Oracle Fusion Middleware : Concepts & Architecture

If I can do it, you can too…and I truly believe this.
     In this post I am going to cover what is Oracle Fusion Middleware (FMW), Why I learnt it and What & How you should learn it too.

    Before I tell more about FMW, for those who don’t know me, 16 Years ago, I started my career as an Oracle Apps DBA and since then, I moved from Full Time Employee to Freelancer (Contractor) and finally started Company (providing consulting & Implementation on Oracle products).

        I started this blog approx. 10 Years ago and since then I became Oracle ACE, Authored two books and presented in various Oracle Seminars & User Groups but life was not always as easy and rosy as it sounds. I had my own struggle and learnt it in hard way. Good news…, however, is that you don’t have to go through same pain that I went through and it shouldn’t take you as long as it took me to reach here.
        Just follow my steps and see what I learnt and how I learnt and shorten your path to success.  The important thing I know, is that, If I can do it then you can too.
    It was July 2007, when Oracle was in process of acquiring BEA (WebLogic Server) and Oracle Fusion Middleware was taking shape with Oracle SOA, Webcenter, Portal , OHS , WebCache, WebLogic and lot more. In my Oracle Apps DBA journey, I was coming to a point where I realised competition from other budding Apps DBAs was getting tougher (Yes that’s true, there were lot of Apps DBAs in 2007 compared to 2000-2001 where there were only handful of good Oracle Apps DBAs working on 11i and then R12) and soon I realised I need to re-invent and learn new skills.
           I started realising that companies were looking, not just for an Apps DBA but someone with multi-skills on various Oracle products like SOA, Portal, WebCenter, WebLogic, OHS etc.. With adoption of Business Process modelling and since Oracle’s acquisition of BEA and BEA’s rich set of Middleware Products, Oracle Fusion Middleware (FMW), I soon realised that if I have to stay ahead in the game, I need to learn Oracle Fusion Middleware.  It took me almost 3 years to learn Oracle Fusion Middleware for various reasons –

a) Earlier I was really shy in investing in my learning, I finally enrol for a course that was really expensive but if I look back now, it was totally worth.

b) There was not lot of information available earlier on Oracle Fusion Middleware and it was quite confusing in those early days.

c) And most importantly, there was no one to guide or Mentor me that Fusion Middleware is really important at that time.

I learnt Oracle Fusion Middleware in hard way but you don’t have to. In this and next few posts, I am going to share what you need to learn in Oracle Fusion Middleware and in subsequent posts I’ll show how and from where you can learn …

I am running FREE Webinar covering Architecture, Request flow in FMW Enterprise Architecture & SSL So register for my Webinar FREE here

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Why should you learn Oracle Fusion Middleware?

I always start with Why? So, first question that should always come to your mind is that Why should you learn Oracle Fusion Middleware?

Well! for number of reasons (post comment and share me what’s your reason for learning Fusion Middleware)

1. With adoption of Business Processes & SOA as main stream and to integrate systems (In-House and with Cloud/SaaS) more and more companies are implementing Oracle Fusion Middleware.

This means there are lot more Fusion Middleware Jobs available and if you are like me with knowledge on Oracle Apps DBA (R12 or 11i) and with little bit of Identity Management, you can really demand lot of money and respect in the Job.  I now charge almost 3 times in contracting rate (lot of times higher than consultants from top 5 MNCs) than I used to charge few years ago.

2. Oracle Fusion Middleware is now everywhere , If you look at Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2 , Underlying Technology Stack contains two of the most important FMW components (WebLogic & OHS)

3. Oracle Fusion Applications (convergence of E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edward, Siebel etc) is built on top of Oracle Fusion Middleware so now imagine all these customers moving to Oracle Fusion Applications, who all they’ll need to manage Fusion Middleware & Fusion Applications.

