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Oracle9iAS InterConnect User's Guide
Release 2 (9.0.2)

Part Number A92174-01
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Getting Started with Oracle9iAS InterConnect

This chapter provides an overview of Oracle9iAS InterConnect, its features, and components.

Topics include:

What is Oracle9iAS InterConnect?

Oracle9iAS InterConnect is an integral component of Oracle9iAS and provides a comprehensive application integration framework to enable seamless integration of enterprise software. It is built on top of the Oracle9iAS integration platform and leverages its underlying functionalities. It is designed to integrate heterogeneous systems, such as Oracle Applications, non-Oracle Applications, or third party messaging oriented middleware. This integration can be deployed within an enterprise or across enterprise boundaries through the Internet.

The technical design goals for Oracle9iAS InterConnect are to:

Oracle9iAS InterConnect provides a complete framework for e-Business application integration across the Application-to-Application, Application Service Provider, and Business-to-Business domains. Oracle9iAS InterConnect components can be deployed for these domains in the following methods:

Oracle9iAS InterConnect Components

Oracle9iAS InterConnect has the following core components:

Oracle9iAS InterConnect Hub

The Hub consists of a middle tier repository server program communicating with a back-end database. The repository has the following functionality:

The repository server is deployed as a stand-alone Java application running outside the database. The repository schema is a set of tables in the Oracle9iAS Infrastructure. Both the repository server and the database are on the hub machine.

Oracle9iAS InterConnect Adapters

Adapters have two major tasks:

Adapters are deployed as stand-alone Java applications running outside the database. Adapters are physically located with the applications they connect to, either on the same machine as the application itself or on a separate machine. Adapters are usually not deployed on the hub machine.

See Also:

"Using Adapters for Integration" 

Oracle9iAS InterConnect Development Kit

iStudio is a design time integration specification tool targeted at business analysts. This tool helps business analysts specify the integration logic at a functional level, instead of a technical coding level. iStudio exposes the integration methodology using simple wizards and reduces, or eliminates, the need for writing code to specify the integration logic. This reduces the total time required to complete an integration.

iStudio is a multi-user tool with fine-grained locking for all Oracle9iAS InterConnect first class objects. Therefore, multiple users can work simultaneously on the same integration scenario without compromising the consistency of the metadata.

iStudio allows business analysts to complete the following tasks:

iStudio is deployed as a stand-alone Java application running outside the database and can be deployed on any machine with access to the hub machine running Windows NT/2000/XP.

See Also:

Chapter 2, "Using iStudio" 

Oracle9iAS InterConnect Management Infrastructure

The Oracle Enterprise Manager provides the following functionality:

The Oracle Enterprise Manager console includes a server component usually installed on the hub machine. The client component can be installed on any machine where the integration environment is managed. Both client and server components are stand-alone Java applications running outside the database.

Oracle9iAS InterConnect SDKs

Oracle9iAS InterConnect is easily extended through SDKs that address custom integration needs.

iStudio SDK

The iStudio SDK is a collection of Java jar and Javadoc files usually deployed on the same machine as iStudio. The iStudio SDK is only available on Windows NT/2000/XP. Using the iStudio SDK and Java, users can build the following:

Documentation and samples are provided with the iStudio SDK.

Adapter SDK

The Adapter SDK is a collection of Java jar and Javadoc files that can be deployed on any machine. The Adapter SDK is available on all tier one platforms. Using this adapter, users can write new adapters in Java for applications or protocols not currently supported by Oracle9iAS InterConnect. Specifically, only the bridge sub-component must be written. The agent is a generic engine already written and is part of each adapter.

Documentation and samples are provided with the Adapter SDK.

Oracle Workflow

Oracle Workflow provides a comprehensive business process management system that enables traditional workflow applications, as well as process collaboration in a single solution. Using Oracle Workflow Business Event System, Oracle9iAS InterConnect can model an integration solution on business processes. With Oracle9iAS InterConnect and Oracle Workflow, business collaborations across two or more applications can be defined to implement the organization's business processes.

