Living on the Cutting Edge

There are known knowns.  There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

~ US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld could have been talking about technology certifications.  As you can infer from previous postings, we're always working with new technologies.  One of the biggest challenges is deciding when to release a given certification to you.

This is where Early Adopter Programs come in. 

We sometimes run Early Adopter Programs depending on the maturity of a product, implementation risk and complexity, and how well we understand how customers really plan to use a given module.  Our Early Adopter Program generally work like this:
  1. The Applications Technology Integration team produces integration patches and documentation for a particular configuration.
  2. We invite Oracle account teams and Oracle Consultants to nominate highly technically-skilled customers who are interested in getting early access to these configurations.
  3. Selected customers get a copy of the patches and documentation, and try it in testbed environments.
  4. We collect feedback, bug reports, enhancement requests, and produce new incrementally improved versions for our early adopters to try.
  5. When everything works as expected, we permit those customers to roll those configurations into production.
  6. When we have sufficient Early Adopter Program participant feedback to assure us that configuration is ready for prime-time, we release it into General Availability, and end the Early Adopter Program.
Managing these programs is my main responsibility within our group.

In the last year, we've run successful Early Adopter Programs for Oracle Application Server 10g, 9iR2 Database with Real Applications Clusters, and the equivalent for the 10gR2 Database.  The Oracle Application Server 10g Early Adopter Program was unusual in its scope, with over 260 registered customers.  I'll cover those experiences in a series of future posts.

I'm currently managing active Early Adopter Programs for replacing JInitiator with the native Sun J2SE plug-in, with separate Early Adopter Programs for Windows and Linux desktops.  If you're interested in participating in either of these programs, by the way, drop me a line.  We're actively seeking new customers for these two programs today, given that Release 12 will dispense with JInitiator entirely in favor of the native Sun J2SE plug-in.  The more experience we can glean today with Release 11i, the smoother the upgrade to Release 12 will be.


Comments:

Thanks for managing these very important and successful programs.

Posted by Cori Peele on April 14, 2006 at 09:03 AM PDT #

Great to see you are working on removing the JInitiator. We are an ASP and have a client desktop environment with a whole variety of Java based applications. one of our bug bears has been the need to have 5 different versions of the Sun JDK installed on every PC.
We'd love to have a go at migrating away from Jinitiator and start using the Sun JDK 5.0.

Also, do you have any information on Release 12 that youc an share with us? For example, what is the technology stack going to look like? I have heard all sorts of rumours but there is no information available. My management is already planning a Release 12 upgrade for Q4 - do they know something I don't?

Paul

Posted by Paul Murgatroyd on April 17, 2006 at 06:58 PM PDT #

Paul,

This is exactly the situation that we're interested in addressing through our native Sun J2SE configuration. I'll follow up with you in a private email to discuss how your firm can participate in our Early Adopter Program.

I planned to profile the native J2SE Early Adopter Program in more detail, so this will be a good opportunity for me to get started on that.

As for Release 12, I plan a series of posts on what's coming for the technology stack. As for confirming dates, I think everyone is being cautious at this point. I will confirm the latest public estimates and post them here... if possible.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 18, 2006 at 07:25 AM PDT #

Can you describe what the "General Availability" status means to Oracle customers?

Posted by Thanh Ngu on June 23, 2006 at 08:39 AM PDT #

Certainly."General Availability" means that the software product -- or a particular architectural configuration -- is released for use by all customers and supported for production deployments in all geographic regions with Severity 1, 24x7 support.   Once released, it's available from one or more of the usual channels, including the Oracle Store, the Oracle Technology Network, Metalink, and others.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on June 26, 2006 at 01:38 AM PDT #

Bhushan,Our Early Adopter Programs are listed here on this site, and customer nomination procedures for each program are detailed in the respective articles.The only active program running right now is for replacing JInitiator with the Sun plug-in for Windows desktops.  I am still accepting nominations for the program now.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on October 17, 2006 at 05:51 AM PDT #

How does a consultant go about finding
if there is an Early Adopter program
and sign up an interested customer ?

Posted by Bhushan Kodibagkar on October 17, 2006 at 07:47 AM PDT #

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