Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, AppDynamics Blog

Related Topics: Recurring Revenue, Java IoT, Microservices Expo

Recurring Revenue: Article

Oracle SOA Suite

An integrated and standards-based platform

Service-oriented architecture is an architectural approach to building software applications as a collection of reusable business services. Interest in SOA is growing within the business community. To address the need for an infrastructure to enable the building of service-oriented applications, a new breed of SOA suites is emerging. Vendors such as Oracle, BEA Systems, and IBM now provide platforms specifically focused on SOA applications. In established, complex IT environments with diverse applications - including legacy applications that are tied together with custom adapters, and business scenarios that demand extensive partner interaction - the move to SOA may appear challenging. However, new SOA suites make it easy. We at Sierra Atlantic decided to review one of them - Oracle SOA Suite.

Sierra Atlantic has more than a decade of experience implementing application integration solutions. We've worked with a variety of vendors' products and have seen the integration landscape mature over the past six years.

Building an SOA Solution
Building a typical SOA application involves the following activities:

  1. Building services: This may include service-enabling existing business logic using application or technology adapters, or writing new business logic, in J2EE or another language.
  2. Enabling service communication: Services must be able to reliably communicate with each other and with back-end applications. SOA encourages loose coupling. Capabilities such as messaging, data transformation, and message routing, which are often captured in an Enterprise Service Bus, are key.
  3. Wiring services together into business flows: Implementing business processes as orchestrations of services enables easier change. High-level representations of business processes, such as Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), an XML-based language for expressing service orchestration, provides the basis for agile business processes.
  4. Securing services: Within an SOA environment, you must be able to effectively and consistently secure and manage services, and apply different policies (security, auditing, logging) depending on who or what is interacting with a particular service. You should be able to do this without changes to the services.
  5. Optimizing services: A very important capability within an SOA environment is the ability to effectively monitor services and events, which is captured in a Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) solution. BAM provides users with an event aggregation and correlation platform that allows for building a state model defining relationships between various events that impact the operations business KPIs.
Oracle says it has the most comprehensive and mature SOA platform in the market. At first glance, we were impressed to see that its suite addresses all the requirements we mentioned above:
  • Oracle JDeveloper to build services, to service-enable existing assets
  • Oracle ESB for messaging and routing
  • Oracle BPEL Process Manager to wire services together into business flows
  • Oracle Web Services Manager for security and policy management for services
  • Oracle BAM for business-level monitoring and optimization of business services and processes
  • Oracle Application Server 10g R3/ Oracle Fusion Middleware - the J2EE 1.4 runtime on which all this infrastructure may be deployed
In this review, we focused on three components of the Oracle SOA Suite - Oracle BPEL Process Manager (Oracle BPEL PM), Oracle Web Services Manager and Oracle Business Activity Monitoring (Oracle BAM). We give an overview of each of these components, and show each of their capabilities in light of an order-processing scenario - a problem well suited to the application of SOA. We didn't review the full capabilities of Oracle JDeveloper, Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF), Oracle ESB and the core J2EE-compliant runtime. This is because you can develop apps for the Oracle SOA Suite with third-party tools such as Eclipse; the Suite's components can be deployed to any J2EE application server; and Oracle BPEL Process Manager, Oracle BAM, and Oracle Web Services Manager can integrate with any standards-based messaging solution.

Oracle BPEL Process Manager
Business processes are at the heart of any business. They touch different applications, persons, and business partners during their execution and evolve according to changing business requirements. Some of them are automated with technology solutions. SOA can make a key contribution to enabling easy-to-develop, maintain, and easy-to-adapt business processes.

BPEL makes it easier for organizations to adapt to changing business needs on the fly. Oracle BPEL Process Manager, which is in its fourth release, has been on the market since 2001 (when it was acquired from Collaxa). It includes a BPEL engine, a management console, and a graphical interface for wiring services, as well as robust messaging and routing capabilities. We like that Oracle BPEL Process Manager is engineered to run on top of all major J2EE-compatible application servers. This helps organizations preserve their existing IT infrastructure and in-house resources.

