In September, I attended the 2018 edition of the Oracle summer camp in Lisbon along with a group of colleagues from Capgemini. The week-long camp was full of new technologies and fun. The event consisted of six different workshops, of which I attended the first:
- Integration and API Management
- Chatbot and APIs
- Integrate and Extend SaaS: CX & ERP & HCM
- Application Development with Microservices and Containers
- Innovation: blockchain and robotic process automation
- Hackathon build a PaaS solution.
Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC)
During the Integration and API management workshop, Oracle presented the Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) and its features. The suite provides different tools to build integrations quickly and easily. This framework is based on the Oracle Autonomous Integration Cloud – meaning that all cloud platform services are self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing. The framework simplifies integrations and its management configurations via the following features:
- Ability to integrate apps between cloud and on premises (hybrid approach)
- Connect processes with integration
- Visualize analytics across multiple applications, such as processes and integrations
- Unify API design, management, and security.
During the workshop, I was able to try most of the Oracle integration cloud solutions:
- Integration = the future of SOA suite and OSB (Service Bus) now combined together
- Process cloud services = cloud and enhanced version of BPM
- Insight = basically BAM 2.0, on cloud and easy to configure with the other products
- API = Platform to manage and build custom APIs
- Self Service Integration = new app to allow business users to create simple and easy integrations.
The first component of OIC is the Integration app. It is a simple product that provides pre-built adapters for Oracle and non-Oracle apps. It also provides predefined integration flows that can be easily customized.
One of the highlighted features is the new mapper tool, which has a “recommended mappings” button that suggests mappings based on the integrations done by other developers or by Oracle itself. The roadmap shows that Oracle wants to improve this functionality by adding AI/machine learning support to automatize the mapping task.
The Integration app provides all the basic functionalities that we have already seen in but this time we don’t need to worry about the all the techy bits such as JNDI and URL. Due to the “autonomous” feature, the low-level details are hidden and automatically managed by the cloud engine.
I have been using this product for a while and I think that it still needs some improvement in terms of UI usability and debugging features. However, it’s very good for simple integrations and you can build something with less effort than Oracle SOA suite or OSB.
Process cloud service
The second app that I tried was Oracle’s Process Cloud Service (PCS) app that is the corresponding cloud version of . I’m not an expert in BPM so I can’t offer a comprehensive comparison of these two products. However, the PCS app is user-friendly like the Integration app, and is shipped with pre-built, end-to-end processes. The processes can be built with This is possible because all OIC apps communicate among themselves and can, together, provide a powerful solution for business process automation.
The Insight app is on the cloud. It’s a business monitor and it can give real-time data and statistics about Insight can be associated with the other OIC apps, such as Integration, Process, and even The app is very simple and gives even non-technical people the ability to create small integrations. This is achieved through a user interface that requires zero coding.
So, how does Insight work?
- First, a business model needs to be defined by using milestones and indicators. They describe what needs to be measured, against which metric, and when. Ideally, this activity should be performed by a business user
- The second step is the mapping of the milestones with the implementation. As I said the implementation could be a process or an integration or a combination of both
- Last step is the analysis. Insight provide OOTB dashboards that depicts the statistics but with few clicks it is possible to create customised dashboard as well.
The OIC product is very mature. There is room for upgrade (UI, debugging, repository, and deploy), but the direction that Oracle is heading in is correct. Oracle is working hard to become one of the big cloud players in the market and one of the features that they want to push in the next releases is machine learning. I think that if Oracle succeeds, it will make the integration process more fluid and robust. Finally, the developers can then focus on client needs and not on the JNDI names.