Still DOPI After 30 Years
By MT:15 on Mar 20, 2007
Oracle was founded 30 years ago. . . 1977. The first customer was the CIA. Anyway the sendmail that brought this anniversary to my attention caused electrical sparks to fire off in the ol' brain. I had to take a few minutes to reminisce. Yes, I recorded this daydreaming break on my timecard. I started with Oracle (before my sojourn to PeopleSoft) in 1990. There was a new buzzword concept then called client/server. Processing sounded too dry, I suppose. Looking back, I suspect the entire client/server concept was a ruse for the big new UNIX server manufacturers like Sequent and Pyramid to invade the huge DEC VAX VMS minicomputer install base. Anyway, we were all engaged in important debates about TCP/IP -- was it a viable networking competitor to DecNet and IBM Token Ring, or was it just a sandbox tool for those whackos in Higher Ed and the Intelligence agencies?
Not to be outdone in the invention of buzzwords, Oracle hopped right on client/server and introduced "DOPI." Every customer presentation given by Oracle representatives had to stress DOPI:
D - Distributed
O - Open
P - Portable
I - Interoperable
In 1990, Oracle sensed a sea change in the world of computing architectures. The minicomputer decade of the 1980s had achieved new, lower price points and a degree of ease of use. The dominant architectures were all proprietary, such as VAX VMS, HP3000, Data General, Wang, IBM AS400, etc. Oracle had a big share of the DEC VAX market for database, competing with DEC Rdb, Ingres (oh, those cobwebs!), and that rascal Sybase. Oracle proposed a database and networking layer that afforded transparency and interoperability across dissimilar computing environments. Folks -- stop chuckling -- it was radical at the time!
There is a timeless quality in DOPI. Over the years, repeatedly, we see warfare among competing architectures, environments, proprietary innovations, and new immature standards. For instance, I just acquired my first Palm Treo PDA, and it is running a Windows mobile client 5.0, which as I understand it, competes with PDA operating systems from RIM (Blackberry) and Apple. Hmmmm. . . Sony versus BetaMax, and TCP/IP versus DecNet. You be the judge, but would you agree that Oracle over the years, has stepped up to each new sea change and fallen back on its core product principle: DOPI, to the benefit of its customers?
How DOPI are we today?
Web Services, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), XML, UDDI, SOAP, LDAP, BPEL -- these hot new technology innovations and standards are all DOPI in nature. Oracle continues to make technology development investments using the same principles of DOPI, after all these years. Did you know that Microsoft's .NET environment is supported by Oracle Fusion Middleware? That' s DOPI.
New today is another DOPI concept: Open Source. These initiatives, such as Linux, MySQL, Kuali, or Sakai present both challenge and opportunity to a commercial enterprise software provider, such as Oracle. To the extent that Open Source really embraces and settles on mainstream standards, it looks like that fits into Oracle's business model. Oracle has introduced complete Open Source support for Linux. Our Higher Education contingent has opened partnerships with Sakai participants, intended to lead to offering of integration capabilities, and subsequent full product or solution packages.
Oracle's Fusion roadmap is 100% DOPI. We are delivering exciting new methods for integration of heterogeneous applications via SOA built right into PeopleSoft Enterprise 8.9 and 9.0, as well as Oracle E-Business Suite 12. It's all about choice.
Still DOPI after 30 years!