After the commentary, you will find a collection of links to different resources that provide additional information on Oracle's recent webcast regarding the BEA acquisition and Oracle's Enterprise 2.0 effort.
On Tuesday (7/1/08), Oracle provided an in-depth overview that provided insight regarding alignment, integration, and convergence of BEA and Oracle products into a common middleware solution. While I was mostly interested in the information provided on collaboration and social computing, I found some of the over-arching messages very important since that context established the lens through which you should judge what Oracle is offering to the market (e.g., Enterprise 2.0).
- First, I thought Thomas Kurian did an outstanding job of presenting the information in a manner that held my attention throughout the webcast. It was very detailed but not to the extent where you were lost overall.
- It was clear from the outset of the webcast that the notion of platform consistency is the foundation for everything Oracle is doing. In fact, "foundation" was perhaps a key sense conveyed throughout the session.
- Investment protection was another key take-away for those listening to the webcast. There was no rip-and-replace discussion.
- Unification and convergence were other words used frequently.
- Other key words that were repeated quite often: "complete", "pre-integrated", "standards-based", and "hot-pluggable". A paraphrased quote that might be revealing to keep in mind: "Install together, upgrade together, deploy together"
- Oracle views E2.0 as communication medium that is multi-channel - you can run composite UI on mobile, browser, PDA or other styles of devices - by composite UI Oracle sees a convergence of application styles:
- when building rich media web site or building transactional application or building traditional portal or when building social computing site (portal with embedded communities) you had to pick different framework and tool set
- key value proposition of Oracle is to leverage a single programming model to develop all four application styles (i.e., rich media style or traditional transactional application style or traditional enterprise portal style or a social computing style (e.g., communities)
- Oracle's E2.0 plan is to unify the programming model for all of these patterns
- Oracle also views Enterprise 2.0 as a transformation in the way that people share information. Consider traditional scenarios: a business person runs a BI report (sales report), they want to share the report, today they use e-mail which leads to version problems, data inconsistency, search challenges etc. But Now, with Oracle's E2.0 foundation, that business person puts the document into the ECM system where it becomes secure, managed and searchable - they can make the report available within a workspace (that leverages the ECM system) and then RSS feeds can help get the information to subscribers. People can then interact around the document (chat, discussion forums, presence, VoIP) and when the interaction is complete, the document can be tagged/bookmarked where a tag cloud can help people find the information.
- For Oracle, the notion of "portal" is evolving (1) continued integration of web publishing, transactional applications and community and (2) evolving into integration of forums, wikis, blogs, rss, communities - portals are becoming a platform for richer communication
- Oracle is evolving its middleware to embrace E2.0 and "NextGen Portal" (think "Portal 2.0".
- portals abstract all systems accessing through standard interface (implemented via JSR168, Web Service Remoting like WSRP or REST/HTTP)
- portals have basic content management and search
- portals provide the assembly and development environment
- portals expose data binding into all types of standard interfaces
- Everything goes though the portal layer.
- BEA AquaLogic User Interaction satisfied a more social style of portal where communities evolved. That will converge with WebCenter Suite. Customers will leverage WebCenter (e.g., content management, search, E2.0, integration with packaged applications, and BI). Pathways has a bright future. Oracle sees it as integral to user interaction with portal as it examines people's interaction patterns and will be able to personalize what people see based on how those interaction patterns are correlated to other activities interaction and perhaps sets the ground for Oracle's network analysis of social patterns.
- Enterprise 2.0 slides:
Source: screen capture of Oracle webcast
Based on this webcast, I would categorize what Oracle is doing as "Portal 2.0" rather than "Enterprise 2.0". If you look back on some of the key points made during the webcast:
- An argument Oracle makes implicitly: what Oracle is doing represents a very robust, technically engineered middleware that is modular and standards-based as well as open - you can choose Oracle middleware alongside different products from other vendors ... Oracle and non-Oracle app servers, databases, etc.
- The argument continues but is more subtle on these points: This represents a single integrated toolset - you do not need to pick different tools and switch back-and-forth all the time - productivity win - yes we support multiple tools, multiple products, etc - but we don't think you need to do that - you are better off with a single, unified environment.
