Category Archives: Oracle Tool Watch

Trying to Make Oracle Cool

Oracle currently hosting a series of Oracle Code events across the world, today in New York. You’d expect an event with this name would focus on Oracle tools, but no. Oracle instead decided to throw together presentations on every buzzword they could think of. So if you attend an Oracle Code event, you can hear about Node.JS, DevOps, microservices, Agile, Docker, Spark, JSON, Chatbots, and Kafka.

This is like Sears or Macy’s sponsoring a snowboarding competition. The hip crowd might show up, but they won’t shop at the department store afterward.

Oracle has powerful, productive, mature tools like APEX and ADF, as well as new and interesting things like Oracle JET and Application Builder Cloud Service (ABCS). But they decided to spend this year’s developer outreach budget on events almost completely unrelated to Oracle technology. Not a smart move.

As an Oracle developer, don’t let this marketing misstep get you down. Oracle has great development tools, even if they don’t talk about them. And hey, today’s Oracle Code event in New York even has a session on SQL and PL/SQL by Peter Koletzke. There is hope.

 

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Oracle PaaS Partner Community Forum 2017

In two weeks, I’m off to Croatia for the Oracle PaaS Partner Community Forum. The agenda covers a lot of the Oracle PaaS cloud services:

  • SOA Cloud Service
  • Integration Cloud Service
  • API Cloud Service
  • Java Cloud Service
  • Application Builder Cloud Service
  • Developer Cloud Service
  • Application Container Cloud Service

I’m looking forward to seeing the latest improvements to the Oracle Cloud services and hearing from my fellow ACE Directors who have actually used them.

This event is free for Oracle partners who are members of one of the EMEA Oracle partner communities. The conference runs from March 27 to March 29 with optional hands-on workshops on March 30 and 31. There might still be spaces left – check the registration page at http://tinyurl.com/paasForum2017.

If you can’t make it to Croatia, and you have a burning question about Oracle PaaS Cloud services, feel free to comment and I’ll try to have your question answered by one of the knowledgeable presenters there.

Why you don’t want to become an Oracle SOA developer

My answer on Quora to a Java developer looking to become an Oracle SOA developer:

You don’t want to become an Oracle SOA developer, for two reasons: SOA and Oracle.

First, Service-Oriented Architecture has over-promised and under-delivered for a decade. The only reason SOA is still around is that many big enterprises has invested millions of dollars and are unwilling to admit that SOA was a mistake. It takes skilled architects, care and attention to realize the benefits SOA promised, and most organizations didn’t have that.

Second, Oracle is focusing on their cloud products, and the future of on-premise SOA is uncertain. All new features are rolled out in cloud services first and then, maybe, eventually, in the on-premise products.

Instead, learn micro service architecture and the associated technologies. Modern application landscapes are too complex for centralized SOA architectures, but micro services can be rolled out and integrated with the speed modern organizations need.

If you want to stay close to the old Oracle SOA world, look at Integration Cloud Service and Process Cloud Service. That’s where exciting development is happening in the Oracle world.

Link to Quora: Path to becoming an Oracle SOA developer. Already hava Java OCA. Whats next?

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?

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.

You Urgently Need a Cloud Exit Strategy

Moving your software to a cloud vendor has always been an act of faith. You believe the vendor will honor their promises, fulfil the SLA and stay in business.

That’s why many are choosing the big names like Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Gartner MQ IaaS Aug 2016
Gartner MQ IaaS Aug 2016

Oracle wants to extend its brand into Cloud computing as well, but they are not even on Gartner’s radar, and with their recent decision to double the cost of running Oracle on Amazon, they are not endearing themselves to customers.

No matter which cloud vendor you choose, make sure that you establish an exit strategy in advance. You need to be able to keep your systems running even if your cloud vendor suddenly folds. That means that you need to establish a procedure to continually transfer data from your cloud to a third part (or back to yourself). Don’t get stuck in the cloud.

Is Cloud a Priority at Oracle?

This is the Oracle Cloud:

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-08-57-29

What do you think happens when you click on “Account Details”? This:

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-08-55-15

This experience and many others make me wonder if Cloud is truly a priority at Oracle. There is obviously no automated availability testing taking place, and some of my other Oracle Cloud experience has not left me terribly impressed.

This is the company that brought us the gold standard in relational databases, for crying out loud! You can do better, Oracle. Please, please start trying.