How to Get Started with Oracle Fusion Middleware for Agile Developers

As a Agile Developer, you are familiar with a number of Agile services (Business Objects, Collaboration, Metadata, Attachments, Search, Tables, Product Collaboration, Engineering Collaboration). Agile 9.3 exposes several key functionalities as web services and hence the ability to easily integrate with existing ERP, CRM and SCM applications. How can you leverage Oracle Fusion Middleware to further enhance your Agile PLM applications?

In this section we will provide you with a quick start to Oracle Fusion Middleware, the set of tools to implement Self-Service front-ends, composite applications and integrations as part of a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). You should start by reviewing the Leveraging Oracle Fusion Middleware in Agile PLM presentation, which demonstrates how you can easily expose any Agile Component Interface or Application Message as a Web service. We now focus on what you can do with those Web services by leveraging Oracle Fusion Middleware. For a quick introduction to FMW components look here.

Step 1: Let’s start with a 5 minute viewlet ADF with Web Services which highlights how information from a Agile Web service can be exposed on a Web page. By leveraging the ADF (Application Development Framework) provided with Oracle JDeveloper, this can be done without a single line of code due to the power of ADF data controls as well as JDeveloper’s visual page layouts and page flows. You now have the base knowledge of what it takes to implement powerful self-service capabilities, e.g. publishing an order status look-up to the web.

Step 1 - Optional: If you want to get deeper into learning about using Oracle JDeveloper and ADF, an in-depth tutorial is ADF for 4GL Developers. Don’t be discouraged by the 174 page tutorial. While this tutorial will illustrates how to build an entire application from scratch, the parts that you will care most about are how to build an ADF user interface on top of exposed Agile Web services.

Step 2: After we have exposed web services on the web, let’s understand how we can leverage Web services to integrate with other systems. This is done using BPEL (Business Process Execution Language), the standard for orchestrating Web services. BPEL allows you to create processes that orchestrate Web services. The end result is end-to-end processes spanning Agile and other applications, as well as data integrations from and to Agile that can leverage process logic for error handling and exception management. To get started with BPEL, here is “Hello World” in BPEL. You will see that using Oracle’s BPEL Process Manager, you can – entirely visually - design processes that orchestrate Web services exposed from Agile as well as other applications.

Step 2 - Optional: If you want to understand the details of the BPEL language in more detail, here is a 2-part, more in-depth look at BPEL by Matjaz Juric, the author of the book: Business Process Execution Language for Web Services.

Step 3: By now, you know how to expose Web services in Agile, publish them to the web via ADF and orchestrate them via BPEL (Business Process Execution Language). You now have at your disposal a solid set of tools to create self-service capabilities on top of Agile and address integration challenges. Remember: you can do a lot without coding! Many customers have built complex integrations using ADF and BPEL, and nifty UIs with little or zero coding. To bring together what you have learned, the ADF with BPEL viewlet illustrates ADF calling a BPEL process. As any BPEL process itself is a Web service, this is pretty straightforward.

Step 4 - Optional: While not necessary to get started, you might want to understand the complete set of tools available with Oracle’s SOA Suite. The SOA Quick Start helps you understand the purpose and use of the ESB (Enterprise Service Bus), the Rules Engine as well as the human workflow capabilities of BPEL in the context of a concrete application. Once you work through this tutorial, you will understand how Oracle Fusin Middleware provides you a platform to extend Agile applications to your enterprise using Service Oriented Architecture.

Step 5 - Optional: For more information on using an enterprise reporting solution to author, manage, and deliver documents, refer to the BI Publisher tutorials.

Next Steps: With this background, you should be ready to follow the many how-to guides on OTN. Let us know how you are doing by posting on the forums.