JavaOne/Enterprise Social Networking
By Clayton on May 08, 2008
At about the same time I put together yesterday's blog posting about many of the existing personal social networks, Thomas Kurian, the Oracle SVP responsible for Fusion Middleware (among other things) was giving a presentation at JavaOne related to our own efforts in the area of enterprise social networking.
The key word here is enterprise.
Note in the demonstration that you're seeing orders, people, conversations, and other elements linked together from enterprise systems.
Note that the relationships, tagging, and other functionality didn't require redefining new people and relationships, or re-registering for new services. Relationships in an enterprise are often pre-existing. Customers exist. Employees exist. Partners exist. The relationships are often defined in databases and directories, while deeper context exists and can be brought to the surface through integration with business applications.
As the CNET blog posting above indicates, other companies will say that this has been here all along. What those companies aren't saying or showing is such strong integration with existing enterprise systems. There are no green fields in this demo and that's the reality for most enterprises.
For the identity buffs reading this, note the integration of traditional white pages functionality with presence services, instant messaging, and other elements.
From a directory services standpoint, if your existing applications can query a directory today, using virtual directory automatically extends them to access your presence services, database data, and other non-traditional identity information without needing to adopt new frameworks. This shifts the focus from how do I get the data to how can I use the data. Solving the later question is where the value is achieved.
Really fantastic stuff.