Thursday, November 17, 2011

Analysis vs Design

This age-old debate keeps propping up every now and then :)
Found a couple of good articles reflecting on the difference between the two.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Oracle Web Service Manager vs Oracle Enterprise Gateway

Oracle Web Service Manager is an integral part of the Oracle SOA suite and it allows us to implement security declaratively; without any coding from the developer. Security policies can be enforced at run-time using WSM agents or WSM gateways.
There is another product called "Oracle Enterprise Gateway" that has features that overlap with OWSM - hence this results in lot of confusion.

So, lets understand the concepts one by one. A WSM agent is a component that is installed with the endpoint service. So it provides the 'last-mile' security (last security layer). Now OWSM also a gateway component where security policies can be employed in a central location. A gateway can also perform functions that an agent cannot do, such as message routing, transformations, and failover. OWSM also has an extension for OSB, that allows us to use OWSM policies at the OSB (ESB) layer. These capabilities would suffice the requirements of most intranet SOA infrastructures.

Oracle positions the Oracle Enterprise Gateway as the first line of defence ("perimiter security") when SOA services are exposed to the outside world. This is the equivalent of a DMZ firewall. So it looks like Oracle Enteprise Gateway is a more expansive product that can do everything that OWSM does, plus all the bells and whistles.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Ruminating on the Oracle MDM suite

Recently during one of our internal brainstorming sessions, there was a lot of confusion over the various components available on the Oracle platform to build a robust MDM solution. Part of the confusion was because Oracle has picked up best of breed components from various acquisitions and integrated them together to form the MDM suite. Its important to understand that when someone talks about Oracle MDM - it is a suite of components and NOT just one product.

Oracle's acquisition of Hyperion has further added to the confusion, as Hyperion has full capabilites to be used as a MDM solution. Oracle promotes Hyperion Data Relationship Manager as a component in its MDM suite - that can be used for managing the relationships between different attributes of master data from disparate sources.

At the fundamental level, to build a MDM end-to-end solution, you need basic components such as a ETL tool, Data Profiler, Data Cleansing Engine that can be used for standarization, de-duplication, validation, etc. Given below are the core components of the Oracle MDM suite, followed by optional components that help in jump-starting your MDM journey.

  • Oracle Data Integrator Enterprise Edition: ODI can be used for ELT style bulk data movement, or near real-time updates, and data services. ODI can consolidate master data from various sources and also publish master data to downstream applications. (Note: Oracle has acquired Golden Gate product that enables real-time intergration of data across disaparate data-sources. GG can also be used in conjuction with ODI for movement of data)
  • Oracle Data Quality / Data Profiling: Oracle Data Profiling allows us to profile the master data and investigate the content and the structure of their different data sources. It also gives users the ability to monitor the evolution of data quality over time using Time Series. Oracle Data Quality allows us to standardize, validate, cleanse and enrich master data – for e.g. master list of securities, issuers, official list, etc. Using both these tools will ensure the integrity of data stored in the MDM data store.
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Suite: OBIEE can be used for analytics and reporting on master data entities.
Besides these core components, Oracle MDM suite also contains pre-packaged MDM solutions such as “Customer Hub”, “Product Hub”, “Site Hub”, “Supplier Hub”, etc. (Some of these are part of Siebel MDM, I believe.)