This month’s new articles about Oracle Integration Cloud …
The catalogue of articles we’ve been maintaining here has become substantial and a bit unwieldy to maintain (and we think to use). So we’re going see how periodic posts for the latest resources works. We’ve added a new post category to the blog called CollectedArticles, which will make it easy to filter out all but these posts.
We’ll continue to include the references to who the post was from, and the aspect of OIC that is relevant.
As we haven’t updated the resources for a while, this is going to be a bit larger than normal.
|Article / Link||Author||Subject Matter||Connecting|
|SOA Suite 188.8.131.52 / OIC interoperability||Nial Commisky (Oracle Prod. Mgmt)||Adaptors||SOA Suite|
|OIC NetSuite Adaptor||Nial Commisky (Oracle Prod. Mgmt)||Adaptors||Net Suite|
|New Connector for Box||Nial Commisky (Oracle Prod. Mgmt)||Adaptors||Box|
|Object Storage with Oracle Integration Cloud||Red Thunder||Adaptors|
|Using Visual Builder for Process Task Forms||Nial Commisky (Oracle Prod. Mgmt)||VBCS / PCS|
|OIC Feature Flags||Nial Commisky (Oracle Prod. Mgmt)||Core|
|CPQ Integration (Part 1, Part 2)||Nial Commisky (Oracle Prod. Mgmt)||Adaptors||Oracle CPQ|
|Fusion ERP Batch Imports with OIC||Nial Commisky (Oracle Prod. Mgmt)||Adaptors||ERP|
|Why and How to Integrate Oracle Policy Automation with Oracle Integration||Cristian Silipigni (Oracle Solution Engineer)||Adaptor||Oracle Policy Automation|
|Testing REST trigger-based Integrations in OIC Console||Sumit Tomar (Oracle Snr Technical Staff)||Adaptors|
|Encrypt/Decrypt capabilities in Stage Files||Bipin Kumar (Oracle Tech Lead)||Adaptors|
|Integration Patterns – Publish/Subscribe (Part 1, Part 2)||Daniel Martins Teixeira (Oracle Tech Solution Engineer)||Core|
|Using the next generation Activity Stream||Mamta Sangwan (Oracle Snr Tech Staff)||Core|
|Send Notification with attachment||Ankur Jain (Oracle Ace Associate)||Adaptor|
|Editable Table in VBCS||Ankur Jain (Oracle Ace Associate)||VBCS|
|Oracle ATP Adaptor||Ankur Jain (Oracle Ace Associate)||Adaptor||Autonomous Transaction Processing|
|Defining and using constants||Jans Kettenis||Core|
|Auto-Mapping Elements in the Data Mapper||Jans Kettenis||Core|
|Progressive Web App UI Experience||Harish Vinayachandran (Oracle)||Core|
|ICS – XSLT parameters that are not found but are being used ???||Marcel van de Glind||Core|
|How Much Oracle Integration Cloud Do I Need?||Rubicon Red||Core|
With the recent announcement of working with Automation Anywhere (press release here) adding to the partnership already in place with UiPath, Oracle’s approach to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is differing to other players such as SAP and Pega Systems for example who have acquired vendors.
It is an interesting question as to whether partnering is the right solution given that RPA vendors can and do challenge the need for an integration platform. After all with the exception of IoT most solutions have an some form of UI or API the robot can connect to. This assertion whilst isn’t wrong it fundamentally overlooks the ability to push transaction volumes through, UIs are vulnerable to change, the ability to apply very robust security. But when discussing integration needs with business rather than technology leaders such factors can be so easily overlooked.
Whilst acquisition is a possibility, unless Oracle acquires one of the big three (Automation Anywhere, UiPath, Blue Prism) they are likely to end up with a less established and/or less feature rich offering, that could very easily be perceived as an expensive OIC adaptor. Where as by having now partnered with two of the three major players, it is easier to sell the story that the technologies can be complimentary.
