Integrating Oracle with External eCommerce Solutions

Maximize Business Potential while Keeping Costs Down

Oracle eBusiness suite to an existing eCommerce integration can help you grow your enterprise. It allows individualized interaction with customers, providing them personalized service and support with scalability.

You need discreet task-specific integration with business-oriented workflows and data transformations to ensure a scalable, robust platform.

The Oracle eBusiness suite or EBS system offers EBS API rest endpoints, as well as PL/SQL rest endpoints. These are customizable through the configurator. So, you can essentially expose any of the core entities, as well as custom fields within your Oracle EBS system and the eCommerce platform’s web API framework also leverages a rest endpoint.

Data Sinking

Some of the most common integrations are to enable category and product data sinking. So, it can be pumped into your eCommerce platform from the Oracle EBS. It can serve as a base for core Magento catalog data such as categories and product information, imagery, pricing data, inventory levels, and other meta information. Ultimately, it is possible to integrate any field between Oracle EBS and any existing system.

In the typical scenario, you would want to enrich the information coming from Oracle EBS. So, it is important that your integration is able to handle custom business logic. You will have the base information in Oracle EBS. For your eCommerce platform, you will need marketing team members who enrich that data, making it friendly and presentable for the website's visitors.

Queue-based Task Engine

Whenever the marketing teams update this information on the frontend, it is important to ensure that the new information is preserved.

However, there might be details inside of Oracle that might have changed. These can include pricing data, inventory information, etc. All this updated information needs to be intricately brought back into your eCommerce system. However, only the new data needs to be changed. Therefore, we recommend an integration with Oracle EBS that includes a queue-based persistent task engine. It allows you to set up workflows based on what makes sense for your business.

Typically, it breaks down different tasks based on how your business is configured and what makes the most sense for your end-users. These tasks may be related to the catalog system, customers and accounts, ordering information, shipments and status, payments, users, location information, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to have a discreet scheduling logic to ensure specific workflows and data transformations for each task.

Common Integrations

Some of the most common integrations include customers and accounts, addresses and contacts, pricing information, tax levels, locations, credit limits, tax exemption status, past order history, etc.

Now some of these integrations can be a two-way between existing systems and Oracle EBS. It is also possible to initially see the data from Oracle and then maintain a flow from between systems. You can also have data flow in the opposite direction. However, having it flow both ways is critical especially when you are integrating customers and accounts. So, whenever a user visits your eCommerce platform, the integration to Oracle EBS is seamless.

For example, in many cases, there are customer-specific or company-specific price rules or locations. So, it is important that the system is able to tie back users to the underlying company, so they receive company-specific pricing levels. You can leverage user creation and have a domain-based email claiming system or address/account number information claiming system to do this. This is just one of the many ways to customize the user and their experience through advanced Oracle EBS integration into your existing eCommerce platform.

Order Information Integration

Apart from this, it is also possible to integrate sales, orders, invoices, and quotes. Again, this can be a one way or two-way integration between the systems. It may include things like the overall details of the order. So, for instance, someone goes to your eCommerce site and places an order, the order and all the associated information get sunk into Oracle EBS. The data includes the line items, tax information, product-specific tax classes, shipping information, delivery fee, customs and duties, any discounts, items ordered, payment information, and transaction data, etc.

It makes it easier to fetch profile information, transaction IDs, and order information. So, you can effectively handle any customer service requests like refunds. You would be able to track all this information between Oracle EBS and eCommerce systems.

Ultimately, we recommend that you explore all of the scenarios. However, most of the time it is common to have invoices go from Oracle EBS so that users can pay for invoices from Oracle EBS inside of your eCommerce instance. Similarly, quotes can go from Oracle EBS into an eCommerce platform. They can be converted into what are called "negotiable checkouts" or "negotiable quotes". Essentially, end users can then pay for them inside your platform after which they are sent back to Oracle EBS as an order.

How Can Clarity Help

Adapting the Integrations to Business Logic

You can match the core business workflows to your integration. Instead of letting your business logic be driven by the integration, you should make the integration adapt to your business logic. Therefore, we recommend working with an experienced partner.

Someone with experience will be aware of all the options available to fully take advantage of the offerings of both Oracle EBS and your existing platform web API. They can ensure you get the best automation and personalization while also keeping scalability and redundancy of the platform in mind.