One of the most important features in any BPM tool is the ability to model business processes graphically. Oracle BPEL Process Designer offers a graphical modeling environment for this task, and its drag-and-drop features make it easy to use. It is targeted at the developer and what Oracle calls Functional Developer/ Business Savvy. To create a more full-featured modeling environment for business analysts, Oracle partners with pure-play BPM modeling vendors including IDS Scheer and Proforma.

Oracle BPEL Process Manager provides native support for standards such as BPEL, XML, XSLT, XPATH, JMS, JCA, and Web services, making it a good solution for enabling SOAs.

Processes interact with heterogeneous applications and, in many cases, require human intervention. These applications speak different languages. In order to connect to various systems, Oracle BPEL Process Manager ships with a set of technology and application adapters to let you connect with endpoints that are not exposed as services. These include file, file transfer protocol (FTP), advance queues (AQs), database (DBs), Oracle applications, and other ERP application adapters.

Graphical tooling is also included within JDeveloper for performing data transformations to reconcile different data formats within XML documents being transmitted between services.

Many industry experts are concerned about BPEL's lack of workflow support. Oracle has simply built an application on top of their product that implements workflow capabilities - in theory, workflow built on top of Oracle BPEL Process Manager should be portable across BPEL engines. These built-in, standards-based workflow services are linked to a BPEL process through a WSDL contract. A BPEL process assigns a task to a user or role by making a service call, and waits for a response.

Designing business processes is only one piece of the puzzle. How do you secure these services to prevent unauthorized access? How do you apply security, audit and logging policies to services? First, you need a cohesive security policy infrastructure that governs access to these services. Oracle Web Services Manager, part of Oracle's Identity Management solution, is Oracle's solution.

Oracle Web Services Manager
Security is important for any kind of distributed computing environment. Oracle Web Services Manager, which Oracle obtained last year through its acquisition of Oblix, Inc., lets you define and implement security and operational policies for services. As a developer, you don't want to worry about applying security policies - authentication, encryption and digital signatures. Web Services Manager enables these policies to be enforced from outside the service.

As with Oracle BPEL Process Manager, we like that Oracle Web Services Manager supports multiple Web services platforms and providers including BEA Systems, IBM, Microsoft, Netegrity, TIBCO, and Verisign. It also provides out-of-the-box support for multiple transports such as HTTP, HTTPS, JMS, and IBM Websphere MQ, and multiple messaging models including synchronous and asynchronous messaging.

Oracle Web Services Manager includes two enforcement components that ensure maximum deployment flexibility: policy gateways, which are deployed before a group of applications or services and intercept inbound requests to services, and policy agents, which run in-process with the service that is being secured.

Oracle Web Services Manager policies are a set of operational tasks that are performed when service requests are processed, and the responses between a service client and a service provider at specified policy-enforcement points. Each task is implemented as a policy step that addresses a specific operation (such as authentication, authorization, encryption, decryption, security signature, token or credential verification, transformation, auditing, logging) that's performed on either a Web services request or a response message.

We like the management console, which also monitors each Web services' performance. The graphical dashboard shows overall statistics, including security metrics such as unauthorized access attempts, and service figures including the average service failure rate and average registered service latency. You can drill down into the dashboard by service to see statistics on individual operations. You can also define and monitor individual service levels.

Oracle BPEL Process Manager and Oracle Web Services Manager let you design, orchestrate, and secure services. But how do you gain real-time visibility into business entities and their interactions?

Oracle Business Activity Monitoring
The promise of BAM is to push information to users via visual dashboards and alerts, helping them improve operational effectiveness and make informed decisions. As it relates to SOA, services and events, which provide real-time visibility into business processes, people, and systems need to be monitored. The ability to aggregate service metrics and deliver actionable information on critical business service parameters to business users is also key.

