Oracle Extends Application Integration Architecture

Oracle's Application Integration Architecture lets developers build composite applications.

SAN FRANCISCO—Oracle is providing additions to its Application Integration Architecture that allow customers to integrate application components to create composite applications and extends the architectures capabilities to partners.

Oracles AIA (Application Integration Architecture) Foundation Pack, introduced Nov. 12 during the opening day of its annual OpenWorld conference here also adds communications industry flavored integration packs and offers process integration capabilities for SAP users.

Oracles AIA Foundation Pack is a standards-based platform used to integrate business processes across Oracle, third party and custom applications, according to Oracle officials.

Composite applications, coined by SAP in 2003 as xApps, are applications that bring together a number of components and services to tackle a specific business process, for example order to cash. The Foundation Pack, developed to work off of Oracles Fusion Middleware stack, provides users with objects, services, methodologies and infrastructure components to develop process integrations or composite apps.

Oracles expanded AIA Partner Initiative, announced Nov. 12, essentially extends the Foundation Pack capabilities to partners. It gives partners access to the tools and software to build integrated third party apps for Oracle applications, as well as composite applications. Similarly, Oracle on Monday extended AIAs capabilities to companies and partners in the communications industry with three new Process Integration Packs—pre-built integration "packs" that bring together components from Siebel CRM [Customer Relationship Management], Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management, and Oracle Financial applications.

The three packages include: Order to Bill, Agent-Assisted- Billing Care, and Revenue Accounting. Oracle has a host of other out-of-the-box integration packs (announced several months back) that include integrations with Oracle E-Business Suite and Siebel CRM On Demand to help with the opportunity-to-quote process, Siebel CRM and E-Business Order Management for the order-to-cash process, and Siebel CRM for Trade Promotion Management to help streamline the promotion through settlement process.

Finally, Oracle "opened up" its integration framework to SAP users, with the goal of helping the 30 percent of SAP customers that have Oracle applications in their environments, actually integrate Oracle components into their environment.

"Oracle and SAP share the same customers, and we are pleased to offer a standards-based approach to building composite applications and pre-built integrations for key industries," said Ed Abbo, senior vice president of Applications Development at Oracle, in a statement.


Click here to read more about Oracles effort to reduce the complexity of its own architecture.

SAP, Oracles biggest nemesis in the business applications sector, offers its own process integration platform with NetWeaver, which also provides composite application development capabilities.

The face-off between SAP and Oracle has intensified over the last couple of years as SAP went down the integration road with its Enterprise Services Architecture strategy that concluded this year with the service enablement of SAPs applications and the development of NetWeaver—two related but distinct undertakings that put SAP squarely in the platform market competing with Oracles Fusion Middleware. At the same time Oracle has acquired 41 companies in the past 45 months in an effort primarily to beat SAP in the applications game.

The addition of AIAs Foundation Pack composite integration capabilities pits Oracle one more time against SAP, which has long held the lead in composite development functionality.