Understanding Oracle's Integration Cloud Service and how to get the most out of your implementation

Author: Phil Wilkins Page 1 of 5

TOGAF 9 Certified Enterprise Integration Architect & Oracle Ace Associate
UKOUG Middleware Special Interest Committee Member
- https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philwilkins
- https://blog.mp3monster.org
- https://www.packtpub.com/books/info/authors/phil-wilkins

OIC and Integrating Oracle SaaS

Handling integration between Oracle SaaS applications and modules has been something of an evolutionary journey. A couple of years ago if you wanted to intgrate say HCM and ERP you needed to ICS or OIC to perform the integration.

In many respects this wasn’t such a terrible thing. Technically as it meant that the back end database schema development for each app was not going to be slowed by needing to be mutually dependent with each other. As a result avoiding the complexities of managing a canonical model and ensuring any changes to that model are delivered in a manner that aligns across multiple development teams plans.

Although you can see from a marketing position it might not have seemed so great, as the customer incurs more cost and development effort to realize a process of managing people (HCM) and paying them (ERP) for example.

Things have moved on, and as long as SaaS apps reside in a Global Single Instance (GSI) (i.e. same region, account and deployment) then for the major products (e.g. ERP, CX, HCM, etc) are internally integrated so a person change in HCM will propagate to ERP as necessary. This certainly reduces the need for integration, saving effort (and the cost of needing OIC).

The problem now is understanding which entities in the SaaS apps are integrated out the box if you deploy using the GSI manner. If you have been working from an integration/technology view point with ICS and OIC for a while it is very easy to get sucked into thinking you need to repeat the integration. After all explicitly integrating the apps is how we started out.

Oracle also want to make it very easy for non Oracle products to integrate, so OIC documentation and the many very good blogs from product management and the engineering team focus on external integration which does (for me atleast) lead to thinking about the older way of working.

Recommendation

Look to see if you’re working with GSI deployment or not. If it isn’t a GSI setup then the old way of working is required. If it is, then determine whether the entity or processes are out the box integrated. This is probably best approached from the SaaS documentation today.

Useful Links:

June 20 – New OIC Articles

Article / LinkAuthorSubject MatterConnecting
 Ankur JainOICERP
Identity Propagation In Structured ProcessJan KettenisOIC / PCS 
Use Oracle Integration to Add Attachments to a Process InstanceBogdan EremiaOIC / PCS 
Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) Notification ActivityHarshit YadavOIC 
Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) ADW/ATP AdapterHarshit YadavOICADW/ATP
Our best blogs for Oracle Integration CloudHarshit YadavOIC 
Managing & Monitoring Integration/Errors In Oracle Integration CloudAtul KumarOIC 
Sugar CRM 2 Netsuite Integration with OICNiall CommiskeyOICSugar CRM, Netsuite
Netsuite REST APINiall CommiskeyOICNesuite
Netsuite Asynchronous Request ProcessingNiall CommiskeyOICNesuite
Invoking Netsuite Saved Searches / MiscellaneousNiall CommiskeyOICNesuite
OIC June 2020 release UI updatesNiall CommiskeyOIC 
OIC Packages – cool feature I didn't know we hadNiall CommiskeyOIC 
OIC –> Shopify Adapter now supporting EventsNiall CommiskeyOICShopify
OIC –> Date ManipulationNiall CommiskeyOIC 
embedding VB CS app in HCMNiall CommiskeyVBCSHCM
Data Stitch Assign operation for Elements with AttributesJorge HerreriaOIC 
Oracle Integration (OIC) Generation 2 is now available in all cloud tenanciesSimone GeibOIC 
Data Stitch: Append and Assign for repeating elementsJorge HerreriaOIC 
Empower your Business Users with Integration InsightSimone GeibOIC (Insights) 
How to use the Dynamic Invoke feature in OIC OIC 
Integration Monitoring and Scheduling pages – Progressive Web App UI ExperienceArya SanyalOIC 
Data Stitch: Repeating element path does not have a predicate for selecting 1 instance – WarningJorge HerreriaOIC 
Big Changes are AfootAntony ReynoldsOIC 
HCM Data loader in Oracle IntegrationAnkur JainOICHCM
Oracle Integration Cloud HCM adapterAnkur JainOICHCM
Global Variables and Data Stitch in Oracle IntegrationAnkur JainOIC 

