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Understanding Oracle Fusion Middleware Concepts
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3 Overview of Oracle Fusion Middleware Components

This chapter describes Oracle Fusion Middleware components, such as Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle HTTP Server, and Oracle Coherence.

3.1 Understanding Oracle WebLogic Server

The Oracle WebLogic Server is a scalable, enterprise-ready Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) application server. The Oracle WebLogic Server infrastructure supports the deployment of many types of distributed applications and is an ideal foundation for building applications based on SOA.

Java EE is a widely used platform for server programming in the Java programming language. The Java EE Platform differs from the standard edition of Java in that it adds libraries which provide functionality to deploy fault-tolerant, distributed, multi-tier Java software, based largely on modular components running on an application server.

In addition to the Java EE implementation, Oracle WebLogic Server enables enterprises to deploy business-critical applications in a robust, secure, highly available, manageable, and scalable environment. These features allow enterprises to configure clusters of Oracle WebLogic Server instances to distribute load and provide extra capacity in case of hardware or other failures. New diagnostic tools allow system administrators to monitor and tune the performance of deployed applications and the Oracle WebLogic Server environment itself. You can also configure Oracle WebLogic Server to monitor and tune application throughput automatically, without human intervention. Extensive security features protect access to services, keep enterprise data secure, and prevent malicious attacks.

For more information, see Understanding Oracle WebLogic Server.

3.2 Understanding Oracle Web Services

A Web Service is a set of functions packaged into a single application that is available to other systems on a network. The network can be a corporate intranet or the Internet. Because Web Services rely on basic, standard technologies which most systems provide, they are an excellent means for connecting distributed systems together. They can be shared by and used as a component of distributed Web-based applications. Other systems, such as customer relationship management systems, order-processing systems, and other existing back-end applications, can call a Web Service function to request data or perform an operation.

For an overview of Web services in Oracle Fusion Middleware, a description of the Web services and clients supported in each category, and a roadmap for implementing Oracle Fusion Middleware Web services, see "Introducing Oracle WebLogic Web Services" in Understanding WebLogic Web Services for Oracle WebLogic Server.

3.3 Understanding Oracle Coherence

Oracle Coherence provides clustered data management with a fully coherent, single system image (SSI), scalability for both read and write access, fast, transparent failover and failback, linear scalability for storage and processing, no Single-Points-of-Failure (SPOFs) and cluster-wide locking and transactions.

Built on top of this foundation are the various services that Coherence provides, including database caching, HTTP session management, grid agent invocation and distributed queries.

For information about Oracle Coherence, see "Introduction to Coherence" in Developing Applications with Oracle Coherence.

3.4 Understanding Oracle HTTP Server

Oracle HTTP Server is based on Apache HTTP Server infrastructure, and includes modules developed specifically by Oracle. The features of single sign-on, clustered deployment, and high availability enhance the operation of the Oracle HTTP Server. Oracle HTTP Server has the following components to handle client requests:

  • HTTP listener, to handle incoming requests and route them to the appropriate processing utility.

  • Modules (mods), to implement and extend the basic functionality of Oracle HTTP Server. Many of the standard Apache HTTP Server modules are included with Oracle HTTP Server. Oracle also includes several modules that are specific to Oracle Fusion Middleware to support integration between Oracle HTTP Server and other Oracle Fusion Middleware components.

  • Perl interpreter, a persistent Perl runtime environment embedded in Oracle HTTP Server through mod_perl.

For information about Oracle HTTP Server see Administering Oracle HTTP Server.

3.5 Understanding Oracle User Messaging Service

Oracle User Messaging Service enables two-way communication between users and deployed applications. Key features include:

  • Support for a variety of messaging channels: Messages can be sent and received through email, instant messaging (IM) (XMPP), short message service (SMS) (SMPP), and voice.

  • Two-way messaging: In addition to sending messages from applications to users (referred to as outbound messaging), users can initiate messaging interactions (inbound messaging). For example, a user can send an email or text message to a specified address; the message is routed to the appropriate application that can then respond to the user or invoke another process according to its business logic.

  • User messaging preferences: End users can use a web interface to define preferences for how and when they receive messaging notifications. Applications immediately become more flexible; rather than deciding whether to send to a user's email address or IM client, the application can simply send the message to the user, and let UMS route the message according to the user's preferences.

  • Robust message delivery: UMS keeps track of delivery status information provided by messaging gateways, and makes this information available to applications so that they can respond to a failed delivery. Or, applications can specify one or more failover addresses for a message in case delivery to the initial address fails. Using the failover capability of UMS frees application developers from having to implement complicated retry logic.

For information about Oracle User Messaging Service, see Administering Oracle User Messaging Service.

3.6 Understanding Oracle Platform Security Services

Oracle Platform Security Services provides enterprise product development teams, systems integrators, and independent software vendors with a standards-based, portable, integrated, enterprise-grade security framework for Java SE and Java EE applications.

Oracle Platform Security Services is the underlying security platform that provides security to Oracle Fusion Middleware including WebLogic Server, Server Oriented Architecture (SOA) applications, Oracle WebCenter, Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) applications, and Oracle Entitlement Server.

Oracle Platform Security Services provides an abstraction layer in the form of application programming interfaces (APIs) that insulate developers from security and identity management implementation details. With OPSS, developers do not need to know the details of, for example, cryptographic key management, repository interfaces, or other identity management infrastructures. Using OPSS, in-house developed applications, third-party applications, and integrated applications benefit from the same, uniform security, identity management, and audit services across the enterprise.

3.7 Understanding Oracle Data Integrator

Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) provides a fully unified solution for building, deploying, and managing complex data warehouses or as part of data-centric architectures in a SOA or business intelligence environment. In addition, it combines all the elements of data integration — data movement, data synchronization, data quality, data management, and data services—to ensure that information is timely, accurate, and consistent across complex systems.

Oracle Data Integrator features an active integration platform that includes all styles of data integration: data-based, event-based and service-based. ODI unifies silos of integration by transforming large volumes of data efficiently, processing events in real time through its advanced Changed Data Capture (CDC) capability, and providing data services to the Oracle SOA Suite. It also provides robust data integrity control features, assuring the consistency and correctness of data. With powerful core differentiators — heterogeneous E-LT, Declarative Design and Knowledge Modules — Oracle Data Integrator meets the performance, flexibility, productivity, modularity and hot-pluggability requirements of an integration platform.

For more information, see "Introduction to Oracle Data Integrator" in Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Data Integrator.