I can give you many more reasons but I am conscious of your time, and looking at above you might have understood that if you really want to grow, you really need to expand your knowledge in Oracle Fusion Middleware (SOA, WebLogic, OBIEE, WebCenter, etc …)

What you should learn in Oracle Fusion Middleware 

Now you understand why you should learn Oracle Fusion Middleware, next task is what you need to learn in Oracle FMW. This is where I think I really have upper hand than any one else including O…University because,

  • There is so much to learn but what sets me apart is that I am more focused on things that customer’s implement commonly.
  • This is where is my 10+ years of experience in Fusion Middleware comes into play ..

If you look at Oracle documents, there are more than 100+ guides (combined Fusion Middleware) and each guide with approx. 300 pages to read, that’s 30,000 pages 🙁 (well too much). It is almost impossible to read all these in next 1-2 months (earlier I used to read each and every guide line by line but not any more)

I now always focus on what I need to learn to help customer and everything must start with Concepts & Architecture .

I. Concepts in Oracle Fusion Middleware

Oracle Fusion Middleware is umbrella of Suit of products from Oracle like OracleSOA Suite, Oracle Business Suite Suite (OBIEE), Oracle WebCenter, Oracle HTTP Server (OHS), Oracle WebLogic Server (WLS), Oracle Business Process Management (BPMS) etc…

It is important to understand that Fusion Middleware is divided into two type of Components viz Java Component (application deployed on WebLogic like SOA, OBIEE etc) VS System Component (old OPMN managed application like OHS & OID).

Apart from System & Java Components, you need to look at WebLogic Domain (for Java Components), Oracle Instance (for System Components) and then various Homes in Fusion Middleware like

  • Java Home JAVA_HOME
  • Middleware Home MW_HOME
  • WebLogic Home WL_HOME
  • Oracle Home ORACLE_HOME
  • Oracle Common Home ORACLE_COMMON_HOME
  • Domain Home DOMAIN_HOME
  • Oracle Instance Home ORACLE_INSTANCE
  • Coherence Home  COHERENCE_HOME 


II Architecture of Oracle Fusion Middleware 

Each product in Oracle Fusion Middleware (like SOA, OBIEE, Webcenter etc) has its own Architecture but I always start with high level and when companies deploy Oracle Fusion Middleware, they deploy this in Oracle’s Enterprise Reference Architecture .

Look at Oracle’s 3 Tier Architecture for deploying Oracle Fusion Middleware components

  • Web Tier (DMZ)
  • Application Tier
  • Data Tier
Interesting Image

FMW component like OHS or OTD are deployed in DMZ (Web Tier), whereas products like SOA, OBIEE, etc with WebLogic are deployed in Application Tier .

     Data Tier contains Directory Services like Oracle Unified Directory (OUD) or Oracle Internet Directory (OID) and Database.

           Application Tier to Data Tier communication is either on Java Database Connectivity(JDBC) or Oracle Net Services (TNS)

Note: Some FMW components use JDBC from WebLogic while others use Oracle SQL Net Service (This is where Java System components come into play)

Well I think this is enough for today and in next post I am going to cover what to learn next after Concepts & Architecture. If you have a follow up question or need career guidance or just to say hello, leave a comment here or jump on to our private Facebook group

Note: I have launched my FREE Webinar on Oracle Fusion Middleware where I am covering-

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware Concepts
  • Request Flow in Enterprise Deployment
  • Secure Socket Layer Concepts
  • Answers to commonly asked questions about Fusion Middleware Administration

So, if you want to learn more on above topics then register for my Webinar FREE here

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For next post in this FREE series Learn FMW with Atul Kumar,  on WebLogic Server in this Series click here

This post is from Atul Kumar (Oracle ACE, Author and Trainer) who teaches his Fusion Middleware Course at  K21 Academy


About the Author Atul Kumar

Oracle ACE, Author, Speaker and Founder of K21 Technologies & K21 Academy : Specialising in Design, Implement, and Trainings.

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Leave a Comment:

Jaleeluddin says May 1, 2016

Good one. Thanks!!!

Oracle Fusion SCM Training says April 23, 2019

Very good explanation about oracle fusion Middleware concepts. I love these concepts. Thanks for sharing.

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