|Oracle Applications InterConnect
Part Number A86039-01
This chapter provides you an overview of Oracle Applications InterConnect, its features and components.
This chapter contains the following sections:
Oracle Applications InterConnect is a comprehensive and flexible application integration platform that enables seamless integration of enterprise software. Applications InterConnect is specifically designed to integrate Oracle products with other Oracle products or third party legacy systems.
Applications InterConnect allows de-coupled integration of applications. It eliminating the complexities of point to point solutions. In addition, OAI provides a tool (iStudio) for modeling the data in the integration scenario. iStudio eliminates the need for "hardwired" or "hard-coded" integrations. Users define their integration using iStudio which minimizes (at best eliminates) the need to write any code for the integration. The integration information is captured as metadata in a repository.
Using Applications InterConnect then becomes a simple three step process:
1. Install the InterConnect components i.e. the generic plumbing. No coding!
2. Install pre-configured, pre-tested metadata for that specific integration to make the plumbing "smart." This metadata is created using iStudio and is captured in a repository. NOTE: Oracle provides certain productized pre-created metadata as Integration Packs (e.g. CRM 3i to SAP, iProcurement to SAP, CRM 3i to Oracle ERP 10.7). If the customer needs are outside these productized packs, a new pack must be created for them by Oracle Consulting. No coding!
3. Modify the metadata through iStudio to cater to specific application customizations that the customer might have done. No coding!
Oracle Applications InterConnect's key features are:
The integration packs described above provide the pre-configurations required to enable integration between supported applications with little or no need for customization. This acts as a plug-and-play feature for most standard integration.
Applications InterConnect's infrastructure supports reliable, high-performance integration between applications installed either locally or distributed over a WAN. This gives you the flexibility of deploying geographically distributed applications.
Oracle Applications InterConnect is based on an asynchronous messaging architecture. This allows the applications being integrated to be loosely coupled with each other. When loosely coupled, applications can continue to function normally even when participating applications become unavailable. Further, when an application is upgraded or modified, loose coupling minimizes the impact on the other applications.
Synchronous messages is also supported using the request/reply paradigm.
Oracle Applications InterConnect includes iStudio, a GUI-based integration specification tool that allows the product developer, consultant or IT professional to visually review and modify the pre-configured integration specifications. iStudio thus supports the easy definition of integration customization, providing the ability to extend existing integration to support additional applications. The configuration information you create in iStudio is stored in the InterConnect Repository for use by the applications at runtime.
Oracle Applications InterConnect offers customers a 24/7, single point of contact support for the OAI product, and the integration of the Oracle applications with other applications.
Applications InterConnect is built upon the Oracle Integration Server messaging stack and takes full advantage of its features and functionality. The messaging backbone for InterConnect is provided by the advanced queuing (AQ) features of Oracle 8i and Oracle Message Broker (a JMS server).
Together, these technologies enable mission critical scalability and robustness required by enterprise integration platforms.
Each application specifies specific events that are of value that originate from another application. For example, when a CRM application when adds a new customer, the ERP application must be notified of the new customer. iStudio allows developers to define events that encapsulate this kind of information.
Oracle Applications Interconnect runtime synchronizes all interconnected applications, and coordinates and verifies the receipt, transformation and delivery of each message in the system to insure inter-system integrity.
Messages can be routed to a specific application based on specific content values contained in the message. For example, an electronic funds transaction settlement application is designed to transmit bank transactions with a specific bank code to identify the destination bank system. When the EFT application publishes each message at runtime, the Oracle Application InterConnect runtime component determines the BankCode value based on objects stored in the repository, and routes the message to the appropriate recipient system.
Applications InterConnect supports the three major messaging paradigms. These paradigms are defined by IT professionals using iStudio at design time. The definitions are used at runtime to route each message appropriately, to the widest possible pool of interconnected applications.
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Applications InterConnect adds value at each stage of integration:
In addition, it provides:
The four main components of Applications InterConnect are:
iStudio is designed to minimize (and ideally, eliminate) the need for source code development to enable application integration. iStudio is an easy to use, wizard-based tool used to specify and configure the seamless integration of applications using Applications InterConnect.
You use iStudio to model hierarchical data that represents the business objects you are integrating into multiple applications. You also use iStudio to specify data transformations, and implement Publish/Subscribe, Request/Reply, or Point-to-Point messaging paradigms.
At application runtime, Oracle Applications InterConnect provides application level integration by using Adapters to communicate with the enterprise applications. An InterConnect Repository is used to store and deliver the integration specifications developed using iStudio.
An adapter is the Applications InterConnect component that sits at the spoke with the application to make it InterConnect enabled. Internally, the adapter is written as two components for improved reuse of existing interfaces. These components are:
Bridge. This is the application specific piece of the adapter. The bridge communicates with the specific application interface to transfer data between the application and Applications InterConnect. For messages outbound from an application, the bridge is responsible for converting the data from the application's native system format to the agent's internal format (and conforming to the application view of data defined in iStudio). It then passing it on to the agent (described below) for further processing. For inbound messages, the bridge receives the message from the agent in the agent's internal format (and conforming to the application view of data defined in iStudio). It then converts the message back to the application's native format and pushes the data contained therein into the application. Each communication protocol requires a unique bridge.
Two products using the same protocol may use the same bridge code, though at runtime two separate processes are created. The bridge is also called the technology/protocol adapter.
2. Agent. The agent is a generic engine that carries out instructions for transformations and routing captured in repository metadata (populated by iStudio). The agent does not know how to talk to a particular application. For messages outbound from the application, the agent receives the message in it's internal format from the bridge. This internal format conforms to the application view of data (see iStudio description). The agent then queries the repository for metadata to transform this message to the common view and pushes the message to OMB.
For inbound messages, the agent receives a message from OMB that conforms to the common view defined in iStudio. The agent queries the repository for metadata and transforms the message from the common view to the application view. The message is then pushed to the bridge. The agent is also know as the integration adapter.
The Interconnect Repository stores iStudio-generated metadata, encapsulating all the integration information.
Oracle Message Broker is the hub component that controls all inter-application messaging at runtime. It uses a store-and-forward methodology based on Oracle Messaging Stack using Advanced Queuing (AQ).