Thursday May 21, 2015

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

By Bruce Tierney Oracle February 26, 2015 

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

Friday Feb 06, 2015

Oracle SVP on Top Tech Trends in 2015

Originally Published in Oracle Fusion Middleware Newsletter, January Edition

Oracle's Senior Vice President of Integration Products Amit Zavery spends a lot of time talking to both customers and developers, and that gives him a bird's-eye view of evolving trends driving digital transformation at companies worldwide. We recently had the opportunity to get his take on the top technology trends to look out for in 2015. Here is what he had to say.

Q: Almost every organization is in some stage of the journey to becoming a digital business. What do you think is the top trend in tech adoption for companies undergoing a digital transformation?
A: Regardless of whether it's a B2B or B2C company, the general trend I see is that businesses are trying to use data more efficiently. For example, they want to use real-time data to drive better decision-making and informed interactions with customers. This involves a huge volume of information and requires integration across various applications, systems, devices, processes, users, etc.

Integration is not a new trend, but the conversation is a little different now as the amount of disparate information silos has ballooned, particularly with software as a service (SaaS)–based apps. Early SaaS deployments were often not centralized. Departments generally bought and implemented SaaS-based apps in silos, simply because they were looking for function-specific usage. However, now they want to connect these apps with back-end processes and business requirements to better connect with the customer. A significant aspect of integration is how well you can automate certain business processes to support it.

Q: It sounds as though you are talking about more than just technical integration—correct?
A: Absolutely. Digital transformation has changed our understanding of integration. Integration is no longer just about tying together cloud apps and on-premises apps, but rather all the different customer touchpoints that make up a digital business. You need to know how to use the latest information to interact with customers in an experiential manner. Being a digital business means connecting these different pieces together in a way that makes sense, and is also standardized, fast, and scalable.

All this has led to integration being one of the biggest trends, as different heterogeneous systems need standardized integration—not just for apps, but for devices, users, identities of users, and different business processes.

Q: Where do you see mobile technology heading in 2015?
A: We've been talking about the convergence of the big four technologies—social, mobile, cloud, and information for years. The reality is that these technologies are maturing and being adopted at different rates. For mobile technology, adoption is undoubtedly well-along in terms of mobile-based devices and apps to interact with enterprise systems. Workers are now using mobile devices as the medium of choice, so it is critical that apps on the back end can deliver to mobile-based platforms. An associated trend is to modernize legacy apps for the mobile platform, as well as take newer technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and make them part of the mobile ecosystem. For this to happen, you need a platform that makes it easy to convert and converge both new and old technologies into the mobile ecosystem.

Q: Speaking of platforms, where do you see platform as a service (PaaS) falling on the tech adoption curve?
A: I think that mobile technology and big data initiatives are further along in the maturity cycle, but that next year will be particularly big for PaaS and IoT. There are several reasons why. First, the maturity cycle is much faster now, and these technologies have evolved to the point that enterprise interest is piqued. Second, PaaS plays into the integration trend that I think will be huge next year. Companies want to run integrated applications as well as build system management apps in the cloud, and will need a standards-based infrastructure to support it. And finally, as companies move applications to the cloud or add cloud-based instances of on-premises apps, they need a platform that extends their ability to use technology that they are already familiar with. I think this adds up to critical mass for PaaS adoption.

Learn more about technology trends for this year and the future. Register now for a free Oracle Day event near you and find out how you can make digital disruption an opportunity for innovation.

Monday Nov 10, 2014

OOW Recap: Simplify SaaS and On-Premises Integration by Using Oracle Fusion Middleware

With the increasing popularity of software as a service (SaaS), there is a key imperative to quickly, efficiently, and easily integrate the newer SaaS applications with their existing on-premise counterparts. This has proven to be especially challenging as each SaaS vendor enforces its own mechanisms for security, message delivery, and other integration aspects. As a result, it is not entirely surprising that 1 in 2 companies has abandoned the use of a cloud app in the last 3 years due to integration problems.

As a result, the context for this session was: given these challenges and the sobering statistics, how can customers be better equipped to avoid the pitfalls and endemic problems associated with this integration scenario.

We described how Oracle Fusion Middleware provides a single set of tools to handle all of these integration challenges. With the release of SOA Suite 12c, it is now possible to unify the disparate requirements challenges of mobile, cloud, and IoT into a single integration platform.  Also, the new Cloud Adapters in SOA Suite 12c simplify the task of developing and securing connectivity and enable users to focus on building the business logic for the integration processes.

