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CS783 Assignment

CS783 Assignment
IntroductionIn this third assignment, you will gain some experience with linking technologies and tangentially with vendor due diligence. The assignment compares your choices of Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), and Message Oriented Middleware (MOM) to satisfy a typical business workflow, Order Fulfillment.Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) is a mature technology that was invented to connect the many different data formats and potential services in enterprise-complex companies. ESB technologies usually incorporate some SOA implementation. ERP products will contain modules that will also be able to implement this workflow. Lastly, MOM products are usually much simpler than the ESB or ERP type solutions; examples are JMS-based products, BizTalk, cloud-based solutions like Amazon SQS, and so forth. Any of these linking technologies could be used to implement the Order Fulfillment workflow.The assignment begins with your identification of the criteria you will use in evaluating these products; your criteria may evolve as you move through the assignment. You will use your criteria to figure out the “best fit” product for the Order Fulfillment workflow – for example, extensibility, ease-of-use, maintainability, etc. If the products will work for Order Fulfillment, they may work pretty well in general: That is not a given, but it’s much easier to make a selection if you have a concrete, specified workflow as a strawman case.You will then research three different ESB commercial products, evaluating how you think they will implement the Order Fulfillment workflow scenario described below. You do not need to do the User Does/System Does matrix for each (see section below) – that would be an unacceptably large amount of work.Next, you will look at Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) products quickly, choosing one solution to provide a comparison with your chosen ESB product, with the User Does/System Does matrix. This is described below.Next, you will choose some third approach. Message-oriented middleware is suggested, as it provides a simple solution to contrast to these others. But it may not be enough. If you want to explore some different sort of linking technology, feel free to do that, but please explain your reasoning. You also will incorporate that third solution into your User Does/System Does matrix.Your conclusion will be your recommendation of which solution is the “best fit” for the Order Fulfillment workflow and why. Your conclusion should bring in your criteria in order to support your choice of the best solution.Note that it is not only acceptable, it is encouraged to use this assignment to provide input to the linking technologies you specify for your Term Project.Overview Discussion of Problem to SolveWe will use the typical processing model for orders, where an Order consists of multiple LineItems. A LineItem will contain data elements like SKU[1]/ID (the unique identifier for the item within J&J’s systems), Name, Description, Type (internal code to distinguish whether CustomerCare, Pharmaceutical, or MedicalDevice), Quantity, and Unit (the measurement, e.g., “Kilograms”).With individual tracking of LineItems, our Order Fulfillment workflow illustrates a classic “split-rendezvous” process. When the order is sent to be processed, each LineItem becomes an asynchronous execution; that is the “split” part of the process. The “rendezvous” part is when all the LineItem processes come back together to complete the processing of the Order. When they have all completed, the Order is considered fulfilled and it is shipped to the customer.Note that there are plenty of other ways to do this; for example, consider Amazon’s “ship when ready” policy – Amazon figured out that it is cheaper for them to ship part of an order if those items can be picked quickly from inventory, rather than waiting for all items in an order to be ready. The object of this assignment is to get some experience looking at different products that could be used to integrate and automate this workflow. In order to do that, the Order Fulfillment workflow is given so that you can concentrate on the products that might help provide the solution, instead of worrying about specifying the business workflow.In the assignment, you will look at three different types of linking technologies, Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) modules, and message-oriented middleware (MOM). As an example, you could decide on MuleSoft ESB, SAP Hana for the ERP, and MirthConnect for the MOM – you should select specific products to investigate. You will need to look at the APIs available for each, and something like pseudocode ‘calls’ to the APIs should show up in your User Does/System Does matrix.While it is useful to spend some amount of time in due diligence comparing different vendors of each type of solution, don’t worry about doing an exhaustive search. The main benefit of the assignment comes from stepping through the workflow and gaining a real understanding of what it takes to use these types of solutions to solve the Order Fulfillment workflow.Order Fulfillment WorkflowOrder Fulfillment was chosen because it is easy to understand and doesn’t require specialized knowledge of how a particular business works.If you have thoughts on how to improve the workflow outlined below, please feel free to alter it, but highlight your changes so they are clear and match up with the step numbers you put in the User Does/System Does matrix.