In-Depth: Using Portal 10g with the E-Business Suite

Continuing our series on how E-Business Suite users can take advantage of Oracle Application Server 10g components, today we're going to cover the use of Oracle Portal 10g (10.1.2.0.2).


The Basics:  Portal Pages and EBS Product Portlets

Portal 10g is Oracle's enterprise portal product, allowing users to create web sites that consolidate and publish information from a variety of sources.  Oracle's corporate website is built with Portal:

Portal 10g Screenshot:


Portal users can access the E-Business Suite via the Application Navigator, a small portlet that displays a hierarchical menu of an authenticated user's Applications Responsibilities and their associated menu items.  Here's a screenshot of the Applications Navigator:

Applications Navigator Portlet 11i:

And, since we've been running a few sneak previews for the new Release 12 user interface, here's a screenshot of the draft Release 12 equivalent, with Applications Favorites portlet thrown in at no extra charge:

Applications Navigator Portlet R12:

The Applications Navigator portlet's menu is user-specific:  only the responsibilities that the user is authorized [link] for are displayed, so every user will see a different menu.  The Navigator menu provide access to all E-Business Suite content, including Self-Service web-based applications like iExpenses, as well as Forms and Discoverer workbooks.

Other portlets are available for:
  • Application Favorites  A list of bookmarked links to specific E-Business Suite screens
  • Applications Worklist  A list of the user's Workflow Notifications
  • Balanced Scorecard  Graphical and tabular key performance indicators based on E-Business Suite data
E-Business Suite Portlets and Third-Party Portals

Many of you already have corporate portal systems in place, such as Plumtree, WebSphere, and Tibco.  Unfortunately, it's not possible to plug E-Business Suite Release 11i portlets into those third-party portals; they're written specifically for Oracle Portal 10g.

There's promising news on the horizon, though.  We're in the process of redesigning the E-Business Suite web provider (more on that below) to meet the JSR-168 / WSRP standards, so it's possible that you'll be able to plug Release 12 portlets into third-party portals.

What's Required to Do This?

You need to do the following to use Portal with the E-Business Suite:
  1. Integrate the E-Business Suite with Single Sign-On 10g (this is a mandatory prerequisite)

  2. Install the E-Business Suite Oracle Applications Framework Web Provider in your E-Business Suite environment

  3. Register the E-Business Suite Web Provider in your Portal environment

  4. Build a custom portal page that displays the E-Business Suite portlets of your choice
How Does the Integration Work?

Individual E-Business Suite applications such as Balanced Scorecard write portlets to expose their data in Portal.  These portlets communicate with Portal via the Oracle Applications Framework (OAF) web provider, a small E-Business Suite technology stack plug-in that handles user session management and transmission of portal content on-demand.  

A Flurry of Activity

Here's what happens behind the scenes to produce a portal page containing an E-Business Suite portlet:

An end-user navigates to Portal.  If the user isn't already logged in, she's redirected to Single Sign-On, where she's logged in.  Once properly authenticated, she's redirected back to Portal.  

The Portal Parallel Page Engine (PPE) begins assembling the home page that the user will eventually see, dispatching requests to the various sources for the latest office gossip, stock quotes, Discoverer workbook portlets, and so on.  

Portal 10g Flow:

Portal notes that the end-user's home page includes the Applications Navigator.  Portal calls the OAF web provider, requesting the data for that portlet.  

The OAF web provider looks up the user's authorization and then passes control to the portlet code that actually retrieves the data from the E-Business Suite database.  That data is sent back to Portal, which renders the portlet according to wrapper information provided by the OAF web provider.

Upgrading From Previous Portal Versions

If you're a current Portal 3.0.9 user worried about its impending desupport later this year, you'll want to start thinking about the amount of data that you want to migrate from your existing environment to Portal 10g.

There is a somewhat baroque way of upgrading from that version to Portal 10g (10.1.2.0.2), but reports from system administrators suggest that this isn't exactly a picnic:

Portal Upgrade Paths:

If you only have a small amount of existing Portal 3.0.9 content, it may be faster for you to just manually recreate it in Portal 10g, rather than going through the formal Portal upgrade process.  For full details about upgrading between Portal versions, see the Oracle Portal Upgrade site.

