Introduction to Oracle Fusion Applications (2023)

The Oracle Fusion service-oriented platform and applications suite joins next-generation enterprise technologies, applications, and services, including Oracle Fusion Applications and Oracle Fusion Middleware, to change the dynamics in the applications marketplace and revolutionize business. This chapter provides an introduction to the architecture and components of Oracle Fusion Applications.

This chapter contains the following topics:

  • What Is Oracle Fusion Applications?

  • Oracle Fusion Applications Architecture Design

  • Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)

For more information about Oracle Fusion Applications development and administrative tasks, see the following:

  • Oracle Fusion Applications Developer's Guide

  • Oracle Fusion Applications Administrator's Guide

For more information about Oracle Fusion Middleware concepts, see the following:

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware Concepts

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator's Guide

For more information about Oracle Database, see Oracle Database 2 Day DBA.

1.1 What Is Oracle Fusion Applications?

Using the latest technology and incorporating the best practices gathered from Oracle's customers, Oracle Fusion Applications is a suite of 100% open standards-based business applications that provide a new standard for the way businesses innovate, work and adopt technology. Delivered as a complete suite of modular, service-enabled enterprise applications, Oracle Fusion Applications works with Oracle's Applications Unlimited portfolio to evolve business to a new level of performance. Whether it is one module, a product family, or the entire suite, Oracle provides businesses with their choice of all advancements pioneered by Oracle Fusion Applications, at a pace that matches individual business demands.

Oracle Fusion Applications can best be described as:

  • Built on an open standards-based platform

  • Based on best practices business processes

  • Deployed through a selection of options

  • Built with security as a priority

1.1.1 Standards-Based Architecture

Oracle Fusion Applications is standards-based, making it highly adaptable. This standards-based technology enables you to respond effectively to change with flexible, modular, user-driven business software that is powered by best-in-class business capabilities built on open standards. Its technology framework includes the following products:

  • Oracle WebCenter provides design-time and runtime tools for building enterprise portals, transactional websites, and social networking sites.

  • Oracle Business Intelligence 11g provides a full range of business intelligence capabilities that enable you to analyze, present, report, and deliver organizational data.

  • Oracle Universal Content Management enables you to leverage document management, Web content management, digital asset management; and records retention functionality to build and complement your business applications.

  • Oracle SOA Suite provides a complete set of service infrastructure components for designing, deploying, and managing SOA composite applications. Oracle SOA Suite enables services to be created, managed, and orchestrated into SOA composite applications.

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  • Oracle WebLogic Server is a scalable, enterprise-ready application server based on Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE).

  • Oracle JDeveloper is an integrated development environment with end-to-end support for modeling, developing, debugging, optimizing, and deploying Java applications and web services.

  • Oracle Enterprise Manager offers business-driven applications management, integrated application to disk management, integrated systems management, and support experience.

  • Oracle Identity Management enables organizations to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of user identities and to secure access to enterprise resources and assets.

Using a standards-based architecture reduces the cost for integration and enables you to reuse systems and technologies. Standards-based architecture also increases the flexibility of the applications. You can fit the applications to your business by configuring not only the user interface, but also the business objects, the business processes, the business logic, and business intelligence.

The ease of managing Oracle Fusion Applications offers a low total cost of ownership that results in a faster return on investment by using tools for rapid setup and flexible deployment models, as well as providing protection for upgrades.

1.1.2 Best Practices Business Processes

Oracle Fusion Applications incorporates best practices business processes, including those from Oracle product lines, such as Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Oracle On Demand, JD Edwards, and Siebel to optimize the user experience and productivity.

