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MuleSoft API Lifecycle Management

Learn about the lifecycle of an API managed with MuleSoft, from the design and build stages, to implementation and management.

Learn about the lifecycle of an API managed with MuleSoft, from the design and build stages, to implementation and management.

thumbnail   By: Arun Yaligar


1. Introduction

In today’s competitive landscape, businesses need to make decisions quickly; whether it’s a new marketing campaign, a new product enhancement, a new partner portal, or an employee productivity app, businesses are competing on speed. What is needed is flexibility. And what better way to do this than to create purposeful, agile application building blocks that can be easily pieced together with well-designed, well-managed APIs to quickly create what is needed. Connecting these building blocks results in a network of interchangeable functionality — a network of sub-functions, or applications. We call it the application network.

Let’s future-proof ourselves and hedge against uncertainty by creating these building blocks, and then allow for the flexibility to rapidly piece them together on an on-demand basis.

1.1 Welcome to the Application Network

The application network is the future. It emerges from the creation of multiple API-enabled microservices; connecting these microservices with a strategic API approach results in a composable network. The network allows the flexibility to rapidly piece together different services for multiple functionalities an on-demand basis, providing business agility and a robust platform for innovation.

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1.2 The Anatomy of an Application Building Block

An application network is composed of application building blocks. These have multiple elements. and it’s critical to separate the concerns between each. The API interface, the API implementation, and the API management aspects all have their own specific, unique lifecycles to follow. This building block should itself be treated as a product since these characteristics are common to what a good product should also have. Therefore, it makes sense to treat a building block from a product-centric approach.

We see this product-centric lifecycle as having three distinct stages: design, implementation, and management.

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1.3 The Lifecycle of an Application Building Block

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2. Design

2.1 How to Design an API

Designing an API starts with an acknowledgment ahead of time that the API production process will start from an outside-in perspective, beginning with the “interface/contract” of the API. That is to say, let us first decide what the API will look and behave like before we actually begin to code the backend logic.

Often, developers build APIs without knowing the API has been validated and accepted. As a result, there is always this air of uncertainty: “Is this what my consuming developers want?”

2.2 “Outside-In” Done Right

API developers must design the user interface of the API first – this is also known as the API contract. This approach is typically known as a “design-first” approach, and it should follow a deliberate API design lifecycle in order to optimize for the best API experience. As a result, it is important to be able to do this in a human-readable fashion — to specify the contract in a way that humans can easily digest.

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2.3 Soliciting Feedback on the API’s Design

At this point in the process, the API designer (i.e. the designer of the API contract) is ready to have the API validated and tested by the API consumers (i.e. a client mobile app/website developer, or another API provider in some cases).

The currency of conversation between both parties will be interactive tools such as the API Notebook and interactive documentation, to name a few. There are many other tools that can be referenced from the raml.org site. This process of validation may be brief or extended over numerous iterations.

2.4 Repeatable Design

Any well-designed API will have repeatability, as well as repeatability across other APIs. This can easily be encapsulated into best practice patterns both at the structural level of the API (nouns/resources), as well as at the method level (verbs). So as API developers go about the design process, it is important to be able to discover and share repeatable patterns.

3. Implementation

3.1 Connect Systematically, Not in an Ad-Hoc Fashion

API implementation is a critical piece in enabling a next-generation enterprise. Enabling for dozens, potentially even hundreds or thousands of APIs to be connected down to a backend and connected to each other will be key. This must be done in a systematic manner (as opposed to point-to-point code).

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3.2 Put API Design Principles and Best Practices in a Common Repository

Benefits of a best practices repository:
• Increase business agility.
• Share best practices with reusable templates and logic.
• Leverage best practice patterns.
• Rapidly deploy APIs: fail fast, succeed faster.
• Minimize point-to-point logic and future-proof for stability.

3.3 Testing the API Implementation

At this point in the process, the API provider (i.e. the developer behind the API implementation) is ready to have the “guts” of the API tested. MUnit is MuleSoft’s testing solution, which is incorporated into the full application building block lifecycle. Test automation tools are critical here, as this integrates into the DevOps processes of continuous
delivery and deployment.