May 20 – New OIC Articles

Plenty of good articles published in the last month …

Article / Link Author Subject Matter Connecting
Automate ERP Purchase Order creation using Oracle Integration Ankur Jain OIC ERP
HCM Data Extract Processing Pattern Niall Commiskey (Oracle Product Mgmt) OIC HCM
OIC for Netsuite –> mapping Custom Fields Niall Commiskey (Oracle Product Mgmt) OIC Netsuite
OIC May 2020 release – New Features Niall Commiskey (Oracle Product Mgmt) OIC
Integration, Process & Insight – Netsuite Data Sync Use Case Niall Commiskey (Oracle Product Mgmt) OIC, Insights Netsuite
Basic Error Handling in OIC & Testing of Basic Error Handling in OIC Amit Kumar Suman OIC
Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway (ISG) In Oracle Cloud (OIC) Atul Kumar OIC EBS & SOA
Use REST Adapter With Multiple Resources & Verbs In Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) Atul Kumar OIC
How To Export Business Data & Visual Builder Cloud Service (VBCS) & How To Import Business Data In Visual Builder Cloud Service (VBCS) Atul Kumar VBCS
Slack Adapter for OIC Daniel Martins Teixeira (Oracle) OIC Slack
Conditional Mappings in Oracle Integration Thomas Hora (Oracle) OIC
https://blogs.oracle.com/integration/4-ways-to-innovate-your-connected-erp-and-hcm-initiatives-with-accenture-and-oracle Daryl Eicher (Oracle) OIC HCM, ERP
Triggering an OIC integration via OCI Events – the Oracle Functions Approach Stan Tanev OIC OCI
How to configure REST adaptor to extract bulk leads from Marketo Shalindra Singh OIC Marketo
How to Find Human Task by Correlation and How to Abort a Parallel Task Jan Kettenis PCS
OIC May 2020 release – New Features Niall Commiskey (Oracle Product Mgmt) OIC

April 20 – New OIC Articles

April has been a relatively quiet month article wise after a couple of bumper months. we’re seeing lots of new content already for May.

Article / LinkAuthorSubject MatterConnecting
Token required to provision an Oracle Integration Cloud instanceAnkur JainOIC 
Why is iPaaS adoption growing to handle integrations in cloud architectures?Daryl Eicher (Oracle)OIC 
Creating net new apps on top of Netsuite with OIC Visual BuilderNiall Commisky (Oracle)VBCS + OICNetSuite
Monitoring API – Getting Activity Stream dataNiall Commisky (Oracle)OIC 
Triggering an OIC integration via OCI Events – the Notifications Service ApproachStan Tanev (Red Thunder Blog)OICOCI
The 5 Pillars of Intelligent Invoice ProcessingDaryl Eicher (Oracle)OIC/ArcivateRPA
B2B – EDI Translation supportNiall Commisky (Oracle)OICEDI
B2B Document ManagementNiall Commisky (Oracle)OICEDI
Process large file (above 10MB) in Oracle Integration Cloud Service (OIC)Harshit Yadav (K21 Academy)OIC 
SOAP Vs REST APIs In Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC)Harshit Yadav (K21 Academy)OIC 

OIC has support for EDI now

A couple of days ago the updates for OIC included a new feature B2B (April 2020 new). Specifically, support for EDI X12. Whilst this doesn’t mean SOA Suite B2B is redundant yet (as that still offers a broad range of other complex exchange protocols HL7, EDIFACT, SAP iDoc – complete list here). I wouldn’t be surprised if Oracle considers leaving behind support for one or two of the more complex file formats such as EDIEL. But with X12 cracked, I wouldn’t be surprised to see EDIFACT follow soon.

SOA CS

SOA CS future?

So where does the leave SOA CS given one of the differentiators to OIC was the existence of the B2B and MFT elements? OIC has not yet fully displaced SOA and SOA CS, there are use cases that OIC can not yet fully address. For example in the MFT space OIC has caps on filesize (whilst MFT does not). MFT also supports Applicability Statement (AS) standards (IETF specification for AS2). Unlike some of the payload formats, particularly the metadata-driven ones we may see fall away more quickly, the AS standards provide the means for communications to be responded with a ‘Message Disposition Notification‘ (MDN) which means the receiver will tell the sender the receiver has safely and fully received the communicated payload – non-repudiation. We have seen banks and other data-sensitive organizations continue to use such standards (after all you want your employer saying they told their bank to pay your salary, and the bank say, nope not got anything or transfers between the bank and the tax man).

