Collaborate 2012-enterprise tools for ebs on ec2 - wp


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Collaborate 2012-enterprise tools for ebs on ec2 - wp

  1. 1. Elastic Cloud: Is Your Data Management Solution Ready?Ganesan RathinamChain-Sys CorporationAustin DavisChain-Sys CorporationIntroductionWith Elastic Cloud a reality for E business Suite, there is a need for a flexible approach to data management whichworks along with Oracle’s open interfaces for integration as well as traditional bulk data loading needs. Thispresentation will propose a flexible approach which can work across a corporate network or on the elastic cloudframework.The objectives are to give an overview of architectural approaches for traditional bulk data loading, present usageof web services to achieve integration and share strategies for data maintenance and cleansing.Flexible ComputingEconomics and Convenience demand flexible computing environment/resources. Before the advent ofvirtualization, IT departments had to buy the best and powerful (expensive) hardware that would meet the peakdemand of the Business. Multi-tier computing and load balancing helps a lot to meet such peak loads. Much of thecomputing power that is in the enterprise stays idle and with minimal usage for long periods of time. (underutilization). Years ago in the batch job oriented mainframes era, that machine was worked to its full capacity roundthe clock. When you had spare capacity on that mainframe, you’d rent it to run batch jobs from otherorganizations.VirtualizationHere multiple server machines are pooled together and the combined CPU power, RAM and disk capacities aremade available for use by the Virtualization software. In Oracle virtualizations, you’d install Oracle VM Server onthe raw machines and a single console control is made available by installing Oracle VM Manager. Server pool orpools can be created. The big pool can be used to create a one big massive virtual computing machine or you cancreate multiple guest machines with their own guest operating systems and networking capabilities. Virtualizationis different from hosting servers in a data center.Cloud (Private and Public)Computing in such virtualized environments has another name: Cloud Computing. When all the nitty gritty detailsof virtualization and network management are done by in house IT staff, it is called a Private Cloud. When suchmanagement is done by a third party vendor, it is a Public Cloud. Amazon’s EC2 is an example of a public cloud.Oracle Public Cloud is another example. ( I can host an application and make it available over theCOLLABORATE 12 Page | 1
  2. 2. web to customers. I can claim that the application is on the cloud, whether there is cloud computing going onbehind the scenes or not. Anyways the end users are not given the task of managing servers and operating systemsand they can think that they are working off the cloud (virtually speaking). Cloud is buzzword today. People love toride it. Oracle E-Business Suite on Demand would not be strictly falling under cloud computing. Oracle provideshosting and other Application Management Services.Traditional EBS Data Load ProcessInput data has to be brought into an Oracle Staging table using PL/SQL or SQL*Loader Programs. Custom PLSQLprograms have to be written to get the data from the Staging table to hit the Oracle E-Business Suite API’s and/orInterface tables. The custom program has to be registered as a concurrent program and the actual executablesneed to be migrated from Development to other instances manually. The program has to be invoked manually andmaintained. Errors are sometimes returned in the return parameter, sometimes in a table. The error handling needto be handled in the programs and error correction is done offline on the Error Tables using SQL update scripts.Traditional EBS Data Interface ProcessData Interfacing can be offline batch oriented, asynchronous near to real time oriented or online real timetransaction oriented. Batch data extraction and/or loading can be accomplished traditionally withextraction/conversion programs as described in previous section. Writing/developing programs has always beentime consuming, costly and resource intensive. Real time transaction handling is the domain of technologies,architectures and languages such as Oracle Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Oracle Business Process ExtensionLanguage (BPEL), Oracle Process Integration Pack (PIPs), Oracle Application Integration Architecture (AIA), OracleEnterprise Service Bus. Oracle iRepository has all the list of public API’s supported by Oracle in their EBS R12applications ( or EBS Responsibility: Integration Repository). In houseexperts/architects/programmers or external consultants are called in to execute such interface solutions. Pleaserefer for information on PIP.Impact of EBS in Cloud Environment on Data ManagementOracle E-Business suite Application Management Services are provided by Oracle Corporation or other third partycompanies that provide Oracle EBS on the cloud. Companies started implementing ERPs in the nineties, movingaway from their custom operational softwares. They wanted to take advantage of BUY vs BUILD, industry bestpractices that come built into the ERP solutions, and to reduce the cost of maintaining applications. The next stephas been to give away the responsibilities of maintaining ERP, server hardware and networking equipment. All thewhile companies have been keen on concentrating on their core businesses rather than big budget IT projects.Now Data Loading and Data Interfacing for Oracle E-Business Suite: Do companies want to architect, develop andmaintain such programs or get them as a product or rent them off the cloud? When a product can be bought,building it would not make much sense, unless specific needs of business prevent such a move.Customers running enterprise applications off the cloud, want enterprise quality data load and data interface toolsto work with their enterprise operational applications. They are acutely aware of the dynamics and challenges ofdeveloping such programs/tools and wisely choose best of class tools, preferably running in the cloud.The same applies to customers running enterprise applications in house.COLLABORATE 12 Page | 2
