Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fusion Applications - What You Need To Know: SOA Rehash

You won't be able to dive deeply in Fusion Applications if you don't have some basic understanding about Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). No, you don't need to be a technical guru…you just need to have your brain wrapped around some basic concepts to understand what's happening behind the scenes.

So, for starters, I thought to write a bit about the basic ideas of SOA without burying all of us in the technical hooey. Struggled with it for a bit, then realized someone has already finished the job and did it much better than I ever could. Check out this article on…c'mon back when you're done.

--Floyd runs downstairs to grab a cold bottle of G2 from the fridge--

OK, glad to see you're back. Pretty cool explanation, isn't it? So now let's consider a few basic definitions:
  • SOA is a methodology for achieving application interoperability across platforms and leverages reuse of IT assets.
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an industry-standard data format for defining documents and exchanging information.
  • Services, not to be confused with Web Services, consist of anything that performs a business task.
  • Web Services are XML-based technologies for messaging between services and describing those services.
  • Business Process Management is a set of methods and technologies for automating business operations.
So, what do you need to know from all this? I'd suggest the following:

First is the benefit factor. Fusion Apps was built with Oracle's SOA development tools: the benefits of reuse, ease of extension, and loose coupling are all there to be had in a set of packaged apps. Functional folks will spend much less time involved with the deeper layers of technology (in the database, for example) and much more time concentrating on business issues (services, processes and analysis).

Second, I'm a firm believer that you need to know a little about what's happening "behind the curtain" in order to understand the apps you're working with. With Fusion Apps, that means you'll need to have a cursory understanding of Enterprise Objects, ADF View Objects, and the SOA concepts we've covered here. So I felt like a little rehash of the basics was in order before moving forward.

Next on the list - the User Interface

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