A successful integration strategy involves much more than simple connectivity. Once the backend applications have been connected, the next step is to implement an access management solution that will allow users to access these applications in a secure manner. Oracle Identity and Access Management provides a single, secure point of entry where the user’s identity can be verified and access to enterprise resources can be managed to provide consistent role management, SSO and governance to cross- application processes and transactions.

The first half of the session concluded with a demo that tied all these concepts together.  Using an incident management/service delivery scenario -- with multiple user personas to reflect a real world use case -- the demo showed how Oracle Fusion Middleware can enable reusable, secure and managed interoperability across Cloud (Oracle Service Cloud) and On Premise (Oracle E-Business Suite) applications.

This was followed by a case study from Ricoh Americas Corporation, a subsidiary of Ricoh Company Ltd., a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems, and IT services.

As part of Ricoh’s business strategy to reinvent itself as primarily an IT services company, Ricoh modernized their IT architecture by first building a reusable integration services layers using Oracle SOA Suite. SaaS applications (Salesforce, Oracle Service Cloud) were then integrated with On Premises applications (E-Business Suite, Oracle Transportation Management) to deliver a cross-enterprise sales automation solution providing online pricing, configuration and delivery commitments.



The payoffs from this modernization were immediate and tangible:

  • Reduced time to market for new innovation by 50-70%
  • Achieved 35% mobility penetration rate within 10 months of launch

Additional details on Ricoh’s Flexible Integration Architecture are in this documentary

Next steps: 

Want to know more about how Oracle Fusion Middleware delivers faster time to SaaS integration? Please contact your Oracle representative in early 2015 to schedule a no-cost workshop where you will learn about recommended best-practices, reference architectures and pitfalls to avoid via hands-on exercises that will walk you through the entire design and development process.


Thursday Nov 06, 2014

OOW Recap: Industrial Innovation with IoT, enabled by Oracle Fusion Middleware and JD Edwards

With each Open World we continue to see incredible innovations carried out by our customers and partners. One theme that has gained a lot of traction this year is Internet of Things (IoT). Today we will take a closer look at a session that covered a live IoT story at one of our customers, co-presented with our customer, partner, and product teams. We will look at Oracle’s IoT platform and how Fusion Middleware bridges the gap between device data and enterprise applications.

IoT drives industrial innovations but also presents various challenges. For example, the lack of standardization and the lack of integration prohibit a lot of businesses from benefiting from this industrial trend. Oracle has a complete IoT platform that answers to those challenges in the following ways:
Standardized Java platform to develop & deploy applications across devices and applications
Scalable analytics with Big Data, event processing and Business Intelligence
Integrate processes between people, applications and devices 
Enable security, compliance and data protection across devices and enterprise data center

Middleware especially provides key functionalities such as real-time analysis (through our Fast Data offering), integration (delivered by SOA and BPM), security (through our Identity Management stack), and monitoring (through our WebCenter products and Mobile Application Framework)

Let us take a closer look at our customer, Superior Industries, who presented in this Open World session. Superior implemented an automatic equipment tracking and JDE process automation solution with an Oracle Gold Partner, EmeraldCube Solutions. A Minnesota manufacturing company selling material-handling equipment, Superior Industries is a JDE customer that faced a particular problem: they had no automated way to track machine usage and maintenance. Their manual tracking using paper, vocal communication, and manual work orders produced a number of issues: lack of accuracy, consistency, reliability and scalability. Machines were often either over-maintained or under-maintained.  

superior old trackingsample of a hand-written maintenance schedule that could easily get lost

emerald sensor

To address these problems, Superior reached out to EmeraldCube, an Oracle partner who provides an IoT solution including sensor technology and a Java-embedded platform for JDE users. Their EmeraldSensor was used to track Superior’s equipment utilization and cycles via electric current monitoring; when machines need maintenance, the platform automatically creates work orders in JDE through the Assets & Maintenance module.

Superior benefits from this implementation in numerous ways. 

