Is Oracle Integration Cloud a route to cloud for E-Business Suite customers?
Laying the groundwork for EBS migrations
By Dermot Murray
VP of Technology at Inoapps
The team here at Inoapps works with many Oracle customers that still use Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) as their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Human Capital Management (HCM) system of record. Many of those organizations are looking at future migrations to Oracle Cloud Applications, but recognize that such projects need to be carefully planned and can be a significant undertaking for their internal teams.
Migrating to Oracle Cloud Applications should be seen as a transformational project for any organization, and the project plans for those migrations may extend to many years. Faced with such long project timescales, we’ve had a number of recent conversations with customers who have asked us: “What can we do now to our EBS estate to minimize the impact of future Cloud migrations?"
It’s a valid question. There are many dimensions to consider here, including reduction of your CEMLI (Configuration, Extension, Modification, Localization, and Integration) footprints, adopting ‘standard’ best practice workflows and improving data quality. My colleague Debra Lilley explores this in some detail in her excellent blog: Every journey is easier with a roadmap.
However, something we’ve seen with a number of customers is the use of Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) as a middleware platform to support EBS integration. OIC has been available as an offering from Oracle for a number of years, and has its roots and heritage firmly based on the Oracle Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Suite platform—a platform that was the integration tool of choice for many EBS customers for many years.
In its traditional on-premises architecture, Oracle SOA offered the full portfolio of integrations, service bus, Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and Business Process Management (BPM), as well as pre-built connectors that an organization would need to deliver a complex, multi-dimensional integration landscape. While also offering a simple and scalable integration hub for EBS orchestration.
Early versions of OIC were somewhat limited in their capabilities, as Oracle re-platformed the solution into a cloud based architecture. However, the capabilities and features available in OIC have matured significantly over the last two years, and the solution now represents a powerful and flexible framework to support both Oracle and non-Oracle integrations.
The relevance to EBS users? Although it’s a cloud-based integration platform, OIC is ideally suited to integrate into EBS architectures, whether that’s on-premises, co-located or delivered on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).
For organizations that need to deliver integration capabilities into EBS, OIC offers pre-built adaptors to simplify connectivity, combined with all of the event driven integration, real time monitoring and process automation that’s required to deliver end-to-end business processes across a typical corporate landscape.
Would we suggest that an organization looks to ‘rip and replace’ their EBS integration landscape, and migrate that to OIC tomorrow? Absolutely not.
However, for organizations that are mapping a multi-year journey to cloud for their ERP/ HCM system of record, a phased transition to OIC for their integrations architecture could be valuable. As new requirements are raised by the business community, the integration components of those could be deployed in a hybrid model, using OIC alongside incumbent design patterns.
As existing integrations come to end of life, or require technology updates, migration of that business logic to OIC can be carried out with minimal business impact. And as external source/ target applications change, the connectivity that supports those integrations can be transitioned across into a cloud-based platform.
Not only does OIC offer a powerful, low cost and flexible integration framework that is simple and easy for your administrators to manage, but the need for additional hardware and infrastructure is removed through the use of cloud tenancies.
Once adopted, the use of a hybrid OIC and EBS integration strategy also means that any future Oracle SaaS migrations can benefit from a significant reduction in complexity and risk on the integrations workstream. The end point connections into Oracle EBS will need to be replaced with their equivalents within Oracle Cloud ERP, and some transformation of the business logic may be required to reflect changes in the underlying ERP data structures and functionality. However, the core cloud integration framework can remain consistent, and the end point connections to external applications largely untouched. Retention of a ‘status-quo’ architecture for the wider corporate landscape can reduce the complexity, risk, impact and time taken for a cloud migration.
Are there potential pitfalls along the way and best practice considerations for the optimal approach? Of course. The team here at Inoapps has gained significant experience in the ‘good, bad and ugly’ of OIC deployments alongside Oracle EBS, and are happy to share that knowledge and expertise with any organization that’s planning their integration landscape to support a future cloud transformation.
Want to know more? Talk to the experts here at Inoapps.