Oracle is moving forward at lightspeed. In order to fullfill their mission of being the largest (and best) in the market, they’ve created a couple of blueprints some years ago and are filling in the blanks. Firstly on the functional side, a blueprint aimed at competing SAP. On the other hand a blueprint around Technology, all there to support the functional side. Oracle’s marketing strategy has now changed to ‘Hardware and Software, Engineered to work together’, so it’s not only about software but the power of the combination of hardware and software, optimized to the iron core to be able to run high end applications. Oracle wants to be in control in what they deliver to the market. Especially in high demanding environments, Oracle does not want to be dependant on external hardware providers. That’s why Oracle has brought Exadata (aimed at the Database market) a couple of years ago and are now launching Exalogic, aiming at the application platform or middleware market, and nicknamed the ‘private elastic cloud machine’. The basis of Exalogic is Sun hardware and carved into the raw iron is Oracle VM and JRockit. The hardware is fine-tuned for the middleware, and therefore is able to deliver high volume througput between the Virtual Machines. Stability is brought in by putting Oracle Coherence (see blog for details) as a major part of the stack, it provides replication of data between the VM environment. So if either of these environments falls over, another one is able to pick up where the other one left. That being said, how easy will clients start adopting this new environment? It certainly provides the power and stability clients are looking for, however it is aimed at the future application platform stack and it requires significant investment. The question that arises and requires a good answer is how the current application landscape can be ported towards this new machine. Going back to the software part, how well is Oracle doing in this area. Again they are working at lightspeed to bring necessary functionality within Fusion Applications. Oracle Fusion Middleware patch sets are nowadays used to deliver stunning new functionality like with Oracle BPM which is based upon the new BPMN20 standard [see blog for details] after supplying a patch set. In talks with Products management is also becomes clear for them that once in a while you’ve got stand still for a moment before moving forward again. So happily the next Fusion Middleware patch set is aimed at improving stability and performance. I hope this patch set will be a basis, an island of stability just like the old database versions 7.3.4 or and, on which our projects can land before moving forward to newer versions. Hardware and software, Oracle wants to be in control in both areas. I hope Oracle will create islands os stability to help us leapfrog to the future. Léon Smiers, Oracle Solution Architect, Oracle ACE Arjan Kramer is Oracle Solution Architect and leads a competence cluster of Oracle Technology professionals