If you have any more questions related to this topic, we encourage you to reach out to our experienced team. The Clarity team has a very friendly and knowledgeable sales and business development staff. They can provide a complimentary analysis. We certainly look forward to answering your questions and talking with you about your upcoming Oracle EBS integration project.

We also encourage you to go through the resources below. They have helpful information that covers other topics related to Oracle EBS integrations, some of which can be helpful for your project. If there are topics that you do not see below, you are welcome to click on the ask the expert link. Our team will be happy to provide a technical response to any questions that you may have regarding those topics.

Sage 200 + Oracle Integration

Clarity Connect is a middleware platform that facilitates the integration of Sage 200 to Oracle , including the automation of business processes and the sharing of data. Why would you do this? Every company, as well as every need to integrate is different. The most common is to marry the front-office web property with a back-office application, such as an online storefront connected to and ERP to pass orders automatically when the order is placed online.

There are many considerations when designing the connection between Sage 200 and Oracle . There can be security and performance criteria, as well as the physical access available to the applications. The two common connection types of applications that are typically connected are SaaS and On Premises.

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Connecting with Clarity Connect:

  • Sage 200

    Sage 200

  • Oracle

    Oracle

Clarity Connect is a middleware platform that facilitates the integration of Sage 200 to Oracle , including the automation of business processes and the sharing of data. Why would you do this? Every company, as well as every need to integrate is different. The most common is to marry the front-office web property with a back-office application, such as an online storefront connected to and ERP to pass orders automatically when the order is placed online.

There are many considerations when designing the connection between Sage 200 and Oracle . There can be security and performance criteria, as well as the physical access available to the applications. The two common connection types of applications that are typically connected are SaaS and On Premises.

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Be Nimble, Be Quick

SaaS or In-the-Cloud Applications

SaaS-based integrations are very common. These are exclusively online and used to integrate applications like Salesforce, Office365, USPS, UPS, 3PL, Avalara (Clarity is a certified Sage, Microsoft and Avalara partner) and any other application that is served up in the cloud.

In any of these scenarios, the eCommerce storefront is hosted on a cloud-based server (usually at a provider like Amazon, Azure, Rack Space, Liquid Web, Managed.com, etc.), and Clarity Connect is installed on the same server, with the connector or adapter communicating to the other online application across a secured Internet connection.

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Working from Within

On-Premises Applications

Another common implementation is when a client has their ERP or CRM installed on premises, behind their corporate firewall. In this scenario, Clarity Connect is then installed on a server on premises, along with the connector at the client’s facility and configured to communicate securely within their network to the back-office application(s).

Then an IP exception, with specific port and public / private key combo is used so that Connect can securely communicate with the other application’s connector / adapter in the cloud, improving security and ensuring that the client’s ERP / CRM are not exposed outside of their network.

Sage 200
Innovative & Robust

How Middleware Integration Works for B2B Platforms

Integrated Sage 200 & Oracle applications can foster greater customer loyalty with business process automation that delivers consistently outstanding customer service. Order processing speeds up, customers can access a range of information about their accounts such as order history and shipping options, so that it’s easy to place complex orders. Examples of how integrating ERP software works in practical terms include the following automated processes:

  • Customers and prospects visit an eCommerce website.
  • A record of the visit is generated and converted into a format that works in Sage 200 & Oracle software (Contact record -> Activity log).
  • If a sale is made, a Customer Record and Sales Order are automatically generated.
  • Visitor behavior is tracked and recorded to build user profiles for custom displays, marketing messages, recommendations and content curation.
  • Sales Orders and Quotes are sent to the appropriate staff for review, fulfillment and shipping.
  • Shipping details are converted into readable formats and forwarded to the eCommerce store.
  • Inventory figures update in real-time.
Oracle
A Better Experience

Customer Service Takes its Place at the Top of the Queue with ERP Integration

The usefulness of both CRM and ERP software depends on how efficiently business process automation works, and that depends on how fully the software is integrated into operations. If customers must contact sales or customer service staff frequently to troubleshoot problems with orders, get answers to simple questions or manage other issues with their accounts, the hidden and labor costs can be tremendous.