So how do they compliment rather than compete? The traditional buyer of OIC is an IT team either corporate or departmental. Such teams are often constantly being pushed for new Integrations to and often the most problematic of these are the smaller demands for proof of concepts etc that drive innovation forward, or enables the next new business opportunity or short lived integration need. By introducing support for RPA means several possibilities …
- Reverse the sales story, where an RPA sale has displaced traditional PaaS but the scale up has become too costly then the pitch can be it’s easy to make smooth transition to a PaaS solution by using the adaptor to streamline the use of RPA where it is needed,
- Using RPA against services the have changing and regularly enhancement are likely to suffer from the need to continually maintain the RPA scripts. If this happens a lot then the RPA model will feel very brittle. Whilst this is a plus from an iPaaS perspective, we don’t want the fact that perhaps central IT have suggested RPA as an interim solution and therefore end up being to blame for the effort involved in maintaining brittle scripts,
- RPA can be used by less technical users to effectively develop and prove business needs and thinking before an often over stretched IT team get involved – use RPA fed with appropriately sourced data via Integrations to help determine/prove business idea, before making the larger investment in a scalable robust solution,
- Integrations can be exposed and extended using RPA for tactical short term fixes, if the pilot proves value, and the next step is scale up – then replace RPA with OIC.
The last of these possibilities is very interesting as we’re moving towards what could be described as the citizen adaptor (in the same sense of having citizen developers).
Central IT teams embracing the idea citizen developers and integrators means rather than what is sometimes referred to as Shadow IT being that only a shadow with no visibility of what is happening. By embracing the idea, we create the opportunity to:
- Influence/set the parameters for the tools being used – increasing the chance of ensuring efficiencies in investment (and/or license compliance),
- See if common solutions or problems are occurring across the organization therefore focus efforts of building strategic solutions that deliver the biggest return on investment,
- Potentially leverage efforts from shadow IT teams for the benefit of the wider organisation,
- Most importantly opportunity to monitor what is happening to ensure legal and contractual compliance is assured e.g. if corporate policy prevents the use of cloud storage services from being used to hold certain types of data – it will be easy to see what Integrations exist with such services, and then review the data involved.
In this light working with, rather than trying to compete against the market leading RPA vendors has the distinct potential to present OIC as a strategic enabler.
Whilst OIC is not a traditional development environment, once you get past simple integration development you’re going to want to start implementing some configuration management controls and release promotion mechanisms. We discussed this in the book, and illustrated how this can be achieved in a simple manner using the OIC APIs.
However this can be further simplified, and consolidated so that a configuration management approach doesn’t just work for OIC, but can be applied to other products both in the Oracle cloud and beyond. Flexdeploy from Flexagon, has long provided this kind of tooling around Oracle’s SOA Suite but over the last couple of years has been addressing the same challenges for Oracle’s cloud offerings.
When we have spoken with Flexagon about the tool’s capabilities we found a product that very feature rich and addressed all the use cases we could identify as being needed. However, rather than take our word for it, checkout the following resources:
- Compiled list of Flexdeploy blogs on OIC – https://flexagon.com/2019/01/flexdeploy-loves-oic/
- Flexdeploy at the Oracle Marketplace – https://cloudmarketplace.oracle.com/marketplace/listing/3634874
- Flexdeploy demos as YouTube Videos – https://flexagon.com/resources/videos/
Traditionally integrating with systems that don’t offer APIs or a shared storage mechanism (such as open tables) has been something of a headache often resulting in the ‘last mile’ of the integration process being manual. The manual steps often come because the cost of building and maintaining the means to integrate has not been cost effective or even an option (vendor has end of lifted a product, and not willing to add an integration mechanism).
The idea of ‘screen scraping’ isn’t new, but the cost of implementing such mechanisms has dropped and the new generation of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools such those provided by UiPath have made it significantly easier to integrate and automate UI driven processes. Whilst UI based integration isn’t recommended as a first option for integration, it shouldn’t be ruled out particularly as it gets easier and easier to generate and maintain the UI automation. There are several factors that need to be considered as to whether such an approach is appropriate, for example:
- the ability to run a robot to execute the UI interaction,
- the volume of data needing to be moved through the UI – you wont escape the latency issues that may exist with UI steps,
- is the UI being automated changing rapidly (is there enough cost benefit for automating)
Oracle have been working in partnership with one of the leading RPA product vendors – UiPath, which has resulted in an adaptor for Oracle Integration Cloud. The adaptor allows you to pass data to the UiPath Orchestrator component which will run the processes in an unattended mode. In the adaptor configuration you provide information about how many resources you want the Orchestrator to apply to the task, the queuing of the job and so on.
