Understanding Oracle's Integration Cloud and how to get the most out of your implementation

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December 21 – New OIC Articles

December is always a quiet month having had updates in November, but this month has been particularly so. One bit of good news, the handy resource links have been updated with a lot more additional resources – see right of the page.

Article / LinkAuthorSubject MatterConnecting
CI/CD working with EiPaaS Oracle Integration (OIC)Cristian SilipigniOICCI/CD
Speed up your Accounting Closing Cycle with automated loading of Payable Invoices into Oracle ERP Cloud, using Oracle Integration CloudJuan CarlosOICCX/ ERP/ ServiceCloud
Quarterly UpdatesPhil WilkinsOIC 
Using the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Streaming Service Adapter with Oracle IntegrationOICStreams
Build retry logic in Oracle IntegrationAnkur JainOIC 
Call VB Business Objects from Oracle IntegrationAnkur JainOIC 

Quarterly Updates

The update regime for Integration Cloud is well established in its quarterly pattern, but within that pattern are two update cycles, separated by two weeks. It is possible to choose which cycle your OIC instance update will be executed in. If you don’t specify which cycle then by default you will be put into the second cycle.

For production deployments of OIC that makes a lot of sense. But we would recommend that your non-production instance be part of the 1st update cycle. This allows you two weeks to validate and fix any issues in the event that the upgrade breaks any of your integrations. While that shouldn’t happen if you are exploiting an undocumented behaviour or something reported as a bug there is always a risk.

So the obvious question is how to define which update cycle should be used. For OCI Gen 2 (the majority of users should have migrated to now), the control is achieved by setting a freeform tag on the OIC instance. The tag needs to be called OIC_UPDATE_WINDOW1 (note – if you don’t read the Oracle documentation carefully you could end up omitting the numeral) and the value can be left blank. The tags are set on the OCI view for your OIC instance, which has a tabbed view as you can see below. Once the value is set then the OCI view will show an Updating status – this is not to be confused with the OIC instance being updated with the latest quarterly changes.

All of this shows up in blog (here and script fragment here) and a documentation (here). What is less apparent is the lead time needed for the tag to be in place. This is in the order of 7 or more weeks. This means you need to have your OIC dev instance in place almost a full quarter before the opportunity is available, and spinning up a new OIC instance and expecting it to immediately adopt the latest version during the maintenance window isn’t going to solve any problems.

How to confirm the instance version

The related question is where to look for the version of OIC is running. The information is only provided in the instance console rather then the OCI View of OIC. The version information is available as part of the drop down visible on the question mark icon at the top right of the UI, as the following screenshots show:

We do hope that Oracle will shorten this in the months to come.

Terraforming …

If you’re building your OIC deployment(s) using Terraform, then you could pass a variable into your Terraform module (hence the reference to var. or read from a configuration file in which case you will want a data block and the value becomes data.)

locals {
 updateWindow = (var.use_window1) ? "OIC_UPDATE_WINDOW1" : "--NOT-WINDOW1--"
}

resource "oci_integration_integration_instance" "test_integration_instance" {
    #Required
    compartment_id = var.compartment_id
    display_name = "ExampleOIC"
    integration_instance_type = var.integration_instance_integration_instance_type
    is_byol = false
    message_packs = 1

    consumption_model = var.integration_instance_consumption_model
    custom_endpoint {
        #Required
        hostname = var.integration_instance_custom_endpoint_hostname

        #Optional
        certificate_secret_id = oci_vault_secret.test_secret.id
    }

    freeform_tags = {"${local.updateWindow}"= ""}
    idcs_at = var.integration_instance_idcs_at
    is_file_server_enabled = var.integration_instance_is_file_server_enabled
    is_visual_builder_enabled = var.integration_instance_is_visual_builder_enabled
    network_endpoint_details {
        #Required
        network_endpoint_type = var.integration_instance_network_endpoint_details_network_endpoint_type


        }
        is_integration_vcn_allowlisted = var.integration_instance_network_endpoint_details_is_integration_vcn_allowlisted
    }
    state = var.integration_instance_target_state
}

As you can see in my example I have hardwired more values than the example provided by the Oracle Terraform documentation (here) as it helps show the legal values. Here to keep the declarations simple – I have set a freeform tag regardless, but changed in the local variable value to be used by the freeform tag depending on if a variable ( use_window1) is set.

November 21 – New OIC Articles

Another month and another raft of great content. Lot of activity springing up around the new Oracle Hospitality Integration Platform (OHIP) with its new OIC Adapter.

