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Look back at Oracle Open World 2008

Oracle Open World has come and gone and once again it overflowed San Francisco’s Moscone Center with the usual results: A barrage of announcements of products and initiatives mixed with some showmanship and a bit of proud posturing. Let’s look at a few key takeaways.

Oracle has improved its competitive position in recent years with purchases of large competitors. While’s attention has rightly focused on the bold move to buy middleware specialist BEA, it was the purchase of PeopleSoft (along with J.D. Edwards) and Siebel that boosted Oracle from the big time to the really big time. The vast numbers of users of those packaged applications need service-oriented integration just as much as BEA customers working in less of a packaged purview.

As part of our Oracle Open World coverage, Rich Seeley spoke with a noted system integrator about the state-of-the-art of Oracle application integration. What we find is a tale of two cities, as Oracle touts the out-of-the-box nature of its integration, while the integration specialist points out that there is an art to this, and a bit of value-add custom integration may have its place. Perhaps the claim of ‘out-of-the-box’ integration will adhere one day. So far – whether it is a firewall, a data warehouse, or an integration hub – out-of-the-box is seldom as simple as it is said to be. Read “Oracle Application Integration Architecture targets telcos.”

A lot of SOA activity of late seems to revolve around business processes. We like to think of these business processes as the real work of SOA. At Oracle Open World, we uncovered a dandy example of business processes in action, in the form of a BPEL engine utilized by Verizon Wireless to streamline fraud detection. The BPEL engine looks at streams of data to find patterns of fraud. People still need to work with the engine to assure no one is being defrauded – but this implementation proves to be more automated than a previous more-Java-centric system. For more, read “Verizon uses BPEL app to cut down on code, check for fraud, and go green.” Learn what a top CTO is doing to streamline key business processes.

Oracle kept pushing Grid computing long after others toned it down. But the company looks to be prominent in Cloud computing which seems to be Grid’s younger – but bigger – brother. Reporting on Oracle Open World, SearchSOA’s Seeley says the company plans to make its Fusion middleware available via the Amazon Cloud. There were added details as well on Oracle’s BEA roadmap. Read “Oracle to put Fusion middleware in Amazon Compute Cloud”. 

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