Monday, October 13, 2008

OOW 2008 Theme - Complete, Open, Integrated

The main theme of the OOW 2008 event was Complete, Open, Integrated. Although the buzz words sound great, one had to dig a little deeper to get Oracle's vision around this key theme.
My understanding is as follows:
Complete - Oracle now has 3000 applications in its inventory. The vision of complete is to have one vendor that provides best-of-breed functionality, but more importantly controls the components within those acquired applications that bring unique value. This enables the ability to leverage functionality across Oracle's entire suite of products. This direction, in the form of pre-built integration points (hooks), is apparent in the new tool sets and new functionality within existing product sets that are becoming available.

Open - The usual connotation of open implying "Open Source" (ex: Apache, Python, etc.) does not apply to Oracle's context of "Open". In The Oracle context each application or product suite has a well defined set of interaction points, which can be invoked using an open standard (ex: SOAP, WSDL, UDDI, etc.) The applications are not built using open source tools, but the integration mechansisms are standardized using open source standards. Oracle is also providing hooks for its development environments (IDE) to use open development tools such as Eclipse. In essesnce Oracle has its own definition for "Open".

Integrated - This is a necessity for Oracle. The vision here is that organizations have a complex application foot-print, for several good reasons. Oracle's approach is to not necessarily replace applications, but provide a product to tie applications together in a standards-based approach. This is essentially the AIA (Application Integration Architecture) message from OOW 2007, which has been repurposed as part of a larger theme.

Bottom Line: The Complete and Open message is a consequence of the large number of acquistions. The Integrated message is a necessity. There is a dichotomy in the Open and Integrated message. On the one hand Oracle is pushing the "Open and Standards based" message to encourage partners to build niche solutions. But with the "Integrated" message Oracle is telegraphing its intent to provide out-of-the-box integration, and as Charles Phillips puts it "Eliminate the need for consultants to integrate your applications".

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