Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g Launch

Attended Oracle’s Fusion Middleware 11g Launch today – & it proved surprisingly useful. Overview from Charles Phillips, President, Oracle very good, followed by more detail from Thomas Kurian, SVP Oracle Development, & others.

General points from Charles Phillips, in no particular order: they are growing the middleware/services area (in future, the only area the end user will see) & shrinking the apps area to the business logic. All BEA products have been completely integrated. Applications Integration Architecture (AIA) delivers pre-built integration to any application, published in a registry, built on BPEL, packaged as process integration packs & replacing custom customer integrations. Web Center = integrated standard based portal with integrated social computing. Theory: build business logic once, deliver to customer through multiple UI channels. JDeveloper 11g – integrated IDE including Eclipse.

Then key detailed areas covered & key points (I think):

  • SOA. Key component = SCA composite editor. Based around concepts of people, document and system-oriented processes. Supports BPEL4People standard (how cute) and includes human interactions in the workflow. Also has integrated SOA governance.
  • Enterprise Portal. Built around Web Center. Content, application & business process integration. Social computing unified with business applications. Pre-packaged customisable team web sites- discussions, document management. Pervasive multi-channel access. Composer = the technology for customising portal pages & personalisation, adding own applications, reports etc. Inlcudes all the good stuff like enterprise mashups, tag clouds. Unlike the way Sharepoint appears to be (or maybe it’s just us) you can have integrated meeting spaces and document management. Overall looked pretty damn good.
  • Application Grid. Better performance & resilience aligned with latest developments in infrastructure. Faster JVM. Weblogic based. Server reconfiguration without downtime.
  • Identity Management. Scalable/reliable directory infrastructure. Unified/integrated access management. Integrated provisioning. Built on Identity & Access Management Suite, SOA & Weblogic.

Oracle will also be announcing new capabilities in ECM & BI. For further info see www.oracle.com/fusionmiddleware11g.

Main event was followed by breakouts – again, great one on Web Center, see webcenter.oracle.com = the way to consolidate web infrastructure sprawl – & I think we all know what that is. To facilitate how users access & work from a variety of sources, & transform the way people work internally & externally. Problem I have, as tweeted, is that it just seems to me that there’s a huge gap between the way of working on which Web Center – & other enterprise Web 2.0 approaches – is predicated, & the way people actually work in HE (& other sectors I’m sure) – & I’m not sure how we bridge it, even with the magic wands of Governance, EA & MSP. But the journey should be fun.

Key aspects of Web Center, if I’ve understood correctly, which is doubtful:

  • Portal Framework. Will integrate with other type of portal or application; integrates content; neat little option to do aggregated worklists ie all workflow request from all apps aggregated in one place
  • Composer. Means of user personalisation. Upgrade proof personalisations with Metadata Services Repository – user personalisations/mashups etc are abstracted to a level above the application. Component drag & drop in the browser.
  • Services. Set of large number of portlets/services/components etc. Web Center Services 11g is available for current Oracle Portal.
  • Spaces. Collaboration/content & document management space. Spaces can be personal, group, or business role based

& finished by showing an intriguing looking development by Laval University, Canada, who have built what was described as a next generation learning management system using Web Center & ECM. Now there’s a thought.

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