  3. 3. Data Load, Interface Tools for EBS Data ManagementThere are two kinds of data loading tools: The first kind more or less mimics keystrokes into an Oracle E-BusinessSuite form and thereby is like a fast secretary typing into the EBS forms. Many vendors offer loading through thefront end GUI of Oracle EBS. The excel macros pump data into the various fields and hit SUBMIT for each record.The second acts not on the front end, but interacts more like a well written conversion program.People used to book conference hall for 3 or 4 days each month and a bank of 20 to 25 pc machines to rundataloader to load master or transactional data into the EBS instance. That used to be time and labor intensiveeven with the EBS instance sitting in the local LAN. The issue is, “Enterprise Applications need Enterprise qualitydata load tools”.EBS Data Load Tools in the Cloud EnvironmentHow about a hub and spoke model? A “NOT FRONT END” loading engine with templates (adapters) for the variousAPI’s and Interface tables, kept at the hub. And pointing spokes (connectivity) to various Oracle EBS instances, onthe cloud or otherwise. With a powerful server at the hub and with multithreading capabilities, all data loadingshould happen in minutes and hours instead of days together.Another attribute required of an enterprise quality load solution: “No babysitting”. The very idea of Computer wasto take away work from us, humans. The computer is the one that is supposed to slog. We’d intervene. Well at theright time with right inputs based on classy reports. The boss can be productive only if the secretary does her jobwell, gives a good report and highlights areas needing attention and feedback.Characteristics of right data management tool for EBS in Cloud or otherwiseThe data load tool should have connect and load capability. It should be deployed in a server and be accessiblefrom anywhere and should be able to load date into any one of many Oracle E-Business Suite instances. This is the“Hub and Spoke” model. Data load should be available and used as a Service. Having multiple EBS instances shouldnot lead to maintenance effort multiplied. The software should scale to loading of million+ records without havingthe need of manual intervention. Error handling should be robust and handled in a uniform and structured fashion.While doing data load or data interface the tool should not violate any of Oracle EBS’ security measures.Capabilities should exist for an administrator to trace who loaded this transaction and at what time (Audit Trail).The centralized data loading tool should be self documenting the processes and provide control across theorganization with respect to data loading or interfacing. The system should have Data Extraction as an In-BuiltSolution. Easy capabilities for Data Cleansing, Transformation, Pre-validations should be provided. Templates forloading/interfacing have to be available.The data load/interfacing solution has to be a thin client solution. The enterprise job cannot be entrusted to thedesktop machine. Moreover when the tasks are accomplished at a centralized server, the organization has morecontrol and accountability for the operations performed. Keyboard emulation and screen filling solutions are sofraught with the limitations on throughput and the vagaries of the desktop machine. E-Business Suite screens aredesigned for data or transaction capture from users. If that method is stretched for automating data load, it cannotprevent EBS dialog box error or warning messages from appearing. Once such a message occurs the automationcomes to a grinding halt until someone remedies/corrects the situation. Similar is the case with excel macro driventools. The tool should provide easy drag and drop data mapping.COLLABORATE 12 Page | 3
  4. 4. When people deploy applications on the private or public cloud, they expect the tools that go along also to followsuit. That is for the ease of maintenance or zero maintenance from the end users point of view. Commercialreasons such as renting the software tool as against purchasing also favors the tools to be cloud based or cloudcompatible. Especially suited are data migration into R12 projects which typically run for three to twelve monthsfor renting a data migration tool.The tool should be future proof in ways such as support for Oracle Fusion Applications. The cost advantage of usingsuch tools as against in house written conversion programs is that when you upgrade to newer Oracle versions, thevendor would keep pace and provide the software upgrade and there is no need for rewriting or modifyingconversion programs.ConclusionWe have identified the direction in which data loading and data interfacing should be moving for best ROI, lesspain and more productivity. The qualities expected in the solutions have been enumerated.COLLABORATE 12 Page | 4