During this week’s Oracle OpenWorld Conference, we were given some sneak peeks into the short term future of the Oracle SOA Suite. During various roadmap sessions, on the demo grounds as well as in the keynote session by Thomas Kurian (the replay of which you can see here: http://medianetwork.oracle.com/video/player/2687033686001), new features were described and demonstrated, allowing us to get a fairly good overview of what is going to come for SOA Suite – later in 2013 and sometime in 2014 (probably the first half of that year).
The SOA Suite plays an important part in the three themes Thomas Kurian set down for the Fusion Middleware suite of products: support for mobility, cloud and business user empowerment.
Some of the highlighted new aspects of Oracle SOA Suite are:
- Adapters to connect from on-premise to in-the-cloud – specifically targeting SalesForce, RightNow and also providing an SDK to create custom integrations into the cloud (the first cloud adapters will be released on 11g, before the end of the year)
- Mobile enablement by exposing RESTful services that communicate using JSON as well as adding the capability to call out to such services (12c functionality)
- Enhanced functionality on Exalogic (of course it runs faster on Exalogic, up to 20 times)
- Modular runtime with a lighter footprint.
A brief demonstration of the Cloud Adapter was given by Demed L’Her during said keynote. The next screenshot shows the Adapter wizard for the Cloud Adapter.
It allows the developer to pick a specific operation for a specific business object exposed by RightNow (or SalesForce) (the adapter knows about the APIs exposed by RightNow and SalesForce):
This next screenshot shows the adapter that is used in SOA Suite 12c to expose a RESTful service on top of an SCA Composite or a Service Bus service:
Other important aspects that were shown and discussed for 12c:
The Integrated WebLogic Server in JDeveloper is configured in 12c to also run SOA Suite 12c applications. Demed demonstrated how an SCA Composite can be run directly from within the IDE to the integrated server – instead of explicit deployment to a stand alone WebLogic Server with SOA Suite runtime:
This means that the development environment is much lighter weight, can be installed very easily (you should be able to start from scratch and have your first composite application running within 30 minutes) and allows very short develop/run cycles (quickly try out any changes to the definition of the composite or the service).
The IDEs for Service Bus and SCA Composites will be integrated in 12c in JDeveloper. For Service Bus development, this means that no longer OEPE (Eclipse) is used, In fact the development of Service Bus services looks very much like the development of SCA Composites – even with a visual overview of an SB project with its Proxy services, its pipelines and its business services – very similar to an SCA Composite with its Services, Components and References. Note that for Service Bus 12c, the pipeline is a first class object – along with Proxy, Split Join and Business Service. Multiple proxy services can share a pipeline, and one pipeline can call another one.
The run time administration console (Enterprise Manager FMW Control) is used to monitor and do admin for both SCA Composites as well as Service Bus services.
Templates will be available throughout the SOA Suite 12c IDE – allowing blue prints with placeholders for SCA Composites, Pipelines, BPEL processes to be prepared and reused when developing the real artifacts.
Debugging and refactoring support is available in the 12c IDE, for both Service Bus and SCA Composites.
SOA Suite 12c will have an adapter for Coherence – allowing information to be put on or read from a Coherence grid – doing with the in memory Coherence grid what the database adapter does with persistent data in a relational datatabase.
A new facility in SOA Suite 12c will be Managed File Transfer that provides an implementation of the claim check pattern to handle large files. MFT brings an internal (S)FTP server to the SOA Suite platform. Files can be uploaded to this server and automated operations – such as decrypt, decompress and start an SCA Composite passing it the meta-data and a reference for the file – can be configured. My colleague Robert van Molken did a very convincing presentation of MFT together with its Product Manager Dave Berry.
For the Business Rule component, the use of business phrases in 12c will allow the definition of conditions and expressions labeled with meaningful names that can subsequently be used and reused to compose rule conditions and actions. (note: this picture is taken from a roadmap presentation on BPM Suite, presented at OOW 2013 in Shanghai)