Article / LinkAuthorSubject MatterConnecting
Clone an Existing Integration Flow in OIC Basics of OICOIC 
OIC: Synchronous versus Fire-and-Forget Process to Process InvocationJan KettenisOIC 
Oracle Integration Cloud – Gmail AdapterDaniel TeixeiraOICGMail
Between Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) And Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)Atul KumarOIC 
How to call the OCI AI Language Service from the Oracle Integration CloudDaniel TeixeiraOICOCI AI Language Service
Creating Custom Messages/Notifications in Visual BuilderShay ShmeltzerVBS 
FlexDeploy for Oracle Integration CloudJürgen KressOIC 
Connecting Opera Cloud to the World – PaaS Partner Community Webcast November 30th 2021Jürgen KressOICOPERA (Oracle Hospitality)
OIC November Release New Features – Oracle Hospitality AdapterNiall CommiskeyOICOPERA (Oracle Hospitality)
OIC November 21 Release New FeaturesNiall CommiskeyOIC 
DB adapter – overcoming 10 MB limitNiall CommiskeyOICDB
Leveraging OCI AI Language Service from Oracle Integration (Part 1) (Part 2)Niall CommiskeyOICAI Language Service
Fetch & update Integration lookup using Visual BuilderAnkur JainVBS & OIC 
OHIP and Oracle Integration Cloud: Simplifying hospitality integrations even moreLuis WeirOICOHIP (Hospitality Integration)
November 2021 New Third Party Application AdaptersMadhav PoosarlaOICSugar CRM, eBay
Delivering Real Customer Value with Agile Innovation: Heathrow rapidly moves to Oracle Cloud and connects with hybrid Integration – Webcast November 16th 2021Jürgen KressOIC 
November 2021 Oracle Integration UpdateAntony ReynoldsOIC 
Answers are never far away with Oracle AssistantKevin HopkeOIC 
Exporting Data from Oracle HCM Cloud using OICHemanth LavesattiOIC 
CI/CD for Oracle Visual Builder ApplicationsVijayaraj GovindharajVBSFlexDeploy
Decouple complex flows into simplified multiple resource REST flowMadhav PoosarlaOIC 

Oracle Hospitality OIC Adaptor

Oracle Integration Cloud is rich in adaptors for technology and major SaaS services both Oracle (E.g., HCM, ERP, CX) and non Oracle (e.g., Salesforce, ServiceNow). But the more observant may have noticed a new addition to the list of Oracle industry (vertical) adaptors joining the Utilities vertical is a new adaptor for Hospitality.

OPERA, and it’s integration service OHIP have been developing to bring first of all its 3000+ APIs upto date as RESTFUL and self service enabled as the OPERA product becomes a SaaS delivered solution. Not to mention provide a good developer experience with Apiary and resources such as Postman collections (more about this here).

The latest step (from 21.4.2) has been to further the simplify the development process through the use of low code integration OIC provides. You can read some initial blogs about it here, and I’m sure there will be more to come.

Today the Adaptor just supports the Property Management System (PMS) that is for us uninitiated the system element handling the hotels core operations such as rooms, housekeeping and associated tasks – the heart of a hotel based business. Areas such as marketing, cruise ships, point of sale (PoS) etc fall out side of PMS and are not covered today.

Why OHIP and OIC

OHIP and OIC really comes into its own because it is very easy to wire the hotel management solution to common services such as ERP and HCM functions.

For example if you’re operating a group of hotels, then each hotel will use an OPERA instance, but the group may well make use of ERP Cloud for the overall accounting, taking the costs etc identified in the hotel operations via OPERA and then those figures are put into the group ERP to provide the overall financial controls and picture.

Adaptor Foundations

The OIC Adaptor builds on top of the OHIP APIs, as a result the same restrictions on invocations, security needs exist as going to the native API. Like all OIC integration development we need to establish a connection definition which needs the URL of you OHIP instance, plus the same credentials you would use for a rest connection.

Connection Palette in OIC with oracle Hospitality highlighted

October 21 – New OIC Articles

Article / LinkAuthorSubject MatterConnecting
Field Level Encryption with Oracle Integration and OCI VaultStan TanevOIC, Vault 
Process Excel files with OIC + Oracle FunctionsStan TanevOICExcel
Setup Email Notifications with the Oracle Integration CloudDaniel TeixeiraOICOCI Email
Oracle Integration Cloud – Twilio Adapter for SMS and WhatsAppDaniel TeixeiraOICTwilio
Visual Builder – A Crash Course by Shay ShmelzerShay ShmelzerVBCS 
Configuring OIC NotificationsNiall CommiskeyOICOCI Notifications
Leveraging Grafana for OIC MetricsNiall CommiskeyOIC 
Using OIC Logging Analytics for searching OIC Activity Stream logNiall CommiskeyOICOCI Log Analytics
Surfacing OIC Design Time audit logs in OCI Logging AnalyticsNiall CommiskeyOICOCI Log Analytics
Using OCI Logging for searching OIC Activity Stream LogNiall CommiskeyOICOCI Log Analytics
OIC docs link for restricting access to OIC instancesNiall CommiskeyOIC 
Create a fixed-length file in Oracle IntegrationAnkur JainOIC 

