What is Application Interface Services?

Oracle offers thousands of technology products, but in my humble opinion, the Application Interface Services (AIS) platform is by far one of their most exciting contributions to date. Here is an overview of what AIS is and how you can put it to work inside your organization.

The name pretty much describes it perfectly – an interface service for applications. In a nutshell, AIS provides the necessary technology for Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ERP software to communicate with mobile applications. This ERP software has come a long way since the origin of its base code in 1977.

So what is AIS? Sounds complicated right? Well, not really. If you take a closer look under the hood, you will see that it's actually pretty straightforward. To begin with you must understand that EnterpriseOne and mobile devices are leveraging a type of Java called JSON which stands for JavaScript Object Notation. These scripts written in Java are being executed over a communication protocol called REST, which stands for Representational State Transfer. When you hear REST, think HTTP, but cacheable. In sum, EnterpriseOne triggers a JavaScript which is communicated to the mobile device via HTTP. And they go back and forth in this fashion. But this doesn’t happen directly from EnterpriseOne to the mobile app. There is an HTML server (AIS server) in the middle managing the HTTP requests and a bunch of other things.

This is what it looks like from an architecture perspective.


What platforms can AIS run on?
  • Linux
  • Oracle Solaris / WebLogic Server
  • Microsoft Windows
  • HP-UX
  • IBM, IBM AIX / WebSphere Application Server
What mobile clients can leverage AIS?
As you can see in the left hand side of the above image, there are many opportunities, though I am pretty sure AIS doesn't actually work on a toaster, at least not as of today. However, it does work with these:
  • Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF)
  • EnterpriseOne ADF
  • Java API
  • IoT devices

Integrating AIS with EnterpriseOne

EnterpriseOne mobile enterprise applications – These are mobile applications developed with Oracle's MAF. These applications use Java, HTML5 and JavaScript to construct an inclusive framework with effective user interface definition and strong built-in security features. They boost productivity on mobile development frameworks such as IOS, Android and Windows 10 platforms. 

EnterpriseOne ADF applications - ADF is capable of executing web applications within its framework. These service-oriented applications include Library JAR files and bounded task flows. Additional features include the following:

  • Service requests allow the user to retrieve information from other EnterpriseOne
  • System administrator/developer can perform various operations on a single form by sending an ordered command (code).
  • The system can also replicate web client user actions such as populating fields and clicking, among many others!

Java APIWith the customization capabilities API brings to the table, customers are able to pick development platforms that best fit their situation/needs. This program helps programmers in creating custom applications, which are compatible with EnterpriseOne applications. Additional benefits include:

  • Data service requests are extremely easy to apply via Java API.
  • A default configuration is available - this retains information about server release tools found in the package (token request, login information with tokens, user details).
  • New tools may also be created using Oracle’s Java Extension Toolkit (JET). This toolkit can operate within EnterpriseOne UX One pages.
Internet of Things Devices (IoT) – Provides instruction and security for transferring third party data from third-party IoT devices/systems. With the advancement of the digital revolution, IoT technology has become essential to modern day living. With IoT’s ability to enhance data transfer from these smart devices to AIS platforms/programs, AIS truly has the edge on other providers.
AIS Adds Value & Increases Productivity
In terms of functions, AIS has helped increased productivity in many different sectors, as it has in the maritime industry for example. Shipping vessels and the mechanical devices aboard them can now function remotely. As a result, it is easier to monitored activities and cut downtime. Through Wi-Fi connections, mobile networks and physical plugin connections, alerts can be received on a central operating unit. This can span from maintenance to assessment evaluations, which can lead to cost cutting and income increases.
This application has already encouraged futuristic projects in the shipping industry, evident in research on the possibility of autonomous vessels which are self-navigating. If this is the future of the maritime sector, it is exciting and this possibility is only available because of AIS innovation in the IoT area. The Navy is already using IoT technology to avoid collisions which has led to a reduction in accidents. All cargo ships have automatic identification services that helps in tracking and location which ensures help reaches each ship promptly after a distress signal.
Another function of AIS is the fact it supplies enterprises with ERP solutions. This is evident through the provision of tools to solve the problems faced in a world with a fluid and dynamic business environment which is equally as competitive. The opportunity that AIS brings is therefore a single, integrated enterprise solution which handles all operations from all locations worldwide. 

Companies depending on technology for operational excellence to provide quick rendering of their software sometimes lose profits and clients because of poor performance. This is the case with traditional software packages which hardly have room for improvement and are liable to security weaknesses. AIS use its experience to handpick software packages that meet the needs of these establishments. These upgrades often lead to increased productivity since AIS is designed to expose weaknesses to eliminate downtime.

The best thing about AIS is that it is quite affordable. Packages are offered to enterprises after a needs assessment. There are no hidden costs, so clients get exactly what is advertised. The single integrated solution package comes with free updates which continues its value-adding benefits.