Wednesday Apr 29, 2015

On PaaS, Mobile Security, Cloud Content Sharing: April Newsletter is Out

The April edition of the Fusion Middleware newsletter is now out. This edition is all about Digital Transformation. Find out how Platform as a Service (PaaS) is driving the digital revolution and get access to the latest IDC report on the PaaS market, business drivers, benefits and more. As personal and work boundaries blur in the digital age, organizations are getting increasingly concerned about security. The challenges is more acute with trends like Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD)and even Bring Your Own Applications (BYOA). How do you open your company without incurring the security risks? Find out how Mobile Security can help protect your IP, your brand reputation while still enabling a digital trend. And, we continue our ongoing series of Cloud Computing use cases. In this edition, we take a closer look at cloud content sharing and collaboration. Oracle Documents Cloud Service (OracleDOCS)  is an enterprise grade solution that not only offers the intuitive features of cloud file sync and share but to support the various use cases drives a PaaS for SaaS solution allowing you to unlock your company potential. be sure to give it a read to understand how enterprises today are leveraging OracleDOCS.

The newsletter comes complete with news, recent press announcements, information about upcoming events both regional and online, latest market and product materials, and more so don't miss it. And we recommend you subscribe to the newsletter today.

Wednesday Jan 28, 2015

Partner Column – The Journey to PaaS, Part Two

by Debra Lilley, ACE Director,  VP, Certus Cloud Services

I was looking back at my first partner column and realised I jumped straight into PaaS 4 SaaS – the ability to extend Cloud applications with PaaS, and actually didn’t make the point we can extend any application with PaaS including our existing on-premise investments with Oracle E Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel etc.

What we have learnt over the years is that customization of the base application should be avoided.  So many of us have had difficult or even impossible upgrades because of what we have done in our applications and have therefore learnt this the hard way. However that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t extend our applications, (perhaps the topic of another posting and I need you, the readers, to let me know if that is a good idea).

If every organisation used the same set of applications for both front and back office there would be no differentiation from a technical approach but in reality, that is what all organisations need - a differentiation from their competitors. It may be as simple as storing additional data, or an additional process. So there is balance to be sought between staying standard and as is and what adds value. What Cloud applications have taught us is to create these extensions separately and then execute from your standard applications. 

How do you do this? Well, in simple, non technical terms you probably want a 3 step process:

1. Extract data from main application.

2. Your extension.

3. Return or load data back into main application.

Here is a very simple example:

1.  You take a single person record from your main application, and getting data out is the easiest part, use an existing API or simply extract in a suitable format using your analytics tools.

2. Your extension use case could be to populate a small application for a special initiative. 

3. Then, you return to the main application and mark the record (e.g. A descriptive flexfield in Oracle E-Business Suite to say they are part of the initiative). This stage is the trickiest. If there is an existing API in your application to update the object it is straight forward. Otherwise it depends on the tools and flexibility of that specific application.

This third part of the process, may dictate that you don’t go back into the main application. So, in this example, you still have the power of the extension but no marker in the original. Your use case may not need that anyway.

Equally you may not need the first step, if you are using your extension to collect data, especially additional fields which you can hold in the application but the system doesn’t give you the flexibility to validate or ease of entry online, you may use an extension to capture, validate and process this data and use a standard API to load it.

This last example made me think of a conversation I had with an ACE Director about 7 or 8 years ago about Application Express (APEX) and Oracle E Business Suite. He was looking to see if there was a need for APEX here and every use case he suggested people were doing with customisations quite happily. Now there is a real move towards extending with APEX and I recommend this white paper

What PaaS gives us is development tools in the cloud. The same advantages as for SaaS - no infrastructure, pay as you go, and predictable on-going costs. PaaS gives SaaS customers the ability to extend their functionality with the same benefits as with their applications but equally on premise application customers could build their extensions in the cloud if they wanted to, although I accept there could be less of a driver. But something else I didn’t make clear last month is that PaaS is not just about extending your application with code, it is also about other middleware components as well. 

The Oracle Business Intelligence offerings have had a barrier of entry around the commissioning of the infrastructure and platform build, so adopting them as PaaS may make a lot of sense. Similarly there are other applications you can use with your existing investment which again make so much sense to adopt in the Cloud like Planning and Budgeting. 

Take a look at Oracle’s Cloud offerings portal; it is very easy to navigate and understand. The Applications and Platform tabs are worth a browse just to see what Oracle have made available this way.

Next month I’ll talk more about the Rapid Development Kit I mentioned last month.

Editor's Note: And don't miss Oracle Cloud Online Forum taking place today, Wednesday, January 28 starting at 10 am Pacific, to get more details. Register now.

