Oracle8i Application Developer's Guide - XML
Release 3 (8.1.7)

Part Number A86030-01


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B2B: How iProcurement Uses XML to Offer Multiple Catalog Products to Users, 2 of 16

Introduction to Oracle Internet Procurement (iProcurement)

Oracle iProcurement is a web-based catalog content exchange application that helps users find and order available products and services. It helps automate the entire purchasing life-cycle from sourcing to procurement to payment. iProcurement also has a web-shopping interface with Express and Power checkout options and a built-in Internet Procurement Connector for transactions with third party ERP systems.

iProcurement supports several catalog content management methods. Users can choose any combination of the following:

All of these content-management methods use XML for their web-based data (content) exchange technology. This chapter describes each of these content-management methods and associated XML documents. It also provides several examples.

Various Suppliers Load Their Catalogs into the Unified Catalog Tables

iProcurement uses XML to load catalogs received from various suppliers or catalog service providers, into "unified catalog tables" in the iProcurement database. See Figure 10-1.

XML also transfers security or authentication objects when communicating with external catalog sourcing companies.

  • Problem: Build a catalog that seamlessly offers multiple supplier catalogs of goods and services to users via the web.

  • Business Solution: iProcurement with Oracle Applications including, Oracle Exchange, Oracle XML technology, PL/SQL programs, XML interface.

  • Oracle XML Components Used: XML Parser for Java


Oracle Internet Procurement Solution

Oracle's Internet Procurement solution leverages the combined power of Oracle Internet Procurement, Oracle Supplier Network, and Oracle Exchange. Companies can buy all types of goods and services at the best value, make better strategic decisions, and improve the bottom line. This solution helps automate and centralize procurement functions such as sourcing, approval routing, and payments while decentralizing the requisitioning and receiving processes.

Oracle Exchange is anopen business-to-business online marketplace that allows companies to buy and sell goods and services using any purchasing method, with content and related services provided by the Oracle Supplier Network. Oracle Exchange is accessible by any company, regardless of size or industry, and does not require any Oracle software.

More Information About Internet Procurement and Related Products

You can find more information about iProcurement at the following sites:

You can find more information about Oracle Exchange at:

Buyer-Hosted Content

With buyer-hosted content management, you can request items by searching for products or services in a single "unified catalog" without having to first select a supplier. Content in the unified catalog is received from either of the following sources:

The use of XML in the buyer-hosted catalog exchange process is illustrated in Figure 10-1.

Figure 10-1 Buyer-Hosted Content Management

Oracle Applications data is extracted and loaded directly into the unified catalog by a PL/SQL concurrent program. Hence in this case, it is not necessary to generate and parse the XML document.

Supplier-Hosted Catalogs and Marketplaces

While creating a requisition, users can also navigate to and select items from external third party catalogs. These can be hosted by a supplier or catalog provider. In this case, users select a link for the desired catalog, select items and then return to iProcurement where they can request additional items, make changes, or complete their order.

You can use Oracle XML interface, which encompasses secure user authentication and item selection to link any externally hosted catalog to iProcurement. This XML interface is used to provide access to a secure, private catalog that aggregates high-quality content from multiple suppliers.

Figure 10-2 Supplier-Hosted Catalog XML Exchange

Figure 10-2 illustrates the data exchange process when users select items from supplier-hosted on-line catalogs. While shopping in iProcurement, the following exchange protocol occurs:

  1. Requestor (user) selects a link and navigates to an external catalog. At this time, encrypted session information and an authentication URL are provided.

  2. The external catalog asks iProcurement, via a secure HTTP call, to authenticate the user.

  3. iProcurement responds to the authentication request with an XML document indicating whether the user was successfully authenticated. If so, additional information about the requestor is sent.

  4. The authenticated user shops at the external site, selects items, and finally indicates that they are ready to add their items to the requisition. This triggers the external catalog to transmit the selected items to iProcurement in an XML document that is parsed and converted to requisition lines. The user returns to iProcurement to complete their order.

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