for more information on RPA and the adaptor the following links maybe of help:
- http://amysimpsongrange.com/tag/rpa/ – an introduction to RPA
- https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/integration-cloud/uipath-rpa-adapter/using-uipath-robotic-process-automation-adapter-oracle-integration.pdf – documentation on the RPA adaptor
- http://niallcblogs.blogspot.com/2018/12/671-oic-1845-new-features-ui-path-rpa.html – Oracle PM introduction
Whilst Oracle’s roadmap in the RPA space is not entirely clear we have heard indications that Oracle are limiting themselves to just UiPath (this is what UiPath say about the partnership).
Regardless of the approach you’ll see that the adoption of RPA is important in Oracle’s vision, with their Agile Finance making a clear indication of its view (see the paper here).
Oracle Open World 2018 is upon us, and here are some suggested sessions:
- Antipatterns for Integration: Common Pitfalls [PRO6175]
- Deep Dive: Application Integration on Oracle Cloud [TRN6458]
- Enhance your CX Applications with Oracle Integration Cloud [HOL6299]
- Oracle SOA Suite Hybrid Options with Oracle Integration Cloud [TIP4530]
- Accelerate DigitalOps with Oracle Integration Cloud and UiPath RPA [THT6590]
- The Future of Integration with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence [TIP1372]
- Extending and Connecting Applications with Oracle Integration Cloud [HOL6298]
- FedEx Hybrid Cloud Integration Strategy [CAS3614]
- Integrating Your ERP and HCM with Oracle Integration Cloud [HOL6314]
- Simplify and Accelerate Digital Transformation with Oracle Integration Cloud [PRO4539]
- The Path to a Digital Workforce with Oracle Integration Cloud [PRO4515]
- American Red Cross Modernizes Disaster Relief with Oracle Integration Cloud [CAS4877]
- Unleash Your Business Processes Your Way with Oracle Integration Cloud [PRO4536]
- Quick Wins Your Business Will Love Using Oracle Integration Cloud [THT6824]
- Simplify and Accelerate Digital Transformation with Oracle Integration Cloud [PRO4518]
- Application Integration on Oracle Cloud [TRN6352]
- DevOps: Oracle SOA, Oracle WebLogic, Oracle Integration Cloud, Oracle Java Cloud Service [CAS3896]
- Get Insight into Oracle Integration Cloud/Oracle Java Cloud Service Performance [PRO4478]
- AI-Powered Oracle Integration Cloud and Oracle API Platform Cloud Service [PRO6176]
- Connect with Oracle ERP Cloud or Oracle HCM Cloud with Oracle Integration Cloud [PRO4538]
- Oracle Integration Cloud Customer Panel: Real-World Digital Transformation Uses Cases [CAS5691]
- Simplifying Oracle HCM Cloud Integrations [PRM3890]
- Integrating with Oracle ERP Cloud Using Oracle Integration Cloud Service [THT6831]
- Oracle Integration Cloud Best Practices Panel: Transforming to Hybrid Cloud [CAS5215]
- Oracle Integration Cloud Customer Panel: Integrating SaaS into Your Application Network [CAS4491]
- Broader, Better, Faster: Capgemini’s Blueprint for Oracle Cloud in UK Police [CAS3273]
We have had a number of interesting conversations of late about the transition from ICS to OIC and to spice the discussion whether it should be OIC or Autonomous OIC. The reality of the situation is that the transition between ICS and OIC is a relatively straight forward one using the export and import tooling.
The real challenge is the impact to organisations appears to be the change in licensing models as OIC works with the newer Universal Credit Model (UCM) where as ICS is in the older arrangement of traditional accounts where you buy the use of specific services, in some ways not too different from traditional Oracle traditional product licensing. For organisations that operate with corporate level buying teams this is organisationally more challenging. As just buying credits can feel like your giving the IT children pocket money and you don’t trust them to ensure the money is spent wisely and they don’t come running back a day later when they say spent all the money can we have some more.
