The authors would like to thank Satish Singh, Principal Cloud Architect, Oracle for his contributions.
APL Logistics Ltd. (APLL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kintetsu World Express, Inc. (KWE), a Japan-based freight forwarding and transportation company. As a global supply chain specialist focusing on order management, APLL operates in more than 60 countries, serving the automotive, consumer, industrial, and retail verticals. Headquartered in Singapore, APLL has locations across the globe.
The way data is utilized in the supply chain and logistics industry is constantly evolving. During the pandemic, APLL wanted to ensure business continuity by accelerating digitization. To stay competitive, APLL needed to find ways to utilize and capture the vast amount of data while providing cutting edge technology to their customers.
To ensure business continuity in tandem with accelerating digitization, APLL turned to Oracle to help reinvent the user experience of a legacy application for online quotation. The application calculates customer quotes for logistic and transportation requests. The application was built with PHP and HTML and managed by a third party. The process to maintain information was manual and relied heavily on the vendor, resulting in lack of self-service capabilities for rate administrators and prospective customers. The company needed a flexible, secure, and highly available platform that would revamp the entire user experience, including infrastructure and integration maintenance, rate administration, and quote generation.
The supply chain specialist had the following goals in mind when choosing OCI:
- Improve cost-effectiveness
- Speed up time-to-market
- Secure proprietary information
- Boost digital transformation efforts
APLL chose to run their application on OCI because of the performance enhancements and autonomous services that allowed their engineers to focus more on business transformation without worrying about underlying infrastructure or database management. APLL used the following OCI services:
Autonomous Transaction Processing (ATP): ATP is a fully automated database service optimized to run transactional, analytical, and batch workloads concurrently. To accelerate performance, it is preconfigured for row format, indexes, and data caching, while providing scalability, availability, transparent security, and real-time operational analytics.
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) IaaS: OCI as a service (IaaS) is a cloud computing service model in which computing resources are hosted in a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud. Businesses can use OCI to shift some or all of their use of on-premises or collocated data center infrastructure to the cloud.
Oracle Integration Cloud: Oracle Cloud Infrastructure integration services connect any application and data source to automate end-to-end processes and centralize management. The broad array of integrations, with prebuilt adapters and low-code customization, simplify your migration to the cloud while streamlining hybrid and multicloud operations. In this architecture OIC is used to integrate the OGC app with the salesforce for lead generation.
Technical Implementation on OCI
APLL conducted a proof of concept (POC) evaluation and was impressed by OCI’s capabilities and technical guidance. The POC ensured that OCI solution architects and APLL’s technical leads had clear goals for the production implementation. The architecture of APLL’s deployment is shown below.
A public load balancer receives client requests from the internet and routes the requests to web servers. The data tier consists of an Autonomous Transaction Processing database.
All the resources in this architecture are deployed in a single region, US-Ashburn. The topology uses a single availability domain, AD1, and multiple fault domains, FD1 and FD2. The load balancer is in public subnet and web servers/app servers are attached to a private subnet, and the database uses a secure wallet connection. The web server in this architecture is Apache and the app server is Tomcat. They both run on compute virtual machines.
Virtual route tables contain rules to route traffic from subnets to destinations outside a VCN, typically through gateways. The internet gateway allows traffic between the public subnets in a VCN and the public internet. A NAT gateway enables private resources in a VCN to access hosts on the internet, without exposing those resources to incoming internet connections. Finally, APLL is using Oracle Integration Cloud to enable their Salesforce and OGC applications with visual development, prebuilt integrations, and embedded best practices.
Using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, APLL was able to significantly speed up time-to-market for its self-service quoting application. The entire solution was implemented within three months. Further, Autonomous Database enabled the application team to spend more time on business logic. The company is also able to secure proprietary information and boost digital transformation efforts.
APLL plans to run additional workloads on OCI. Their chatbot service for shipments, payment enquiries, and incident reporting will include Oracle Digital Assistant, OCI Functions, OCI Object Storage, Oracle Integration Cloud, and Oracle APEX. APLL is also focused on modernizing their data lake to provide better insights and enable data-driven logistics. For their data lake, APLL plans to utilize Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse; OCI Compute; OCI Block, Object, and File Storage; and Oracle GoldenGate.