Blogging the Oracle Fusion Middleware Strategy Webcast

Update (July 2): Archived Webcast is now available from this page.

Oracle President Charles Phillips has just completed his introduction of the Webcast, characterizing the BEA deal as "not just another acquisition" and explaining the reasons why: including the facts that BEA was a leader and pioneer in the middleware area, because it offered a complementary product set/architecture, and because of its strength in key markets, especially China.

But here's the key take-away: All BEA products will continue to be supported under the same timelines previously published by BEA prior to its acquisition, and there will be no forced migration policy. (This approach is quite similar to the well-known Apps Unlimited one, which according to Charles has resulted in a 96% renewal rate for PSFT apps, e.g.).

Charles also said that Oracle will be taking a "pragmatic" approach to product integration - in other words, "best-of-breed" will be the watchword going forward, as usual.

Thomas Kurian is still in the process of deep-diving, which I cannot relay in its entirety. But here are the points that I personally find the most interesting:
- Some products are "Strategic" (immediate integration into Fusion MW stack), some are "Continue & Converge" (some redesign necessary with gradual integration into stack; support for at least 9 years), and some are in "Maintenance" mode (those same products identified as such by BEA pre-acquisition; support for at least 4 years)
- WebLogic Server is now Oracle's strategic JEE container and will be integrated into Fusion Middleware stack immediately; OC4J dev to continue though. TopLink/JPA, Coherence, SCA, and other key technologies will be areas of "convergence" with WLS.
- Technical direction is to continue to modularize the AS under the OSGi model.
- JRockit is "critical" JVM technology for Oracle going forward, but Fusion Middleware will continue to support other JVMs
- (Added July 2): Tooling: JDeveloper will remain Oracle's strategic IDE, but the Eclipse-based Workshop will continue to be available (and it's now free, just as JDeveloper is); eventually Workshop will become part of the Oracle Eclipse Pack offering
- SOA: all components will continue to be hot-pluggable; combined platform offers tools, middleware, governance, and packaged components
- SOA: Oracle ESB and AquaLogic ESB to be converged into the new Oracle Service Bus
- BPM: Oracle to combine system-, human-, doc-, decision-centric BPM into single runtime under combined BPEL/BPMN metadata model
- Portal: WebCenter Framework and WebCenter Suite continue their key roles, Ensemble and Pathways to provide lightweight REST-based portlet assembly in those offerings; continued development of WebLogic Portal and WebLogic AquaLogic UI (now called WebCenter UI) but eventual integration with WebCenter portfolio
- Systems management: Enterprise Management Packs to be extended to BEA products; BEA Guardian will be integrated with Oracle Enterprise Manager
- SOA Governance: AquaLogic Enterprise Rep becomes Oracle's SOA governance repository; Oracle Service Registry will continue as the UDDI registry
- Support: No forced migrations; BEA products to be supported under pre-existing policies (before acquisition); existing Fusion Middleware support to be extended by 1 year

I will provide some interesting tidbits from Thomas' upcoming briefing with bloggers later this AM.

BTW: The first wave of BEA-related downloads and product info can now be found on OTN.

Update (11:51am) - I just want to add some choice quotes/points from Thomas during his call with bloggers:
- "BPM makes SOA declarative"; this is a big requirement from customers
- "When we don't have a product offering in a particular market, we try not to stretch the truth about that"/"We want to be clear about what we're solving, and what we're not solving" (in reference to question about SOA governance from Vance McCarthy)
- "Why do you need a single BPM runtime? Because every system process has human-oriented behavior, and every human process has system-oriented behavior"
- "Today, the notion of a grid that runs on someone else's server is called 'cloud computing' "
- "SOA and grid/cloud are very complementary"; it is much easier to deploy a stateless SOA (workload, services) onto a low-cost-hardware grid than otherwise
- Oracle is exploring the concept of a packaged product in the "SOA Grid" area, but that would be difficult


"continued development of WebLogic Portal and WebLogic UI but eventual integration with WebCenter portfolio" Did you mean to say "WebLogic Portal and *AquaLogic* UI?"

Posted by Chris Bucchere on June 30, 2008 at 07:13 PM PDT #

Hi Chris, I did - corrected.

Posted by Justin Kestelyn on June 30, 2008 at 07:19 PM PDT #

What ever happened to Weblogic Server 10.3 release? I cannot find the tech preview version on Oracle website.

Posted by Lloyd Fernandes on June 30, 2008 at 07:28 PM PDT #

Lloyd, Oracle no longer makes Technology Previews available on public Websites; I'm guessing you need to get this download from MetaLink (support site) now.

Posted by Justin Kestelyn on June 30, 2008 at 07:31 PM PDT #

Do I understand correctly that Oracle WebCenter Suite includes ALUI (new name - WebCenter Interaction) and is a "strategic solutions for developing Enterprise 2.0 enabled portals"?

Posted by Dmitry on June 30, 2008 at 07:33 PM PDT #

AquaLogic UI is in the "Continue and Converge" category, meaning that it will incrementally integrated into the Fusion Middleware stack (in this case, with WebCenter Suite).

Posted by Justin Kestelyn on June 30, 2008 at 07:42 PM PDT #

So what is the web center suite (besides the interaction part)? Or it is just another name for ALUI and related product?

Posted by Wei on June 30, 2008 at 09:30 PM PDT #

No, far from it:

Posted by Justin Kestelyn on June 30, 2008 at 09:38 PM PDT #

Hi Justin, I missed the webcast because it was midnight here. A few questions about ALUI and ALBPM. ALUI: Does continue and converge mean Oracle will continue developing ALUI suite and start to merge with WebCenter suite? Eventually it will be a part of Webcenter suite? ALBPM: Oracle will combine all BPM products into a unified IDE, and single runtime means a unified process engine/Enterprise Server/Container for all BPM products? Is that right? Am I correct? Thanks!

Posted by Terry Wang on July 01, 2008 at 01:42 AM PDT #

Hi, what about ALBPM, is Fuego continued?

Posted by Balz on July 01, 2008 at 07:52 AM PDT #

Wel , Any comments related to Tuxedo? Nadeer

Posted by Nadeer on July 01, 2008 at 08:12 AM PDT #

Terry, Nadeer, Balz: Best if I refer you to the Webcast replay (now available) and other product-by-product info: Note also that there is some great discussion in the "BEA Developers & Architects" group in Oracle Mix:

Posted by Justin Kestelyn on July 01, 2008 at 04:30 PM PDT #

Hi Justin, Any ideas about what's going to happen to Oracle Portal? It seams like enterprise portals will pretty much be covered by BEA's Portal and the rest will eventually go to WebCenter

Posted by Juan Becerra on July 02, 2008 at 01:21 AM PDT #

Hi Justin, on the Webcast, it was also announced, that the Liquid VM will be continued. Is anywhere some details informations available about the future plans of Liquid VM, how it will be continued aso. Cheers Dirk

Posted by Dirk Nachbar on July 02, 2008 at 11:44 AM PDT #

Juan, please see the SOD released by the Oracle Portal team:

Posted by Justin Kestelyn on July 02, 2008 at 05:03 PM PDT #

Just a comment back to Lloyd Fernandes who asked about WebLogic Server 10.3. It was impacted slightly by the acquisition but is now back on track for what looks like a summer release. Currently you can download the preview from dev2dev here: Officially we have to say within a half year as things can always change but internal schedules are tracking comfortably to this summer. Mike Lehmann Director of Product Management Java Platform Group

Posted by Mike Lehmann on July 05, 2008 at 06:00 PM PDT #

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