What questions to get answered at Oracle Open World 2010

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The sun is setting in Redwood Shores. The sky is red; the Oracle HQ towers are silhouetted against this dramatic red backdrop. Red, the color San Francisco is about to take on for the Oracle Open World conference.

We are at the end of the first day of the two-day ACE Director product briefing. This is a gathering of the ACE Directors – a fairly select group of experts and community representatives in various areas of Oracle’s product portfolio, including Database, Fusion Middleware, Oracle Applications and various development tools. On the eve of OOW 2010, we get briefed on the strategy for key Oracle products and technologies. A week of announcements and road map presentations has been condensed into two full days. A great opportunity to also plan for the rest of the conference – to learn more about the most interesting announcements of today and tomorrow.

Before today, I had a number of questions on Oracle plans, that I hope to get answered during the conference. These questions are almost like a guide through the conference program and sessions like today’s briefing. Below, I list some of the questions I would like to dive into during this OOW conference, as this will help me plan my next moves and help my customers with their future plans and timelines. Answers to these questions are likely to be discussed on this blog over the new few days and weeks.

Oracle Open World

With Oracle RDBMS 11gR2 released about one year ago, the plans for release 12g are coming together I assume. It would be interesting to learn what the overriding themes for 12g will be. It would seem that grid and cloud, consolidation of servers and more efficient operational management are among these. There will probably an update on Exadata (the database machine as well). At least some indication of real world use of Exadata – that will tell us whether this story that sounds great in theory is panning out for real customers.

Last year, right after the launch of Oracle RDBMS 11gR2, an overview was presented of the roadmap for ports of RDBMS 11gR2 to various platforms. Part of that roadmap was the 11gR2 XE edition – with suggestions that indicated the possibility that there might be an expectation for an 11gR2 XE around the Fall 2010 timeframe. So: will we see an announcement of the 11gR2 XE database?

On that note, last year not only saw the second generation of Exadata, but another appliance as well: the OSB (Oracle Service Bus appliance) a collaboration between Oracle and Layer7. Will this trend continue – where appliances appear, pre-integrated configurations of hardware and software, optimized for performance, scalability and operational management. If so, what kind of appliances can we expect?

Will Oracle investment serious money and effort in hardware? Will it really continue work on physical machines? Develop new SPARQ based architectures for example?

What is the status of Fusion Applications? Are the first modules live? Will this product start to roll out to the general market? And how did Oracle use the Fusion Middleware products for Fusion Apps? Can Oracle share best practices for using ADF, SOA Suite, WebCenter, UCM, BPM and other products together, based on its internal experiences?

On ADF: what next developments await us? New components, improved productivity? What is the uptake of JSF 2.0 going to mean for ADF Faces? How will the Team Server and ALM tools evolve? Can anything be said about how JavaFX may find its way into ADF Faces, as an additional render engine for example? Any chance of getting ADF for free (no run time license) and supported on other application servers (in addition to WLS).

HTML 5 (and to a lesser extent CSS 3 and the next release of JavaScript) potentially seem to have impact on Web Applications – both their functionality and their architecture. Will the focus shift to more client side oriented programming models? Will ADF Faces start to render HTML 5 and what may that give us in turns of functionality or enhanced look & feel?

Impact of the Sun acquisition; for example: will Oracle weaken its focus on Linux now it is the proud owner of Solaris? Or will it ignore Solaris and continue to grow OEL (Oracle Enterprise Linux)? What developments happen around Oracle VM? And is Virtual Box continued moving forward next to Oracle VM? With two enterprise Java Application Servers – Glassfish and WebLogic (and even IAS, although that is already on the way out), what is the strategy for these two app servers? Continue both? How will the two be positioned? The same question for the IDEs: Oracle has JDeveloper, now controls NetBeans and makes substantial contributions to a third: Eclipse (for example through the Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, the successor to the former BEA Workshop plugin). And what about JVMs: Oracle owns JRockit and Sun Hotspot JVM. Will it continue to evolve and support both of them? Or pick one.

SOA Suite 11gR1 seems pretty complete: with the release of Patch Set 2 in April 2010, which added OSB 11g and BPM 11g, all major components are available now. What will be next? Is Oracle going to further enhance and consolidate the current components – and perhaps enhance the integration between OSB and JDeveloper (for design time) and SOA Suite (for run time) and perhaps for CEP as well (with both JDeveloper and SOA Suite). Is Oracle going to add additional new service components? (I cannot readily name one, but Oracle perhaps can and will). Will OSB replace Mediator in the SOA Suite? When will FMW Enterprise Manager Console show the complete, end-to-end message flow trace from SOA Composite to OSB to SOA Composite.

Any news on Forms 11g (or/and beyond)? And what if anything is happening with other tools such as Designer, Reports and Discoverer? After the 4.0 release at ODTUG, is there more news on APEX? Plans for 4.1 or maybe even 5? Word on how APEX may adopt HTML 5? Integration of APEX with for example SOA Suite, IdM or WebCenter (for example APEX Portlets consumed in WebCenter pages).

On WebLogic Server, I would like to find out the expected data for full JEE 6 support (and perhaps the roadmap to JEE 6 via stages that may add JPA 2.0 and/or JSF 2.0). I am also curious whether any steps are to be taken in WLS to support OSGi.

Oracle and the cloud – or will it still be grid or private cloud only? Will Oracle have figured out a license-model for cloud-infrastructure (a pay-per-usage?) What will Oracle offer for the cloud, in terms of IaaS or PaaS – in addition to its own SaaS offerings, such as FusionAppsOnDemand and CRMOnDemand? And how will the Oracle FMW technology support organizations that develop and publish their own SaaS applications?

More questions will emerge – and hopefully more answers as well. Stay tuned!

Also: when you are in the area, on Wednesday October 6th, we organize at AMIS the ‘Report from Oracle Open World and Java One 2010′ session in which we report on our findings at these conferences. This session is public for anyone who is interested in Java and Oracle technology. You can register on our website, at: www.amis.nl.

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About Author

Lucas Jellema, active in IT (and with Oracle) since 1994. Oracle ACE Director for Fusion Middleware. Consultant, trainer and instructor on diverse areas including Oracle Database (SQL & PLSQL), Service Oriented Architecture, BPM, ADF, Java in various shapes and forms and many other things. Author of the Oracle Press book: Oracle SOA Suite 11g Handbook. Frequent presenter on conferences such as JavaOne, Oracle OpenWorld, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, Devoxx and OBUG. Presenter for Oracle University Celebrity specials.

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