Oracle Validated Integration (OVI) is primarily a program for Oracle partners with third party software solutions that compliment and integrate with Oracle Applications. Oracle's intent is to help qualified partners establish credibility with potential customers. Customers who are considering or evaluating third-party tools to use with their Oracle Applications - whether EBS, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Taleo, Fusion, etc. - may benefit from a little knowledge of how things work in "vendor land".
Oracle has a single global partner program. All Oracle partners, regardless of location or size, whether hardware, software or consulting, join the same Oracle PartnerNetwork. Basically, hardware and infrastructure companies "certify" their products, consulting firms "specialize" in Oracle products, and software companies "validate" their products. All three of these categories are intended by Oracle (and marketed by partners) as a guide to indicate qualifications and establish credentials. (See Is Your Partner Special? for more info.)
Oracle Validated Integration Criteria
Oracle partners must apply to Oracle to be Validated. In order to be eligible:
- Partner solution generally available
- Solution complementary to Oracle products
- Tested against current release of Oracle application (and current underlying technology and middleware)
- Gold level Oracle PartnerNetwork membership or higher
- Prepayment of an Oracle Validated Integration Test Fee
Oracle Validated Integration Testing
Validation includes a range of technical and process-oriented testing:
- Integrated Functionality: The integrated partner and Oracle products pass all predefined test cases and scenarios, and the products work together as specified without compromising functionality available from either product operating separately.
- Data Integrity: The integrated solution must not compromise data integrity.
- Security: The integrated solution must not compromise data or application security or access control restrictions that are enforced by either product.
- Documentation: Documentation must be published which includes installation guide, user guide, and the technical integration document.
The partner supplies Oracle with technical architecture information, and user and installation documentation. The partner also supplies the test cases and scenarios. These are tied together by the Data Sheet for each product. The data sheet is a marketing document, but any claim or feature included in the product's data sheet must be demonstrated and tested in the OVI test plan and execution.
The (Mutual) Customer Benefits, Too.
As I have mentioned, Oracle primarily markets the OVI program to software vendors, to help them establish credibility with customers. From our experience, the process is consistent and thorough. Products that achieve Validated status get marketing and branding support from Oracle (We can use the OVI logo, mostly, and the product data sheets are available on Oracle.com).
Aside from the product vetting an Integrated Application receives, and level-two support, OVI is the mechanism Oracle uses to grant partners the right to develop and distribute Oracle Development Code to customers. (In our case, PeopleTools.) After a solution is Validated, a standard Applications Integration Validation Addendum is added to the Oracle PartnerNetwork Agreement which, among other items, grants the license to use, incorporate, and distribute application technology tools as used in the integrated validation.
Beacon has gone through the OVI program multiple times with our various BEAM products, and also as a consulting firm to other vendors on their products (all related to PeopleSoft). We have found the program to be a worthwhile investment, although customers often do not place a heavy weight on Validated Integration, partly because they do not understand the process (and partly because it is one of many marketing programs). For us, the key value is that we are cleanly and clearly able to develop and distribute tools built in PeopleTools and PeopleCode.
If your organization is seeking (or using) a third party tool for your Oracle Applications, and the tool incorporates the application's technology in its integration, we'd recommend paying some attention to this program, and your vendor partner's relationship with Oracle.