Application Integration Tops Oracle OpenWorld Agenda

Oracle unveiled Oracle Application Integration Architecture (AIA) 2.5, a new release of the vendor's integration technology for linking Oracle applications with other Oracle software and with applications from SAP and other vendors.

Integrating Oracle's own broad portfolio of applications also was the focus of a keynote presentation Monday morning by Charles Phillips and Safra Catz, Oracle's co-presidents.

While Oracle prides itself on providing software that's built on open standards, many customers still want tools to make application integration easier. "We want to make sure that for those of you who want [software already] integrated, we provide that for you," Catz said.

The keynote included demonstrations of several Oracle applications that are being linked to other Oracle software to facilitate work processes. An upcoming release of the company's Primavera project and portfolio management application, for example, will be linked with Oracle's E-Business Suite and J.D. Edwards ERP software to allow financial and accounting data about projects to flow between Primavera and the ERP systems.

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Oracle's Hyperion budget planning application has likewise been linked with PeopleSoft financial applications. And the vendor's Demantra demand planning application can now share data with Oracle's Siebel CRM software for trade promotion management tasks.

Oracle AIA is made up of process integration packs (PIPs), essentially adapters for connecting operational applications. AIA now supports applications in the utilities, retail, health sciences and manufacturing industries. In manufacturing, for example, Oracle's Agile product life cycle management software can now share data with the Oracle Product Data Hub for handling product variant issues. AIA previously supported the communications and insurance industries.

In an example of a new cross-industry PIP, Oracle AIA 2.5 creates an order-to-cash link between Oracle's Siebel CRM and SAP ERP applications, making it easier to transfer price quotes from the CRM software into orders processed by the SAP system. Another PIP links Oracle's Customer Master Data Management application with SAP to share customer data with SAP applications.

New Oracle-to-Oracle PIPs include a link between Oracle's Remote Data Capture application and the Siebel Clinical Trial Management System for capturing and processing data generated by clinical trials of new drugs and other medical products. Another PIP links Oracle's Utilities Customer Care and Billing application and the vendor's applications for managing workers and assets in the utilities industry.