Safety: Machines maintained based on actual usage equal safer equipment and fewer injuries
Liability: Hard data reflecting actual usage allows Superior to legally prove that maintenance follows manufacturers recommendations
Maintenance: Technicians only do preventive maintenance when needed thus recovering some lost opportunity costs
Trends: Visibility into usage patterns and how they correlate with production. Allows plant managers to detect if machines are over/under utilized

The projected savings amount to over $80,000/year in labor costs alone, and over $100,000/year in maintenance costs.

The session concludes with a demo from Oracle’s Fusion Middleware product management team, showing a facility monitoring scenario that happens to closely resemble the use case from Superior. Equipment temperature data is monitored and analyzed by Java-embedded gateways, which perform first level of processing. Alerts are sent to the Fusion Middleware enterprise back end to go through a second level of event processing. Business processes are driven by these alerts. When a work order needs to be created, Fusion Middleware also performs that automatically through JDE EnterpriseOne’s asset management API. Meanwhile, user interactions are performed in an Oracle MAF application, where business rules on the gateway can also be updated. Because the gateway is smart, it can open up APIs and understand commands coming from outside. The demo flow can be explained in the following chart.
demo flow

The demo architecture reviews an end-to-end view of how the different Oracle technologies work together to deliver the solution. We will release a viewlet of this demo very soon and you will find it on this blog.


This session proves that IoT is no longer a catchphrase. Oracle customers are already benefiting and innovating from this revolution, and Oracle has a complete IoT platform with best-in-class technology in every level, from Java-embedded devices and gateways to middleware and applications – engineered to work together. 

Friday Oct 24, 2014

Recap of the Data Integration Track at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

Data Integration track at OpenWorld 2014 contained important product announcements, many content-rich presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on-labs around big data analytics, data governance, and cloud.

On Monday, Jeff Pollock, VP of Product Management for Oracle Data Integration presented the session "Unlocking Big Data Silos in the Cloud", where he gave an overview of Oracle’s data integration offering and explained several best practices and architectural approaches to implement a full or partial cloud solutions. He presented real life example such as the UK Conservatory using Oracle Data Integration in the cloud. Following Jeff's session came product feature updates for Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle GoldenGate. Our PM team demonstrated that in addition to integrating the products tightly and expanding products’ heterogeneous capabilities, there are several key features supporting cloud environments and big data analytics solutions. Customer testimonials from various well known brands like DIRECTV, Canon and LinkedIn further demonstrated Oracle’s success in the data integration market.

On Tuesday, product updates continued with Oracle Enterprise Data Quality. Audience learned how Oracle is now extending its capabilities considerably into the metadata management space to help govern and bring transparency to data within the organization. Which brings us to the new product announcement I mentioned earlier: Oracle Enterprise Metadata Management, is a new addition to the Oracle Data Integration product family. We launched it at the beginning of this week but many lucky OpenWorld attendees were able to learn about it in the data integration sessions and demo grounds. This new product helps organization looking to seriously tackle data governance, productivity improvement and lifecycle management challenges. To learn more about it, I invite you to attend our upcoming webcast: Big Data Governance and Metadata Management on Thursday, October 30th at 10am PT.

On Wednesday "Tapping into the Big Data Reservoir with all Data" session with Jeff Pollock was a big hit for big data market followers. Jeff presented how customers can implement a big data reservoir using Oracle GoldenGate for real-time transactional data feed into the reservoir and Oracle Data Integrator for data transformations within the reservoir.

We kicked off the last day of OpenWorld with the cloud topic. In the Oracle Data Integration: A Crucial Ingredient for Cloud Integration’ session Julien Testut from Data Integration product management team presented with Sumit Sarkar from Progress DataDirect. Julien provided an overview of the various data integration solutions for cloud deployments, including integration between databases and applications hosted on cloud,  as well as loading cloud BI infrastructures. Sumit followed Julien with a live demo using Oracle Data Integrator and the Progress DataDirect JDBC drivers for loading and transforming data on Amazon Redshift, and extracting data from Salesforce.com. All of us in the audience were amazed that the demo worked seamlessly using only the OpenWorld wi-fi network.

