Oracle’s E-Business Suite (EBS) is a long–standing workhorse for corporations of all sizes and from a variety of industries. Here at Traust we work with our EBS clients every day to help them understand and harness the enormous capabilities of this tool. That said, it seems that without fail our clients request features and capabilities that fall outside the standard capabilities of this robust software. Thankfully, Oracle recognizes their customers’ desire to customize and integrate EBS and provide tools that assist and standardize the process of extending the capabilities of Oracle E-Business Suite.
This blog can’t begin to touch the number of options we have when it comes to manipulation of standard functionality. In EBS lingo, we call these RICEW components which stands for (Reports, Integrations, Customizations, Extensions and Workflows) and one of the best ways to tackle these needs is through Oracle’s published application programming interfaces (APIs).
In order to protect the integrity of EBS data and existing workflow built into the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, Oracle requires that any updates and inputs into the database be done through the existing/standard forms—or through one of their own APIs. There are literally hundreds of these APIs made available to us. While many of them are defined and available through Oracle support, you can follow this link to see them listed on a publicly accessible forum (EBS APIs).
There is an API for nearly every major focus area of EBS that allows you to read, put, or update data in the ERP database. This is especially convenient for tools like Oracle Application Express (APEX), a database extension tool often used for reporting, dashboard and forms replacement. With Oracle providing a fully defined API to call your EBS database, RICEW components require less effort, and we ensure the integrity of the data is protected from outside manipulation without first being vetted by the API definitions.
3rd Party Software Solutions
When we talk about APIs, integration with 3rd party software solutions are often at the center of the discussions. With APIs essentially being translation tools for proper communication between applications, this one of the best use cases of extending the capabilities of EBS or any enterprise application.
At Traust, we try and promote standard, best practices for our clients’ business processes. If work can be completed effectively, utilizing the system of origin (software where a process starts), and a single source of truth (original, uncompromised data), we want to promote that option. However, we know that variables like features, security, speed and user preference often result in the need for a 3rd party software solution to contribute to or finish a business process workflow. While moving and/or synchronizing data between these systems can be tricky, utilizing well defined, published APIs from both software providers can reduce the liability of compromised data and workflow.
APIs are invaluable tools to access and update the data in your Oracle EBS environment. And, as a reminder, Oracle never allows direct updates to the table structure or data in your Oracle EBS database. This can result in the termination of your Oracle support agreement and your ability to update/maintain your Oracle environment going forward. For data fix needs, always work directly with Oracle Support and for all other outside database interfaces, make use of your APIs. It’s the Oracle law. J