- So when you talk about E2.0 - it's about an Oracle stack and one that follows a portal and MVC (model view controller) interaction style. Note: in the block architectural diagram below, there is no Enterprise 2.0 component
Source: screen capture of Oracle webcast
Some of the examples cited during the webcast are more closely related to concepts put forth when the industry discussed the notion of "contextual collaboration" (circa 1999 through today - it is still a very relevant concept). The embedding of the collaborative services within the context of an application is not new. There are certain functional activities related to communication, information sharing and collaboration that can be correlated to the processing of certain tasks and process activities. That type of "directed" interaction is not really the foundation for E2.0 which is more about the use of social software for emergent collaboration.
What You Should Expect
Organizations can expect Oracle to push hard on the concept of a single interaction platform built for the enterprise that spans just not social computing but all the application patterns it sees (system, human, document, decision). Oracle will pitch convergence of
- Document management, content publishing, collaborative content creation, content approval, security/audit/compliance, and information lifecycle management
Internet/Intranet Web Presence
- Website creation, portlet creation/orchestration, single sign-on, multi-channel delivery (mobile etc), secure search
- Teams and individual expertise
- Project productivity
- Team collaboration
- Web 2.0 "stuff"
- Desktop integration
- SOA processes
- Integrated development
- Component assembly/orchestration
- Process portals
- Custom and packaged enterprise applications
And roll all of this into an "Oracle Enterprise 2.0" umbrella.
Some key points came to mind immediately after viewing:
- Please do not confuse how Oracle defines the term Enterprise 2.0 with how the rest of the industry is using Enterprise 2.0. If you want to call this Portal 2.0 that might fit better.
- I think Oracle is close to getting it right but really needs to understand the free-form and emergence aspects of E2.0 - right now, this comes across as a solution that is not really aligned with the cultural dynamics around E2.0.
- There also needs to be a better job done at the ecosystem around the platform. Yes, this was about Oracle and BEA - but some of the messages here seemed to imply that "third party vendors need not apply" (or if you do so, do it at your own risk because we view you as tactical) - if you are a best-of-breed vendor specializing in the E2.0 space, I'm not sure I saw the long-term business model laid out during this webcast.
- I saw nothing to convince me this is relevant to the external social media efforts of large organizations. The social networking insight was also weak - although again, this was an Oracle/BEA alignment so I did not expect it to be addressed in that context. There were some hints re: Pathways.
Overall, the Oracle position revealed so far leads me to believe that this webcast reflects a message that is more about an Oracle brand and marketing program that leverages the Enterprise 2.0 meme than a deep understanding of the tooling and organizational dynamics associated with E2.0:
- It is a very centralized and portal-centric view - missing was much information on how Oracle's version of Enterprise 2.0 aligns with some of the information it has shared on its "Beehive" collaboration project. In fact, there was actually little insight as to how Oracle will resolve the overlap in its portfolio related to blogs and wikis, or where Oracle Collaboration Suite fits (or does not).
- Also, I did not hear Oracle talk about the concept of "emergence" or some of the other key concepts discussed within the E2.0 community. Yes, the platform approach discussed by Oracle does allow for "patterns and structure inherent in people's interactions become visible" and for “contributions and interactions are globally visible and persistent over time" but the context was always about more structured and directed interactions. So I am not convinced Oracle (based on what information has been shared so far) fully comprehends the social dynamics of what E2.0 is all about.
- That said, Oracle's jump into the E2.0 competitive landscape will clearly position it against Microsoft and IBM. In some ways, the application integration offers Oracle a means to competitively differentiate itself from other platform vendors (IBM, Microsoft).
- Oracle is over-reaching however when it tries to jam so much into an E2.0 message (document capture and imaging?!) that smaller vendors such as Jive might be able to attract Oracle customers by touting its agility and ability to integrate with external consumer sites and deploy external-facing solutions for social computing.
This confusion over directed vs. volunteered participation reminds me of an earlier post on social software which I strongly recommend people read through again (or for the first time).
BEA Welcome and Oracle's Middleware Strategy Briefing
The BEA Welcome and Middleware Strategy Briefing is now available on demand. Learn more about Oracle Fusion Middleware and the important role BEA's products will play.
Recorded Tuesday, July 1, 2008
9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 noon ET
Click here to view the webcast via RealPlayer.
Watch Oracle executives Charles Phillips, President, and Thomas Kurian, Senior Vice President, give an informative briefing on how the addition of BEA products to Oracle Fusion Middleware creates a best-in-class combination, advances a common vision, and reinforces Oracle's middleware strategy.
