Friday, July 24, 2009

Siebel Marketing - an OOB Integration Case Study

If you reach the ultimate top level of Siebel CRM development, where icy winds bite your cheeks then you most probably work in a Siebel Marketing project.

These projects require technical skills in the following product areas:
As there are only very few consultants out there (and they most probably never see the sun) who manage all these skill levels, the project will need to combine various resources, which is the more common scenario.

Nevertheless, a Siebel Marketing project is a great opportunity to refresh/gain skills in those areas.

During a recent discussion with course delegates we pinpointed the out-of-the-box (OOB) EAI interfaces between Siebel Marketing and Oracle BI and found the following list appear on the flipchart.

1. Web Services

Obviously, Siebel Marketing uses outbound web services to connect to the Oracle BI Presentation Server. In a nutshell, they are used to establish sessions, browse the BI Presentation Catalog (for example to associate segments with campaigns) and execute jobs like writing list files.

The three OOB outbound web services for standard integration between Siebel Marketing and Oracle BI EE

For the diligent developer, knowledge of the Oracle BI SOAP API is also very benefitial.

2. EAI Siebel Adapter and Integration Objects

When it comes to the campaign load (or any type of data load), the respective workflow uses the Read CSV File business service to consume the csv file generated by the BI Presentation Server and passes the resulting property set to the EAI Siebel Adapter. So when it comes to inbound data loads, you can rely on proven techniques like prebuilt EAI business services, workflows and integration objects.

The Import Marketing Contact workflow calls EAI Siebel Adapter's Upsert method

Portal Framework and Symbolic URLs

When end users click on the Segment screen tab or marvel at the analytical information in their home page views, the curtain opens for the Portal Framework which allows us to bring any kind of web-based information in context to Siebel data and display it in a Siebel applet. If you want to learn more about the Portal Framework and the Symbolic URLs then you could risk a glance at a simple example of integrating Google Maps in Siebel.

The Oracle BI Segment Designer is displayed inside the Siebel CRM application.

From the Oracle BI EE perspective, it's all about knowing the intricacies of the "Go URL" syntax.

External Tables

A widely unknown fact is that Siebel Marketing uses a federated join to an external table to fetch aggregated revenue for marketing plans and other entities. If you investigate the external tables, you find that they are in reality presentation catalogs of the BI server's presentation layer.

The EX_MPL_REVENUE external table maps to an Oracle BI presentation catalog

The Actual Revenue field of the Marketing Plans BC uses a join to EX_MPL_REVENUE

And yes: the external tables support not only Oracle, DB2 or MSSQL but also "Siebel Analytics" which translates into "Oracle BI". The interface is simply using the ODBC driver for Siebel Analytics/Oracle BI which ships with the product.

Stay tuned for the next post which will delve into the external table topic a little bit deeper.

have a nice day

@lex

1 comment:

Alejandro said...

Thank you @lex, great post.
Having worked in a Marketing project myself (not using OBI Apps, though, but a legacy Teradata DW on which we had to build a custom segmentation model), I also think that interfaces can become a real challenge. The ability to access OBI EE catalog as an external table from Siebel opens a world of possibilities, I think it deserves a post on itself.

Kind Regards,
Alejandro.-