Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Oracle Business Network - Deep Dive

In my previous post, I shed light on basics of Oracle Business Network and it's capabilities.

Let's take a deep dive into OBN configurations as well as corresponding EBS setups and it's uses.

OBN Home Page

Once you login to OBN, here's what you see on Home Page. You'll see various tabs such as Profile, Messaging, Partners, Monitor etc.

Company Profile

Profile page let's you maintain your company's profile details. This is mainly for information purpose only.

Messaging Setup

This is one of the crucial setup pages. We can define various Communication Parameters as well as Transaction configurations here.

In below example, we are configuring two transactions:

1. Send POs from EBS to Trading Partner
2. Receives Invoices from Trading Partner to EBS

Now, let's take a look at Delivery Method configuration

We have defined two Delivery Methods:

1. Oracle XML Transport Agent - Used to specify EBS server details. This is how OBN connects to our EBS instance.
2. HTTPS URL Connection - Used to specify OBN server details. This is to make connection to our OBN account through which the messages/documents are exchanged with Trading partners.

Oracle XML Transport Agent:
As shown below, we need to specify Transport Agent URL here, one pertaining to Test Environment and another pertaining to Production Environment; along with the EBS user credentials.
Usually, the best practice is to create a dedicated user in EBS for such purposes so that we can track all incoming and outgoing transactions to and from OBN.

HTTPS URL Connection:

As shown below, we need to specify OBN specific URLs here, one pertaining to Test Environment and another pertaining to Production Environment; along with our OBN user credentials.

The URLs are usually fixed for Test and Production Hubs:
OBN Production Hub HTTPS URL: OR

Let's take a look at Transaction Management configuration

For Invoice transaction, we use below parameters:

Document Format: OAG
Format Version: 002
Document Type: PROCESS_INVOICE_002
Action: Receive

And, we choose Oracle XML Transport Agent for both Test and Prod instances:

For, Purchase Order transaction, we use below parameters:

Document Format: OAG
Format Version: 007
Document Type: PROCESS_PO_007
Action: Send

And, we choose Oracle XML Transport Agent for both Test and Prod instances:

We can test our configuration by sending a dummy/test document by accessing Send Document tab as shown below.
Here, we can use Test Hub and Document Type from above steps (PROCESS_PO_007) and upload the test payload/file to test out configuration.

Trading Partner Setup

Now, let's take a look at how we can add new Trading Partners and maintain the current ones.

Under Partners tab, we can see Add Trading Partners option. This lets you Search the desired Trading partner from the list and add them to our OBN account.

The trading partner must have registered on OBN for you to search and add them; or else you won't see them in the list of registered OBN partners.

Under Pending Approval tab, we will be able to see all the trading partners we added to our account but are still pending approval from their end.

Once we add a trading partner in our OBN account, the corresponding partner admin gets a notification asking to approve this request. Only once they approve your request, they will appear as Approved under your trading partners list.

All the Trading Partners that you added in your OBN account will appear under Your Trading Partners tab. This includes the ones that are Approved as well as the ones that are Pending Approval.

Monitoring the inbound and Outbound Transactions

Navigate to Monitor tab and we'll see two options: Sent Messages and Received Messages

Sent Messages:
If we click on download button against any Sent Message, it will let us download Pre-Transform or Post-Transform document. I've explained about these in my previous post.

If we wish to Resend any message, then we can click on Resend button and click OK. This will Resend that particular message to Trading Partner.
This is useful especially when there's a transmission failure which may happen for a number of reasons one of which could be that Trading partner server was down or was under maintenance and now you need to resend all pending/failed messages; this feature comes handy in such cases.
You can also use Resend All option to Resend all the desired messages to Trading Partner.

Received Messages:

Similarly, we can monitor all Incoming messages under Received Messaged tab. Here also, we have similar options either to download the Pre and Post transform documents and also to Resend the message to EBS server.