Enterprise 2.0: User Interaction & Portals
Oracle delivers the industry's only complete, open, and manageable portfolio of user interaction and portal products including Oracle WebCenter Suite (which includes WebCenter Interaction, formerly BEA AquaLogic User Interaction), Oracle WebCenter Services, Oracle WebLogic Portal, and Oracle Portal.
Oracle WebCenter Suite and Oracle WebCenter Services are Oracle's strategic solutions for developing Enterprise 2.0 enabled portals, composite, and web applications. Oracle WebCenter Suite is a comprehensive collection of user interaction components that can be used to create out-of-the-box enterprise portals and highly customized web-based applications. Oracle WebCenter Services enriches any standards-based Web interface with advanced Enterprise 2.0 user interaction services for community based interactions, web analytics, content management, and social networking.
Oracle plans to continue to develop and support Oracle WebLogic Portal and Oracle Portal, and expects to converge these products with Oracle's strategic solutions over time. Existing deployments of these products will benefit from complementary products such as Oracle WebCenter Services and Oracle Content Management.
Learn more about the role of Oracle WebCenter Suite and Oracle WebCenter Services in Oracle's middleware strategy.
Oracle WebCenter Suite
Oracle WebCenter Suite is the industry's only complete, open, and manageable user interaction and portal platform that integrates Enterprise 2.0 capabilities into ad hoc and structured business processes, as well as custom and packaged enterprise applications. The suite includes components of Oracle WebCenter and Oracle WebCenter Interaction (formerly BEA AquaLogic User Interaction) and allows organizations to securely deliver Enterprise 2.0 services like wikis, discussion forums and RSS feeds through both out-of-the-box and customized portals. Oracle WebCenter Suite allows enterprises to enhance information worker productivity through a highly scalable, centrally managed platform that uses open standards to integrate with existing IT systems.
- Complete—Comprehensive development framework and a rich set of Enterprise 2.0 services supports the creation of flexible and extensible portals and composite applications that meet the full range of business requirements
- Open—Support for industry standards and hot-pluggable compatibility with existing information systems extends the value of existing IT resources and skill sets and provides an open alternative to proprietary architectures
- Manageable—Centrally managed architecture seamlessly scales from workgroup to enterprise-wide deployment and is integrated with best in class web analytics and system management tools
Oracle WebCenter Services provides standards-based components that enrich existing portals and Web sites with the industry's most complete and open set of Enterprise 2.0 capabilities. These Enterprise 2.0 services are also available as part of Oracle WebCenter Suite and include community based interactions, online awareness and communications, content management, web analytics, and social networking. Oracle WebCenter Services enable organizations to use their current portals and web sites to empower their end users with Enterprises 2.0 services that work with their existing information systems.
Bring Enterprise 2.0 to your existing portals—Provides componentized services such as wikis, blogs, discussions, RSS feeds, virtual content repository, web usage analytics, and contextual enterprise search
Open Standards based—Support standards including JSR-168, JSR-170, WSRP, AJAX, REST, RSS and SIP
Minimize disruption and risk—Integrated and secure services work with each other and with your existing IT systems
Enterprise 2.0 Bootcamp - Oracle Wiki
July 28, 2008 | Oracle Conference Center, Redwood Shores, Calif.
Web 2.0 technologies and techniques like wikis, blogs, tagging, social networks and mashups are now enterprise-strength and being used by organizations to collaboratively work smarter. Leading companies are using these new technologies to grow revenues, spur innovation, and lower costs, but the overall impact on the organization needs to be well understood before embarking on the Enterprise 2.0 journey
Enterprise 2.0 Bootcamp is a free, interactive, 1-Day workshop for Oracle customers, partners, and users (and anyone else who wants to show up!) designed to educate attendees about the impact of Enterprise 2.0 on business today, in a highly participatory (unconference) format.
Have Enterprise 2.0 insight that you want to share? Come prepared to sign-up and lead an unconference session!
Topics can include:
- PR, Legal, Security, and Privacy
- Cultural Change
- Metrics and Measurement/ROI
- Internal Collaboration
- Outbound Marketing
- And more…
Web 2.0 Resource Library - Oracle Wiki
Make this wiki more valuable by adding your Web 2.0 insights, experiences and findings!
*Get started by clicking on the "Join This Wiki" button to set-up your profile.
Welcome to the Web 2.0 Resource Library. The intent of this wiki page is to give you direct access to a variety of useful information on the growing topic of Web 2.0…especially related to the enterprise.
To begin, we have included links to iSeminars, demonstrations, white papers and much more.