About the Author:

Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.

Lilley has 18 years experience with Oracle Applications, with E Business Suite since 9.4.1, moving to Business Intelligence Team Lead and Oracle Alliance Director. She has spoken at over 100 conferences worldwide and posts at debrasoraclethoughts 

Monday Jan 26, 2015

Live mobile hacking with a OFM 12c red stack at Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forum 2015

Cross Posted for Juergen Kress 

The Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forum takes place March 3rd & 4th in Budapest Hungary. During this annual conference You as an Oracle Partner can get the latest updates on the Fusion Middleware 12c solutions. “The Cloud Platform for Digital Business” will be the theme of the 20th conference. Keynotes will be delivered from Amit Zavery, Andrew Sutherland and SOA, BPM and Mobile product management including live demos. On the second day you can choose between three tracks: SOA, BPM or WebLogic and Mobile. As a closing keynotes Luc Bors and Lucas Jellema will present:

Live mobile hacking with a OFM 12c red stack

Lucas Jellema



Solution Architect

Oracle ACE Director



Luc Bors



Principal Consultant / ADF Expertise Lead

Oracle Blog



For details please visit our Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forum registration page here.

P.S. Don't forget!

Cloud Platform Online Forum. It's on - Jan 28. It's all good but don't miss Shay Shmeltzer go over and demo the Oracle Mobile Cloud Service (The GA release is coming soon!) It's that whole bringing mobile development to the cloud, mobile backend as a service, and making everyone's lives better. Check it out!

Friday Jan 23, 2015

ACE Director on Clearing the ConFusion – Oracle Cloud Applications

Author: Debra Lilley, ACE Director, EMEA

As I typed that title I cringed. I have been an advocate for Oracle’s development of Next Generation Applications from the day they announced Fusion, and I hated the term quickly coined by pessimists of 'Fusion – Confusion'. But now as Oracle drops the name Fusion, for its applications, I feel there really is some confusion, so I am going to use this post to clarify to this community.

Why am I writing this post for this blog? Well the problem is Oracle knows it has renamed the products, but their customers don’t. If you are attending COLLABORATE in April the stream is called Fusion Applications, and if it wasn’t the number of attendees would be very small, but more and more you need to recognise the Cloud brand. The components of Cloud that Oracle developed in their technology (okay, Fusion applications), are 100% written on Oracle Fusion Middleware, that hasn’t gone anywhere and continues to be developed, and it is the use of these Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies that Oracle AppAdvantage is all about - extending the capabilities of "Fusion" Applications with Oracle Fusion Middleware. My starting position and reason I became involved with this AppAdvantage initiative is that there is no better shop window for what Oracle Fusion Middleware can do than the applications that Oracle has developed itself.

I did try an explanation on my own blog after Oracle Open World but this time I will be more succinct.

FACT : All Fusion Applications are now Cloud Applications.

Each pillar is now renamed Oracle …. Cloud , so Fusion Financials is now part of Oracle ERP Cloud, within each pillar there are the separate offerings which are normally desecrate process areas and with discrete pricing.

FACT : Not all  Cloud Applications started Life as Fusion Applications.

As part of their Cloud journey, Oracle has acquired some native cloud-delivered applications, such as Taleo and RightNow. The plan, being executed is that these products are being unified, i.e. integrated with other offerings, where possible being delivered on the same technology stack and being given the same User Experience as Oracle’s home grown offerings. 

RightNow has for some time been known as Oracle Service Cloud  and the recruiting module from Taleo as Oracle Recruiting Cloud

FACT: Cloud Applications don’t have to be SaaS

Software as a Service is the deployment of an application in a cloud environment. Oracle, or a third party in some cases, hosts the application and look after not only the infrastructure but the patching and security, and in turn you pay a subscription to use charge.

Most of these same applications could be deployed on-premise with you being responsible for all the above and with the more traditional upfront licence costs. 

Oracle have called the products Cloud because they are available and are being deployed as such more and more that way.

FACT : Oracle are trying to make it easy for you to find this all in one place.

This is a great place to start: The Applications tab goes through the offerings and you can find the PaaS offerings to extend and strengthen your SaaS.

About the Author:

Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.

Lilley has 18 years experience with Oracle Applications, with E Business Suite since 9.4.1, moving to Business Intelligence Team Lead and Oracle Alliance Director. She has spoken at over 100 conferences worldwide and posts at debrasoraclethoughts 

Wednesday Jan 07, 2015

IT Leaders Discuss Their Business Goals and Technology Solutions

Happy New Year! Hope 2015 is off to a great start for you.