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4.1 Embrace DevOps

Embracing modern DevOps-centric processes and tooling is critical to reducing mean time-to-production, and this should apply to your application building blocks as well.

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Once the application building block has been assembled and tested, deployment should be as easy as the click of a button.

The use of a hybrid integration platform that is lightweight, easy to install, and suitable for CI/CD workflows is key. The ability to have seamless support for dependency management, testing, version control, and automated deployment tooling should be an assumption.

4.2 Govern and Secure All Traffic

It is critical to ensure your application building blocks are following best practices in security and
architectural governance by applying policies to them at runtime. Monitoring all traffic is equally critical because it just takes just one weak link to bring the ship down.

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4.3 Don’t Forget About the Discoverability and On-Ramp

Imagine your company with hundreds — if not thousands — of APIs in your expansive application network. Imagine you’re adding several new ones every day.

Being able to appropriately publish them so the consuming developer can find, research, and understand them easily could make or break your entire program. There is no point in building something that won’t ever be found, let alone used.

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4.4 Just Like Any Product, Application Building Blocks Change

Building blocks will change. It’s a WHEN, not an IF, so be ready for it, which requires a carefully planned set of policies, procedures and the right platform to seamlessly migrate clients across new versions of APIs.

Getting this migration wrong will affect your customers. That’s not a risk worth taking.

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It takes a village to have an application network.

So, Now What?

For more background on full lifecycle API management, take a look at the Gartner Magic Quadrant, in which MuleSoft is a Leader. You can also take a look at their further resources on API strategy and API development.


Arun Yaligar is a MuleSoft Developer at ennVee, a professional services firm headquartered in Naperville, Illinois (outside of Chicago). Learn more about ennVee: www.ennvee.com/about.html

This article was originally posted to The Integration Zone 

Featured

Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2.7 Available Now

Oracle has announced the latest release of Oracle E-Business Suite, R12.2.7.

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September 8th, 2017
Oracle has announced the latest release of Oracle E-Business Suite, R12.2.7. Download and installation information can be found here.

New Features and Improvements

Release 12.2.7 provides a myriad of updates and enhancements across the entire suite. Highlights include:

  • Statutory and regulatory updates
  • Stability, performance, and security enhancements
  • All one-off patches made available on 11.5.10, 12.0, 12.1.3, and earlier 12.2 releases
  • Extended support for themes (earlier 12.2 releases): recurring revenue business models, user interface modernization, and increased operational efficiency
  • New functional and technical capabilities for iProcurement, Procurement, Project Procurement, Projects, Order Management, Logistics, Manufacturing, Value Chain Planning, Asset Management, Service, Financials, HCM, and Tools and Technology.

For all new features and improvements introduced in release 12.2.7, click here.

 

R12.2.x Upgrade Automation?

All non-standard objects (Database, Setup, RICEFW) and custom code must be remediated to enable online patching (ADOP), and comply to new architectural standards in 12.2. As a result, project timelines, cost, and resource requirements can increase tremendously, turning the manual-laden upgrade process into a trial by fire. ennVee ENNABLE™ has helped organizations simplify and accelerate the 12.2.x upgrade process by automating each phase from assessment, to segregation, remediation, migration, and testing.

Learn more at ennvee.com/ennable.html and contact us for a free live demonstration at connect@ennvee.com.

Featured

Migrating from Oracle Discoverer: Automation

Oracle Discoverer is de-supported as of July 1, 2017. You’ve likely started to evaluate self-service alternatives, but how complex is the actual migration? 

“Extended Support” Ended After June 30, 2017 

The general consensus is that Disco music died on July 12, 1979 after the infamous  “Disco Demolition” event host ed by Chicago radio disk jockey Steve Dahl. Even though artists continued to release Disco records during the early 1980’s, the populace had already lifted and shifted to a different genre.

If you use Oracle E-Business Suite or Banner, you’re probably familiar with Oracle Discoverer, a 20-year ad-hoc querying and analysis reporting tool that has officially retired as of June 30th, 2017. Since 2009 Oracle has been transparent about its strategic direction for business intelligence, so the announcement of retirement does not come as a shock to those still using Discoverer.

