Monday, August 18, 2008

That was Suite! Not really

This morning I was asked to go to an all morning presentation by Oracle. The presentation explained Oracle's vision with its products and its newly acquired company's, BEA, products. The core presentation was given by Thomas Kurian Senior Vice President for Oracle's Fusion Middleware. The presentation was insightful and it showed that Oracle has a defined and definite vision. I, however, being a skeptic will accept Oracle's vision when I see results. Other than enjoying Oracle's flagship product which is their relational database product, I have not been impressed with Oracle products. That being said, I do believe that Oracle is going to keep the Weblogic Application Server as well as other quality products. It is going to be interesting how other vendors will compete with Oracle in the Application and Middleware space.

Like Oracle, IBM has been buying strategic companies like Oracle but they NOT are buying monster size companies like BEA or PeopleSoft. IBM products work well however they are very expensive and their support is expensive as well. Oracle is following the Sun and RedHat approach which is to follow the Open Source paradigm. Thomas Kurian stated that Oracle is going to streamline the Weblogic IDE,which is based on Eclipse framework, make it open source. It will be interesting where Oracle Fusion Middleware will be in the next two to five years. During the presentation, Thomas Kurian talked about the Weblogic Suite, SOA Suite, BPM Suite and every other Suite possible. So in closing I say, "That's suite!" Actually I say this Larry Ellison, show me good software and I will say, "Suite software". If the software is not good then I will call the Oracle Fusion Middleware, law-suit software and not suite software.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Last week, I was in a ZapThink Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Bootcamp. It was a descent class since they derive their material from actual SOA implementations in large corporations. They presented high level principals and "gotchas" but I felt it lacked something but I cannot tell what. I thought the ITIL v3 Foundations course was more intense and it actually presented some excellent concepts. I highly recommend taking ITIL v3 Foundations course and the ZapThink bootcamp does a good job of re-enforcing overall same concepts which are:
  • How does IT solve a business problem? This is key since vendors and developers tend to buy the tool or solution and then retrofit it to a business problem. I have been involved in couple of projects which spelled D-O-O-M-E-D after they were cancelled.
  • Capture Business Processes - This is an other key since requirements are derived by analysts which inturn are passed down to the architects and engineers. Architects and Engineers design solutions to the requirements. If they had an insight into the business processes, the solutions could be better and cheaper.
  • Business Agility - Flexible IT systems provide businesses more flexibility to be agile. Services support this paradigm however defined Configuration Management processes are key as well.
  • Architecture - Enteprise, Data, Process, and Technical Architectures are key since they provide a defined approach in designing a system or an enterprise. No more Ad-hoc development projects. As a developer and an as an architect, this is key since developers love to know their constraints. We, as developers, have been burnt by poorly written code or no documentation.
Overall good IT architecture with SOA or no SOA, involves alot of common sense, a business understanding and knowing your constraints. Ideas are great but we all have to be realistic.