Oracle Powers Washington Group International’s SOA
Oracle(R) Fusion Middleware Helps Reduce Costs, Streamline Integration and Increase Security for SOA
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., 06-SEP-2006 Washington Group International, a leading provider of engineering, construction and management solutions to businesses and governments worldwide, is using Oracle(r) Fusion Middleware as the foundation for its service-oriented architecture (SOA). With Oracle, Washington Group is better aligning its IT infrastructure with its business goals by integrating applications, eliminating redundant data entry and coding and discovering new avenues to unify business processes across multiple lines of business.
Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Washington Group International provides engineering, construction and management solutions for projects ranging from bridge construction to weapons destruction. Made up of multiple international companies that merged within the last several years, the company has diversified businesses and a geographically dispersed workforce. Washington Group’s IT infrastructure consisted of multiple proprietary, custom-built and packaged applications. As a result, completing a single business process often required several duplicate steps and redundant data entry to help ensure that each application received the same information. Furthermore, because separate business units, such as mining and defense, operated on different applications, it was not possible to standardize common business processes, such as invoice generation or vendor payment, across the company to take advantage of best practices and reduce costs.
Making a Winning Bet on Oracle
Washington Group made a strategic decision to integrate its heterogeneous applications and to develop common business processes for the company’s six business units with Oracle. Using several components of Oracle Fusion Middleware -- Oracle Access Manager, Oracle Application Server 10g, Oracle BPEL Process Manager, Oracle Enterprise Services Bus, Oracle Identity Federation, Oracle Internet Directory, Oracle JDeveloper 10g, Oracle Portal 10g and Oracle Web Services Manager -- and Oracle Database, the company developed an SOA that is helping it implement an effective application integration strategy while setting the stage for additional improvements of its business processes in the near future.
“I decided to use Oracle software as the foundation for our SOA because it supported open standards and J2EE, which was more robust and scalable than .NET,” said Rich Colton, application integration manager, Washington Group International. “At the time, I bet my career on Oracle. I put a lot of faith in the company, and to be quite honest, I haven’t been disappointed.”
Using SOA as an Integration Engine
Washington Group realized a reduction of required resources to integrate its disparate applications as a result of implementing an SOA. Leveraging Oracle BPEL Process Manager, Oracle Enterprise Service Bus, Oracle JDeveloper 10g and Oracle Web Services Manager, Washington Group has transitioned from a point-to-point integration model to a Web services-based model. Prior to implementing Oracle, Washington Group’s integration model required IT staff to deploy application programming interfaces (API) for a single application each time integration with another application was required. With its SOA, each application’s API is deployed once, wrapped in a Web service and automatically invoked by other applications as needed. This not only simplifies initial application deployment, but also simplifies upgrades and maintenance, since the API does not need to be changed multiple times across the network.
Strengthening Security with Oracle Identity Management
The company relies on Oracle Identity Management to extend the advantages of this automated integration and to help strengthen security by providing employees with immediate and seamless access to the applications required for their jobs. Using Oracle Access Manager, Oracle Internet Directory and Oracle Identity Federation, Washington Group can set employee access policies once and extend those policies across its network of applications. As a result, employees have secure, role-appropriate access to multiple applications with a single username and password.
“You can’t have SOA without identity management,” said Colton. “If employees need to access 12 or 13 applications seamlessly, logging in to each one defeats the purpose. That process needs to be automated. That’s where Oracle Identity Management comes in. Without it, I’d have to build authentication and authorization routines again and again within the SOA.”
Oracle Provides Building Blocks for Business Change
In addition to helping solve Washington Group’s application integration challenge, the Oracle-powered SOA is providing greater automation of the company’s business processes. Washington Group is looking for new ways to leverage its SOA to further align its IT infrastructure with its business objectives. The company’s future plans call for an analysis of its business processes, unification across business lines as appropriate, and the finalization of a layer of business processes that operates on top of the applications, seamlessly pulling required information from each application as needed and automatically populating each application with data as required.
About Washington Group International
Washington Group International provides the talent, innovation, and proven performance to deliver integrated engineering, construction, and management solutions for businesses and governments worldwide. Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, with more than $3 billion in annual revenue, the company has approximately 24,000 people at work around the world providing solutions in power, environmental management, defense, oil and gas processing, mining, industrial facilities, transportation, and water resources. For more information, visit www.wgint.com.
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