Achieving Zero Downtime During Oracle Applications Upgrades and System Migrations was in the Fusion Middleware AppAdvantage track and featured Oracle GoldenGate’s zero downtime upgrades and migration solution with customer Symantec and partner Pythian. In this session, Doug Reid from the PM team presented GoldenGate's 3 different deployment models for zero downtime application upgrades.  In his slides, Doug highlighted GoldenGate’s certified solution for Siebel CRM, and mentioned the support for zero downtime application upgrade for JD Edwards and Billing and Revenue Management (BRM) as well. Following Doug, Symantec’s Rohit Muttepawar, came to stage and talked about their database migration project for their critical licensing database. And Pythian’s  Gleb Otochkin and Luke Davies presented how using Oracle GoldenGate in a 6-node active-active replication environment helped Western Union in achieving application releases with zero downtime, database patches and upgrades with zero downtime, and a real-time reporting database with no impact to online users.

The other key GoldenGate session on Thursday was Managing and Monitoring Oracle GoldenGate. Joe deBuzna in the GoldenGate product management team provided an overview of the new monitoring and management capabilities included in the Oracle GoldenGate Plug-in for Enterprise Manager, and Oracle GoldenGate Monitor. The Data Integration track at OpenWorld closed with " Insight into Action: Business Intelligence Applications and Oracle Data Integrator". Jayant Mahto from ODI Development team, and Gurcan Orhan from Wipro Technologies focused  on the Oracle BI Applications latest release that embeds Oracle Data Integrator for data loading and transformations, and provides the option to use Oracle GoldenGate for real-time data feeds into the reporting environment.

In case you missed it, I'd like to remind you on the press announcement that went out on September 29th and gives a summary of the key developments in the Fusion Middleware product family and Oracle's data integration offering. And again, you can find the Oracle Enterprise Metadata Management press release here


Friday Jun 27, 2014

Oracle Unveils Oracle SOA Suite 12c

Oracle Banner

Oracle announced the availability of Oracle SOA Suite 12c, a major release that dramatically simplifies integration across today's larger application infrastructure spanning on-premises, cloud, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

New in this release are enhancements to the Oracle Cloud Adapters for SaaS applications, which eliminate the complexity and security challenges associated with custom coded Web services integration. Mobile integration is also simplified with support for the REST/JSON standards as well as easy to use transformation tools to translate between traditional enterprise SOAP interactions and REST.

Oracle SOA Suite 12cOracle Managed File Transfer 12c was also released to enable secure file exchange and management with internal departments and external partners. Oracle Managed File Transfer, which is tightly integrated with Oracle SOA Suite 12c, protects against inadvertent access to unsecured files at every step in the end-to-end transfer of files.

Prior to the release of Oracle SOA Suite 12c, some existing Oracle SOA Suite customers and partners had the opportunity to test 12c and provide feedback. In these videos, customers and partners share why they are excited about the 12c release due to the enhancements in cloud integration, mobile integration, managed file transfer, templates to jumpstart integration, ease of use improvements and more.Video Images

After you have checked out the videos, register for the upcoming Oracle SOA Suite 12c webcast with Oracle Group Vice President Amit Zavery describing the highlights of Oracle SOA Suite 12c including the business benefits as well as leading a panel of integration experts from Dell, JDSU, and Keste on how they use Oracle SOA Suite to improve their business.   Next, view the brand new data sheets, white papers, podcasts and more.  Here is your guide:

New to Oracle SOA Suite:

Existing Oracle SOA Suite customer:

Clear your calendar to drink in all of the enhancements in this major update to Oracle SOA Suite:

Yes, there is a lot in this release!  Stay tuned for more Oracle SOA Suite 12c assets in future blogs including highlights from the 6 new Podcasts with Oracle SOA Suite Product Management.  In each of these podcasts, I interview Demed, Simone, Robert, Dave, and Vikas (2) on their respective areas within Oracle SOA Suite 12c for their insights into what's new and exciting.  An overview of this release is covered in the Oracle Press Release "Oracle Unveils Oracle SOA Suite 12c"

Monday May 19, 2014

SOA's Role in Simplifying Mobile Integration

This article formerly posted at the Oracle SOA Suite team blog. To follow SOA directly, go to blogs.oracle.com/SOA

Author: Mala Ramakrishan

For many years web browsers and desktop computers were the primary way to access information from enterprise applications. As mobile devices have proliferated, applications are no longer tied to the desktop. Users want to use their smartphones and tablets to access corporate data and business apps, anytime, anywhere. Many IT departments are having a hard time accommodating these mobile interfaces while preserving hard-won enterprise standards. Rather than continuing to develop applications first for the desktop and then making tactical mobile development choices, IT leaders want a consistent architecture that considers all channels. In this screencast, Suhas Uliyar who heads the mobile strategy at Oracle speaks about how customers can bridge this gap to take their existing and new enterprise applications mobile. He introduces Oracle Mobile Suite and SOA's role in this product offering.