IOC or Autonomous OIC
For the smaller customers where they’re generating less than 5000 Messages per hour (think Integration triggers where each message is <50k – which is fairly big for most needs. Although be aware but moving large files is going to eat through your messages as the transfer cost is file size / 50k = no. messages used (consumed or sent), of effectively 250MB per hour. The autonomous option is a no brainer for smaller use cases in terms of cost as it means on current pricing you have your integrations operating for a lot less than £500 per month (£0.5867 x 24 x 30 – using standard with the flex scheme – https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/OIC/pricing). With that the SaaS adaptors are also included – that means you could operate say Workday to Oracle Financials for an SME without much problem.
Note: Presently June 2018 Edition of Oracle PaaS and IaaS Universal Credits Service Descriptions - does not clearly define KB and mixes KB and Kb. Having raised this with product management it has been confirmed to mean KiloBytes and NOT Kilobits
As the volumes increase, the differences are going to change, whilst we haven’t done the maths, we’d expect the increasing volumes to eventually favour traditional OIC.
The rules do go beyond simple messages when the Visual Builder (VBCS) and Process (PCS) elements gets involved. The formulas do boil down to users and message counts so the maths are relatively managable. Note the explination for concurrent users is a little more complex than may first appear, and worthy of a blog explination in its own right.
There are other considerations as well for Autonomous OIC vs standard OIC, such as whether you want to have more or less control on the processes such as absorbing updates, handling backups, whether you need to isolate the data from everyone else – and this is a question that is likely to be driven by compliance over anything else for most. Whilst we’ve just highlighted the list prices, when doing the calculations of the cost benefit, you need to factor in the skill sets involved in the different options and the ability to respond to dynamic demand.
Just to link it back to the book, whether its OIC or Autonomous OIC the integration engeine is essentially still the same as ICS. So reading about ICS is still going to help, of course there will be some cosmetic differences, but the fundamentals remain the same.
When ICS was launched it delivered on of the values of PaaS namely you didn’t need to worry about setting up storage, database and compute, it was all sorted out for you. Admittedly it come with a lack of elasticity when it came to resilience and scaling. In contrast Services such as SOA CS which required you to go through each of the layers, but gave you a degree of flexibility. The whilst simpler than building SOA on-premises it still represents a laborious and fiddly process that took time.
When OIC (Oracle Integration Cloud) arrived and the introduction Universal Credits we had a pricing model that made it a lot easier to be elastic in terms of approach to resourcing, but a deployment model that following SOA CS rather than ICS. To an extend, one step forward, and another back.
Fortunately we are seeing head way that means we have recovered that backward step.
The transformation of Oracle Integration Cloud Service (ICS) into Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) continues to progress. If you’ve read our earlier posts (such as this) on the subject you’ll remember that ICS becomes part of OIC, and depending on which version of OIC you take you will also see other components including:
- Visual Builder Cloud Service (VBCS)
- Process Cloud Service (PCS)
Whilst the product is evolving, the heart of our book remains very relevant to the integratiobn capabilities of OIC, even if the screen shots have changed a little. But what does this all mean to this website? As authors we’ve been a bit preoccupied with our current writing projects as they come to a close (Implementing API Platform and Blockchain Across Oracle). But worry not, we will be adding content. At the very least in the immediate time we have continued to capture and maintain the list of external articles we think are helpful and informative here.
On the subject of the of this catalogue, as the scope of OIC has grown and we’ll start to see lots of material around the PCS capabilities under the OIC title, and of course PCS in its pre-OIC form are still very relevant. In the coming days we’ll incorporate into the catalogue an additional filter to separate sections to cover the different underlying products/capabilities and add start to pickup related content. it maybe necessary to go as far as plitting the catlogue as we already have over 100 referenced entries.
As for articles on this stie, we’ll continue to focus on the integration side of things. For a good look at PCS, we’d recommend checking out the award winning Jarvis Pizzaria material – check it out here.
As previously mentioned, ICS is going to be incorporated into Oracle Integration Cloud. Since we have had the announcement we have had some more information about OIC released.
The keypoints here are:
OIC Standard Edition
OIC Enterprise Edition
|What we used to know as Integration Cloud Service, which includes …
Visual Cloud Builder – ability to build simple UIs
|Standard Edition plus ..
Process Cloud capabilities
Analytics features – Streams and Insight product
Enterprise Solutions Adaptors – e.g. Seibel, EBS etc
|Requires a DB||Requires a DB
To support Integration and Stream Analytics …
This and related information can be found in a new presentation that can be seen at: