A large European retailer ran into a functionality gap with their legacy Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) system. Spinnaker Support developed an innovative solution to deliver the necessary functionality without having to purchase additional licenses from Oracle or go through a lengthy upgrade process.
The retailer is running a legacy version of Oracle EBS, and didn’t have the proper licenses to implement single sign-on (SSO). All other internal systems were configured for SSO with Active Directory, but the EBS login process pointed to an Oracle database instead. This presented three problems for the business:
- Security – The security team has standard controls to manage their SSO process and user credentials, which are entirely separate from the Oracle login process and credentials. For instance, if a user forgets their password for EBS, the mechanism to reset their password in Oracle is not consistent with the password reset process in Active Directory.
- Convenience – Employees are more likely to forget their credentials for EBS because it’s the only system with a different login process. The IT team strives to deliver an exceptional employee experience, and requiring employees to remember two sets of credentials to access their critical systems is not ideal.
- Risk – Active Directory is hosted in Azure, where security controls are very strong and continually updated to protect against the latest threats. While Spinnaker provides regular security bulletins for the retailer’s Oracle database to keep it protected, the IT team is still tasked with implementing the suggested security strategies, and felt more comfortable having user credentials stored in Active Directory, where security is fully outsourced.
While Oracle does provide Identity Management capabilities to enable SSO, the retailer had not licensed that capability. They, like many businesses using or considering third-party support, didn’t immediately realize they could implement new functionality with third-party support, so they were weighing the costs and benefits of buying the additional licenses from Oracle to support SSO.
The path forward with Oracle would have been time-intensive and expensive, requiring a consultant to implement the updates. As is common with Oracle upgrades and patches, Identity Management was bundled with other updates that could have an impact on the business’ system. Extensive testing would have had to be done to ensure the update had no unintended negative effects on other areas.
Fortunately, when the retailer mentioned the issue to Spinnaker, their engineer knew they could solve this problem with a relatively simple solution – all within the bounds of third-party support.
Spinnaker delivered a simple, elegant solution to solve our interoperability problem between our legacy Oracle EBS system and our SSO protocol. I’m so glad we brought up this issue with Spinnaker before turning to Oracle for a solution. Spinnaker saved us from a long, expensive project that would have caused significant business disruption.
-Head of Digital Engine
While Spinnaker could not change the Oracle authentication protocol, the team designed a solution that would intercept a user’s credentials from the EBS login page and authenticate them against Active Directory instead of the Oracle database.
This simple solution demonstrates Spinnaker’s ability to deliver ongoing innovation for its clients. Spinnaker Link is offered as part of Spinnaker’s third-party support services to provide interoperability solutions. It enables businesses on legacy systems or those with extensive customizations to ensure ongoing interoperability with their entire IT ecosystem. IT leaders can avoid expensive vendor upgrades and patches and continue to implement other strategic systems without fear of interoperability issues.