Certification with Portal 10.1.4

The latest version of Portal 10g available at the time of this post is Portal 10.1.4.  This version is still being certified with the E-Business Suite.  We expect (and fervently hope) that this version will be certified Real Soon Now... feel free to subscribe to this blog to get email updates when that certification is released.

Related Articles:

Comments:

On 5/9/06 Steve Chan posted the following:

Certification with Portal 10.1.4

The latest version of Portal 10g available at the time of this post is Portal 10.1.4. This version is still being certified with the E-Business Suite. We expect (and fervently hope) that this version will be certified Real Soon Now...

We are now 60 days later. Where is the certification process? We have a go to market requirement for 10.1.4 of portal to font-end iStore and the rest of eBiz. We are concerned that a date has not been announced.

Thanks

Posted by Michael Getz on August 14, 2006 at 01:41 AM PDT #

Michael,We're still working on this certification, unfortunately.  We've identified some backward-incompatibilities in the Portal 10.1.4 release in the way page IDs are handled with some Apps products, notably the Balanced Scorecard integrations.  We've also worked through other issues associated with seed data, NLS translations, and so on.We've recently gotten a patch for the page ID issue, but there appear to be some residual things we need to work through. This has been a bit of a frustrating certification for us, and I know that the delays have been aggravating for you, too.  I'll be sure to post an announcement on this blog as soon as it's finally available.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on August 15, 2006 at 08:08 AM PDT #

"The latest version of Portal 10g available at the time of this post is Portal 10.1.4."

That was nearly a half year ago...Where is the certification process? Can you provide some sort of ETA?

Thanks,
Paul

Posted by P Gibson on October 09, 2006 at 07:46 AM PDT #

Paul,Stay tuned -- I hope to have a certification announcement on this front very soon...Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on October 16, 2006 at 04:23 AM PDT #

Thanks for the quick reply/info Steven.

Posted by P Gibson on October 18, 2006 at 03:18 AM PDT #

Steve,

Saw the certification that happended today. That is great news!

Thanks,
Paul

Posted by P Gibson on October 18, 2006 at 08:04 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,
Your blog is real motivator for learning more about the new oracle technology products.

I am interested more in Oracle Portal Framework/Web center. My requirement is how to integrate Oracle R12 product portlets with a page/portal developed using Oracle webcenter?
Thanks

Posted by Alagar on July 24, 2007 at 03:49 PM PDT #

Hi, Alagar,Thanks very much for your feedback.  There are a couple of different methods for integrating the E-Business Suite Release 12 with pages/portals developed using Oracle WebCenter.1. Use WSRP 1.0:  A small number of Release 12 portlets from the Applications Technology Group have WSRP-compliant versions packaged with the Rapid Install.  These include the Applications Navigator, Favorites, and Worklist portlets.  I'm not aware of any other E-Business Suite product portlets released for WSRP.2. Use the native Release 12 portlets built on JPDK with WebCenter.  The catch:  our certification of our Release 12 portlets (designed for Oracle Portal) with WebCenter 10.1.3.x is still underway.  I'll post updates on this WebCenter certification here on this blog as soon as they're available.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on July 27, 2007 at 04:44 AM PDT #

Hi,Steven,
Thanks for your introduction.I actually got an problem after i integrate portal10.1.4.1 with EBS.I have had the EBS OAF web provider registed successfully and i have added a application navigator on portal page through this web provider.Everything seems ok that this portle was showing the correct reponsibility list owned by current user on page.But after i clicked any responsibility entry on page i got the error page showing like:
You are trying to access a page that is no longer active.
- The referring page may have come from a previous session. Please select Home to proceed.

I also have checked the application.log log file for portal and noticed the error info on it like:
ERROR: Repository Gateway error: Request Processing Error: Bad name in the request: not a legal PLSQL identifer

Would you give me any suggestion on this?I was really annoyed with this issue.