The Oracle Fusion Applications user interface facilitates the customer-driven, intuitive design of the applications that result in large productivity gains. The user interface design of Oracle Fusion Applications is:

  • Role-based, which enables pervasive delivery in multiple modes, devices, and channels

  • Configurable and extensible, through JDeveloper during design time or the composer during runtime, which enhances productivity for individual users and groups of users

  • Composite and contextual, providing integrated information in the context of process

  • Social and collaborative, offering built-in user communities and workspace, Web 2.0 information distribution, and embedded social computing to improve collaborative work

Specific features of the user interface include:

  • Role-based dashboards that you can configure to your business needs

  • Unified worklists that provide lists of tasks from across the applications

  • Guided Business Processes, which are organized sets of tasks that help you get your work done more efficiently

  • Embedded analysis methods that provides the necessary information for completing a task

  • Contextual help that provides conceptual and procedural reference information

  • Oracle Fusion Applications Search, which provides a seamless search experience for easily locating and taking action on relevant data

  • Tagging, which enables you to associate keywords with objects so they can be easily located

  • Instant collaboration that provides the contact information for persons related to your tasks

1.1.3 Choice of Deployment Options

Oracle Fusion Applications is delivered as a suite, but can be adopted modularly. It can be adopted as a single suite, as product offerings (the highest level collection of functionality that you can license and implement), or as solutions sets that work with other Oracle Applications Unlimited product lines.

Oracle Fusion Applications is offered with the following deployment options:

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  • On premise, hosted by the enterprise

  • Public cloud (available to the general public), hosted over the Internet by Oracle, software as a service (SaaS), or Oracle business partners offering business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions

  • Private cloud (available internally behind a firewall), hosted as a SaaS or BPO offering

  • Hybrid, an implementation of both on premise and cloud

1.1.4 Security

Oracle Fusion Applications security offers:

  • Role-based access

  • Segregation of duties

  • Consistent and transparent function and data security

  • Robust privacy protections

  • Native identity management and access provisioning

  • Enforcement across tools (all the tools use the same policies) and across the information lifecycle

  • Integration with Oracle Fusion Governance, Risk, and Compliance

  • An extensive reference implementation

  • Standard tools to extend the footprint

For more information about security for Oracle Fusion Applications, see the Oracle Fusion Applications Security Guide.

1.2 Oracle Fusion Applications Architecture Design

Oracle Fusion Applications follows a modular, standards-based architecture. It is natively built on Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g components and uses Oracle Database. Figure 1-1 illustrates the architecture of Oracle Fusion Applications.

Figure 1-1 Oracle Fusion Applications Architecture

Introduction to Oracle Fusion Applications (1)

Oracle Fusion Applications includes the following product families, or collections of products that are associated with a functional area:

  • Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management manages customers, contacts, and resources, including data quality configuration.

  • Oracle Fusion Financials manages financial flows, including assets, ledgers, cash cycle, invoices and payments, accounts receivable, collections, and setup of subledger accounting and tax configuration.

  • Oracle Fusion Governance, Risk, and Compliance integrates business intelligence, process management, and automated controls enforcement to enable sustainable risk and compliance management.

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  • Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management provides employee management for an organization.

  • Oracle Fusion Procurement manages the procurement process including requisitions, purchase orders, and supplier negotiations.

  • Oracle Fusion Project Portfolio Management manages projects, including how to plan, budget, forecast, collect costs, bill customers, and report performance.

  • Oracle Fusion Supply Chain Management integrates and automates all key supply chain processes, from design, planning, and procurement to manufacturing and order fulfillment.

  • Oracle Fusion Setup is a special product family for supporting the other product families.

    In addition to Oracle Fusion Functional Setup Manager for setting up functional data, this product family includes applications to assist application users:

    • The Oracle Fusion Home page provides a Welcome dashboard with a collection of portlets and task flows for answering common questions.

    • Oracle Fusion Applications Help delivers the content that users require in order to complete their tasks. You can optionally install a local version of Oracle Fusion Applications Help, enabling you to extend and customize the help.

Each product family is based on a common Oracle Fusion Applications data model and services. Product families contain one or more Java EE applications that are specific to Oracle Fusion Applications and deployed to Oracle WebLogic Server. An application can contain multiple products, and a product can also span multiple applications. A product typically has a one-to-one correspondence with an Enterprise Archive (EAR) file. For example, EarSales.ear is an application and Sales is a product.

1.2.1 Data Model and Business Logic Design

Oracle Fusion Applications uses a unified data model, which is a superset of E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel entities and attributes. You can extend this data model while maintaining consistent semantics.

Logical data striping offers flexible enterprise structures for global organizations. Reference data sets enable business units to share reference data. Reference data is managed by sets. Transactional data is managed or striped by business units. You can assign sets of codes to each business unit. There is no need to duplicate reference data for each business unit.

