Tag Archives: BEA

Fusion Middleware 11g first impressions

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.

flow trace

flow trace

Integrated

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.

Composite

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.

FMW composite

FMW composite

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).

WebLogic Server screencasts

This year Oracle organized their first OTN Virtual Developer Day . A virtual hands-on training in Java and Rich Enterprise Applications. The screencasts and “Hands-On Labs” are still available. The latter require an AWS (Amazon Web Services) account and charges can apply. The following sessions are interesting from an Application Server point of view:

Oracle WebLogic Server: Introduction and Roadmap

This session provides an overview of Oracle WebLogic Server concepts, and discusses the road map for the Oracle Fusion Middleware Application Server infrastructure, explaining Oracle’s current offerings post-BEA-acquisition and where the product is headed. The screencast can be viewed: Part 1 Part 2
or downloaded:

Top 10 Productivity Tools for Java Developers on Oracle WebLogic Server 10gR3

This session highlights the top 10 capabilities that will improve a Java developers working on WebLogic Server include features such as deep Spring framework integration and support, fast Java class swapping, deployment plans, HTTP pub-sub capabilities for Web 2.0 development, sophisticated debugging and end-to-end updates for Java EE 5.0 development. Learn what’s new and see it in action in this demonstration centric session. View the screencast: Part 1 Part 2
or download it:

Oracle & BEA: market impact

Gartner states that the growth in revenue (2008 compared to 2007) in the application infrastructure and middleware (AIM) software market is lower than the growth in 2007 compared to 2006. Please notice that, while in a recession, there is still growth, only single digit in stead of double digit. Fabrizio Biscotti gives two reasons for the loss of growth:

  1. The slowdown of the economy;
  2. The effects of the acquisition of BEA Systems.

Asheesh Raina elaborates on the latter: Oracle’s acquisition of BEA had a profound effect, especially in markets (like Asia-Pacific) were BEA historically was controlling a huge portion of the regional market. The process of combining BEA and Oracle, and the relative uncertainty surrounding the outcome, has driven potential or undecided customers to delay their purchases. Obviously it is typical that an acquisition of such magnitude has led to the typical uncertainty that always follows major merger & acquisition activities.

If the merger of Oracle and BEA has this impact on the market, what will the effect of the announced acquisition of Sun bring… Especially, if we are taking into account that not all uncertainty of the previous merger has been cleared. Yes, there is a strategic direction, and we think it is great. However, it has to be implemented in releases that we thought should be released by now. Oracle has history of keeping it´s cards to it´s chest with release dates and content of the releases. In this case, this unclear operational path adds to the uncertainty. Resulting in more undecided customers in the market.

It can be stated that the acquisition of Sun is smaller, and therefore will result in less impact. However in the case of Sun, there is less clarity on what exactly the benefits will be in the application infrastructure and middleware software market. Overall there remain lot of questions on synergy, and the future of products & technology unanswered. The time frame that is needed to answer the major part of these, will have influence on the total revenue in this software market, and the way Oracle’s market share is going.

Oracle gets Sun Microsystems (and MySQL for free)

Not to long ago Oracle tried to acquire MySQL, and Sun got away with the prize. Few years earlier, actually in 2005, Oracle acquired InnoDB. This was seen as an effort to lower the valuation of MySQL by removing one of it´s primary storage engines. Which (under the assumption that the valuation of Sun wasn´t raised to much after they got MySQL) succeeded in the end, since they got MySQL in the package.
Anyway for MySQL adapts the good news is that MySQL probably will stay open source according to a founding developer of WordPress.

Questions

As with any merger a lot of questions will be raised that can be answered in the following months (or years). Will Oracle continue with multiple JVMs? Both acquisition of BEA and Sun brought one into the company.
Same goes for application servers… Oracle had one, bought one with BEA, and one with Sun. Oracle favored WebLogic over OC4J. But will Glassfish remain in the portfolio?

However most worrying point for Oracle´s customers will be how this will effect release dates of (long) promised features, and bug fixes. Just like the integration effort after the acquisition of BEA is doing right now…

And what has MS got to do with it…

Did I already mention that Oracle now has also acquired Open Office. This means that these two rivals have created a new field to play the battle of giants.

Update June 8th, 2009 Sun´s special stockholder meeting to vote on the adoption of the merger agreement is scheduled for July 16, 2009.