Posted by Daniel on September 25, 2007 at 03:42 PM PDT #

Hi, Daniel,Sorry for the delay in responding.  I've been working through my post-vacation backlog.
Glad to hear that you've gotten this far, but I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing issues at this point.  It will be difficult to troubleshoot this issue via blog comments, however.  I would recommend that you log a formal Service Request via Metalink to get assistance from our Portal specialists.  If the SR gets bogged down for some reason, feel free to send me the SR number and I'll engage our Development team as needed.Good luck with your implementation.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on October 05, 2007 at 04:11 AM PDT #

We are integrating R12 and IBM WEbsphere portal. Is it necessary to integrate R12 with Oracle SSO or directly it can be integrated with IBM Web sphere? Portal team is using WEBsheal for authentication . They want to use R12 portlet for few functionalty . Are these portlets are compatible with IBM Websphere ? If yes then plz suggest from where i can get the required portlets.

Posted by arpit on August 27, 2008 at 04:35 AM PDT #

Arpit,

The E-Business Suite must be integrated with Oracle Single Sign-On. Oracle Single Sign-On may be integrated with third-party authentication systems like IBM's Tivoli Access Manager and WebSeal.

Release 12 includes three WSRP-compatible portlets that can be used with third-party portals. For details, see:

Integrating Apps 12 Portlets with Third-Party Portals -
http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2007/10/integrating_apps_12_portlets_w.html

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on August 27, 2008 at 05:45 AM PDT #

Steven,
We are working on upgrading from 11.5.7 to release 12. We actually have it running in a test environment. In our 11.5.7 portal we had a Workflow notifications portlet on the page as well as a responsibility selection portlet. How do we get this same functionality with release 12? I don't see workflow stuff anywhere. Thanks.

Posted by Scott M on September 08, 2008 at 03:25 AM PDT #

Scott,

Glad to hear that you've gotten this far. Looking at your userid, I'd think that your organization is in our R12 Strategic Implementation Program. If that's not so, please let me know.

The Workflow notifications functionality is called the Worklist portlet.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by a "responsibility selection portlet," but you might be talking about the Applications Navigator portlet. This portlet shows a logged-in user the different menu items and functions available, based upon the user's assigned responsibilities.

Both the Worklist and Applications Navigator portlets are available in Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, in both the standard JPDK versions (ie. built specifically for Oracle Portal 10g) as well as new WSRP 1.0 versions that can be used with third-party portals. I've profiled that new option here:

Release 12 and Third-Party Portals -
http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2006/05/release_12_and_thirdparty_port.html

If these R12 portlets aren't showing up in your Portal repository, it's possible that your E-Business Suite R12 environment isn't properly registered with your Portal instance. I'd recommend logging a formal Service Request via Metalink to get one of our specialists engaged. Feel free to copy me on the SR # if you wish.

Good luck with your R12 implementation.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on September 08, 2008 at 07:50 AM PDT #

Steven,
Thank-you for your response. I did mean Applications Navigator portlet, thank-you. We have also done a clean 10g portal install that we are migrating our 3.0.9.8.4 production portal to. It was determined that it would be much easier than to try and upgrade. So currently in production we are using 11.5.7 and portal 3.0.9.8.4. Our portal is standalone. Our new setup will also be done this way. Is is possible to register the R12 environment with the standalone portal and include the worklist and navigator portlets outside of the R12 environment on this portal? They are sharing the same OID. Thanks again.

Posted by Scott M on September 08, 2008 at 09:05 PM PDT #

Scott,

I agree with your approach: If your existing Portal 3.0.9 instance has relatively little custom content, then it's much easier to do a fresh install of Portal 10g rather than upgrading from 3.0.9.

>Is is possible to register the R12 environment
>with the standalone portal...

Yes, this is possible.

>... and include the worklist and navigator portlets
>outside of the R12 environment on this portal?

Not sure what you mean by "the worklist and navigator outside of the R12 environment" but I'll take a guess at your intention. You can register the portlets from the older 11.5.7 instance on your new Portal 10g instance. You can also register the portlets from the new R12 instance on your new Portal 10g instance.