Numerous BI and reporting platforms have been released since Discoverer reached its apex. As we lift and shift to a new standard of self-service reporting, it’s imperative to select a scalable, sustainable, and cost-effective replacement that solves existing business needs, eliminates the possibility of “shadow BI” projects, and is desired by both end users and IT.

Discoverer Replacement & Migration Options 

  1. Do nothing
  2. OBIEE / BI Foundation Suite
  3. Tableau
  4. Power BI
  5. Migration Automation

 

1. Do nothing

If it’s not broken, why fix it? There still exists the option to upgrade to the latest release 11gR1and utilize the pre-packaged integration with Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) and Oracle EBS Federal Financials.

Oracle’s Sustaining Support policy excludes the following:

  • New updates, fixes, security alerts, data-fixes, and critical patch updates
  • New tax, legal, and regulatory updates
  • New upgrade scripts
  • Certification with new third-party products/versions
  • Certification with other Oracle products

While day-to-day reporting and licensing will remain the same, the cost of a few iterations can exceed that of a replacement or migration project.  There’s also the potential of failed integration with later versions of E-Business Suite, and any new desktop, browser, or Windows OS updates. Additionally, migration is necessary to remain compatible with the latest Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2.x releases, Oracle Database 12c, and to use any of Oracle’s Fusion Applications.

Inevitably, both business and users will need a more accessible solution that provides stronger data visualizations and interactivity. Continued usage increases the complexity of transforming that data into actionable insights to support strategic decision making.


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2. BI Foundation Suite / OBIEE

Oracle Business Intelligence (Enterprise Edition), OBIEE, is part of Oracle’s strategic road map for business intelligence.

From what we’ve encountered helping customers migrate, OBIEE is often selected because they already own the licenses and can spin it up faster than implementing and migrating to another application. OBIEE is still “in” support, and can be interfaced directly with Oracle EBS, Fusion, and Forms, which makes it an ideal choice for Oracle customers running Discoverer. Customers who wanted analytics and dashboards tended to choose OBIEE, while those looking for day-to-day operational reporting gravitated towards other (non-Oracle) applications.

While OBIEE delivers what it promises, an army of reporting tools for executives and end users alike, it’s important to consider the time, cost, and effort required before, during, and after implementation and Discoverer migration.

Migration from Discoverer to OBIEE

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Migrating from Discoverer to OBIEE is complex. For starters, there are no tools available to automatically migrate workbooks, which means all queries must be re-created from scratch.

The End User Layer (EUL) can be migrated automatically using Oracle’s Discoverer Metadata Conversion Assistant. Converted elements include business areas, simple, complex, and custom folders, columns, joins, conditions, and hierarchies.

Many elements cannot be migrated simply because there is no equivalent in OBIEE. These include: item classes, summary folders, optional conditions, complex folders (either dimensions or based on complex folders), and hierarchies based on complex folders. Click to read the full list.

Other Considerations for OBIEE and BI Foundation Suite

Licensing
OBIEE requires separate licensing costs for each “pack”; BI Server, BI Answers, BI Interactive Dashboards, BI Delivers, BI Publisher, Oracle Real-Time Decision Server, Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management, and/or Oracle Data Visualization.

Based on the Oracle Technology Global Price List, the cost to license OBI or Essbase may not provide due diligence if you require a composite of features not limited to a single application.

Training, Maintenance, and Support
There is a considerable learning curve in OBIEE, which requires learning multiple tools and aspects of business intelligence in order to make it work well together. After migrating off Discoverer, a substantial amount of RPD modeling work and dashboard preparation is required for end users to start utilizing OBIEE. Additionally, maintenance and support will require hiring additional resources.


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 3. Tableau

Tableau’s powerful packaged BI offering, Tableau Desktop, allows users to drag and drop to analyze data, connect to data in a few clicks, and visualize and create interactive dashboards with a few more.

Over the course of our past Discoverer to Tableau migration projects, the primary factors for selecting Tableau has ranged from the amount of available features, data visualizations, scalability via ease-of-upgrade, and affordable licensing.

ennVee’s Discoverer migration accelerator automatically transfers all reports and objects to Tableau. Provided below is an example to highlight the comparison of between a Sales Orders report before and after migration.