How quickly these gaps will be addressed in OIC is not clear, or whether these cases will be addressed, or whether SOA will continue to answer these edge cases until superseding standards and techniques make them redundant.

The bottom line is there are too many customers with legacy estates on-prem for SOA CS to be retired any time soon. However, I would not be surprised if SOA follows the route of ODI when it comes to Oracle Cloud. Oracle has developed ODI on Oracle Cloud Marketplace, which provides an on-prem style deployment configured (and presumably tuned) to run on Oracle Cloud as an IaaS Virtual Machine. This potentially simplifies the BYOL license model leaving the customer responsible for a level of patch maintenance (be that take a new ODI Marketplace instance spin it up and apply the configuration, then drop the old one, or run the traditional patch processes).

We will see SOA continue to be patched and maintained for a long time to come. But I wouldn’t surprised if Oracle makes it more and more attractive for SOA customers to use OIC – possibly combining OIC and their SOA Suite instances with a view that when customers need to update migrations, they consider the port.

Whilst this may sound like Oracle are potentially leaving customers without the infamous paddle. However, our experience in the partner space is that Oracle seeks to enable them and recognize that most partners are very capable. Not to mention, when the heat is on, partners with middleware Aces can usually find their way through the Oracle organization to get what is needed.

I think we’ll continue to see a number of Oracle’s specialist partners file the gap with tooling adapted from on-premise solutions. It is these partners that also have the wealth of expertise on knowing to get the most out of SOA Suite and keep it secure.

Finally …

So OIC will continue to absorb capabilities that had separated it from SOA suite cementing it as the mainstream offering. But the old warhorse will be around for a long time (remember many older companies still use Cobol successfully) yet. To use a car analogy, those sticking with their trusty vintage Mark 1 Golf that has done 500,000 miles will have to stop looking to the manufacture for service and parts and enlist the support of a passionate specialist.

To be clear, this is only our opinion, and not informed or confirmed by Oracle.

March 20 – New OIC Articles

Article / LinkAuthorSubject MatterConnecting
How to schedule OIC integration and iCal ExpressionAmit Kumar SumanOIC (Scheduling) 
Oracle Field Service Adapter and another part hereNiall Commiskey (Oracle PM)OICOracle Field Service
OIC – Service Bus integrationNiall Commiskey (Oracle PM)OICSOA OSB
Manage Custom Object in Salesforce using Oracle Integration Salesforce Adapter !!!Manish Kumar Gupta (Red Thunder)OICSalesforce
OIC Space Management simplifiedSindhu Suresh (Oracle Tech Lead)OIC 
Use Global Variables and Data Stitch to log request payloadsThomas Hora (Oracle Snr Dir of Development)OIC 
Use Data Stitch to simplify integrationsThomas Hora (Oracle Snr Dir of Development)OIC 
HDL(HCM Dataloader)support in HCM cloud AdapterAsawari Pawar (Oracle Tech Team)OICHCM
Interfacing to EPBCS with OICBarry Goodsell (Zomy)OICEPBCS
Invoke a Co-located Integration from a Parent IntegrationDaniel Martins Teixeira (Oracle Tech Solution Engineer)OIC 
When and How to Create an Integration to Call a Service from a Process?Jan KettenisOIC 
Object Storage with Oracle Integration Cloud – Part 2 (Part 1 – Jan 20)Red ThunderOICOCI
Machine Learning in Digital Process Automation — Part II (Part 1)Ralf Mueller (Oracle)OICOracle Machine Learning
See How Easily You Can Access Integration’s metadataVenkatesh Mohanram (Oracle)OIC 
Trigger OIC Integration Using OAuth Client CredentialsGreg Mally (Oracle A-Team)OIC 
Obtaining All Rows from a REST Action using Recursive Action Chain CallsDuncan Mills (Oracle)VBCS 
Oracle Integration Cloud pricing explained – OCI vs ClassicRobert van Molken (Amis)OIC 
Access OIC REST based Integrations using OAuth Token (No Password Expiry For Basic Auth User Anymore)Manish Kumar Gupta (Red Thunder)OICREST
Extract data based on multiple columns from lookup in OICAnkur JainOIC 
Simplified Test Driven Development With Oracle Visual BuilderShay Shmeltzer (Oracle PM)VBCS 
ERP Adapter in Oracle Integration CloudAnkur JainOICERP Cloud
Subscribe Oracle ERP Business Events in Oracle IntegrationAnkur JainOICERP Cloud
Netsuite Custom Field DiscoverySandeep Deshpande (Oracle)OICNetsuite
Implementing Search-As-You-Type in Oracle Visual BuilderDuncan Mills (Oracle)VBCS 
New Features In Oracle Visual Builder – March 2020Shay Shmeltzer (Oracle PM)VBCS 
Boost Your WebForm Productivity with our New Expression Builder FeaturesNicolas Damonte, and Kalyn Chang (Oracle)PCS 
New March OIC Released Features include Kafka ,Slack , NetSuite adaptors (NOB Other additions covered by blogs)OracleOICKafka, Slack, NetSuite (Async)
Kafka Adapter for OICDaniel Martins Teixeira (Oracle)OICKafka
FastConnect and VPN with Oracle Integration CloudJack Desai (Oracle)OIC 
Processing an Incident in ServiceNowNiall Commiskey (Oracle PM)OICServiceNow
Netsuite adapter – processing CustomersNiall Commiskey (Oracle PM)OICNetsuite
Weblogic JMS adapterNiall Commiskey (Oracle PM)OICJMS
Visual Builder – Understanding Backends and ServersAparna Gaonkar (Oracle)VBCS/OIC 

