Oracle celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and this was the main theme of Larry’s key note speech on sunday night. But there are other anniversaries to celebrate this year. It has been ten years since Oracle purchased JBuilder, buying itself into the market of Java development IDEs. This was reason for Oracle product managers Duncan Mills and Clemens Utschig to indulge in their own little "trip down memory lane", in a presentation called "Oracle Fusion Middleware, Past, Present and Future". In this presentation, Duncan and Clemens took us from the purchase of JBuilder through Oracle Valhalla (gotta love the artwork on that logo, I’ll try to obtain it and put it in this post), Oracle AppBuilder, and then JDeveloper 1.0, 2.0 3.0, 9i, 10g, to finally end up at the JDeveloper 11g preview releases.
Rather than this being an all-slide affair, Duncan still has most of these old versions running on his laptop, so they were able to illustrate the evolution of application development through the years with live demo’s. I would have never imagined I would be watching two product managers at OOW 2007, where 11g is the buzzword on everyones lips, giving a demo on InfoBus technology (remember that predecessor to BC4j?!). Fun and weird at the same time. Also it was kind of disturbing that the overall impression was not "Wow, incredible how much things improved with the years". Rather, it was more like "Wow, see how fast those old IDE’s launched!!!".
Although the presentation had plenty of entertainment value, it was kind of unfortunate (to not use a stronger term), that they ran out of time before they reached the "Future" part of their presentation, and had to hurry to get at least one brief glimps of an 11g application across. Although Duncan and Clemens probably had a lot of fun preparing for this presentation, I think that most people in the audience travel to San Francisco to hear product managers share their insight into what lies ahead, and not what lies behind us, and I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed by this presentation. But I am sure there will be plenty other presentations where the "Future" will be discussed in detail, and even if not, there’s always the DemoGrounds where 11g demo’s are "made to order" all day long!