Friday Feb 28, 2014

Retail Service Backbone and Integration Console

A key ingredient to Commerce Anywhere is the integration of systems.  If you're going to provide customers abilities like "buy online, pick-up in the store" then you're going to have to connect several systems.  For those that choose all Oracle Retail applications, most of those integrations are already available, but the majority of retailers have heterogeneous environments that require many integrations. Those integrations can be categorized as bulk data, fire-and-forget (message-based), and request-response services.  Its last one I'd like to discuss a bit.

As part of the v14 release, Oracle Retail provides the Retail Service Backbone (RSB) to assist with the lifecycle of Web services.  The RSB is included with the RIB license and its use is optional.  The libraries and tools are built on top of the Oracle Service Bus, but using a different ESB isn't out of the question.  The RIB and RSB work together and share the use of consistent Retail Business Objects.

From the release notes, we see that the RSB contains the following components:

  • Tools for generation of OSB projects with pre-built instrumentation
  • Tools for automating full services lifecycle management
  • Tools to manage service lifecycle phases (preparation, assembly, and deployment)
  • Tools for generation and automation of web service security policies
  • Centralized configuration management of all Oracle Retail services
  • Enforcement of standardization and verification of Retail Enterprise services
  • Configuration based extensible framework to enable customization
  • Pre-configured instrumentation for alerts, SLA, logging, audit, and trace automatically built in to each integration flow
  • Retail Integration Console (RIC) is a monitoring, diagnosis, and analysis tool

That last one, the RIC, is a very cool Web application used for monitoring the Web service integrations at the application level.  From the console, its easy to see how integrations are performing, detect exceptions, and drive into details for analysis and eventual diagnosis.  Here's a screenshot of the summary page:

The tabs across the top are Integration Summary, Integration Flows, Deployment Topology, Performance & Diagnostics, Historical Trends, and Integration Guide.  These tabs provide a comprehensive view of the integrations thus allowing administrators to be more proactive in avoiding issues and quicker to diagnose those that can't be avoided.

Delivering on the Commerce Anywhere promise starts with systems that are effectively exchanging data.

About


David Dorf, Sr Director Technology Strategy for Oracle Retail, shares news and ideas about the retail industry with a focus on innovation and emerging technologies.


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