Sales Orders(DIS)
Sales Orders in Discoverer
Sales Orders(TWB)
And after migrating to Tableau Desktop

 


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4. Microsoft Power BI

Over the course of the last few years, Microsoft has continued to beef up its Power BI analytics tool. Power BI has ascended from a middle-of-the-road solution to the leading business intelligence and analytics platform of 2017.

What makes Power BI an attractive replacement for Discoverer is the “out of box” data modeling and self-service analytics capabilities. We have helped many customers migrate to Power BI by way of our accelerator, which automatically extracts complete Discoverer reports and imports them into Power BI without requiring a rebuild.

Power BI and Power BI Desktop are available to use for free, while Discoverer power users may opt for the Pro version ($9.99/user/month). The Pro version is required in order to migrate from Discoverer, as it is the only version that enables users to share data, security details, roles, and access information.

Min Max Parts(DIS)
A Min Max report in Discoverer
Min Max Parts(PBI)
And after migrating to Power BI

Aside from cost-effective licensing, Discoverer migration to Power BI has become a feasible route for the growing number of companies that are switching over to Office365. If you’re in the process of moving to Office365, Discoverer to Power BI migration would be a synergistic side-effect.


5. Automated Migration to Tableau, OBIEE, Qlikview, Power BI, etc. in 2-8 Weeks

ennVee offers an accelerated conversion process that automatically migrates all Discoverer workbooks and elements to  Tableau, OBIEE, Qlikview, SQL Server, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), PowerQuery, Power BI and more. Our packaged automation significantly reduces manual effort and time to migrate, at minimal cost and zero rebuild.

Our accelerator completes the Discoverer migration in 2-10 weeks. We provide a live interactive demonstration, PoC, and assessment free of cost. The cost of the actual migration is fixed based on the number and complexity of reports.

Click here to download the datasheet

List of migrated elements

  • Reports
  • Infrastructure
  • Folders
  • Calculations
  • Filters
  • Workbooks
  • Sheets
  • Conditions
  • Joins
  • Classes
  • Hierarchies
  • Business Rules
  • Security
  • Roles

 


We offer a complimentary assessment with conversion timelines and fixed bid pricing. Complete the form below or contact us to learn more.


Kickstart your free assessment

60% of customers, who have utilized our free assessment, choose ennVee for their Discoverer migration.

2017 Gateway OAUG Kansas City – Event Recap

ennVee President, Veera Venugopal, and Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Joe Bong discussed current and future Oracle E-Business Suite and ERP upgrade automation trends, and other key aspects that make or break the R12.2 upgrade process.

The second annual Gateway OAUG event took place this past Wednesday, November 8th in Overland Park, Kansas. ennVee participated as an exhibitor and hosted a session around Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2 upgrade automation. Download presentation.

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ennVee President, Veera Venugopal, and Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Joe Bong discussed current and future Oracle E-Business Suite and ERP upgrade automation trends, and other key aspects that make or break the R12.2 upgrade process.

Veera Venugopal provided insight around the current state and automation best practices during Oracle EBS R12.2 upgrades, as well as the benefits of upgrading to the latest release 12.2.7.

Joe Bong addressed the “voice of the customer” by summarizing the results of over 2,000 surveys taken by Oracle ERP/IT decision makers across all major industries. Joe also examined ennVee’s proprietary automation tools and processes that when applied reduce cost, manual effort, and time to go-live by 60%. The session concluded with a look into ennVee’s Oracle Discoverer migration solution and Oracle Application Performance Monitoring/Managed Services, where 60% of manual effort is eliminated via automation.


Discuss your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) objectives with us

Are you preparing or planning to upgrade to Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2.7? Contact us to accelerate and reduce the cost of your upgrade by 60%.

ennVee to Host Session on Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2 Upgrade Automation at Upcoming OAUG Event

ennVee will be presenting and exhibiting at the upcoming Gateway Kansas City OAUG event on November 8th.

We’re excited to announce that ennVee will be presenting and exhibiting at the upcoming Gateway Kansas City OAUG event on November 8th.