One of the biggest highlights for us in 2014 was getting an opportunity to visit and spend some time with the IT Leaders of successful organizations around the world. The objective of each of these documentaries was to understand the business imperatives of such organizations, get insights from the IT Leaders on how they align their IT objectives with the company's business goals and how they measure the impact of their IT & business investments on their customers, vendor ecosystem, the company's employees and of course, the company's bottom line. And we then have technology experts walk us through the technical implementations that has made all that possible.

Based on their business imperatives, organizations had taken different paths and driven diverse IT roadmaps to deliver business success. Northumbrian Water in the UK enabled mobility for its remote workforce to drive 24 X 7 operations. Pella, a major windows and doors manufacturer in the USA built a contextual web experience for its online visitors while creating a self-service portal for its sales and dealers network and an online appointment scheduling tool to deliver a unique and superior digital experience. Grupo Farmacos, a major medical supplies distributor in Mexico has set up an optimized IT infrastructure that is suited to each of its four different business units, one dealing with high transaction volume, other requiring 24 X 7 availability and the other requiring high level of reliability with high performance for health needs. Ricoh Americas, an IT services and office equipment company, is delivering on its "Anytime, Anywhere" promise to its customers by allowing them to scan their products and either troubleshoot issues themselves or easily log those while in the backend, the seamless cloud to on-premise integration delivers the desired results. And Siram, an energy distribution company in Italy has automated its RFP process to deliver efficiency, bring transparency and drive cost control with automated business process management.

We were incredibly fortunate to have gotten some time with the executives of such elite companies and to be able to share their stories with you. For your convenience, we have made all these documentaries available in one place, that can be played on-demand. Hope you enjoy and benefit from these as we have enjoyed pulling these together.

Happy 2015!

Tuesday Dec 30, 2014

'Tis The Season To Look at Middleware Highlights From 2014

2014 was all this and so much more. For a complete listing you can visit, Oracle newsroom or subscribe to our bi-monthly Oracle Fusion Middleware newsletter. We thank you for engaging with us - listening to us and talking to us. Wishing you and yours a very Happy 2015. Looking forward to an even more fulfilling 2015 with all of you.

Peace and joy to the world.

Wednesday Dec 03, 2014

Partner Column: The Journey to PaaS, Part One

Author: Debra Lilley, ACE Director

I have been writing a monthly column on this blog discussing AppAdvantage and totally random thoughts but now I am going to add to that a monthly update on the road to PaaS.

As customers adopt SaaS (Software as a Service) either as a replacement system or to co-exist with their existing applications they are looking for ways to extend them to add additional value to their investment with extensions.  The design principles of Fusion mean this is possible without the old problems of customisations, but Cloud means you can’t get to the development layer of your applications, so how do you extend?

PaaS, Platform as a Service gives you and your partners the development layer needed, and allows the extensions to be hosted and sold just like SaaS and use the same integrations utilised for coexistence. 

The first step is to understand PaaS, and what is available today.

For simple extensions that have a set process and simple integration you can use the Java Cloud Service and APEX in the Database Cloud Service

Ultimately every extension you create should look and feel like Fusion,  the same user experience (UX) Oracle has delivered. So this means you need to use the same tools. This means Oracle SOA Suite for both configuration for different needs as well as integration.

Where do you start? Well again, Oracle can help. The UX team have developed the Rapid Development Kit and you should consider using this as a blueprint.

This is an exciting journey and one I hope you will follow with me.

About the Author:

Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.

Lilley has 18 years experience with Oracle Applications, with E Business Suite since 9.4.1, moving to Business Intelligence Team Lead and Oracle Alliance Director. She has spoken at over 100 conferences worldwide and posts at debrasoraclethoughts 

Sunday Nov 23, 2014

Multi-channel Service Delivery Demo

Customers today constantly engage with companies across multiple channels. Companies need to be able to engage, sell to, and service customers across all channels: the web, in a store, over the phone, via a mobile device or through social channels. This demo showcases how customers can be quickly and efficiently serviced across multiple communication channels or touch points such as a mobile phone, tablet or a desktop over a secure infrastructure.


A fictional company PowerCo, which is an industrial manufacturer, wants its customers to be able to access the mobile application it provides, to conveniently research and resolve any issues they may have. Furthermore, the company wants to increase the productivity of its Service Reps and field technicians by providing them with a single unified view of all the issues its customers are facing. By delivering consistent, accurate and the most up-to-date information, regardless of who is handling the issue, PowerCo aims to provide a seamless experience to all its customers.

The sequence of steps are highlighted below -