Fusion Middleware Roadmap
By Antony Reynolds on Jul 01, 2008
I spent last week in Redwood Shores listening to product development outline their plans and directions for Fusion Middleware in the light of the BEA acquisition. Today we made those plans public through a webcast hosted by Charles Phillips and Thomas Kurian.
I think some of the former BEA folks were a little surprised to see WebLogic Server chosen as the Oracle JEE platform over OC4J, but it makes a lot of sense – which product has the larger deployed base, which has the greater developer mindshare, which did we just spend billions of dollars acquiring. I was delighted that Thomas and Steve Harris (our VP for Java products) were able to make such a clear decision so early on, as it gives the market a great deal of clarity.
Similarly I think the decision to promote the AquaLogic Server Bus into the Oracle SOA Suite as the preferred ESB is again the right decision. Personally this is causing me a lot of problems because I am in the midst of writing a book about the SOA Suite and now I have to revise it to use the Oracle Service Bus (nee ALSB) rather than the old Oracle ESB :-( But otherwise it is a good thing.
Over the last few months as I have looked into the BEA product set I have been surprised how complementary much of the technology actually is. For example one area where Oracle has been weak in product is around the governance space. This area will receive a big boost from the Oracle Enterprise Repository.
The area of Business Process Management is an interesting one, because in the past we have pushed BPEL – which is really a service orchestration engine – as a BPM tool. The addition of BPEL to ALBPM in the BPM Suite will strengthen the ALBPM story and at the same time continue to allow BPEL to be used as a service orchestration engine in the SOA Suite. In the longer term the plan to converge the two products into a single run time will be worth watching.
I think the most surprising area to me was in the area of transaction processing. Certainly there are strong synergies between JRockit Real Time and Coherence – boosted by the WebLogic Application Grid offering. But the surprising bit was the emphasis that Thomas Kurian made on Tuxedo. It seems as though the Tuxedo guys are being rehabilitated after years in the wilderness at BEA since the WebLogic acquisition. I was amazed at the increase in connectivity and functionality that has occurred in Tux since I last came into contact with it some ten years ago.
So all told, I am happy about the stated product directions. They all seem to drive towards Thomas’ goal of a single, complete and integrated middleware suite. The next couple of years may be a bit bumpy as we smooth out the differences between the two product sets, but even today I think we have a cracking offering that is a world beater – not that I am biased of course!