Make sure to catch our Customer Experience session hosted by ennVee President, Veera Venugopal and Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Joe Bong. Both will discuss ways in which customers can leverage automation to accelerate the Oracle E-Business Suite ERP upgrade process to the latest R12.2 release. 

About our Session

Automation: Or How We Eliminated Manual R12.2 Upgrades and Become Cost Saving Hero
Who doesn’t want peace-of-mind from their Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2.7 upgrade? President and Vice President, Veera Venugopal and Joe Bong will discuss how project and business teams can expedite R12.2.x upgrade process through automation. We will share tips, best practices, and lessons learned from past upgrades, which will help you leverage automation to create efficiency, reduce time and cost, while increasing quality.

When: Wednesday, November 8th from 10-10:40AM CDT.
Where: GRID Collaborative Spaces, 12022 Blue Valley Parkway, Overland Park, Kansas 66213

Full agenda and registration – http://bit.ly/2xOYRAq

Learn more about the centerpiece of our session, ENNABLE

ennVee is attending MIDHEUG Alliance 2017

ennVee will be attending this year’s Midwest Higher Education User Group (MIDHEUG) conference from October 12th-13th at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL.

ennVee will be attending this year’s Midwest Higher Education User Group (MIDHEUG) conference from October 12th-13th at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL. This is the first year that we are attending, and we look forward to connecting.

The Midwest Regional User Group (MIDHEUG) is a HEUG online community that includes Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The annual Alliance conference will bring together higher education institutions in the region who use Oracle applications/technology.

We will highlight our current business intelligence initiatives and Oracle Discoverer migrations for colleges and universities across the US. If you’re attending, stop by our booth and pick up some freebies.

Register to attend at https://www.heug.org/e/in/eid=349

Salesforce to Oracle E-Business Suite Integration using MuleSoft

Client Snapshot

  • Leading manufacturer of physical
    infrastructure for Data Center, Enterprise,
    and Industrial environments
  • 5,000 employees worldwide
  • $1+ billion (USD) annual revenue
  • Location: Chicago, IL (USA)

Project Overview

  A sales person is effective only to the extent of knowledge they have about the product or service that they are selling. Even the most “blue chip” CRM systems do not effectively provide the internal product or services information required by the sales person at that time. Typically, the information related to customer, sales order, availability, etc. resides within the internal ERP systems, which limits access to the increasingly mobile salesforce. Being able to access information on-the-go in real-time expedites the sales process and enables the sales person to make more effective sales.

Topology

  • Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) R12.x

  • MuleSoft AnyPoint Studio 3.8
  • Salesforce – Summer ’17


Click here to download the full White Paper!

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Are you experiencing an issue with a current custom development project? Would you like assistance with an upcoming project? Contact us. 

WorkDay HCM to Oracle E-Business Suite Integration

Client Snapshot

  • Leading manufacturer of physical
    infrastructure for Data Center, Enterprise,
    and Industrial environments
  • 5,000 employees worldwide
  • $1+ billion (USD) annual revenue
  • Location: Chicago, IL (USA)

Project Overview

   In 2016, Human Resources-related OPEX were on the rise and creating chaos for an industry leading manufacturer of network infrastructure. They concluded that a switch from Oracle HRMS to WorkDay HCM Cloud would be the most effective way to tackle asending HR costs. Since the customer runs a bulk of their business operations on Oracle E-Business Suite, it was imperative to properly integrate the new WorkDay HCM system with the existing Oracle E-Business Suite.

Based on ennVee’s decade-strong partnership with the manufacturing leader, the customer elected to leverage ennVee’s deep understanding of the business requirements and Oracle applications environment to execute the integration project. Our objective was to build the real-time and batch mode integrations between Workday and the client’s existing Oracle E-Business ERP system to provide the ability to leverage employee information across both systems.

Topology

  • Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) R12.x

  • WorkDay HCM Cloud

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware

  • Oracle Forms / Reports / SQL Developer


Click here to download the full White Paper!

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Are you experiencing an issue with a current custom development project? Would you like assistance with an upcoming project? Contact us.