yourfanat wrote: I am using another tool for Oracle developers - dbForge Studio for Oracle. This IDE has lots of usefull features, among them: oracle designer, code competion and formatter, query builder, debugger, profiler, erxport/import, reports and many others. The latest version supports Oracle 12C. More information here.
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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
Managing and Integrating Extended Supply Chains
Web services to the rescue

A robust inter-company process solution or application must be built with an eye toward services to handle the requirements of a complex, multi-party transaction. Services such as those mentioned above are required to add the process logic inherent in a supply chain or manufacturing application to provide capability beyond simple B2B integration and e-mailed spreadsheets. Solutions that rely solely on incorporating a few open source libraries while leveraging a file system as an interconnect to accept and report on B2B messages are missing the vision of an SOA. The ability to add new protocols and new process functionality is key to differentiating the more sophisticated Web services architectures. For an application (monolithic or otherwise) to adequately support the complexity of a business process expressed as a service, it must consist of a number of specialized packages, thereby further stressing the need for the software to communicate with a variety of core services.

Leveraging Services for Software Delivery
Along with new software architecture comes another important piece - delivering the software as a service. Proprietary hardware and software have made the current delivery infrastructure rigid and inflexible in contrast to the dynamic and rapidly changing requirements in today's companies. This shift is forcing changes in the underlying computing environment to an on-demand or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model.

SaaS is characterized by a combination of software architecture, delivery, and pricing models. This approach leverages SOAs, Web services, and other standards to create a highly modular integration framework. As companies are moving to layered and composite application frameworks to manage their componentized business models, they require a highly flexible and efficient operating environment that removes integration complexity.

There are two types of a SaaS models. The first provides service integration capabilities, which help manage inter-company processes by connecting people, processes, and information; the second provides service delivery and management, which represent a consolidated and logical view of resources across a services network.

An SaaS delivery model allows companies to consolidate their software and to support efforts around a single, integrated, and standards-based configuration, which minimizes the IT resources required for managing a highly complex and dynamic application. Furthermore, SaaS enables companies to rapidly (in weeks rather than in many months or years) configure and implement processes to meet their rapidly changing needs. It also allows companies to address the integration needs of cost-sensitive small- and medium-sized suppliers. Finally, SaaS can provide options for new revenue streams, such as the introduction of complementary software (like add-ons) and services offerings.

Web services and SOA can now provide companies and their extended supply networks the ability to connect disparate systems through external services - representing the "Holy Grail" of advanced supply chains. Ideally, inter-company process management will allow companies to identify and resolve issues in real time, without human interaction.

While this vision gains mainstream adoption, companies can begin preparing for this shift. A review of the current system architectures may lead to identifying where services can be introduced. For example, it may be possible to leverage a B2B Gateway Service or a Process Service for new business processes. By planning for services as the system evolves, it can slowly evolve to an SOA. Furthermore, a plan should be put in place for:

  • Configuration tools, including graphical modelers for business process definition and choreographies
  • People and information integration across multiple tiers and various access modes for visibility
  • Process transformation for reuse of applications and data
  • Business service management
  • Security and provisioning
  • Resource management
About Desikan Madhavanur
Desikan Madhavanur is a principal engineer at E2open and leads product management and design functions for E2open Supply Chain Process Manager and E2open Information Manager, a business intelligence and reporting solution. Additionally he leads a team of solution architects in the analysis and design of complex supply chain solutions for large hi-tech companies. Prior to joining E2open, Desikan was a senior product manager for Supply Chain Collaboration Solutions at i2 Technologies. He has an MS in Systems and Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona.

About Andre Srinivasan
Andre Srinivasan is a principal engineer at E2open and is product manager for the E2open Integration Platform, the messaging and transaction layer for the E2open Software-as-a-Service offering. Prior to joining E2open, Andre helped architect and build the Slam Dunk Network Service, led the design and implementation of CORBA/J2EE Security Service for Borland, and contributed to the implementation of SQL*Net for Oracle. He has a MSCS from the University of Pittsburgh.

About Karthik Srinivasan
Karthik Srinivasan is a director and lead principal engineer at E2open and is responsible for the architecture/design of the E2open solution stack. At E2open, he has contributed heavily to design and evolution of E2open's service-oriented architecture and Web services-based technologies. Prior to joining E2open, Karthik was vice president at Citicorp responsible for development and implementation of solutions for global corporate banking in distributed environments, object-oriented and Internet technologies. He helped create a common platform based on DCE, ENCINA and CORBA for enterprise applications and built mission critical applications for Citicorp global finance. He has a Masters in Computer Science.

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