Siebel Integration Summer Camp Part 1: Overview (and HUG)

Siebel Integration Summer
Camp Part 1: Overview (and
omnipresent. I doubt that there is even one project that never
uses any of the various data import/export features.
The sheer richness in options is what often causes headaches
in project offices around the world. Choosing the wrong tool
for the task can cause significant pain. In our Siebel Hub
Integration Summer Camp we will try to help you make the right
decision by discussing all the details of the individual
Today we kick off with a solid overview. So in a good old
tradition, here’s a HUG (Hopefully Useful Graphic):
Siebel Integration HUG. Click to
I have to admit, it’s not easy to squeeze everything on a
single slide. But bear with me while we discuss the HUG from
bottom to top.
The Database Layer
For the caveman in us, there’s tables and columns and files.
It’s 2016 and still a surprisingly high number of interfaces
use these mechanisms to duplicate/synchronize data between
systems. In Siebel, this is the realm of Enterprise
Integration Manager with its .ifb files and EIM Table
Mappings. Not for the faint of heart. Other tools available to
the eager data extractor are dataexp and its sibling dataimp
which operate at the command line.
As a rule of thumb, you decide to use the DB layer if you need
the raw power of the database server in terms of throughput
and speed. Endless hours of mapping, cleansing, failing and
retrying are adding up on the cost list for this integration
The Business Layer
Here in middle earth tier, “real EAI” reigns supreme. This is
where you need a thorough knowledge of Siebel EAI Business
Services, Workflow Processes, Data Mapper, Dispatcher, Web
Services, SOAP, XML, REST API (if you’re on IP 2016 or higher)
and so forth. If you know your way around VBCs and EBCs that
comes as a definite bonus.
Professional integration on this layer is unthinkable without
a solid Middleware implementation (which might even look like
a hub and some spokes in good light). Application logic
overrules the brute force of the DB here, but this comes at
the cost of higher complexity.
On the diagram, you might note the direct lines from the
Siebel Server to the external app server and external DB.
These represent peer-to-peer connections which are typical if
you use programmatical access to Siebel such as the Java Data
Bean or COM Data Server and the option to access tables in
external databases in federated joins or EBCs.
In a nutshell, if you are not juggling meeelions of records
every night and are more concerned about business logic and
message based data exchange, it’s always the right thing to
integrate on the mid-tier layer.
The Client Layer
So you (or your end users) want “the other CRM” in Siebel or
web stuff like Google Maps in a popup applet? Or they hate
Siebel (and “the other CRM”) so much, that you write (or buy)
a nifty mobile app that combines both? Or you want to solve
the Outlook-Siebel conundrum once and for all?
Welcome to the world of pain client-side integration. This is
where you can spend days with JavaScript, frolic about new IP
2016 features such as CalDAV, try to replace your decade-old
Visual Basic monster with DISA, have fun with CRM Desktop, or
just go all-in and develop that app you always dreamed about.
Or you keep it easy as pie and use a Symbolic URL to integrate
Siebel CMR with Google Analytics, Oracle Maps, Google Maps or
Oracle Analytics.
As you see, there are a lot of options (and decisions). The
variety of tools (off the shelf, APIs or self-written stuff)
is mind-boggling to say the least. For an easier decision,
consider this layer the ‘last resort’ when the two other
layers do not serve your purpose. And of course, you will not
attempt to import a million contact records from an Excel
spreadsheet wouldn’t you?
More Info
It takes a while to sort and digest all the different EAI
features that come with Siebel CRM which is – as you see –
quite well equipped to intermingle with external applications
or data sources of all kinds. For a start, you might want to
have a look at the official Siebel Bookshelf guides which we
link below for your convenience:
Application Services Interface Reference
Business Processes and Rules: Siebel Enterprise
Application Integration
Enterprise Integration Manager Administration Guide
Integration Platform Technologies: Siebel Enterprise
Application Integration
Overview: Siebel Enterprise Application Integration
Portal Framework Guide
Transports and Interfaces: Siebel Enterprise Application
CRM Web Services Reference
In addition to reading the fabulous manuals, consider taking
the following Oracle University classes before you join the
integration team:
Siebel Enterprise Integration Manager (2 days)
Siebel Integration (5 days)
Today, we have started our series of summer camp style
articles on Siebel CRM Integration. In this first overview
article, I tried to list all the various tools and
technologies available, and they are indeed numerous. I hope
this little post helps you sort out what you need and take
better decisions in the future.
Please stay tuned for the next part where we will see what EIM
can do for you (and what not).
have a nice day