One of the most common sets of questions I get from partners and customers are things like "How do I set up Load Balancing with your products?" or "How do link my security repository to your products?". People are surprised by my response by linking to the Oracle WebLogic and Oracle Database documentation.
This emphasizes the confusion over the role of the infrastructure versus the application. Let me explain. The Oracle Utilities products are applications housed in a container such as Oracle WebLogic and store their data in the database, namely Oracle Database. These are infrastructure and Oracle Utilities products should not be confused with them as it is an application using these services. Infrastructure provides a series of services that interface to the operating system and provide services to the application housed with them. There is a role for infrastructure and a role for applications housed in infrastructure.
These infrastructure services provide the interface into a lot of capabilities that the applications. Some of the capabilities provided are:
Remember the role of the application is to provide functionality for the business, the role for the infrastructure around the application is to support the application and its interfaces to the various capabilities provided by that infrastructure.
It is not the responsibility of the product to take over the role filled by the infrastructure. A simple example I use with people is that you don't expect MSPaint to have the capability to change your Windows Password. Windows itself provides that capability and MSPaint provides user with the capability to compose and manipulate graphics.
If you want to remind yourself, always remember that the application is housed in a container, in the case of Oracle Utilities products that container is Oracle WebLogic. To get into that container to the application, you must go through that container.
My recommendation to partners and customers is to learn as much as you can about the capabilities of the infrastructure before learning about the capabilities of the application to avoid confusion.
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