Companies routinely lose orders, fail to upsell accounts and frustrate customers when self-service eCommerce applications don’t work seamlessly with back-office data, pricing and automation. The costs of staff intervention also raise human capital costs and prevent staff from pursuing revenue-generating tasks.

  • Generating customized email, marketing promotions and newsletter marketing.
  • Generating customized reports and 360-degree views of each customer’s profile and real-time actions.
  • Automating line of business applications to foster seamless connections with multiple databases and internal management systems.
  • Delivering customer-centric tools for order fulfillment, support requests and ticketing applications.
  • Triggering custom quotes, accelerated workflows and faster management decisions.
  • Triggering custom quotes, accelerated workflows and faster management decisions.
It's All About Endpoints

Business Logic & Endpoint Types

Business logic are workflows that are the real meat and potatoes of the integration. It's where all the business processing happens and is made up of events, triggers, rules, and more. It's what allows all of the real-time or batched communication and automation of the front-end website with data and logic from the back-office applications. This is what extracts and exposes all of the value of your website / marketplace project.

The workflows can be very simple, such as checking a product's in-stock inventory count, to something much more complex. The basic endpoint categories are:

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Contacts

Individual users, typically customers or individuals of partners

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Accounts

Customer accounts, partners, resellers, etc.

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Products

Products or services that your company provides or sells

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Inventory

Stock quantities of products or services

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Pricing Tables

Pricing set on your products or services

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Sales Orders

Orders placed on the web that are pushed to the back office for processing

There can be literally hundreds of endpoints an API can expose to a connector (Clarity's eCommerce API exposes over 10,000) and the list can be very different from the two sides you're integrating. This is important because you may want to push or pull information from an application that can't be easily accessed or loaded to an application that doesn't support that type of data (Accounts and Contacts may both be in your CRM and ERP, but products and inventory may only exist within the ERP).

Possible Complex Workflow Samples

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Login Authentication Workflow

When a user logs into your store, Connect can go to the integrated CRM, look up the user, see what account they belong to. Is the account status on hold? Does the user have permissions to purchase on account? What pricing table does the account get assigned? Which products should be made visible to the user, etc.?

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Viewing a Product Workflow

When a user clicks on a product category, go to ERP in real-time and check to validate their (the account's) pricing, inventory story quantity and whether the product can be back ordered.

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Displaying Multiple Stock Quantities

If you stock products in multiple warehouses, how do you let users know how many are at each location? Connect can pull that information from your ERP(s), and display that on the website, allowing users to order from the closest location that has the number they need in stock.

Workflows and Benefits Supported by Sage 200

Sage 200 uses REST for its Connector-Adapter (API). This allows for the integration of data in the Product and Orders categories. Here's a brief list of some possible workflows:

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Login & Tiered Pricing

Automated login can validate users & account-based tiered pricing with Oracle

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Lead Capture & Generation

Capture leads to support your marketing activities

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Automate Sales Orders

Automate push Sales Orders for processing into Oracle

Workflows and Benefits Supported by Oracle

Oracle uses EDI File Exchange for its Connector-Adapter (API). This allows for the integration of data in the Pricing and Fulfillment categories. Here's a brief list of some possible workflows:

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Products & Services

Automatically pull products and services from Oracle into the Sage 200 storefront

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Inventory & Stock Quantites

Display accurate stock and inventory counts on your Sage 200 store by pulling real stock quantities

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Invoicing & Payments

Pulling invoices from Oracle into Sage 200 allows customers to save, print and pay their invoices online

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Integration Cost & Timing

Since the endpoints expose what is accessible to each connector, those applications with robust, well-defined APIs allow you to integrate more quickly and at a much lower cost. Simple integrations (i.e. forwarding orders to the back-office, pulling stock and quantities to the front-office) can start around $15k (including the platform's one-time license fee), especially for those that we've already developed robust connectors for. The complex integrations or those with many workflows and dozens of endpoint calls, may run as much as $30k all the way up to $100k for multiple applications.

It all depends on the number of applications being integrated, the ability to easily integrate with the applications, and the numbers and complexity of the business workflows being built. Using Clarity Connect, typical integrations can take from a few weeks to a few months. Over more than a decade, Clarity has done over 3,000 integrations and although 40% of the integrations that come our way are new, we haven't met an integration that we haven't been able to develop. Give us a call today to discuss your integration project.

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