Integrating Oracle applications brings complexity

Oracle’s various investments and acquisitions over the past decade have some customers struggling to integrate it all, although Oracle’s own middleware might be able to help.

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The following is the first of a two-part series on Oracle application integration. The second part will be published later this week.

Oracle has spent the last 10 years building up its portfolio of products, many of which have come from strategic acquisitions of other companies and the incorporation of intellectual property from various sources to build up an impressive portfolio of offerings. In other words, Oracle has become much more than a database company.

Nowhere is this offerings evolution more prevalent than in the company’s applications space, where Oracle offers everything from platforms and middleware to development tools and fully developed applications. This allows Oracle to become a strategic partner in the enterprise, on par with the likes of IBM, HP, Salesforce.com and many other large application vendors.

That said, those investing in various Oracle technologies over the years have still been stuck in silos, with disparate applications and services divided by technological boundaries.  However, over the last few years, Oracle has made strategic investments and introduced products to help applications communicate across those digital borders.

From the application side of the equation, Oracle is offering a diverse spectrum of application suites, such as Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft HR, Siebel CRM on Demand, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and many others. Nevertheless, enterprises are still striving to effectively integrate those various applications into their corporate infrastructures.

Oracle’s answer to that challenge comes in the form of the company’s middleware platform, Oracle’s Fusion Middleware 11g. Oracle uses Fusion as the basis for building service oriented architectures (SOA) that are tied to business process management (BPM) ideals. The overall technology is referred to as Oracle’s Application Integration Architecture (AIA), which is designed to deliver predefined templates and methodologies for orchestrating an application integration project. The company has gone to great lengths to include templates and guidance to allow IT departments to integrate Oracle and non-Oracle applications together.

Oracle Fusion Middleware includes several technologies that help ease integration, including:

  • Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) and Oracle Golden Gate, the two primary products used to address data integration
  • Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle BPM Suite for integrating and orchestration of process-centric integrations
  • Oracle WebCenter Suite, Oracle’s solution for creating portals and composite applications based on Web-based user interface integrations

Ideally, an integration enablement suite will offer the ability to perform modifications to applications and include enhanced tools, technologies and prebuilt integration accelerators. Simply put, integration cannot be tackled with a single tool or solution. Trying to do so not only drives up the complexity, it ultimately creates new challenges.

For those looking to integrate Oracle’s applications, the company has ensured that all their applications are certified on Oracle Fusion Middleware technology. All Fusion Middleware tools leverage a common infrastructure, are 100% standards-based and are certified with Oracle and non-Oracle applications.

This was first published in May 2012

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