Understanding the Value of SOA
By Mala Narasimharajan on May 29, 2014
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