(Step 1) An Order is filled out by a customer service representative speaking to a customer on the phoneSince we have used J&J previously, let’s continue with them, and say that the customer is a hospital and the order is for a large number of different drugs, plus an order for various customer care supplies – lotion, cotton balls, baby powder, Q-tips, and so forth.In an order form, each separate item and quantity is a separate “line item” and these are generally tracked separately(Step 2) The filled-out Order is sent into the Order Execution module, which ‘unpacks’ the order and based on the type of Item, sends the order to the correct J&J business unit for fulfillment, with an identifier (LocID) that indicates where the items should be sent once fulfilled. Note that there is an overall Status for the Order – with values {New, InProgress, BackOrdered, Fulfilled}. Each LineItem likewise has a Status, which can take on the same values.(Step 3) Each of the LineItems is processed by either picking the items from Inventory, or teeing up the LineItem in a batch to manufacture them. (This should be included, but is a detail – the main point of the assignment is to cross the integration boundaries between enterprise business units.)(Step 4) When the LineItem is ready, the physical item(s) are sent to the collection location identified by the Order Execution module; this is indicated by the LocID sent with the Lineitem order.(Step 5) When the Order Execution module verifies that all LineItems within the Order have arrived at the location indicated by their LocID, it signals the Shipping module that the Order can now be shipped.(Step 6) The Shipping module accesses the customer shipping information and prepares the shipment manifest and the shipping label.(Step 7) When the package is complete, the carrier is notified for pickup, and the Order is marked Fulfilled.The typical alternate path that can occur is when there are no Units for the LineItem available in Inventory and the LineItem (and hence the Order itself) must be placed in the BackOrdered state until the item(s) are available.In order to do this assignment, you will need to organize your work into an artifact that was introduced in Module 2 – the User Does/System Does matrix. This is a simple way to compare solutions and/or to show how different integration boundaries in the enterprise will be traversed.Your matrix will look something like the table below. Note that there are details in the workflow narrative above that should be unpacked and replicated in your matrix. Use the Time/Step column to put in the step number in the narrative above. You will have multiple rows for a single step, an estimate would be around 20 – 25 rows for the whole workflow.Make your matrix as specific as possible; identify typical LineItems and specify the exact data, such as “24 units of baby powder.”Note that this is a very simplified workflow that is following the “happy path,” i.e., the processing for when everything is going well. Injecting a bunch of error conditions — which one should certainly specify when designing such a system — will make the matrix very complex and convoluted. This exercise is intended to give you a sense of how these solutions work so that you can make informed decisions on which solutions might be a “best fit” for your specific problem to solve, either in your Term Project, or later, on the job.Hint: Status is a state variable that must be updated properly – make sure you don’t forget to change its value from New to InProgress to Fulfilled, etc.Time/StepUser DoesSystem DoesESB SolutionERP SolutionMessaging (MOM) SolutionDeliverablesIdentify the criteria you think are important to implement the Order Fulfillment workflow, given our a priori assumption that this workflow will cross different business units and systems. These criteria will be your guidelines in selecting products. As you are working through the assignment, you may want to go back and revise these criteria.Execute a quick due diligence on ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) products. Choose one product, explain why you chose it, and complete the User Does/System Does matrix using that product. You will need to understand the basics about the product’s APIs.Compare ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions – choose one, explain why you chose it, and compare it to the ESB solution by incorporating the ERP into your User Does/System Does matrix alongside the ESB solution. (ERP products will have Ordering, Purchasing, Shipping, etc. modules.)For a third comparison, show the User Does/System Does workflow with a messaging product like Mirth Connect or Tibco or Amazon SQS.Your conclusion and recommendationHow do the three solutions compare in terms of ease-of-use? Are any overkill or underkill? Any awkward to use or understand?What do you think is the best solution in terms of flexibility? Why?What do you think is the best solution in terms of long-term durability (ability to extend, scale up, and work well over time)? Why?What is your overall recommendation? Please justify and explain your reasoning for your choice.[1] SKU is Stock Keeping Unit, a typical data element that uniquely identifies an item in Inventory.And make sure grade more than 80%.

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