Tuesday, 20 October 2009

OOW09 - A Cast of Thousands

I am still recovering from a whirlwind week in San Francisco for Oracle Open World.

It is a truly awesome event in in the true sense of the word. I found it hugely entertaining, tiring and of great value.

It was a week of stars and celebrities, from the size of the Keynotes from Larry, Thomas and others, to the down to earth nature of James Gosling, the celebrity of Arnie, Stanley, Aerosmith and Roger Daltry, capped with the appearance of Obama at our hotel.

However the real cast of Open World are the delegates themselves and the people you get chance to chat with on a daily basis. First of all it was great to meet up with the ACE Directors, a fantastic opportunity to talk with Oracle Product Managers and engineers, but also it is so beneficial to talk with other consultants and customers, it is through these chats that you really get to the ins and outs of how Oracle Technology is helping (or on the odd occassion not) delivering software. Some great chats with other UK delegates, normally in bars or restaurants (!), that seem rarer in the UK events. I think this is because the Moscone area of SF turns into an almost 24 by 7 Open World Village. Not quite the scale of the Olympics - but if the acquisitions continue !?!

From the sessions, my 3 personal highlights where :-
  • The prominence of SOA and BPM in the executive keynotes. It is so clear to everyone now that Fusion is built from the ground up on these technologies and so if you haven't got a SOA/BPM strategy yet, you should really be thinking about it now and start looking into the tools. Applications Configuration will be done at the SOA services and BPM process level rather than at the Data level - so skill up now.
  • It was good to see Fusion Applications taking shape - with 1st releases coming out next year, some of the User Interface on show now is very impressive and it will only get better as the applications roll out.
  • The clarity and openess of the Oracle Technology strategy, certaintly in my areas of focus. The customer advisor boards were excellent this year and spawned lots of interesting conversation and advice between the delegates, if you were considering attending one of these for you focus area I recommend it strongly for the future. The hands-on workshops where based on future releases and in BPM gave clarity to how this would fit into the SOA stack, showing this at an early stage in the release cycle was very appreciated by the participants that I spoke to. I can now confidently advise my customers. In general all tricky questions on SOA and BPM where tackled headlong and not much was avoided, apart from the elephant of an aqcuisition in the room that is pending - although the keynotes made most of the intentions pretty clear.
All in all an excellent way to spend a week, just need a week to recover. I will follow up on some key learnings from OOW09 in the SOA and BPM space..

Monday, 21 September 2009

Enterprise Solution Cookbook - SOA + BI

Building Intelligent Processes with Insight-Driven Agility

For those of you who found the BPEL Cookbook useful when it was published a few years back, you will find the new series of OTN Enterprise Solution Patterns interesting. The BPEL Cookbook focussed on innovative patterns for using BPEL and including some useful SOA techniques - this series looks at more enterprise wide patterns that are suited to combining middleware technologies.

The series of articles will cover the use of multiple elements of the Oracle Fusion Middleware stack together to produce innovative business oriented solutions. The first 4 articles of this Enterprise Solution Cookbook are now live, with further articles being published over the coming months.

There will be a number of patterns covering SOA working with other technologies, this first set of articles includes one on BPA and SOA -"Process Driven SOA Development" and one on SOA and BI that I co-authored with one of my colleagues, Matt, from a current project "Building Intelligent Processes with Insight-Driven Agility".

This article discussing some key business scenarios of combining the two technologies to enrich business processes and business rules with key business intelligence data to map them closer to the way an organisation operates and to ensure business intelligence becomes truly actionable by automatically invoking processes to deal with threshold breaches on key metrics.

I'd like to thanks Harish and Neela from Oracle Product Management for their support in getting this article completed and published.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Fusion Middleware 11g Launch comes to London

For those who saw the webcast yesterday with Charles Phillips and Thomas Kurian, you will have seen an impressive run through of the new middleware stack. You will also have seen how important this middleware technology is to Oracle's business both in its own right and as the foundation for Fusion Applications. It is a $1BN plus business in its own right and growing at an unprecented rate (rivalling the growth that was seen in the database business). Today the roadshow comes to London and I will be excited to see partners and customers reactions. I have been exposed to Fusion Middleware 11g for a while now - especially the SOA Suite elements and I have been impressed.

The release has been eagerly anticipated and it is great to see it ready for production release. The current 10g middleware stack has enabled us to deliver automated, agile and visible business processes for a large number of customers using components within SOA Suite and BPM Suite including BPEL, Rules, BPM, BAM and ESB.

The release of SOA Suite 11g is worthy of the term next generation – it greatly extends the current stack with key functionality, such as richer support for events, extended packaging and deployment options, a Java version of Business Activity Monitoring component, new user interface for Business Rules, better and more extensible Human Workflow, more use of ADF as the strategic framework for building user interfaces and a multitude of important enhancements to each individual component.

In addition to key new features, SOA11g is the first fully integrated enterprise SOA infrastructure available from Oracle (and on the market if you compare the necessary features for an enterprise class rollout of SOA), bringing together seamlessly the best components from the BEA and Oracle stacks. Choosing Weblogic Server as the foundation for 11g SOA will allow us and our customers to leverage the comprehensive J2EE, Spring, transaction and thread management, messaging and clustering support from a best in class Application Server.

The integration spans the whole stack above the Application Server; all components are now fully integrated. The new support for Service Component Architecture (SCA) is providing a standardised assembly and deployment model to simplify the design and management of all the moving parts. Another key component in bringing all the pieces together is Metadata Services (MDS) – this is something we will be hearing a lot about over the next few years as it is one of the key elements of the whole Fusion Middleware Architecture. MDS is a metadata repository underpinning all components across FMW 11g allowing all components to access and is what enables the rich drill-down and navigation capabilities between the components at design and runtime – it will simplify the management of the your solutions and ensure compatibility with future releases.

FMW 11g is a major release, it has been 3 years in the making with a huge investment in testing – from what I have seen in the technology previews and early access releases it looks well worth the time spent.

Visit the Oracle SOA landing page for more information on the 11g products

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Are you ready for the Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g launch

Welcome to my blog. The 11g launch seems the perfect catalyst to start sharing my thoughts and experiences on Oracle middleware. I am a UK based ACE Director for Fusion Middleware with a lot of experience of SOA solutions through many many implementations - I will be telling you about some of these over the coming months.

Oracle releases its next generation middleware tomorrow on 1st July 2009 which will underpin Fusion Applications. Its an existing time for all Oracle customers and partners and I will be giving my thoughts as soon as the launch is over ..