A couple of things I forgot to mention about yesterdays OpenWorld.
First I attended a presentation on SOA Suite and Virtualization which explained how Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder (OVAB) can be used to accelerate the deployment of an Enterprise Deployment Guide (EDG) compliant SOA Suite infrastructure. OVAB provides the ability to introspect a deployed software component such as WebLogic Server, SOA Suite or other components and extract the configuration and package it up for rapid deployment into an Oracle Virtual Machine. OVAB allows multiple machines to be configured and connections made between the machines and outside resources such as databases. That by itself is pretty cool and has been available for a while in OVAB. What is new is that Oracle has done this for an EDG compliant installations and made it available as an OVAB assembly for customers to use, significantly accelerating the deployment of an EDG deployment. A real help for customers standing up EDG environments, particularly in test, dev and QA environments.
The other thing I forgot to mention was the most memorable demo I saw at OpenWorld. This was done by my co-author Matt Wright who was showcasing the products of his company Rubicon Red. They showed a really cool application called OneSpot which puts all the information about a single users business processes in one spot! Apparently a customer suggested the name. It allows business flows to be defined that map onto events. As events occur the status of the business flow is updated to reflect the change. The interface is strongly reminiscent of social media sites and provides a graphical view of business flows. So how does this differ from BPEL and BPM process flows? The OneSpot process flow is more like a BAM process flow, it is based on events arriving from multiple sources, and is focused on the clients view of the process, not the actual business process. This is important because it allows an end user to get a view of where his current business flow is and what actions, if any, are required of him. This by itself is great, but better still is that OneSpot has a real time updating view of events that have occurred (BAM style no need to refresh the browser). This means that as new events occur the end user can see them and jump to the business flow or take other appropriate actions. Under the covers OneSpot makes use of Oracle Human Workflow to provide a forms interface, but this is not the HWF GUI you know! The HWF GUI screens are much prettier and have more of a social media feel about them due to their use of images and pulling in relevant related information. If you are at OOW I strongly recommend you visit Matt or John at the Rubicon Red stand and ask, no demand a demo of OneSpot!