The Oracle BAM architecture uses functions including messaging, data integration, data caching, analytics monitoring, alerting, and reporting to collect, analyze and deliver critical information. We like that these functions support integration with different industry-standard business applications such as JMS, JCA, Web services, file system, MQs (IBM, MS, Sonic), TIBCO, Webmethods, and BEA WebLogic. This means that Oracle BAM can collect real-time information from heterogeneous environments.

In fact, Oracle BAM is generally targeted at business users. However, before they can start creating and viewing reports, someone (the developer/ architect) must create the underlying data model and populate it. Oracle BAM segregates the two tasks. While developers can use Oracle BAM Architect to create the data objects and rules, business users can use Oracle BAM Active Studio's simple interface to create reports. This means that you as the developer just plug-in the data sources - the business users can build their own dashboards.

After reviewing the capabilities of the product suite, we wanted to model a real-world scenario to more completely assess its capabilities. For this, we built a use case that captures a typical order-processing business process.


More Stories By Feroze Mohammed

Feroze Mohammed is the senior vice president, product engineering, custom development and integrations, Sierra Atlantic, Inc. He is also responsible for Sierra Atlantic's own R&D and product development initiatives. Feroze holds an master's degree in computer
applications from the University of Hyderabad.

More Stories By Lawrence Pravin

Lawrence Pravin is the product manager, Process Integration Packs, Sierra Atlantic, Inc. He has over 10 years of experience in packaged applications, and has deep integration expertise with Oracle, PeopleSoft, Siebel and SAP applications. Lawrence holds a computer science and engineering degree from the University of Madras.

Comments (4) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
shaker 12/22/06 03:07:17 PM EST

Very informative and good insights into Oracle's SOA offerings. Good work guys ! May be you should share your own product/offerings visa-vis other vendors?

Baswa Shaker
http://www.shakersphere.com

SOA Web Services Journal News 11/30/06 12:02:56 AM EST

Service-oriented architecture is an architectural approach to building software applications as a collection of reusable business services. Interest in SOA is growing within the business community. To address the need for an infrastructure to enable the building of service-oriented applications, a new breed of SOA suites is emerging. Vendors such as Oracle, BEA Systems, and IBM now provide platforms specifically focused on SOA applications. In established, complex IT environments with diverse applications - including legacy applications that are tied together with custom adapters, and business scenarios that demand extensive partner interaction - the move to SOA may appear challenging. However, new SOA suites make it easy. We at Sierra Atlantic decided to review one of them - Oracle SOA Suite.

JDJ News Desk 05/05/06 04:39:48 PM EDT

Service-oriented architecture is an architectural approach to building software applications as a collection of reusable business services. Interest in SOA is growing within the business community. To address the need for an infrastructure to enable the building of service-oriented applications, a new breed of SOA suites is emerging. Vendors such as Oracle, BEA Systems, and IBM now provide platforms specifically focused on SOA applications. In established, complex IT environments with diverse applications - including legacy applications that are tied together with custom adapters, and business scenarios that demand extensive partner interaction - the move to SOA may appear challenging. However, new SOA suites make it easy. We at Sierra Atlantic decided to review one of them - Oracle SOA Suite.

SYS-CON Italy News Desk 05/05/06 04:08:56 PM EDT

Service-oriented architecture is an architectural approach to building software applications as a collection of reusable business services. Interest in SOA is growing within the business community. To address the need for an infrastructure to enable the building of service-oriented applications, a new breed of SOA suites is emerging. Vendors such as Oracle, BEA Systems, and IBM now provide platforms specifically focused on SOA applications. In established, complex IT environments with diverse applications - including legacy applications that are tied together with custom adapters, and business scenarios that demand extensive partner interaction - the move to SOA may appear challenging. However, new SOA suites make it easy. We at Sierra Atlantic decided to review one of them - Oracle SOA Suite.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...