Standard Messaging

Oracle9iAS InterConnect provides all the basic services expected of a messaging middleware platform including:

The following supplementary features do not require any additional coding:

Supported Messaging Paradigms

Oracle9iAS InterConnect supports the following messaging paradigms. These paradigms are defined in iStudio at design time. The definitions are used at runtime to route the messages appropriately.

Oracle9iAS InterConnect Integration Process

Application integration using Oracle9iAS InterConnect involves the following two phases:

Design Time

During the design phase, a business analyst uses iStudio to define the integration objects, applications that participate in the integration, and the specifications of the data exchanged between applications. All the specifications are stored as metadata in the Oracle9iAS InterConnect Repository.


For each application participating in a specific integration, Oracle9iAS InterConnect attaches one or more adapters to it. At runtime, the adapters retrieve the metadata from the repository to determine the format of messages, perform transformations between the various data formats, and route the messages to the appropriate queues in the Oracle9iAS InterConnect hub.

Figure 1-1 A graphical overview of design time and runtime phases in integration

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Separation of Integration Logic and Platform Functionality

Integration using Oracle9iAS InterConnect is a two-step process. During design time, integration logic is modeled in iStudio and captured in the repository as metadata. Metadata is created in the repository using iStudio during design time and is represented by application views, common views, and transformations. At runtime, the underlying services regard this metadata as runtime instructions to enable the conversation among participating applications. Integration has two components:

Unique Integration Methodology

iStudio exposes an integration methodology that eliminates the complexities of point-to-point custom integration solutions. The integration methodology is based on a hub-and-spoke model.

How the Hub-and-Spoke Methodology Works

An integration point is defined as an event that triggers communication between two or more participating applications in the integration scenario. The following are examples of such events:

The common view consists of a list of such integration points, each with its own associated data. Applications participate in the integration by binding to one or more of these common view integration points.

For each binding, applications have their own application view of data that needs to be exchanged. Each binding involves a mapping, or transformation, between the application view and the common view in the context of the integration point. In this model, the application views are at the spokes and the common view is the hub.

Create_Customer is an integration point. If the information to exchange is the new customer's name only, the common view has all the information potentially captured in a name defined in an application-independent method. This information must be a superset of all the information that needs to be exchanged across App1 and App2.

Prefix, First Name, Last Name, Middle Initial, Maiden Name, Suffix is an example of a common view customer name definition.

Now, App1's internal definition of name (App1's application view) could be First Name, Last Name, Middle Initial, Prefix.

The application view for App2 could be Name (one field that describes Last Name, First Name).

For App1, when sending this information out or publishing an event, transformations are defined from its application view to the common view. For App2, when receiving this information or subscribing to an event, transformations are defined from the common view to its application view.

Figure 1-2 illustrates this example within the hub-and-spoke model where the common view is the hub and the application views are the spokes.

Figure 1-2 Oracle9iAS InterConnect Hub-and-Spoke Model

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This hub-and-spoke model has the following advantages:

Integration Lifecycle Management

Managing, customizing, and evolving an integration over time is as important as creating the integration in the first place. The hub-and-spoke integration model has advantages to help achieve this goal. In addition, the Oracle9iAS InterConnect repository, which contains all the integration logic, provides extensive services for managing changes over time. The repository provides fine-grained versioning of all Oracle9iAS InterConnect first class objects such as events, messages, and data types. Some of the important aspects of versioning to aid the lifecycle support include:

Using Adapters for Integration

Adapters are runtime components which process integration logic captured in the repository as runtime instructions to enable the integration. Prepackaged adapters help re-purpose applications at runtime to participate in the integration without any programming effort.

Adpaters complete the following tasks:

Figure 1-3 Oracle9iAS InterConnect Adapter Architecture

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These adapters can be technology or application adapters. Oracle9iAS InterConnect currently packages technology adapters for the Oracle database, Advanced Queues, and HTTP/S technology.

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