What Is the JDE Orchestrator?
The JDE EnterpriseOne Orchestrator provides an enterprise-grade suite of integration and process automation tools to transfer, manage, and update information in JD Edwards and connected systems.
This powerful low-code/no-code web-based application is designed for use by business analysts as well as technologists to eliminate tedious and repetitive manual processes. It is often used to automate data entry, but it can do much more. Integrations can be extended from JDE to Internet of Things (IoT) devices, cloud services, third-party applications, and custom programs, improving accuracy and real-time data analytics for better business responsiveness.
We will see some use cases later. But first...
What Can the Orchestrator Do and NOT Do?
Understanding the capabilities and limitations of the Orchestrator will help you decide how to approach your next JDE project.
In general, if you can make a connection to a data source via REST, FTP, or direct database (SQL), the Orchestrator is the right solution. If you want to automate a process that starts and ends outside of JDE, look elsewhere.
Yes: If you want a “bot” to retrieve vendor invoices from a .csv file on an FTP server, the Orchestrator is GREAT at that.
No: If you want a “bot” to scan email attachments and enter vendor invoices in JDE, that is not something the Orchestrator will do without the help of another program.
In the case of an email attachment, you could use Orchestrator to add the invoice in JDE, but you would still need another third party application to scan the email, extract and analyze the relevant information, and pass that data to the Orchestrator for entry into JDE.
The Orchestrator is not a tool to create new applications in JDE. In some cases you can use form extensions and form personalization to retire customizations or in lieu of new customizations. However, if you need a completely new application you will not get that from the Orchestrator alone. This functionality can be achieved by embedding external applications in JDE using pages or Cafe One.
These external apps and forms are then able to communicate with JDE using the orchestrator. This approach offers a seamless user experience that looks and feels like native JDE applications without adding any new customizations. (We offer affordable app development using Oracle’s Visual Builder Cloud Service (VBCS) to help with this).
Fortunately, there is a LOT you can do with the Orchestrator if you know how to use it.
Who Can Learn and Use the Orchestrator?
In our JDE Orchestrator training classes, we have business analysts, developers, CNC administrators, power users, CIOs, VPs of Accounting, and more. That’s because the Orchestrator requires little or no coding to build orchestrations. It is highly accessible for technical AND non-technical users. If you understand the applications and business processes, then the Orchestrator is for you!
What does low-code/no-code mean? Orchestrator is not a developer tool. It is a user-friendly platform for creating data integrations and automating business processes. Everything is done at the application level. You don’t typically interact with tables and fields or business functions. Custom code (Groovy) is used in rare cases, but 95%+ of orchestrations do not require any code.
Bottom Line: If you understand the applications and business processes involved in what you are trying to accomplish, you can create an orchestration!
JDE Orchestrator Training
Learn more about our training program where participants learn to create useful orchestrations in hours instead of weeks or months.
The Orchestrator works at the application level to automate manual tasks using Form Requests. Conceptually, this is similar to recording a macro in Excel. In addition, the following other components can be added to Orchestrations to create comprehensive integration and automation solutions.
- Form Requests to work with interactive applications.
- Data Requests can be used to read existing JDE data.
- Report components can be used to call Reports and Batch Applications.
- Connectors can be used to push or pull data from third party sources.
- Custom Requests to add custom logic through Groovy Script (or JRuby/Jython).
- Messages/Notifications to push information and stay connected to users.
- Rules can be used to add conditional logic.
- Cross References are used to map 3rd party data to JDE.
All of these can be combined into an orchestration which can be executed in a single step. This is how you can consolidate long and manually intensive processes into the push of a button.
If the Orchestration is self-contained (i.e. there are no inputs) the orchestration can even be placed on a scheduler to eliminate all human interaction.
Orchestrations from Excel (How the two work together)
Orchestrations are great for building integrations and automating stand-alone business processes. However, the most common question we are asked is, “How do end users call orchestrations?”
There are two main options:
- Starting with Tools Release 188.8.131.52, you can use form extensions to call orchestrations from new buttons or by associating them with existing controls. This approach is great because they are easy to set up and work with all of your existing applications and orchestrations. The main limitation is that you must have all of your inputs and outputs on the same screen which is often not practical when trying to process large data sets.
- The other option is to call orchestrations from Excel using our ADEX tool.
Using ADEX can save your users hundreds or thousands of hours per year. The ADEX can be used by end users to call any Orchestration and maximize the value of your investment in JDE by automating manual tasks.
Here is a quick overview of how ADEX works with the Orchestrator:
What Are Some Orchestrator Use Cases?
At its core, the Orchestrator is an API factory with an endless number of use cases. With very few exceptions you no longer need third party tools for building or running your integrations or automating your business processes. If you break it down into common use cases, there are five common categories.
Client Use Cases for Business Process Automation and Integration
Update Advanced Pricing - Suspend existing records and create new pricing records.
Add/Update Item and Branch/Plant Records - Conditionally add Item Master records and any associated Item Branch records.
Automate Financial Statements - Use the Orchestration inputs to provide data selection (Company, Ledger Types, etc.) and processing options (period, fiscal year, etc.)
Replicate Cat Codes - Copy category codes from one set of master data (Business Unit) to another (Fixed Assets, Accounts, etc.)
Load Journal Entries - Mass upload journal entries to automate your monthly accruals. Additionally, connectors can be used to add attachments (Text, URL, etc.) from the Orchestration.
Automate Purchase Order Approvals - Create an e-mail notification that is automatically triggered using a Form Extension whenever a new PO is created.
Ready to Start Learning? Get Orchestrator Tips with Our Tutorials
Explore Our Training: Get a Free Sample Chapter from Our Training Manual (click for pdf)
Learn Quick Hacks: Subscribe to our youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5NaeoeZ_70hgMvwuKo0Qmw/videos
Find information from Oracle: https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E84502_01/learnjde/orchestrator.html
Or, read on below for answers to common questions.
Have additional questions or want to discuss a project? Contact us today.
Yes! Users that are willing to take the time to understand the benefits of the Orchestrator realize a tremendous ROI. Many companies are saving thousands of hours by automating processes and simplifying integrations. The Orchestrator is not a silver bullet that will solve every business problem, but it is an extremely easy to use tool that can be a solution for many projects on your development backlog.
Yes. The orchestrator is meant to be a no-code/low-code tool primarily for business analysts. While developers can build orchestrations, it is the people who understand the applications and business processes that are able to maximize the value of the Orchestrator.
While the Orchestrator is not free, it is included with your existing JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Core Tools and Infrastructure license. This means there are no additional license fees to use the Orchestrator.
We strongly recommend that you get current. Between purchasing third party integration and automation (or RPA) tools, implementation, support, etc. to “work around” old technology, it will wind up costing way more than getting current on your maintenance. In addition, getting current will provide you access to Oracle support and a whole host of other features and applications that will add real value to your business.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Some people prefer to wait until they are live after an upgrade before they start training on new tools. However, many people prefer to get trained before going live. The advantage of getting trained first is that you can apply these new tools, such as Orchestrator, to replace legacy customizations. This can simplify the upgrade process, thereby reducing the upgrade timeline and saving on costs.
According to Oracle:
Starting with Tools Release 184.108.40.206, the installation of Orchestrator Studio is included with the AIS server download from the update center. Once installed, you will find a link to the Orchestrator Studio from the main page of the AIS server in server manager. As part of the installation and configuration, make sure to set up the security for your users. See
E1: ORCH: Orchestrator Studio 9.2.4.x New Security Feature and Scheduler UI (Step by Step) (Doc ID 2606846.1)
The Orchestrator Studio first became available starting with tools release 220.127.116.11. Orchestrator Studio is a development tool used to assist in creating Orchestrations (XMLs) to be run through the AIS server running with Applications release 9.0, 9.1 and 9.2. For more information on Orchestrator Studio, please review KM document.
E1: Orchestrator Studio (Doc ID 2104912.1)
This is a tricky question. The Orchestrator is not meant to build user interfaces. But it can be used by other applications to do the “heavy lifting”. The orchestrator can be used to implement the logic layer and interact with existing JDE and external applications.
Furthermore, with Oracle sunsetting their existing mobile applications, the role of Orchestrator in new mobile apps will continue to increase as you transition your mobile application strategy. We can now build web and mobile application interfaces with other development tools such as Oracle’s Visual Builder Cloud Server or other development tools. Then, we can use Orchestrator to implement the application logic. These tools can be used for mobile apps as well as new “custom” apps in JDE as a replacement for FDA.
It depends on the use case. If you require a hub and spoke model to replicate the same data between multiple systems, you may prefer to use your existing tool. However, if you are creating direct integrations between JDE and other applications , then yes, the Orchestrator can likely replace other integration tools.
Some people subscribe to the old adage, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” But business must also consider, “Just because it isn’t broken, doesn’t mean it is optimal”. You might not want to replace an existing integration if it’s still functioning. However, consider the amount of time and money you will spend supporting and maintaining older technology. In addition, many other applications are sunsetting support for SOAP. You don’t want to be caught in a position where you are forced to scramble rebuilding a production integration on someone else’s timeline.
Many people have a tendency to group all User Defined Objects as part of UX One. In reality, UX One is focused on improving the user experience by leveraging Citizen Developer tools such as:
o Watch Lists
o One View Reports
o List View Grid Formats
o Page Composer
o Form Personalization
o Form Extensions
In contrast, the Orchestrator tends to work “behind the scenes” and is used to simplify integrations and automate processes. These tend to not be user facing. However, Form Extensions can be used to invoke Orchestrations.
Since the Orchestrator was meant to be an integration and automation tool, Orchestrations are not designed to be called by users. However, form extensions can be used to trigger an Orchestration from a control on an interactive application. This could be a new button, or associating Orchestrations with existing controls such as the Save or Cancel buttons.
The easiest way for users to call Orchestrations with large data sets is with our proprietary solution, ADEX. With the ADEX, end users can call any orchestration (that they have security for) all from within the familiar Excel environment.
Common Use Cases
- Add/Update Master Data (Address Book, Business Units, Accounts, Equipment, Items, Leases, Advanced Pricing, etc.)
- Add/Update Transactional Data (Journal Entries, Budgets, Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, Work Orders, Vouchers, Invoices, etc.)
- Automate Business Processes (Journal Entry Approval, Purchase Order Approval, Sales Order Approval, Report Scheduling and Distribution, etc.)
- Execute Queries (Download Data Requests)
- Convert/Migrate Data (Merger or Acquisition)
- Automate Regression Testing Using Assertions (Tools Upgrade, Data Conversion, New/Changed Interfaces, Data Migration)