How to Get Started with Oracle Fusion Middleware for Oracle E-Business Suite Developers

As an E-Business Suite Developer, you are familiar with the E-Business Suite technology and may have used Concurrent Manager, Business Event System, PL/SQL APIs, Oracle Forms and/or ADF, to create and extend business functionality, which typically remain accessible within E-Business Suite. How can you unlock the maximum value from your E-Business Suite applications by exposing its capabilities as part of self-service applications, composite applications and a service-oriented architecture (SOA)?

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 “Service Enabling E-Business Suite” recorded Webcast, which demonstrates how you can easily expose Concurrent Programs, Business Events, Interface Tables, and PL/SQL API's 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 Fusion Middleware components look here.

Step 1: Let’s start with a 5 minute viewlet ( ADF with Web Services) which highlights how information from an E-Business Suite 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 E-Business Suite 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 PeopleSoft and other applications, as well as data integrations from and to PeopleSoft 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 E-Business Suite 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 E-Business Suite, publish them to the Web via JDeveloper’s ADF (Application development framework), 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 E-Business Suite 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 zero or little 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 Fusion Middleware provides you a platform to extend E-Business Suite applications to your enterprise using Service Oriented Architecture.

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 E-Business Suite Discussion Forum.