Tuesday Apr 22, 2014

Mark Your Calendars: Registration is here for Ricoh Americas webcast

If you  haven't registered already -- then go ahead and register for this customer-led webcast with Ricoh and hear how Oracle AppAdvantage powered by Fusion Middleware is more than just a solution a but a strategy for maximizing your application investment. In this webcast you will learn how Ricoh provided value-added mobile services to their customers and how they developed a services-oriented integration architecture designed to be flexible and drive innovation.  To register for this webcast click on the link below.

Webcast: Ricoh Differentiatest Business with Unified Cloud and On-Premises Business Integration

Date: April 29, 2014

Time: 10 AM PT/1 PM ET

Tuesday Apr 15, 2014

Ricoh Americas Delivers on Anytime, Anywhere Promise with Cloud and On-Premise Integration

 Cloud.  On-Premise.  Mobile.  Integration.  Not just buzz words in the IT industry, but real ways that organizations are deploying and implementing software in the enterprise to drive business value.  Join us on this webcast with the CIO of Ricoh Americas Corporation - Balaji Rangaswamy to hear how they are leveraging Oracle AppAdvantage powered by Oracle Fusion Middleware.  In this webcast you will learn how Ricoh provided value-added mobile services to their customers and how they developed a services-oriented integration architecture designed to be flexible and drive innovation.  To register for this webcast click on the link below.

Webcast: Ricoh Differentiatest Business with Unified Cloud and On-Premises Business Integration

Date: April 29, 2014

Time: 10 AM PT/1 PM ET

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 Dec 19, 2013

Oracle SOA Black Belt Cheat Sheets (Free Download of the Year!)

'Tis the season of giving, so for this last post of the year, I am pleased to make available some of our most requested cheat sheets used internally and by various implementation partners world wide. These cheat sheets were created as part of the Oracle SOA Black Belt training sessions - advanced hands-on workshops that are available only to experienced Oracle SOA practitioners to gain deeper insight into the workings of the engine, enabling them to architect scalable solutions. If you have gone through this workshop, or have been working with the BPEL engine, I hope you will find this as a handy resource.

In case you are curious about this "black belt" workshop, here is a day-by-day blog written by one of our attendees.

And if you are wondering, yes, in some locations, we actually do hand out physical black belts - thanks to Jürgen Kress' SOA Community. Follow the tweets for more pictures.

Click on the link to download each. In case of any errors or if you would like to see more such collateral, please do provide feedback.

Weblogic Server Essentials Cheat Sheet (pdf)

SOA Essentials Cheat Sheet (pdf)

BPEL Service Engine Internals Cheat Sheet (pdf)

SOA Diagnostics Cheat Sheet (pdf) -- Thanks to Shawn Bailey for this one!

Happy Holidays and see you in the next year!

Wednesday Nov 13, 2013

Cloud to On-Premise Connectivity Patterns

Rajesh RahejaDo 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.

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.

Tuesday Oct 01, 2013

Oracle GoldenGate AppAdvantage in Action at Land O’Lakes, Smuckers, and Veolia Water

Author: Irem Radzik, Senior Principal Product Marketing Director, Oracle

Originally Published on Data Integration Blog

On Tuesday at OpenWorld we had the honor to host a panel with GoldenGate customers: Land O’Lakes, Smuckers, and Veolia Water. Besides giving us yummy nutrition and healthy water, these companies have another aspect in common. They all use GoldenGate to boost their ERP application.

Veoila Water’s Pierre Kerrinckx came from their HQ in France for this panel and spoke to us about the database migration project for their JD Edwards ERP system. Using GoldenGate Veolia was able to migrate from Oracle Database 10gR2 on AIX 5.3 Oracle 10g R2 to Oracle Database Aix 7.1 Oracle 11g R2 and did so with only 2 hours of interruption to JD Edwards end users. Pierre mentioned, the other benefit of GoldenGate was the ability to switch back to the old environment if needed.

Land O’Lakes’ Mark Kohls talked about their use of GoldenGate for their JD Edwards ERP system supporting the Purina business line. Land O’Lakes had to migrate enterprise-wide JDE Xe ERP system to new database and application server platform with minimal downtime to the business. While their goal was to have less than 8 hours of downtime, with GoldenGate they limited downtime to 30 minutes.

