With social computing, cloud and mobile being the big buzzwords in IT right now, it makes sense to ask where Oracle is in relation to these hot topics. Having attended various briefings, sessions and keynotes at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld, and discussing with knowledgeable people, I’ll offer my opinion below.
First, does Oracle get social? Well, they’re paying it lip service with Larry Ellison demonstrating social features in Fusion Applications. But they don’t really understand that users already have Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ – and adding yet another social network inside your enterprise application is unlikely to take off. Oracle has hinted that Oracle Data Service might allow you integrate information from other social networks, but that’s still vaporware. And since Oracle has both a suite of proprietary social applications and an OpenSocial product, their strategy in the social space is still unclear. Grade: D
Next, does Oracle get cloud? Not completely, but they are moving in the right direction with the cloud offerings announced an OpenWorld. However, this is still vaporware, and if the thrice-announced Fusion Applications is anything to go by, it will take a while before this offering actually materializes. All we know right now is that they are moving from the usual paid-up-front perpetual licenses to monthly licensing – but that’s still a long way from the hourly billing of a real elastic cloud service. Grade: C
Finally, does Oracle get mobile? Definitely, yes. Many demos included iPads for running enterprise applications, though it is still done using a Safari web browser. But they are working on a mobile container to be installed on your mobile device, which would allow much better integration with other apps and native widgets on your mobile device. Grade: B
Well, the hardware part has been announced – more big iron from Oracle: Exalytics specialized BI box, big data appliance and yet another “plug in and forget” database appliance. Interestingly, Oracle is offering R (the open source statistics package/language) in a licensed enterprise version together with the Big Data box – clearly, they’re going after a slice of the lucrative SAS market.
On the Java and Open Source side, I believe Oracle is starting to get up to speed as champion of the Java language with JavaFX 2.0 announcements, proper support for Mac OSX and the Java EE 7 and Java SE 8 roadmaps.
This morning, I’ll be at the keynote as part of the Fusion Nation – about 500 Fusion Applications evangelists wearing characteristic red vests. If you want to know about Fusion Applications, stop one of the guys or girls wearing these vests.
Tomorrow, at 9 am, right after the big party tonight, I’ll be giving my tools overview presentation. So if you are wondering if you should stay with Oracle Forms, where APEX is a good fit or when you should use ADF, come by the Marriot Marquis Golden Gate B room to hear “Choose Your Weapon: An Overview of Oracle Development Tools”.
After two days of ACE Director briefings at Oracle HQ, I’m starting the conference today with a presentation in the very first slot: 9.00 am in Moscone West room 2000. My topic is “Starting an Enterprise Oracle ADF Project”, and it covers the material in my book (slightly abbreviated – 60 minutes can really cover the same as 400 pages).
All of Sunday, there’s going to be presentations by members of the ADF Enterprise Methodology Group in room 2000 – if you’re interested in Oracle ADF, this is the place to be.
I thought this would be a dull year at OpenWorld, but after the confidential briefings last week, I have had to change my mind. Since I’m under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (maybe the lawyers do run Oracle…), I can’t share any information right now – but do follow the blogs and announcements from Oracle this week.