February 20 – New OIC Articles

This month’s new articles about Oracle Integration Cloud …

Article / Link Author Subject Matter Connecting
Visual Builder Apps run on servers other than Oracle cloud Shay Shmeltzer (Oracle Prod. Mgmt) VBCS
Showing Parent/Child in a Single Table in Visual Builder Shay Shmeltzer (Oracle Prod. Mgmt) VBCS
A Simple Guide to Connect to a Private FTP Server using FTP adapter Dinesh Pant (Oracle) OIC FTP
OIC Feature Flag – Data Stitch Niall Commiskey (Oracle Product Mgmt) OIC Box
Automate Employees On-Boarding Business Process Between Workday and Net Suite Shalindra Singh OIC Netsuite, Workday
Export table data to Excel in Oracle Visual Builder Ankur Jain VBCS Excel
Oracle Cloud Platform Application Integration 2019 Associate Ankur Jain OIC Certification
How to embed CDATA into XML Ankur Jain OIC
Oracle Integration Cloud – OIC – Introduction Bipul Shukla (Fusion Practices) OIC
One Stop Solution for OIC Certificate Management Shubham Agrawal (Snr Oracle Tech Staff) OIC
Introducing the Box Adapter in Oracle Integration Yogesh Sontakke, and Tuck Chang (Oracle Prod Mgmt) OIC Box
Oracle Integration info Guide Gary Hostt (Oracle Solution Engineer) OIC
ERP Integration using File Based Data Import Ankur Jain OIC File
Managing Oracle Process Cloud Service (PCS) Application Ankur Jain PCS
Découvrons Oracle Cloud Platform for Integration (French Series of posts) Sanae Bekkar OIC
OIC for Oracle SaaS on OIC Gen 2 Niall Commiskey (Oracle Product Mgmt) OIC
OIC – DocuSign adapter Niall Commiskey (Oracle Product Mgmt) OIC DocuSign
Oracle Cloud Security – WAF et al – DDos protection for OIC Niall Commiskey (Oracle Product Mgmt) OIC
Latest Connectivity Certification Matrix Oracle OIC
How to develop Sample Echo Integration in OIC Amit Kumar Suman OIC
Lookup integration testing Amit Kumar Suman OIC
Monitoring HCM Data Load jobs in OIC Barry Goodsell OIC HCM

Recent Articles About OIC

Update

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.

Latest Articles

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 12.2.1.4 / 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

 

Oracle Integration Approach to RPA

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.

 

Continuous Integration & Deployment with OIC

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:

Page 1 of 5

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén