get your questions answered live by the experts. Rick Beers, our host of the regular IT Leaders Editorial column, will be the host of this documentary webcast with Pella.

Pella Revolutionizes the Digital Experience for Customers, Partners and Employees

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Time: 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET

Register Now


Monday Jan 27, 2014

Oracle AppAdvantage Executive Roundtable in New York: Register Today

 

Oracle Corporation
Drive Today's Business and Tomorrow's Growth

Drive Today's Business and Tomorrow’s Growth.

Enterprise applications are the backbone of most businesses and are essential for standardizing and consolidating IT environments. Some enterprise applications designed to bring control and efficiency to your business may be too rigid to take advantage of mobility, cloud, security, personal productivity, analytics and collaboration.

Do these modern disruptive technologies make enterprise applications obsolete? How can you enhance these critical IT investments so they are flexible enough to utilize current and future technology trends? Is there a way to build upon these?

Join Oracle, Apps Associates, Intel® and Hologic for an interactive roundtable where you will hear first-hand how Hologic, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of diagnostic and medical imaging systems for women’s health, was able to optimize their business processes to get the most from its enterprise resource planning (ERP) environment. As a result, the company obtained greater efficiency across business processes and was able to realize a five-day global account close at the end of the fiscal year.

This interactive roundtable, on March 4th, will explore how Hologic, Inc., and others are using agile IT solutions to keep pace with changing business demands, employ new technologies, and optimize processes across systems and applications.

You'll get insights and proven strategies to help you:

  • Boost application performance, scalability, and deployment time
  • Contain operational costs and fuel business growth
  • Capitalize on digital trends like social, mobile, and cloud

To RSVP Register Here or 1.800.820.5592 ext. 12216.
Register Now

Register Now

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To RSVP call 1.800.820.5592 ext. 12216.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
8:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Refinery Hotel – Rooftop
63 West 38th Street, New York, NY 10018
Get Directions

In association with:
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Featured Speaker:

Dave Rudzinsky
Dave Rudzinsky
CIO at Hologic, Inc.

"We wanted to take more orders without adding more order takers." Dave Rudzinsky, CIO, Hologic, Inc.

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Agenda
8:00 a.m. Breakfast and Registration
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
9:10 a.m. Hologic Story: How Hologic Optimized their Quote to Cash Business Process and Obtained Great Efficiency
9:40 a.m. Oracle AppAdvantage: Empower Your Enterprise. Technology Your Way
10:05 a.m. Roundtable Discussion
10:45 a.m. Summary and Close
Sponsored By:

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Friday Jan 24, 2014

ACE Director Ponders on "Which Way Do I Go?"

Author: Debra Lilley, ACE Director

I live in Northern Ireland about 20 miles from Belfast and just today I asked a friend for directions. You see I don’t know Belfast very well, which was fine when I first moved here but now it is embarrassing, but I don’t have a need to go very often and didn’t need to learn and whenever I do need to go. I rely on friends who do know the city to give me advice.

Interestingly, cities where I need to go often or have lived in, I know very well such as London and Berlin; still it gives my Northern Ireland friends something to giggle about.

Asking for directions is also valid with Applications, they are also a journey. And like many a journeys there are so many options that you turn to those who know for advice and guidance. To me there is no better place to start than to go to a User Group for an idea on those options.

During our UKOUG Applications Conference, Oracle’s Karen Clarke VP Applications Cluster Lead talked about the journey, the journey that takes your organization to new productivity, efficiency and success and how that journey is not the same for all organizations.

In her keynote, Karen shared a video link that her team had made to set the scene for this journey.

Within UKOUG we launched the Applications Transformation Community last summer and many members declared an interest because what to do next is something that they’re interested in. I talked more about this in an earlier post.

One of the things we worked with Oracle on was AppNav the working title for a GPS concept, identifying ‘Points of Interest’ for different pillars of Applications; what may be useful for Financial, Human Capital Management and Supply Chain Customers. A few of these sites were explored during our Apps13 conference but now we’re ready to drill further and are holding a dedicated event on 18th March in London.

We hope that we will then be able to share the AppNav content wider and I will talk more about it in my March post here.

The Oracle AppAdvantage initative is showcasing many of the technology paths that you can take on this journey, extending your applications footprint using the same development tools and solutions that Oracle themselves use. If you are new to this blog then I recommend you back over previous articles and look at what people are doing and how they are transforming their businesses with Oracle technology.

About the Author:

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.

Wednesday Jan 22, 2014

The Application Security Manifesto – The Great App Re-Architecture

Author: Greg Jensen, Senior Principal Product Director

In our previous post in this series, we touched on the “State” of our current Applications and how we have traditionally incorporated security models into these applications in the past. We also touched on how the next generation of application requirements are evolving to incorporate a number of ground-breaking changes in how we leverage security within the application, and how we use the applications themselves.

The Great Application Re-Architecture

It has always been the great give and take in IT.  The lower IT product owner wants the most capable product, regardless of what the rest of the business is using, forgoing the possibility of cross pollination benefits. It’s about being able to do their job as well as one can.  The other side is, the executive who wants an integrated approach where multiple products from one vendor are designed with integration in mind, to cross pollinate data and information across teams. Individual product capabilities may not be as strong but the greater benefits of a single vendor approach sit better with executive teams.  This has been the struggle companies have been dealing with for decades and only recently is there a light at the end of the tunnel with the advent of an open framework based on an open standards approach for sharing information between “best of breed” products and vendors.  This allows the individual IT product owners to get the best of breed product they want, while the executive teams who look for cross-pollination and integration, reap the benefits of a standards-based method of integrating across the stack. 

So what is this gain?  This has allowed us to now look at a new methodology for the application and development of our Applications and the services that support it.  When we are able to de-bundle and share services such as security, rather than building security into every application, the benefit is obvious and immediate.  It means applications can be brought up in near real time, with a simple hook into the security module, using a standards based (Service Oriented Architecture - SOA) connection, to pull Identity profiles and policies into new applications.  This means one can now repeat this process again and again with new applications and services, without creating new security profiles and infrastructure. It’s all about repeatability, re-usability and the added benefit of centralizing all of your auditable data in one location for compliance-based reports.

The Five Transformational Principals

There are always drivers of transformation, and for applications, it can be summed up in five principals that are currently driving the transformation we are discussing: Fine-grained Entitlements, Identity Platform Services, Social Integration, Complete Access & Mobile/Cloud.

External Authorization & Fine Grained Entitlements

Today, access just isn’t about the managing passwords and user ID’s inside the enterprise anymore. We have to move beyond the old model of granting access privileges to specific repositories of information and for each application separately with the expectation that the role of the user never changes.  The reality is…it does.  Take the example of a group of users for a large investment bank.  You would like to treat your junior traders with more limited privileges that are based around restricting trading limits and times in which they can initiate trades.  However, as your junior traders grow in their careers within the organization, it is important that their access grows with them.  This means their access needs to change over time, rather than just being layered and added upon to ensure “over provisioning” does not occur over the course of an employee’s career.  At the same time, you’re most senior fund managers need to be given the authorization to perform larger transactions, day or night, without any daily limits, from any Geography, and from any device inside or outside the bank network. This is the kind of “context based” Identity Management that truly unlocks the potential of enforcing just what each employee role is capable of doing.

Identity Platform Services

Organizations are putting a major emphasis on cost reduction efforts, and there are many areas this is being accomplished throughout the enterprise. Common data repositories, common reporting systems, common event collection systems, common security information management tools and the next step is utilizing common security frameworks for externalizing the security from applications and platforms.  This has the added benefits of cost savings from a licensing standpoint, ramp up time on projects, training and overhead, and ability to re-use.  There are also secondary savings in reduced exposure to audits by centralizing all of the regulatory and compliance event data in one single location, one report, and one auditable database. 

Social Integration

Criminals understand well that one of today’s fastest trends is the use of “social sign-on” or the use of Facebook credentials for authenticating and logging into other applications and services.  We can create new accounts on a web site, or log in using our Facebook credentials.  This is all in the name of making things more convenient. A form of “single sign-on” for the masses, called “social sign-on”.  How often do we read about social credentials being stolen, compromised and being taken advantage of, so why are we putting so much faith in them without extra precautions?  Imagine what one can do with these social credentials if one used them across a variety of services and offerings for authentication?  This is why there needs to be an additional effort in securing these social credentials, by absorbing them within a broader Identity that is provisioned to you, that is more secure.

Complete Access

This takes us to how we can expand all of our digital identities, user identities, passwords and more into a single set of credentials that one has to remember and authenticate.  Now to the average person, this sounds like a risk.  In the world of Single Sign-on, we are more likely to change our master password every 30 days, than we are the 30-40 passwords that it manages underneath.  Criminals understand that many users are likely using the same Gmail password today, that they did 1 year ago.  Many also understand that many of these users also repurpose personal passwords into their work environment.  So the idea being…if you can compromise their Flowers.com account, you can compromise their HR account at work, or their financial records database.  This is simply because the human mind is unable to remember too many complex passwords, and if they are changed every 30 days, then we struggle even more often.  Enter the world of Complete Access and offerings such as Single-Sign on.  This allows one to set up a master user ID, and password, which you are required to reset the password on a frequent basis. For extra protection, companies may ask you to provide multi-factor authentication, such as 1) What you have (smartcard, key or biometrics) 2) What you know (pin #, passphrase).  Once this Authentication takes place, the SSO client quickly unlocks access to a small database of all of your User ID and passwords for each of your applications and services.  Now the idea here being, now each individual application and service you set up can now be a strongly cryptic password, and not a variation of the same password. Now you can set time limits of 30 days and expire your passwords.  Now you can set up a provisioning process for your enterprise applications so that you provision only one User ID and password, and never share any of the unique User ID and passwords for the individual apps underneath it.  This allows you to more easily de-provision applications and services at will.   This doesn’t stop at just the desktop; this is what extends to mobile platforms now as well. So regardless if you are on a Windows, Mac, Android or iOS device, your Complete Access follows you.

Mobile & Cloud Security

With the mobile platform, enters a whole new category of applications underpinned by what we call the “Cloud”, and this brings into question how we address the security implications of both of these platforms. Five years ago, a 5,000 employee organization was struggling with how to manage the provisioning model for 5-7,000 user IDs for their employees.  Today, that same company is dealing with 5 to 10 identities per device, per user.  With each employee leveraging 2 to 3 devices, this could be as many as 200,000 identities in itself.   Now businesses are facing the bigger dilemma with the cloud.  How do we create, provision and manage credentials for all of our partners and customers who do business with us over the Internet?   In a consumer oriented business, this could be millions of identities. What is needed is an architecture that can scale as the business needs transform to include new technologies, new services, and new avenues of sales and distribution.

Maturity of the Optimized Application

As with everything in technology, we are seeing maturity and capability grow in leaps and bounds in the areas of our Application Optimization.  We have moved from the days of our first applications where our security focus was limited due to its complexity and high cost, as well as limits in regulatory reporting, to models where we started to consolidate our applications. Here, we started to see some degree of centralized security controls, but they were very limited in nature.  Today, we are in a phase of what we call the “Optimized Platform��, where the main driver is Data Governance for Risk & Compliance.  This is not where our maturity for applications will end.  The future is a bright one, and we will see Optimized Processes where the drivers are automated auditing and compliance reporting, in the not too distant future.  It doesn’t stop there.  This maturity and capability has to take us to the point where we are including Self-Healing and Automation where some of the main security drivers are automated fraud management and automated IT & User provisioning.  The key to this maturity is having an infrastructure in place today that is capable of growing with you, as the capability grows.

In Summary – The Platform Transformation

We have discussed where we are with our state of applications today.  We have shared where we need to be and the transformation principals that will drive this Great Application Re-Architecture.  All of this is supported by a platform transformation here at Oracle that we call Oracle AppAdvantage.

Oracle AppAdvantage for Security, is simply when we de-bundle from the application, and make it part of the platform, a sharable component that all applications can leverage.  When you build a car, the car battery isn’t used for just the engine to start with.  It’s used to power the radio. It’s used to power the lights, the horn, the seat warmers, and the fan. Everything.  It’s a shared component within the car.  It’s a platform approach to building an automobile, and we are now doing the same for security. 

Monday Jan 20, 2014

Our Salute to a Great Man

Martin Luther King, Jr. changed the world with his uncompromising vision of equality, justice, and peace. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and every day, we salute the great leader as we reflect on his role in the American civil rights movement, the strides we have made in civil rights since and support our nation’s continuing efforts to improve.

In the News: Verizon and Oracle Partner for Better Cloud Access with Fusion Middleware

It's exciting to hear that Verizon Enterprise Solutions and Oracle have partnered to allow customers to use Oracle Fusion Middleware and Database on Verizon cloud infrastructure.  Customers can bring their own Oracle licenses to the Verizon cloud platform or buy Verizon cloud services which include Oracle licenses.  What's even more interesting is that with Fusion Middleware on Verizon Cloud, customers can leverage existing assets and pay only for what they need versus having to purchase perpetual licenses.  It's win-win for all parties, more cost effective deployments and taking on-premise software into the cloud. Click here to read all about this new partnership.

Friday Jan 17, 2014

SOA Corner: 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

Thursday Jan 16, 2014

January 2014 Fusion Middleware Proactive Patches Released

The following Fusion Middleware Proactive patches were released on January 14, 2014. You can get more information from here.

oracle


Bundle Patches :

font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">Bundle patches are collections of controlled, well tested critical bug fixes for a specific product  which may include security contents and occasionally minor enhancements. These are cumulative in nature meaning the latest bundle patch in a particular series includes the contents of the previous bundle patches released.  A suite bundle patch is an aggregation of multiple product  bundle patches that are part of a product suite.

  • Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) 11.1.1.7.140114 bundle patch
  • Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) 12.1.0.2.1 bundle patch
  • Oracle Identity Management Suite Bundle Patch 11.1.1.5.6 consisting of
    • Oracle Identity Manager (OIM) 11.1.1.5.10 bundle patch
    • Oracle Access Manager (OAM) 11.1.1.5.6 bundle patch.
    • Oracle Adaptive Access Manager (OAAM) 11.1.1.5.2 bundle patch.
    • Oracle Entitlement Server (OES) 11.1.1.5.4 bundle patch.
  • Oracle Identity Management Suite Bundle Patch 11.1.2.0.5 consisting of
    • Oracle Access Manager (OAM) 11.1.2.0.5 bundle patch.
    • Oracle Adaptive Access Manager (OAAM) 11.1.2.0.3 bundle patch.
    • Oracle Entitlement Server (OES) 11.1.2.0.2 bundle patch.
    • Note : This suite BP is delayed by few days
  • Oracle Identity Management Suite Bundle Patch 11.1.2.1.2 consisting of
    • Oracle Access Manager (OAM) 11.1.2.1.2 bundle patch.
    • Oracle Adaptive Access Manager (OAAM) 11.1.2.1.2 bundle patch.
  • Oracle Identity Manager (OIM) 11.1.2.0.13 bundle patch
  • Oracle Identity Manager (OIM) 11.1.2.1.4 bundle patch
  • Oracle GlassFish Server (OGFS) 3.1.2.8 bundle patch.
  • Sun Java System Application Server 8.1.36 and 8.2.20 bundle patches.
  • Oracle iPlanet Web Server (OiWS) 6.1.18 and 7.0.19 bundle patches
  • Oracle iPlanet Web Proxy Server (OiWPS) 4.0.23 bundle patch
  • Oracle SOA Suite (SOA) 11.1.1.7.2 bundle patch
  • Oracle WebCenter Portal (WCP) 11.1.1.8.2 bundle patch

Patch Set Updates (PSU)

Patch Set Updates (PSU)  are collections of well controlled, well tested critical bug fixes for a specific product  that have been proven in customer environments. PSUs  may include security contents but no  enhancements are included. These are cumulative in nature meaning the latest PSU  in a particular series includes the contents of the previous PSUs  released. 

  • Oracle Exalogic 2.0.3.0.5 Physical Linux x86-64 , 2.0.4.0.5 Physical Solaris x86-64 PSUs and  Exalogic 2.0.6.0.1 Virtual.
  • Oracle WebLogic Server 10.3.6.0.7 PSU.

Critical Patch Update (CPU) :

The Critical Patch Update program is Oracle's quarterly release of security fixes.

The following additional patches were released as part of Oracle's Critical Patch Update program:

  • Oracle Container for Java (OC4J) 10.1.3.5.
  • Oracle Enterprise Data Quality  9.0.8 and 8.1
  • Oracle HTTP Server (OHS)  12.1.2, 11.1.1.7.0, 11.1.1.6.0 , 10.1.3.5 and 1.0.2.2
  • Oracle Help Technologies  12.1.2.0, 11.1.1.8.0,  11.1.1.7.0 and 11.1.1.6.0
  • Oracle Internet Directory (OID) 11.1.1.7.0 and 11.1.1.6.0
  • Oracle Outside In Technology 8.4.0 and  8.4.1
  • Oracle Portal 11.1.1.6.0
  • Oracle Security Service 12.1.2.0.0
  • Oracle Traffic Director (OTD) 11.1.1.7.0 and 11.1.1.6.0
  • Oracle WebCenter Sites 11.1.1.8.0, 11.1.1.6.1 and 7.6.2      

About me:

Mustafa Kaya is a Senior Consultant in Oracle Fusion Middleware Team, living in Istanbul. Before coming to Oracle, he worked in teams developing web applications and backend services at a telco company. He is a Java technology enthusiast, software engineer and addicted to learn new technologies,develop new ideas.

Follow Mustafa on Twitter,Connect on LinkedIn, and visit his site for Oracle Fusion Middleware related tips.

Wednesday Jan 15, 2014

The Application Security Manifesto – The State of Application Security

Author: Greg Jensen, Senior Principal Product Director, Oracle

This is a 2-parter on Oracle AppAdvantage for Security. Tune in next Wednesday for the concluding piece.

During the 1990’s, the world witnessed a revolution in application development and architecture with the advent of Internet enabled applications, and services. This brought an abundance of next generation requirements for these Internet-enabled applications. Some of these requirements included a need for security, reporting, auditing, maintenance and management, within each application. Over time, this model has grown to become overly complex to manage, to maintain, and impossible to fully evaluate risk and compliance on an ongoing basis. What was needed was a new architecture that could evolve with the changing business demands.

Security is Necessary to Transform

Businesses today are faced with a variety of complex business challenges that require organizations to evolve and remain agile in their ability to adapt with the demands of new market conditions, customer needs or with new enabling technologies that promise greater efficiencies, reduced costs and increased productivity. One of the key success criteria in today’s competitive environment is a business model that is capable of transforming as demands and needs call for.

Regardless of the industry your company or organization is contributing to, each industry has seen more change in the last 2 years than the previous generation saw in that same industry within a decade or more. The rate of change is accelerating at levels we have never seen. It doesn’t matter if you are in Banking, Insurance, Transportation, Construction, Government, Healthcare or even Education, we are all impacted each day by applications, processes, services and devices as a function of our jobs, and none of this can be achieved without associating an “Identity”, as it relates to your users, customers and partners. Identity is what binds all of our industries together and it is also the component that ENABLES every industry moving forward.

State of Application Security

In the past, enterprises have utilized on premise applications that have been silo’d off from other applications and services by the use of their own proprietary event/logging systems, policy management and security frameworks. With the advantages of more capable and unique features within the apps, this also brings some disadvantages through the use of this model. These disadvantages include increased training costs, increased Audit risk and associated costs and longer provisioning/de-provisioning cycles. Customers are now delivering a new set of requirements to overcome these issues.

Next State of Application Security

While the average consumer may not understand the role of Social Media within the enterprise, the fact is, a recent Enterprise Strategy Group Survey showed that 44% of apps must be social enabled in the near future. This is a great example of how technology for one vertical was rapidly adapted to industrial verticals and into applications as part of transforming the way one did business. Customers are also looking for ways to re-use and repurpose infrastructure across applications. This has been seen in areas such as event collection by using a single event consolidation platform for all applications, to use cases such as reporting where one can purchase reporting platforms that can pull event information from numerous applications and present them in a single report platform that is re-usable across applications. No more proprietary platform. The next big push is how to separate security from the application and make this a shared service across all applications. Something you configure once for a user or an identity, and you simply plug in additional applications that re-use the identity profile. This causes us to re-think security as a more strategic building block when we architect our application platforms, and not an afterthought.

In our next Blog, in this series, we will dive deeper into the Security Transformation Principles that underpin what some are calling the Great App Re-Architecture, as well as some real world customer case studies on how this is being applied in today’s enterprises.

Monday Jan 13, 2014

Business Value vs. ROI

Author: Rick Beers


Rick Beers is Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle Fusion Middleware. Prior to joining Oracle, Rick held a variety of executive operational positions at Corning, Inc. and Bausch & Lomb.

With a professional background that includes senior management positions in manufacturing, supply chain and information technology, Rick brings a unique set of experiences to cover the impact that technology can have on business models, processes and organizations. Rick will be hosting the IT Leader Editorial on a regular basis.

I still remember a conversation that changed the way I looked at enterprise systems as if it occurred last week, even though it was 17 years ago.

I was on the balcony of a convention style resort in Phoenix during an annual conference held by a large manufacturing technology research organization. I had recently been given responsibility for the supply chain technology portion of a global ERP program and was at the conference to learn more of an emerging (and at the time heavily hyped) technology known as Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS). Systems such as PeopleSoft’s newly acquired Red Pepper and SAP’s APO were promising to replace the manual processes at the core of existing supply chain planning systems with automated modeling, detection and response technology. I was easily convinced. It was sexy, compelling and carried with it ROI’s in excess of 30%.

While at the conference I was pulled aside after dinner by a marketing executive at the research organization after he heard me in a panel discussion extolling the promise of APS. Out on the balcony, over a glass of wine, he advised “Be careful. Just because you have a system to tell you what to do doesn’t mean that you should do it, or even can in the first place. Your legacy manufacturing equipment and business processes must change to keep pace with the shorter run lengths and more frequent changeovers that the system will require.” This one piece of advice opened my eyes to three dynamics that have stayed with me ever since, and have guided my recent work with Oracle on AppAdvantage:

  1. That enterprise technology alone is rarely a determinant of value; rather it is the business value that technology enables.

  2. That enterprise technology rarely achieves its potential unless it is harmonized with its business surroundings: people, processes and physical assets.

  3. That the ROI of enterprise technology itself cannot be calculated because it is an enabler of a business outcome, not the outcome itself.

It’s the last one that was the most profound and is an issue still today. Our industry (providers, partners and practitioners) is still in search of quantifiable ROI from enterprise technology. It’s like the search for the Holy Grail: a worthy mission that cannot succeed because its basic premise is flawed.

Instead we should focus on business value. In effect, a contract with business leadership that identifies the outcomes that a technology project will be measured upon and the steps necessary to deliver them. This has five key components:

  • The Project itself described in terms of the business outcome rather that the specific systems involved. This creates a culture of business ownership and the identification of business owners.

  • An agreement on the measurable outcomes that have clear line of sight to the project.

  • An agreement by business owners of the processes that need to change and the investments required in skills and physical assets that the technology will require.

  • Line of sight metrics for both the delivery of the technology and the agreed upon business outcomes.

  • Clear accountability for those outcomes.

Oracle AppAdvantage, and the layered framework that it comprises, has been developed around the delivery of Business Value as opposed to more traditional technology ROI. In particular, its seven Entry Points are designed to facilitate Business Value discussions between IT leaders and Lines of Business leadership. Its visual similarity to a compass is deliberate; it provides directional guidance based upon desired business outcomes.

During February and March we will be conducting Oracle AppAdvantage Executive Roundtables in Asia, the Americas and Europe that will prompt such dialogue amongst the audience. I will discuss these in my blog next month.

Tuesday Jan 07, 2014

Manage Child Process Forms With Oracle Identity Manager API

Oracle Identity Manager allows you to manage roles, responsibility or group membership as an entitlement. An entitlement granted to an account on a target system enables the account user to a specific task or function.In Oracle Identity Manager, there is one process form for each account (resource) provisioned to an OIM User. Entitlement data is stored in child process forms of the process form.

You can manage child form with Oracle Identity Manager api such as remove and add data. For this operations, you can use tcFormOperationsIntf service.

