Teaching best practices to Design, Build, Secure and Monitor APIs

In this blog, I want to share my experience after having created many APIs using different approaches and technologies. I am going to encapsulate a simple process that will help you construct APIs, starting from scratch with an idea or requirement and move it all along to a happy consumption.

The best part of APIs is that they are microservices enablers, which implies that they are not technology prescriptive, so in this blog you will see that your APIs can be implemented using any technology or programming language.

I decided to use “Jokes” as the vehicle to explain the APIs construction best practices, mainly because jokes are a simple concept that anyone can relate to, but also because I want you to feel compelled to consume these APIs and by doing so, get a laugh or two.

My original idea with jokes is to:

  1. Get a random joke.
  2. Translate the joke to any language.
  3. Share the original or the translated joke with a friend via SMS.

This is the high-level view of how our end solution will look like:

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Automate ERP Cloud Batch Uploads using Oracle MFT and Integration Cloud Service

In this blog, we will use Oracle Managed File Transfer (MFT) and Integration Cloud Service (ICS) to automate batch uploads into Oracle ERP Cloud. We will perform this upload with invoices, a typical use-case for organisations that work with numerous vendors and would like their vendors to bulk invoice them through say an SFTP file drop.

Steps are as follows:

  1. Drop the file into an SFTP folder that is managed by MFT
  2. MFT picks it up and uploads it into ERP Cloud’s WebCenter Content file repository
  3. MFT calls ICS to trigger a multi-step orchestration to load ERP Cloud
  4. Using the ICS ERP Cloud adapter, the ICS orchestration first loads the file into staging tables and import the invoice into final tables

Folks who have read my previous blog, Using MFT Cloud Service to Automate HCM Batch Uploads – Part 1 will notice how similar this is to HCM Data Loading, except that we use ICS to orchestrate a few post-load steps.

That is because HCM and ERP Cloud (also SCM and SalesCloud) are all Oracle Fusion Applications, modules built on the same platform. Some of you may even be on “Global Shared Instances”, essentially running both your HCM and ERP SaaSes in the same instance.

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Teaching how to integrate Salesforce and Sales Cloud with Oracle Integration Cloud Service

In this blog, I am going to show you how to integrate Salesforce and Sales Cloud with Oracle Integration Cloud Service (ICS). I am going to cover in detail how to configure ICS to subscribe for events to Salesforce and synchronise both SaaS applications without having to poll any of the endpoints. Salesforce is going to notify ICS when a specific event occurs, such as when Contacts who belong to a specific Account are added or edited.

This blog is a sequel of a previous blog, where I explain how to integrate Sales Cloud using ICS. If you haven’t reviewed it yet, I invite you to do so. Here is the link

Since this guide extends the Sales Cloud integration blog, I assume that you have created a simple CRUD set of REST APIs that interact with Sales Cloud Contacts. We will simply reuse these REST APIs to integrate into Sales Cloud. However, instead of the REST enabled API to CRUD Contacts into Sales Cloud, we could have decided to use an ICS “Invoke-based” Sales Cloud connector and achieve the same.

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Teaching how to use Developer Cloud Service to promote ICS Integrations into new Environments

Why not to have the best of the two worlds? That is, a simple web UI that allows you to easily integrate your SaaS and On-Premise applications, as well as a mature DevOps tooling, that allows you to store your integrations in a corporate version control repository and fully automate your deployments, continuous integration and continuous delivery of your integration projects.

Well, in this blog I am going to show you how simple it is to use Developer Cloud Service to manage your ICS Integrations in a DevOps fashion.

That is:

  1. DevOps person pushes a change in an ICS Integration into the corporate Git repository,
  2. A build task is triggered based on a Git code change being detected. Hudson will automatically trigger a build task,
  3. Hudson will build and package the ICS Integration and archive the result as a release for future deployment,
  4. A deployment task is triggered to deploy the ICS Integration into a configurable target ICS environment.
  5. Optionally, we could run tests and report status, to ensure the new code release is functional as expected.

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Teaching how to integrate Sales Cloud with Integration Cloud Service

In this blog, I am going to show how simple it is to use ICS (Integration Cloud Service) to integrate to Oracle Sales Cloud easily and quickly. The steps that I am going to show are tailored for Sales Cloud, but in reality, they are almost the same steps to integrate virtually any Application whether it is on premise or in the cloud.

Using ICS Sales Cloud connector, allows you to fully introspect into all Business objects, custom objects and Services while building an Integration, so you can literally choose depending on your needs the object to interact with, either to Create, Read, Update or Remove; specific queries, services, etc. In this case I am mainly going to work with the “Contact” Business object that belongs to a particular “Account”.

This is the use case that I am going to develop:

  • REST API to create (POST) new a new “Contact” for an existing “Account” in Sales Cloud
  • REST API to retrieve (GET) all “Contacts” from an existing “Account” in Sales Cloud
  • REST API to retrieve (GET) a specific “Contact” from an existing “Account”, given a unique identifier in Sales Cloud

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ICS to API Platform

I’ve been using the API Platform and Integration Cloud Service (ICS) for some time now.  Independently, they are powerful products but together they are even better.

Initially, most ICS use cases were SaaS to SaaS or an extension to an existing SaaS.  But more and more I’m seeing people use ICS in place of a standard service bus to do basic validation, enrichment, transformation and routing.

But how do you expose these ICS services using standard API methods?  Well, it isn’t too difficult to go into API Platform and define an API to point to the ICS service, but this could be quite tedious.

Luckily, all the Oracle products have an “API first” strategy, so it wasn’t too difficult to setup an ICS flow to automatically publish new services into the API Platform.

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Teaching how to use the Integration Cloud Service Connectivity Agent

I have been Integrating applications for the last 15+ years and normally every integration is a new challenge. It really doesn’t matter what technology or standards you use or have used in the past, the reality is that integrations come a new set of challenges. In the past few years the pre-built adapters have simplified in a way these challenges, but with hybrid architectures a new set of challenges comes to the picture, for example; connectivity, security, simplicity, message reliability, etc.

I was very excited when I learned the way Oracle Cloud is using to solve this problem. It is with something called Oracle ICS (Integration Cloud Service) Connectivity Agents, that basically get installed close to the Application being integrated, for example on-premise or in IaaS. Then using ICS in a browser, you can introspect into the backend application as if it was close to ICS, in fact with this solution ICS is completely oblivious of the location of the actual backend application. The Connectivity Agent will in this case connect internally with the back-end applications and communicate to ICS by pushing out messages via Messaging Cloud Service.

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