Oracle's Cloud Fusion app integration: More complicated than it has to be

Summary:The promise of Oracle's cloud strategy is that on-premise applications and cloud-based Fusion apps will connect and simply work. They'll work as long as you do the integration work.

Oracle published a primer on integrating its E-Business Suite with its Cloud Fusion Applications and plugging together the two sides appears to be way more complicated than it has to be.

The promise of Oracle's cloud strategy is that on-premise applications and cloud-based Fusion apps will connect and simply work. For enterprises with on-premise Oracle apps interested in the cloud Oracle could have a real answer.

However, a blog post from Oracle's development team indicates that this on-premise-cloud nirvana could be complicated. I'm not going to pretend to understand what Oracle has outlined, but the integration caveats indicate that there's real integration work ahead. Perhaps the post is designed for early adopters, but you'd think there would be connections embedded by Oracle between the on-premise and cloud worlds. 

Here's an excerpt:

Requirement

How do you propagate business events raised by an on-premise Oracle E-Business Suite application to a SaaS-based Oracle Fusion Application in a reliable and scalable manner?

Problem

  • On-premise Oracle E-Business Suite application triggered a business event.
  • SaaS applications such as Fusion Applications will want to execute business processes based on occurrence of the business events.
  • You need to propagate the business events via the internet to a SaaS-based Oracle Fusion Application behind a firewall.
  • The business event should not be lost at any point and you need to ensure the reliability.

Caveats

  • Following are side effects, challenges, and other issues you should expect when implementing a solution to address this problem:
  • You need to strike a fine balance with respect to choosing the event payload. You need to pass adequate information to limit chatty conversations, while at the same time, you must ensure that large amounts of data is not passed, thereby mitigating the abuse of resources.
  • Expecting the SaaS application to always be available at the time of occurrence of business events in the Oracle E-Business Suite application is not realistic.
  • Propagation of business events must be scalable.
  • There could be situations where the SaaS applications might be unavailable for certain period of time due to various reasons - resulting in accumulation of these events in the source system. And the availability of the target application after extended period of outage could result in a flurry of events being sent to the target application.

Maybe I'm naive, but I assumed that Oracle would have pre-integrated these connections. Note how Oracle repeatedly says "you need." A customer---or prospective one---could easily flip that and say "no Oracle you need..." After all, the cloud is just supposed to work right? This post---and the integration it describes---looks painful. My key takeaways are the following:

  1. You have to do the integration work here.
  2. "Expecting the SaaS application to always be available at the time of occurrence of business events in the Oracle E-Business Suite application is not realistic."

Frankly, it's a bit unclear why the customer has to worry about either. The on-premise and cloud applications should be connected. In addition, it's fuzzy why I shouldn't expect a Fusion cloud app to be available. Availability is one of the key table stakes to just being in the cloud game.

Topics: Cloud, Enterprise Software, Oracle

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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