First,you have process instance key for find the right child table. 

    import Thor.API.Operations.tcFormInstanceOperationsIntf;

    private tcFormInstanceOperationsIntf service;

    /**
     * Default constructor.
     */
    public ProcessFormManagerImpl() {
        service = getClient().getService(tcFormInstanceOperationsIntf.class);
    }

    public void addDataChildProcessForm(long processInstanceKey, String columnName,
                                 String columnValue) throws Exception {
//columnName example UD_ADUSRC_GROUPNAME
        long processFormDefinitionKey =
            service.getProcessFormDefinitionKey(processInstanceKey);
        int processParentFormVersion =
            service.getProcessFormVersion(processInstanceKey);
        tcResultSet childFormDef =
            service.getChildFormDefinition(processFormDefinitionKey,
                                           processParentFormVersion);
        long childKey =
            childFormDef.getLongValue("Structure Utility.Child Tables.Child Key");
        HashMap addAttr = new HashMap();
        addAttr.put(columnName, columnValue);
        service.addProcessFormChildData(childKey, processInstanceKey, addAttr);
    }

    public void removeDataChildProcessForm(long processInstanceKey,
                                           String childFormKey,
                                           String columnName,
                                           String columnValue) throws Exception {
        long processFormDefinitionKey =
            service.getProcessFormDefinitionKey(processInstanceKey);
        int processParentFormVersion =
            service.getProcessFormVersion(processInstanceKey);
        tcResultSet childFormDef =
            service.getChildFormDefinition(processFormDefinitionKey,
                                           processParentFormVersion);
        long childKey =
            childFormDef.getLongValue("Structure Utility.Child Tables.Child Key");
        tcResultSet childData =
            service.getProcessFormChildData(childKey, processInstanceKey);
        for (int i = 0; i < childData.getRowCount(); i++) {
            childData.goToRow(i);
            String groupName = childData.getStringValue(columnName);
            if (groupName.equals(columnValue)) {
                long rowKey = childData.getLongValue(childFormKey);
                service.removeProcessFormChildData(childKey, rowKey);
            }
        }
    }

About me:

Mustafa Kaya is a Senior Consultant in Oracle Fusion Middleware Team, living in Istanbul. Before coming to Oracle, he worked in teams developing web applications and backend services at a telco company. He is a Java technology enthusiast, software engineer and addicted to learn new technologies,develop new ideas.

Follow Mustafa on Twitter,Connect on LinkedIn, and visit his site for Oracle Fusion Middleware related tips.

Friday Jan 03, 2014

Oracle Mobile Platform Strategy

Did you catch last month's online Oracle Mobile Platform Strategy update? if not, here's the replay link for the same. Catch Oracle executives and Gartner analysts discuss the opportunities a Mobile Strategy for an organization creates and learn about Oracle's Mobile Platform and our advancements on that front.

And, if you haven't already, check out this Oracle Fusion Middleware newsletter feature on how you too can simplify enterprise mobility with Oracle Mobile Platform. And we recommend you subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter today.

Happy 2014!

Wednesday Jan 01, 2014

Experiencing the Benefits of Fusion Middleware - Agilent Technologies Feels the Boost

Agilent Technologies Inc., is a leading electronic and bio-analytical measurement company. Through its four lines of business—chemical analysis, life sciences, diagnostics and genomics, and electronic measurement— Agilent focuses on innovation.  They test more than half of the world's 1.13 billion cell phones and help companies analyze disease causes and develop new treatments.

Focused on innovation and precision, Agilent Technologies relied on App Advantage for Fusion Middleware to reduce IT costs, accelerte time-to-value as well as a 60% jump in customer satisfaction with the portal experience.  Additionally, they were able to provision a new employee for IT access in 20 minutes versus five days.  Finally, Agilent saved more than $1 million annually in integration-related costs by reducing the time needed to build interfaces by replacing TIBCO with Oracle SOA Suite. 

Specifically, the Fusion Middleware components implemented as part of their App Advantage strategy included: Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Access and Identity Management and Oracle WebCenter Portal.  With these middleware technologies, Agilent is creating a single view of customers and went live with its MyAgilent portal and saw several key gains in the first six months.  Users could log in at a single time and access all portal applications, services as well as enable customers to order parts and track order status. This was just the beginning for Agilent, whether it be establishing a mobile strategy, setting up single sign-on and user provisioning, deploying an application server environment or creating robust J2EE based business applications. 

To read more about how Agilent Technologies leveraged Fusion Middleware App Advantage click here and learn more about how Agilent Technologies experienced the power of middleware. 

Happy New Year and here's to a 2014 full of customer successes!

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