In other words, a single Portal 10g instance can have X portlets from Y EBS instances registered.

Both EBS instances as well as the Portal 10g instance can use the same SSO/OID 10g instance.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on September 09, 2008 at 04:06 AM PDT #

Please, I need help. I following metalink note 305918.1: Using portal 10g with EBS 11i, i have done the steps up to section 8. if you staging area, all the portlets are showing. but by the you want to add the portlets, they dissapear.

Posted by Oseni Yaya on September 15, 2008 at 10:26 PM PDT #

Oseni,

This sounds like an issue with the partner application registration process. I'd recommend that you log a formal Service Request via Oracle Metalink to get one of our ATG Portal specialists to help you out with this.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on September 16, 2008 at 03:28 AM PDT #

Steven,
Caught your session at OOW. Great information.

Regarding the section above "What's Required to Do This?"...The link for item 2 refers to a Metalink note for EBS 11i. Is there a comparable link for EBS 12?
Thanks

Posted by Scott M on September 27, 2008 at 02:51 AM PDT #

Hi, Scott,

Glad you made it to my OpenWorld session -- thanks for the feedback.

I've linked to the EBS 12 + Portal Note in this announcement:

http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2007/08/11/

You might also find this article R12 resources useful:

http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2007/02/getting_started_with_the_relea_1.html

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on September 30, 2008 at 07:38 AM PDT #

Steven,
Following the directions at the following,
http://mhabib.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/changing-color-scheme-look-and-feel/

I've managed to change the color scheme in the apps. How do I change the apps home page colors; where the Applications Navigator portlet is located?
Thanks

Posted by Scott M on October 22, 2008 at 10:52 AM PDT #

Hi, Scott,

Since you've posted this question on this Oracle Portal article, I'm assuming that you're asking about how to change a custom Oracle Portal page where you've added the Applications Navigator.

Oracle Portal offers a number of options for customizing portal pages. See Chapter 2.3 "Personalizing Pages" in the Portal User Guide:

http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B14099_19/portal.1014/b13809/toc.htm

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on October 23, 2008 at 03:43 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,

Is it possible to connect oracle portal 10g with multiple datasources?

We have our Oracle Portal application 10.1.2 integrated with EBS R11i.
Now we are upgrading EBS R11i to EBSR12. We would like to know, if oracle portal can be connected to both EBS R11i and EBS R12 simultaneously. If it is possible to retrieve the data from both EBS R11i and EBS R12, Please let us know how can we do that?

Thanks & Regards,
Ash

Posted by Ash on November 07, 2012 at 11:58 PM PST #

Hi, Ash,

Yes, Oracle Portal can handle multiple data sources.

You can follow the appropriate documentation to integrate your EBS 11i environment with Oracle Portal. You can then follow the appropriate documentation to integrate your EBS 12 environment with Oracle Portal. Each of those steps must be done independently.

By the way, Premier Support for Oracle Portal 10g ended in December 2011. You should upgrade to Portal 11g immediately. You should also begin planning your migration over to Oracle WebCenter, since Oracle Portal is now in sunset mode.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on November 08, 2012 at 10:03 AM PST #

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the quick response.

Our Oracle Portal is already integrated with EBS R11i. We have upgraded EBS R11i to EBS R12.While upgrading the portal, we want to connect to both EBS R11i and EBSR12 paralelly.

Please let us know the strategy of connecting Oracle Portal to multiple data sources (R11i10 with R12 DB).

Thanks & Regards,
Ash

Posted by Ash on November 15, 2012 at 04:52 AM PST #

Hi, Ash,

You can follow this document to integrate Portal 10g with EBS 12:

Using Oracle Portal 10g with Oracle E-Business Suite 12 (Metalink Note 380484.1)

Both of the EBS registrations with your Portal 10g instance will work independently. When you no longer need the EBS 11i data source, you can simply unregister it.

If you have additional questions about this integration, please feel free to log a Service Request to get assistance from Oracle Support.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on November 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM PST #

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