August 21 – New OIC articles

Article / LinkAuthorSubject MatterConnecting
Oracle Assistant for OICNiall CommiskeyDigital Assistant to help with using OICN/A
OIC & Blue Prism Part 3 – Invoking an OIC Integration from Blue PrismNiall CommiskeyOICRPA (Blue Prism)
Tracing and Monitoring Business Objects in Visual BuilderShay ShmeltzerVBCS 
New Features in Visual Builder – August 2021Shay ShmeltzerVBCS 
OIC Activity Stream to OCI Log analyticsShreenidhi RaghuramOICLog Analytics
Extending Oracle Fusion SaaS with OCI – IntegrationAngelo SantagataOICHCM, CX, ERP
Extending Oracle Fusion SaaS with OCI – User InterfaceAngelo SantagataOICHCM, CX, ERP
Extending Oracle Fusion SaaS – Best PracticesAngelo SantagataOICHCM, CX, ERP
Advisor Webcast: OIC JDeveloper PluginTanya HeiseOIC 
Migrate Your Oracle Integration Cloud Classic Services to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)Elizabeth EarleOIC 
CI/CD for Oracle Integrations with Visual Builder StudioShay ShmeltzerOICOVBS
OIC Integration Lifecycle Using REST EndpointsAmy Simpson GrangeOIC 
Create Free Trial OIC Instance for one MonthKabir YadavOIC 
Tips and Tricks for handling numbers in BPEL or OICPranav DavarOIC 
Convert JSON to String in Oracle IntegrationAnkur JainOIC 
https://oracle-integration.cloud/2021/08/26/oic-scheduling-for-end-of-month-style-processes-tip-11/Phil WilkinsOIC 

July 21 – New OIC articles

Article / LinkAuthorSubject MatterConnecting
Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) & octet-stream MIME-typeAmy Simpson-GrangeOIC 
delete a schedule from an IntegrationKabir YadavOIC 
How Granular Should My Microprocesses Be?Jan KettenisPCS 
How to perform FBDI GL File UploadDeb MukherjeeOIC 
Load FBDI and callbackDeb MukherjeeOIC 
Basic File Encryption and Decryption in OICDeb MukherjeeOIC 
Oracle Digital Assistant – Backend Integration with the Oracle Integration CloudDaniel TeixeiraOICODA
Oracle Integration Message Packs and PricingAnkur JainOIC 
Business Identifiers in Oracle IntegrationAnkur JainOIC 
FlexDeploy Support for Oracle CloudJurgen KressOICCI/CD
OIC & Blue Prism Part 1, Part 2Niall CommiskeyOICBlue Prism (RPA)
August 2021 Oracle Integration UpdateAntony ReynoldsOIC 
OIC Monitoring and Logging Analytics – adding Business Data to DashboardsNiall CommiskeyOICLog Analytics
OIC and Logging Analytics – steps towards fleet management and more stepsNiall CommiskeyOICLog Analytics
Logging Analytics for OICNiall CommiskeyOICLog Analytics
Event Driven Integration with Oracle Commerce CloudNiall CommiskeyOICCommerce Cloud
Turning SFTP Cloud NativeJohan LouwersOIC 
Authenticating Oracle Integration flows using OAuth token from 3rd party providerPrakash MasandOICOAuth
August 2021 New Third Party Application AdaptersPrakash MasandOICSAP, Zendesk

March 21 – New OIC articles

Time flies, with a 1/4 of a year behind us already including the first quarterly release. Last month we’ve seen a lot of attention around Oracle Hospitality Integration Platform (OHIP) which brings together different Hospitality cloud services as well as using technologies such as Integration Cloud to make it easy to interface 3rd party solutions.

Article / LinkAuthorSubject MatterConnecting
OIC and Oracle Hospitality (OHIP) – Getting the most out of Opera APIsNiall CommiskeyOICOracle Hospitality
OIC –> Netsuite & HubSpot – User Events calling OIC to sync Price changesNiall CommiskeyOICNetSuite, HubSpot
OIC –> HubSpot to Netsuite – Product SyncNiall CommiskeyOICNetSuite, HubSpot
Accessing Object Storage from Oracle Integration   
    