Supported Transaction Types

Below are some of the Common Transactions Types supported by OBN:

Purchase Order - OAG PROCESS PO 007 and cXMLOrderRequest

Change Purchase Order - OAG CHANGE PO 006 and cXMLOrderRequest Update

Advance Ship Notice (ASN) - OAG SHOW SHIPMENT 005 and cXMLShipNoticeRequest

Invoice - OAG PROCESS INVOICE 002 and cXMLInvoiceDetailRequest

Available Document Types:

EBS Configurations for OBN

Now, let's see what all configurations we need to do in EBS in order to connect to OBN and exchange the messages.

Certificate Management

Navigate to OBN Test or Prod URLs and download the certificate for the same.

Import the certificate into $INST_TOP/certs/Apache/cwallet.sso

Hub Definition in EBS

We need to define a new Hub in EBS using either Test or Prod URL of OBN as shown below:

PO Transmission (Outbound) Setup

Navigate to Trading Partner Setup and create a new entry using itg_process_po_007_out Map as shown below:

AP Invoice (Inbound) Setup

Navigate to Trading Partner Setup and create a new entry using AP_INVOICE_INBOUND Map as shown below:

Voila !
We have finished all the setups in OBN as well as EBS. With this in place, all the Outbound POs and Inbound Invoices for this Trading Partner will be exchanged via Oracle Business Network.


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Oracle Business Network - A Primer

Are you still utilizing the traditional B2B cXML model to transmit POs from your EBS system to vendor systems? Are you looking for an end-to-end automated solution for inbound invoices?
Are you trapped in an endless cycle of transmission errors?

Oracle Business Network (OBN) is here to help you.

OBN (formerly known as Oracle Supplier Network a.k.a. OSN/OSuN) is a cloud-based supplier registration and messaging service provided to Oracle customers and their trading partners. It is free and works seamlessly with Oracle Fusion, E-Business Suite, and PeopleSoft applications. It lets customers exchange business documents with their trading partners.

Let's see what are the Traditional B2B approach and challenges:

  • Configure each vendor for outbound transactions like PO transmission

  • Import certificates for each vendor

  • IP whitelisting may be needed

  • Transmission/Handshake errors

  • No monitoring tool except Workflow monitor in EBS

  • No option of performing self tests

  • No easy administration features

  • High maintenance

Oracle Business Network Benefits over these challenges:

  • One configuration for all vendors

  • OBN certificates and OBN IP address only

  • Transmission/handshake errors eliminated

  • Excellent monitoring features for inbound as well as outbound transactions

  • Option to perform self-tests for inbound as well as outbound transactions

  • Easy administration

  • Very low maintenance

  • Free to use for all customers and trading partners

  • Hosted by Oracle Outsourcing to provide a high availability connection for trading partner collaboration

  • Simplifies the administrative burden of creating and managing a complex multi-point integration infrastructure

Oracle Business Network Structure / Process

  • Oracle customers (EBS) communicate with OBN via OAG XML standard for inbound and outbound messages

  • OAG XML = Oracle Applications Group XML standard

  • This facilitates messaging without any customizations or custom maps

  • Trading partners can choose from one of the common standards supported by OBN such as cXML

  • Real time message transformer in OBN converts messages from OAG XML to destination XML standard

  • This eliminates additional cost and effort of multiple standards and configurations on either sides

Pre-Transform Document (OAG XML)

When a document is sent from EBS to OBN, it appears under Pre-Transform Document section.
Below is a sample for the same:

Post-Transform Document (cXML)

OBN transform the Pre-document into Post-document and it appears under Post-Transform Document section.
Below is a sample for the same:

This way, we don't have to configure various cXML documents on EBS side in order to send them to various trading partners. Instead, we maintain a uniform configuration for all the vendors and send the documents in OAG XML format to OBN and OBN takes care of transforming them to cXML and send to the corresponding trading partners.

This uniform approach eliminates transmission/handshake errors and gives us more control over monitoring and resubmission of error transactions.

In Oracle EBS, the XML Gateway is used to integrate with OBN and exchange the messages/documents.

In Oracle Fusion Cloud, the Collaboration Messaging Framework (CMK) is used to integrate with OBN and exchange the messages/documents.