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A Guide for PAAS Solutions on Oracle Sales Cloud

 

Introduction:

Technology innovation is driving competition in almost every industry today. Due to this it has become essential to provide clients customized solution which help in simplifying their business processes. Moreover to keep pace with the changing times the shift has been towards cloud computing which provides access to a large number of applications through the internet, hence being available anywhere & anytime. Oracle Sales Cloud is one such application which helps in simplifying your sales and customer experience process to bring in more agility to the business processes.

Oracle Sales Cloud's Customization tool (Application Composer and Page Composer) enables us to customize the CRM offering for specific client. With the help of these tools, we can customize UI elements, modify dashboard and springboard, customize data model, and create interfaces to be connected to other systems in enterprise.

Usually the best practice to be followed here is to use Oracle Sales Cloud extensibility framework to achieve any given Business Use Case, however there may be cases where they tend to be suboptimal in addressing the business case. This is where PAAS comes into picture, which adds to the existing benefits of Service infrastructure and brings about the required innovation in cloud services.




PAAS Architecture:

         


 



Oracle Platform as service is composed of several platforms which can work together and enable us to form cloud solution for different use cases. Listing down the few such cloud PAAS offerings:


  • Java Cloud Services:The Platform as a Service solutions begin with Java Cloud Service (JC) which is a Web logic Server hosted on cloud. Through this service ADF application can be deployed. Oracle also offers some web based tools to monitor performance and logs for debugging. We don't have access to command line shell.
  • Database Cloud:Oracle Database Cloud is same familiar oracle database now in cloud. All the features of Oracle Database on premise will be available on cloud as well. Java Cloud Services and DB Cloud, enable us to start building apps faster. Performance, statistics and customization on Oracle DB can be done using Oracle Application Express. It is very user friendly tools for database customization as per customization.
  • Oracle Developer Cloud:Oracle Developer Cloud provides development tool for building application on cloud. It provides Version Control and deployment of application on Oracle Java Cloud Service.


However it's important to note here that not all offerings are required to build PAAS solution. With the help of Java Cloud Services alone, ADF application can be built to post or retrieve data from Oracle Sales Cloud.


PAAS Patterns:

Let us look at the different PAAS patterns that can be utilized.

       



  • Custom Application using ADF\OSC Objects: Leveraging the Oracle Sales Cloud extensibility Framework Application Composers (UI extensibility, Custom fields/objects, groovy scripts and custom subject area), Page Composer to customize Oracle Sales Cloud. Oracle sales Cloud functionality can be enhanced by building custom Java application using PaaS platform (JCS/DBCS). Custom UI using ADF, data binding using Oracle Sales Cloud web services (Soap\Rest) and custom objects using Oracle Cloud Services can be done as part of custom PAAS application.


  • Custom Mobile Application can be built using DB Cloud and Rest Services as well as JCS Bridge.


  • Integration with third Party (On Premise\Cloud) Application: Oracle Sales Cloud can consume Soap based Web Service and the same can be invoked from UI. If there is case where target system supports Rest based services then we can build custom Java Application on PAAS as a bridge.


  • Oracle BI Cloud to build custom Reports using Data from multiple applications (CRM\ERP): Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS) is Oracle Cloud offering with advanced Analytical Capability. It supports both desktop and mobile capabilities. Oracle BI Cloud Service is built around OBIEE 11g.  Oracle provides thin client repository editor which enables us to quickly built application around data collated from multiple sources.


  • Oracle Doc Cloud to sync content from various sources (CRM\CPQ, Mobile and Custom Java Application): Document on the go is the business requirement of today. Oracle Doc cloud empower with sharing and collaboration capability. With sharing we need robust security as well which oracle cloud provides. It provides support for cloud as well as on-premises Doc integration. Oracle Doc Cloud provide API support for Rest\Soap to enable external application to integrate with Oracle Doc Cloud.



Custom Application using ADF\OSC Objects


To understand the PAAS usage in OSC better let's look at a detailed USE Case.

Use Case: In a partner driven organization there is a requirement to have an interface for Partner Registration to enable a partner to register. To achieve this we need to follow a set of guidelines.

  • User Interface for custom application
  • Identify Data Elements for custom application
  • Identify Services to render data from Oracle Sales Cloud in Custom Application
  • Identify Services to push data to Oracle Sales Cloud.
  • Technology used: ADF, Rest\Soap API   

     

Solution Approach:

For this Use case there is a requirement to display list of countries which are enabled in Oracle Sales Cloud (OSC) however we don't want to create duplicate data for geography as it would lead to maintenance problem. In order to achieve this we followed below solution after discussion with oracle.

  • Extract Data from Oracle Sales Cloud
  • OOTB no Web Service is available in Oracle Sales Cloud which will expose geography data.
  • Maintain Data in Oracle Sales Cloud for Geography by using custom Object. This Custom Object will maintain hierarchy of Country\State.
  • Custom object data can be extracted using Soap Web Services. Use the same to display data
  • Data Picker in PAAS Page.


Next, dynamic constrained data picker in PAAS Page needs to be created, wherein the Data in picker is going to come from OSC. We want to restrict the list of Distributors to only show those based on state selected for Partner. State is maintained as related object in Oracle Sales Cloud. Oracle Sales Cloud Soap Web Service provides the feature to query on Parent object using nested query. Refer to Oracle Sales Cloud documentation for nested query criteria to filter entities based on address.


Finally Partner Registration Approval Process needs to be enabled. OSC has Partner Approval BPM however as soon as Partner is created from PAAS, page approval should not be triggered. When Partner is created Email should go to the Partner asking him for confirmation that he wants to go ahead with approval process. Once Partner confirms then only approval process should be triggered. To achieve this we need to:

  • Use Oracle Rest Service to Register Partner with approval trigger flag marked as N.
  • As soon as Email is confirmed call Oracle Rest Partner Service with approval trigger Flag marked as Y. As soon as this request is received then Partner BPM approval process will be triggered.

Conclusion:

Oracle PAAS provides us more power, agility, and advanced features to customize CRM as per client needs. In order to utilize feature of Oracle PAAS we need additional time, additional expenses and more technical expertise. We should look at benefit it will bring to business before exploring the option of PAAS Solution for OSC extensibility.




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