Within a week from the launch of FMW 11g I was able to to get a good first impression of this milestone release. We attended the SOA Suite Foundation training that was lead by Oracle PTS. Basically this leads you through the OrderBooking order demo / tutorial. This gives a good impression of the foundations and possibilities of SOA Suite 11g.
One of the key marketing terms for FMW 11g release is integrated. And indeed Oracle has made a great step in integrating SOA Suite components, as well as integrating SOA Suite with Weblogic server and it’s (monitoring) tools. However note that even if in the licensing Oracle Service Bus is in the package… It is still a separate product in this release. OSB is a sparate download and has to be installed next to the SOA Suite. Off course since it’s BEA background it has integration with Weblogic.
Part of the great stuff can be seen in the screenshot. It shows the flow through the composite application. After the message is received, it is routed by Mediator (former ESB). Which does it’s magic and sends it to two adapters ( in this case a file and a BAM adapter), and a BPEL process. The BPEL process in turn calls a decision service as implemented with Oracle Rules, and a JMS adapter.
This one common console to view status of both BPEL and Mediator (formerly known as ESB) is a great enhancement. A so called ecid (a global ID ) is used for this end to end tracking. This has really been brought to the next level. However I was a little disapointed that OSB has not been integrated (yet, as we were told) in the integral monitoring using ecid’s.
The SCA part is a great aid to create and manage composite applications. SCA is based on the idea that business function are provided as a series of services, which are assembled together to create solutions that serve a particular business need. These composite applications can contain both new services created specifically for the application and also business function from existing systems and applications, reused as part of the composition. SCA provides a model both for the composition of services and also for the creation of service components, including the reuse of existing application function within SCA compositions.
The included screenshot gives a good overview of how a composite looks. The example contains Mediator (purple), BPEL (blue), Human Task (green), Business Rule (yellow), and Adapter (white) parts.
Please note that a composite applications, don’t have to be a SOA applications. Using all kinds of adapters in a composite looks great… and from an architectural perspective it could be argued that it is wise to only allow (web) service adapters to the Service Bus (that could be implemented with OSB).