New tools from Oracle will link business apps

Adapters will enable better workflows, vendor says

Oracle has introduced the Oracle Application Integration Architecture, which it says can be used to create business workflows between Oracle and non-Oracle products.

The new architecture, announced at Oracle’s recent 2007 Collaborate user conference in Las Vegas, includes a set of pre-built adapters that can create business workflows using the Oracle Fusion common object model and Oracle’s Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).

Oracle says the new links will help independent software vendors integrate their wares with Oracle applications. The new offering will also enable corporate customers to create links between internally-built legacy software and Oracle’s business applications, says Jose Lazares, vice president of application development and strategy for Oracle’s application integration architecture.

Lazares notes that the new offering will complement the integrated line of Fusion applications that is slated to be shipped next year. “This doesn’t replace or sidestep Fusion,” Lazares says. “We’re looking to deliver integration with ERP and CRM applications. There is no change to in the delivery of Fusion.”

The offering will also include Industry Reference Models, which Oracle describes as a set of tools and documentation to help users create workflows that exploit both Oracle and non-Oracle apps.

Brian Simmermon, CIO of Subaru of America, says he expects to use the new offering to manage processes on several different applications. “By leveraging an open, standards-based architecture, we will have the flexibility to make discrete changes without disrupting the entire business process,” he says.

The first adapters are slated to ship in May and will cover Oracle’s Siebel CRM and Siebel CRM On Demand products.

The Oracle Siebel CRM On Demand Integration Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite will enable customers to support a complete sales process without leaving the Siebel application, Oracle says. Sales leads can be converted into quotes or orders in the Oracle back end ERP applications. The adapter will let Siebel users conduct complex product configurations, see inventory availability, and automatically process orders, according to Oracle.

The Siebel adapters will ship by the end of May, says Lazares. He adds that there are also plans for adapters for Oracle’s banking, call centre and trade promotions software.

Bill Swanton, analyst at Boston-based consultancy AMR Research, says in a research note that the new tools will let corporate users implement cross-functional business processes. However, he warns that the success depends on Oracle ensuring the offering doesn’t become too complex or expensive for customers to implement.

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Tags technologyadaptersoracle application integration architecture

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