Lots of interest these days on WebCenter 11g
By vince.casarez on Jul 09, 2009
Back from the dual launch events in both DC and London, we're starting to hear some extremely interesting reviews around WebCenter. You should check out Forrester's site for a new overview of WebCenter 11g. It's quite good and focuses in on some key areas of the entire product stack.
In addition, Craig Roth also had some very perceptive comments around how we integrate directly with other products. Coexistence with Sharepoint is a requirement these days, however, we also can help inoculate customers from this Sharepoint virus with a more scalable, more dynamic, more customizable, easier to use solution with WebCenter Spaces.
A key element of the WebCenter Spaces architecture makes it unique to what others are providing. At the heart, it provides a rich model of social computing services to help make teams and departments collectively more intelligent. This is done through a set of common Web 2.0 technologies that are tied into enterprise actions and user tasks. The goal is to make it simple for users to project what they know to everyone else when they need it. For developers and ISVs, this means that they can easily deliver templates to provide new value or embed Spaces directly into their application, portal, or solution and skin it to make it look exactly right. I've included an architecture diagram to give some internal details of the foundation of WebCenter Spaces.
I'll highlight a couple of key areas and then spend some more time next posting describing other elements.
On the left, we've focused on how different types of users can access this information: Business Users can leverage the Spaces application in a browser with any custom look and feel that is required. Business Analysts can leverage Composer to create new pages, create templates based on information coming out of the Business Dictionary. Developers can leverage JDeveloper to create any custom look and customize any part of the environment directly. These customizations are stored as layers on top of the base application and then housed in Oracle's Metadata Services (MDS). MDS is a powerful engine that manages, shreds, assembles, and compiles JSF pages on the fly to deliver complete extensibility.
On the right, Oracle WebCenter Analytics can be used to determine overall traffic of the site, pages, and services. Oracle Enterprise Manager or alternatively any Java Console can be used to manage the entire deployment, the services, the connections, and customizations. It provides a single place to manage the entire environment. No other product provides this type of integrated management console that includes all the Social Computing Services included with WebCenter Spaces.
In the middle, from the bottom up. The Metadata Services (MDS) engine can store customizations on the file system (for fast deployment options) and in any database. We're in the process of certifying other non-Oracle databases now. I'll post a more detailed description of MDS a bit later.
Next, Oracle has made sure that the framework is based on a core JSF engine that has a set of rich, declarative components to speed development. Importantly, in this layer, there is a concept we call Task Flows. These are extremely powerful and I encourage you to learn more.
In the middle, the Resource Catalog or Business Dictionary is key to allow business users or any user to gain a role based view of resources available to them. This then delivers all the rich Social Computing Services that are part of Oracle WebCenter. All of these services can be plugged in to any portal via JSR-301 and we've orchestrated all of them to work together inside of WebCenter Spaces. These services have a switching architecture to make sure it works with non-Oracle products as well as the out of the box services included with WebCenter.
On the top, there are a whole set of unique services that leverage core identity stores and bring in enterprise roles within the environment.
The important part to remember is that the entire stack of technology is available individually to be used by developers and that the entire collection can be customized and embedded in any solution directly. This is exactly what Oracle Fusion Applications developers are building out today.
Now, you have a bit more detail on why there is so much interest around WebCenter 11g!