Monthly Archives: February 2017

Re-use is not Always Good

It is drummed into every aspiring developer that duplicating code is bad, and re-use is good. Seen from the organization hiring the developer, that is true. But seen from a developer under pressure to meet a deadline, it makes perfect sense to write his own code, even if the same functionality has been implemented before.

Optimal reuse

If you want to promote re-use across teams in your organization, you need to do three things:

  • Document all services with examples. For REST web services, you can use a tool like Swagger.
  • Implement the policy that old versions of services are not retired until nobody is calling them
  • Enforce a policy of calling services instead of writing them over.

 

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How does MariaDB compare to Oracle?

My answer on Quora to “How does MariaDB compare to Oracle?”

Nobody uses MariaDB, don’t go there. You should compare MySQL to Oracle instead.

MariaDB is a fork of MySQL created by the original MySQL developers. They had cashed out and sold MySQL but hated the idea that Oracle bought their baby. According to DB-Engines Ranking, MariaDB is at place 20 with a popularity score of 45. MySQL is in second spot with a 1380 score, only a whisker behind Oracle at 1404.

Comparing Oracle and MySQL:

  • Oracle has every feature you can dream of, including a powerful proprietary programming language, and scales up to ridiculous sizes and speeds. If you need some of that, it’s worth the high cost
  • MySQL has every feature a normal developer needs in a database, and even the free community edition will meet most needs.

How does MariaDB compare to Oracle?

Which is the best career path: Oracle ADF or Java?

My answer on Quora to “Which is the best career path to choose, Oracle ADF, or Java?”

Concentrate on Oracle ADF. ADF skills are in high demand and pay better than pure Java skills.

Because Oracle ADF is a Java-based framework, you will need to learn some basic Java as you build you ADF skills. Once you land an ADF job, you will learn more Java as you work with ADF. This allows you to continue to pure Java or other frameworks if you are not happy with ADF.

Which is the best career path to choose, Oracle ADF, or Java?

Who should create Oracle ADF skins?

My answer on Quora to “Who should create Oracle ADF skins: Developers or designers”

If you are on the latest ADF version (12.2.1.x.x), you have access to the web-based Theme Editor. In this case, your designer should use this user-friendly tool to create the skin. It has some limitations, but the designer is best placed to work around these.

In earlier ADF versions, a CSS developer is needed to develop the skin, and the designer just produces a graphic in photoshop or similar. If you don’t have a specialized CSS developer, somebody will have to learn CSS, because ADF skinning uses all normal and some uncommon CSS features.

Who should override and apply Oracle ADF skin into pages developer or designer?

Losing Hearts and Minds

Oracle has never been a developer-friendly company. Historically, they have produced brilliant technology, made it freely available, and let it be up to the developers to figure out how to use it.

That strategy is failing today, for three reasons:

  1. Oracle is no longer indispensable. Open source offerings now provide what only a large company like Oracle could manage a decade ago.
  2. Poor access to cloud services. Much software is cloud-based, and Oracle only offers short, poorly-managed trials to developers used to unlimited access on-premise.
  3. Oracle is one of the most-hated IT companies. Their business practices, including aggressive license reviews and lawsuits, means that CIOs are trying to replace their software and developers seek to avoid them.

They are starting a developer initiative with a new blog, a new website, and a series of Oracle Code events, but it seems rather half-hearted. Little has happened since the initiative was announced at OpenWorld six months ago, and Oracle has cut the funding to their technology evangelist program.

I’ve been a loyal Oracle developer for decades, but I’m afraid Oracle has lost the hearts and minds of developers. My son is finishing his B.Sc. in IT and wouldn’t dream of using Oracle tools. If you are an Oracle developer with more than 10 years until retirement, I advise you to start planning for your time after Oracle.

How’s Oracle’s performance, both on financial and strategic parameters?

My answer on Quora to “How is Oracle’s financial and strategic performance?”

Answer by Sten Vesterli:

Stable.

Financially, they have hit pretty close to their targets and their stock has been steady around 40 for the last year. Oracle has been working hard to increase the share of revenue from cloud services, including bundling on-premise deals with a lot of “cloud credits” they can count as cloud revenue. Since they haven’t had significant cloud business until recently, everybody is waiting to see if customers will renew.

Strategically, they are using their massive cash hoard and strong cash flow from existing customers to increase their cloud offerings, both by rolling out new services and by buying cloud providers like NetSuite. In vendor comparisons, Oracle’s cloud offerings are currently way behind the market leaders. But they have a strong commitment and strong financial resources, so they might eventually become a significant cloud player.

How’s Oracle’s performance, both on financial and strategic parameters?

Inconvenient Cloud Truth

Oracle has just announced that they are discontinuing the main benefit of participating in the Oracle ACE program at the highest level: The annual briefing at Oracle HQ before the OpenWorld conference. Together with previous cuts in travel funding, this leaves the program as little more than a logo to put on your website.

Before cloud, Oracle was a big player in on-premise enterprise software. They made very good software, so it made sense to cover the cost of flying independent experts to Oracle HQ for briefings on the latest software. Having armed the experts with the latest knowledge and software, it also made sense for Oracle to pay their travel costs as they went out into the world and advocated it.

Today, Oracle is struggling to pivot towards being a cloud vendor. The independent experts are saying straight up that most of their cloud services aren’t very good yet, so Oracle is not getting any return on its investment in the ACE Directors.

I’ve been happy working with Oracle in my ten years as an Oracle ACE Director, and sincerely hope they become successful in the cloud. Once they are, it will make sense for them to restore funding for the ACE Director program. But right now, the cuts make sense.