Supplier Portal – Oracle EBS and Middleware

The Challenge

ABC, a publicly traded services and manufacturing organization, has leveraged Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) to manage a variety of back-office functions, including their suppliers. Suppliers have been provided data from EBS manually by internal teams — the data sent has varied in both content and as well as format.

Internal teams spend valuable time generating reports manually for external supplier organizations and suppliers are left with the tedious process of generating their own reports. All the while, both groups may be relying on measures out of line with ABC’s priorities.

Additionally, internal teams have not had a standard approach for viewing and managing supplier data in EBS, though Discoverer is used heavily internally for analytical as well as operational reporting. ABC already owns and selected Oracle Portal and Oracle Discoverer (Portlets and Viewer) as the user interaction mechanisms. However, permissions on existing Discoverer Workbooks was architected for handling the needs of internal EBS users.

ABC desired that a new security model be implemented for delivering supplier EBS data to both internal users and external suppliers through Oracle Portal and Oracle Discoverer.

The Solution

We took a systematic approach to the issue, addressing:

  1. EBS/Data
    By assessing the data warehouse structure, recommending changes, and implementing those recommendations, we were able to first isolate a flexible data structure that would allow internal users as well as external suppliers to access only the data they were able to see — starting all the way at the data layer. The structure was set up in such a way that there would be minimal impact to Discoverer EULs.

  2. Discoverer/Reporting Logic
    Once the heavy lifting was done at the data layer, minor changes were required to the Discoverer EUL.

  3. Portal/UI
    Portal was upgraded to 10.1.4 and Discoverer Portlets were wired up into the Portal environment allowing a seamless integration between the tools.

The Results

Finally, by setting up proper SSO and hooks from Portal to Discoverer and integrating end-to-end all the way down into the database, users in Portal (regardless of whether they are internal or external users) see only what their user account can see. Additionally, by leveraging the latest Portal 10.1.4 features, we were able to provide ABC with a portal that had a completely customized look-and-feel matching their external website exactly.

Within days, the entire solution was architected, designed, and developed. We were all excited about the quick progress and all of ABC’s expectations were exceeded.

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