Montag, September 29, 2008

Can you start a project based on Oracle SOA Suite today?

There's a lot of movement in the Oracle SOA Suite, while the BEA ESB, the BPMN tool and the BEA service repository are integrated. So, can you start today with SOA Suite 10g? Or do you have to wait for 11g? Or would you better switch to another vendor? Well, the answer is quite easy. The Oracle SOA Suite is an absolute reliable solution which can be used out of the box today. If you start from scratch, you can choose to use the BEA tools or the Oracle tools, depending on your actual requirements. Oracle promised an upgrade path for both directions to the new, joined tool suites. However this upgrade path may look, the surviving key concepts are clear: Oracle Service Infrastructure with the Policy Enforcement Points (PEPs) and Oracle Web Service Manager will transport the benefits of the SCA environment. The better BEA ESB will make life easier and will be integrated tighter. The settled SOA blue prints won't be touched, so architecture won't change too much in the future. So answer is: Yes, you can start with Oracle SOA Suite today.

The Future of BPEL

BPEL should be used as a language, which allows business processes to be technically executed. When we look back, a lot of projects used BPEL in other ways: mostly in integration scenarios, where the process oriented development, the major exception handling capabilities and the monitoring features brought great benefit. Maybe, it will turn out, that BPEL is not the right language, when it comes to real business processes. Maybe, the executable BPMN scenario will deliver us more benefit for that special purpose. Another point is the evolvement of the routing capabilities of the Enterprise Service Buses (ESBs). While in the open source world, we see things like Apache Camel, which applies the standard Message Exchange Patterns (MEPs) to an ESB like ServiceMix, also the commercial versions (Oracle Enterprise Service Bus, Oracle Service Bus (AKA BEA ALSB) are greatly enhanced with routing logic. This all questions the future of BPEL in the Oracle world for business process oriented development. It will be interesting to see the emerging tool suites and the combinations of products over the next 2-3 years. Also interesting is the evolvement of executable BPMN and the BPM roundtripping on the other hand.   

Oracle BPM

After the BEA accqusisition we have three tools for BPM in the Oracle product stack, each one of them addressing different use cases. At high level there's the BPA Suite for process modelling in BPMN and for enterprise architecture stuff. Then there's a product new to the Oracle stack: BEA Aqualogic BPM (Fuego). This tool is used for human centric business process modelling, with the capability of being executed directly. So there's no need for a transformation from the modelling language to an execution language, like it is done today with the transformation from BPMN to BPEL. The new name of this is Oracle BPM Suite. Finally we have the BPEL Process Manager in the stack, which will be used much more for integration purposes. In the near future, both the BPM Suite and the Oracle BPEL PM use JDeveloper for disign time and will be able to run on a joined runtime engine. Will be interesting to see that.

11g Policy Infrastructure

BEA WLS has an integrated policy infrastructure. This can be used further on, if it's sufficient. But good news: Oracle service infrastructure will stay with the policy enforcement point and SCA concepts, so that OWSM will become more important for heterogenous scenarios.

Fusion Middleware 11g - Application Server

In FMW 11g it's likely that we will have two application servers in the suite. The Oracle Application Server 11g and the Weblogic Server 10.3. So you will have to choose the best option for your requirements. Good news: the product management teams of Oracle and BEA have been merged and so have the engineering groups, too. So we will see the joined efforts of that combination in the near future.

SOA and the grid

From a SOA perspective, the DB is often a bottleneck and having the required data in the middletier would be a nice thing. That's where Tangosol/Oracle Coherence comes into play: Coherence allows live objects in the middletier, with linear scaling. Combined with JRockit Real Time, which provides deterministic garbage collection, this is a really valuable combination. Very intesting to see what the near future will bring.

Future of ADF

ADFdi will be available with focus on desktop integration. E.g. you can use a standard Excel as a client for ADF applications. Cool. As stated a longer time ago, the ADF Richclient Components are going to open source, which is currently in progress. Perhaps, if everything works fine, we will see the ADF taskflow API as open source, too. That would be a great benefit for the JSF community. Even better would be, if there wouldn't be licence costs for ADF at all... let's see, what time will bring...

ER-Modeller for Oracle SQL Developer

We may or may not see a new ER modelling feature in Oracle SQL developer, similar to the modelling stuff in Oracle designer. That's an long awaited feature.

Forms to APEX "conversion"

A feature we might see or not is the Forms to APEX conversion. You can read the xml structure of a fmb into APEX and it will mostly automatically be reverse engineered to APEX stuff. Interesting feature. But: it's no migration and more a "design capture". That's the reason why it's called "conversion". This is no message for the ADF future, just a new way to move away from forms, for really simple use cases.

DB options are not optional...

Many people think, that the Oracle DB options would be optional... but they bring the real value to the product and have to be seen as part of the product.

Oracle Openworld 2008 has opened

Some interesting overall conference facts:

• Nearly 43,000 attendees

• Generates over $100 million for the Bay Area economy

• Sells out every downtown hotel with attendees also staying in the East Bay & Peninsula

• On the peak nights, attendees fill more than 15,000 hotel rooms

• More than 1,800 different sessions for attendees

• 450 partner exhibits in 300,000 square feet of space

• Keynotes from industry leaders from HP, Intel, NetApp, and Oracle.

• 12th year that Oracle OpenWorld has been at Moscone

Future of JDeveloper, Weblogic Workshop and Enterprise Pack for Eclipse

"One ring to rule them all" was the statement and guess what was ment: Oracle JDeveloper. The "new" Oracle Weblogic Workshop is a fine tool but one day, at some point in time, it will go away and end over time. That won't happen in the near future. Strategically, JDeveloper will cover all things a developer has to use in his daily work. A new alternative for the Eclipse community is the OEPE: the Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse. That's no standalone IDE, but a bundle of plugins for a standard Eclipse installation. Focus will be on JEE development. There won't be ADF, BPEL or other SOA stuff in the OEPE in the near future. We will see a first OEPE 1.0 GA release shortly, followed by a feature completed version OEPE 11g within 2009.

JDeveloper 11g will be shipped shortly with an embedded Weblogic Server 10.3, what means, that OC4J has gone here. For the Bulldog release of JDeveloper we may or may not see complete Lifecycle Application Management (ALM) features, like Bugzilla or Jira integration.