How to define a Repeating Global VariableJorge HerreriaOIC 
Connecting HubSpot with Netsuite Part 1 & Part 2Niall CommiskeyOICNetSuite, HubSpot
Connecting to NetSuite using Token Based AuthenticationSubhani Sahib ItalapuramOICNetSuite
OIC & OCI NotificationsNiall CommiskeyOICNetSuite, HubSpot
Using Aggregate Functions Sum(), Count() while Processing Larger FilesPhaneendra BommisettyOIC 
OIC Scheduling REST APIsSumeet SinghOIC 
Defining OIC SchedulesSumeet SinghOIC 
Introduction to Trading Partner ManagementArvind Venugopal and Sunil ApteOIC 
B2B Tracking for Wire and Business Transactions in Oracle IntegrationArvind Venugopal and Sunil ApteOIC 
DocuSign Adaptor in Oracle Integration Cloud – Configuring & Automating WorkflowBhumika GogiaProcessDocusign
DocuSign Adaptor in Oracle Integration Cloud – Setup & IntegrationBhumika GogiaOICDocusign
Throw New Fault Action TestingKabir Yadav (alias Amit Suman)OIC 
Create Calculator SOAP connectionKabir Yadav (alias Amit Suman)OIC 
Somewhat “Hidden” Feature: Reusable SubprocessJan KettenisOIC 
OIC Process Correlation: Take Good Care of Your PropertiesJan KettenisOIC 

Beating OIC’s FTP File Limits

OIC has for some time now provided an FTP adaptor and more recently included a full FTP server capability. But both have limits on the file size and capacity. The file constraints (1GB for a file and 500GB for the FTP server) shouldn’t be an issue for day to day activities. But OIC is often used to support SaaS Financials and other cloud solutions which do have monthly process cycles which can generate significant data volumes, for example, payroll data. The question is how to handle such data with such constraints?

Data Integration?

There is a school of thought that points to the possibility when handling such large data volumes we should consider using Data Integration rather than a more event-centric integration tool. Personally, I think there is a lot of validity in the argument, and anyone dealing with such bulky data activities should review and question if it is a better answer.

That said, there are cases where it does stand-up. For example:

  • If an organization is transitioning to a more event-driven or at least micro-batch model, you have to start the transition somewhere, but trying to line up changes everywhere can be problematic, so we have to start somewhere. Building an integration process so you have an event model developed, but in the interim, you need to take that bulk mechanism and convert it to a small stream of events.
  • You may be working with a bulk data extract and only need a small subset of the data provided, it won’t help if the data is also represented using a verbose notation such as XML.

Other Approaches

How to overcome the constraint? Oracle databases aren’t so constrained, and SQLLoader can provide an easy means to ingest the data into a staging table. The benefit of this is:

  • if you’re only needing a subset of the data you can pull just those columns from the table.
  • the bulk of the use of XML to be self-describing can be shed through using the DB schema as being more prescriptive.
  • SQL scripts can handle the checksum records removing that data and overhead from the integration process, leaving you to concentrate more on the business process.

If the data is still substantial once in the database there are a number of strategies to consume the data in more manageable chunks, such as

  • Running SQL script on the database that takes each row and calls the OIC as a restful API point. This approach is potentially very interesting as it may then mean if you’re moving towards an event process in the future the API endpoint represents the future state and the database stored procedure is mimicking the future client behaviour.
  • Use polling strategies and result set limits to control how much data is processed in a single execution of the integration. This approach does mean the integration needs to tag which records have been processed to avoid re-reading them.

Useful Links

Feb 21 – New OIC articles

Article / LinkAuthorSubject MatterConnecting
Subscribing to Fusion Custom Business Events in OICKishore KattaICSBusiness Events for Finacials, SCM, Engagement
Linking Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to ServiceNow via Oracle IntegrationMichael ChenICSOCI, ServiceNow
Edit XSLT Source Code in OIC Mapper UIIshruthilaya MalarvizhiICS 
February 2021 Oracle Integration Fusion Application Adapters EnhancementsPrakash MasandOICDescriptive and Extended Flex Fields, Atom Feeds,
Embedding Oracle Integration Insight dashboards : Quickly and EasilySandhya Lakshmi GopalanInsights 
OIC & OCI API Gateway Integration: Quick and EasyVarinder KaurICSOCI API Gateway
Automating Oracle Integration Cloud SFTP Server ConfigurationSiming MuFTP Server 
Guidelines when moving Integration Workloads from SOA to Oracle IntegrationShreenidhi RaghuramOICSOA
OCI Streaming Adapter as TriggerNiall CommiskeyICSStreams
OIC Feb 21 New Features – Adapter ImprovementsNiall CommiskeyICSVarious
OIC February 21 Release – New FeaturesNiall CommiskeyOIC 
OIC Feb 21 Release New Features – API Gateway DeploymentNiall CommiskeyICSOCI API Gateway
Oracle HCM Integration via the HCM Adapter / REST API – Managing EmployeeNiall CommiskeyICSHCM

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