Monday, 24 September 2012

Oracle Apps 4 Beginners: Introduction to Oracle Interfaces - 1

Oracle Apps 4 Beginners: Introduction to Oracle Interfaces - 1

Why do we need interfaces?
In many real time business scenarios there is a need to transfer data from one system to another system. In such cases we need to develop programs, these programs are nothing by interfaces.
Interfaces are of two types:
1.    Inbound interface
2.    Outbound interface
As the name suggests, inbound interface gets data from another system and imports them into our system. Similarly, an outbound interface extracts data from our system and sends them to another system.
Now we shall look into them in detail.
Inbound interface:
In the below example, there is a global order entry system (Global OE) in which orders are entered. And there are 3 oracle ERP systems at each region (NA, EMEA & APAC).
When orders are entered in the global order entry system, based on the item availability at various regions order lines have to be split and sent to different regions. Here there is a necessity to develop interfaces in all the regional ERP systems to import order lines in their respective systems.
Now let’s see how this happens in detail.
First we need to extract the data from Global OE system to our ERP system say NA region, next we need to check whether the data we got from Global OE system is valid or not and then finally we have to load into our base tables.
So this concept involves the following steps:
a.    Extraction
b.    Transformation
c.    Loading
This concept is popularly called ETL process. ETL refers to the methods involved in accessing and manipulating source data and loading it into target database.

The entire inbound interface process is depicted in the following process:

The steps in ETL process are
          Mapping the data between source systems and target database.
          Cleansing of source data in staging area.
          Transforming cleansed source data and then loading into the target system.
Outbound Interface:
In the below example, Company Kaiser has acquired Truss tech solutions company. Both companies are maintained in different ERP systems.
Now Kaiser has to maintain all the Order entries even for Truss tech solutions, but the fulfillment happens in truss tech solutions. So when ever orders are placed on Truss tech solutions they are entered, booked in Kaiser ERP and these order details are extracted to Truss tech solutions for fulfillment.
Here are the actual steps in this process:
1.    Identify the eligible orders (Orders shipped from Truss tech solutions’ warehouse)
2.    Extract these orders in a format agreed between the two systems (FTP the data files or just populate a staging table where a Middle ware is involved for data transfer)

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