Oracle Fusion Applications uses trees, a hierarchy model that offers flexible hierarchies for crossing line of business processes. It also defines line of business processes more efficiently. The tree structure is in the data model and is used directly in the Java business logic and exposed through Oracle Business Intelligence.

Flexfields enable you to add custom attributes and define custom key structures in Oracle Fusion Applications.

A unified metadata dictionary, and a metadata store, accessible to all the tools, provide consistency for all the components in the technology stack and enable you to preserve changes across upgrades.

Unified concepts from existing and new applications support upgrades from other Applications Unlimited product lines to Oracle Fusion Applications.

1.2.2 Business Process Design

Oracle Fusion Applications uses a declarative business process design that leverages Oracle SOA Suite. The SOA features used include approval management flows, human workflows, Oracle Business Process Management Worklist (Oracle BPM Worklist), business rules, activity guides, and process configuration customization tools (Oracle SOA Composer). Integration, creating business processes, and human workflow is the same as it is done in SOA.

The business process design of Oracle Fusion Applications features:

  • Declarative business process definition, which enables processes to be defined collaboratively between businesses and IT

  • Unified business process execution through system, human, and document workflow in a single business process management foundation to optimize processes while ensuring upgradeability

  • Unified process visibility and analytics with cross-organization monitoring, tracing, and variance analysis

  • Flexible business process customization, which enables you to make in-flight changes to data models, rules, events, and processes

  • Shared business metadata dictionary, which contains all the BPEL rules and processes,

During design time, two languages are used: Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN), which share the same engine and metadata dictionary.

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One SOA infrastructure is used per product family, but all worklists are available in one single location. For example, a worklist can include content from Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management and Oracle Fusion Financials.

All business processes are configurable using a rich set of tools (BPM Composer, Rules Editor, Routing Editor, and Profile Editor) that enable you to optimize the processes as you are using them.

1.2.3 Business Intelligence

Oracle Fusion Applications offers the following Oracle Business Intelligence capabilities:

  • Operational analysis, what-if analysis, analytic dashboards that enable you to adapt analytics to changes in transactional and process systems

  • Unified analytic definitions and calculations

  • Role-based dashboards with consistent security and navigation

  • Data mining-driven sales prediction, trending, and forecasting

  • Reporting (pixel perfect reports designed for printing)

A common repository product design is used across all Oracle Business Intelligence products.

For more information, see Chapter 4, "Oracle Fusion Middleware Components".

1.2.4 Operational Management Design

The operational management design for Oracle Fusion Applications offers:

  • Unified business services level management to achieve a comprehensive lifecycle management

  • Single point of administration for applications and technology to achieve comprehensive lifecycle management

  • Centralized management of users, privileges, and controls to simplify identity management and controls enforcement

  • Flexible deployment options

Oracle Enterprise Manager manages the middleware and the database. It provides an application-centric view, which shows information according to the product you have deployed. It also enables you to drill down from the business process to the technology stack through a single dashboard.

Rather than managing users and roles in themselves, Oracle Fusion Applications externalizes both the users and the roles to reside in a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) system. This identity management model centralizes access and entitlements, and is embedded in Oracle Fusion Applications.

Oracle Fusion Governance, Risk, and Compliance manages separation of duty to ensure that the roles do not overlap.

1.3 Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) provides an enterprise architecture that supports building connected enterprise applications to provide solutions to business problems. SOA facilitates the development of enterprise applications as modular business web services that can be easily integrated and reused, creating a truly flexible, adaptable IT infrastructure.

SOA uses orchestration technology to assemble various services to provide comprehensive functionality. In Oracle Fusion Applications, many product applications provide their functionality in the form of web services. Oracle Business Process Management is used to assemble these web services to provide end-to-end functionality.

Oracle SOA Suite, a middleware component of Oracle Fusion Middleware, provides a complete set of service infrastructure components for designing, deploying, and managing SOA composite applications. It enables services to be created, managed, and orchestrated into SOA composite applications. Composites enable you to easily assemble multiple technology components into one SOA composite application.

For more information, see Section 4.6, "Oracle SOA Suite".

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