Both Veolia and Land O’Lakes used GoldenGate in an Active-Passive fashion, meaning that the new environment was not used simultaneously with the old one, and the users migrated all at once. GoldenGate provides Active-Active migration model too, if the company prefers to do a phased migration and truly zero downtime.

Smuckers's Neal Indermuhle had a different story to share. He talked about operational reporting for their critical Oracle E-Business Suite and how using Oracle GoldenGate helped the company to achieve the near real-time data they need in making critical business decisions. Neil shared that the replication latency averages less than 10 seconds and Oracle GoldenGate Veridata is leveraged to validate synchronization.

I would like to thank Pierre, Mark, and Neal for sharing their best practices, and taking tough questions from the audience. If you would like to learn more about Oracle GoldenGate’s solutions for JD Edwards, E-Business Suite and other key Oracle Applications please check out our new resource center with recorded video presentations and detailed white papers.

Tuesday Aug 13, 2013

The AppAdvantage of Oracle Cloud & On-premises Integration

Are you an Oracle application customer wondering:

“How do I avoid a nightmare of complexity while expanding my application integration infrastructure from on-premises to a hybrid mix of cloud and on-premises?”

If so, your awareness of the complexity that results when departments develop a growing patchwork of cloud integrations independent from a cohesive enterprise strategy, is an important first step. This naturally evolving complexity, known as the “Accidental Cloud Architecture” returns enterprises to the painful pre-SOA days of point-to-point integration. Much has been written on this phenomenon including a recent Forrester report (“The Hybrid2 Integration Challenge” by Stefan Ried, PH.D., May 1 2013) which states:

“…the existing integration tool landscape at most large enterprises is simply too varied and disparate to support full implementation of a digital business design strategy”

The image below shows a visual description of the challenge of managing a growing collection of disparate integration toolkits and their associated disparate standards and non-standards.

Disparate Toolkits

Oracle’s solution to simplifying the complexity of cloud and on-premises integration is based on removing the distinction between cloud and on-premises integration with a unified approach to integration regardless of deployment location. As shown in the image below, this includes a single standards-based toolkit (using Java, BPEL, etc.) across all applications.

Unfied Toolkits

In addition to the simplified complexity of a unified approach to integration, the following additional features describe the AppAdvantage that Oracle customer’s benefit from when using Oracle Fusion Middleware to integrate Oracle applications.


  • Developed by Oracle Application Software Developers – When using Oracle SOA Suite to integrate with Oracle E-Business Suite, the implementation for selecting application data was developed by the Oracle E-Business Suite software development team for Oracle SOA Suite. This close level of collaboration between Oracle’s application and integration teams minimizes risk by providing you a fully integrated and application version-aware integration solution.
  • Oracle Fusion Applications are Pre-integrated with Oracle SOA Suite – Oracle Fusion Applications already include the core features of Oracle SOA Suite such as the BPEL Process Manager for orchestrating flow between applications and other data stores. When you are ready to expand your integration into an unified platform across your enterprise, you are simply extending the foundation embedded within Oracle Fusion applications.
  • Common Policy Management Between Oracle Fusion Applications & Oracle SOA Suite – Instead of one policy management implementation for your applications and another for your integration platform, Oracle Fusion Applications shares the same Oracle Web Services Management policy management solution with Oracle SOA Suite which simplifies complexity and reduces time to integrate. Policy management for signing messages, performing encryption, authentication, and role-based access control is greatly simplified. Furthermore, changing policies is done independent of the end-points (such as services) so you have greater flexibility and security throughout your enterprise.
  • Mobile-ready Application Enablement & Integration – Instead of splintering off a new mobile enablement and integration platform that will eventually require some form of integration with your enterprise integration platform, Oracle SOA Suite spans the needs of the enterprise developer building SOAP-based services as well as newer mobile application enablement with RESTful services within Oracle SOA Suite's enterprise service bus, known as Oracle Service Bus.  Your enterprise developers can immediately expose services for mobile, cloud, and whatever comes next with this unified approach to integration.

For more information on Oracle's solution to simplifying hybrid cloud integration complexity, download the white paper "Cloud Integration - A Comprehensive Solution"

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