Oracle has a habit of choosing a set of principles and standards for their product line, when a new direction is chosen.
With the move towards the cloud, Oracle is on the crossroad to determine how to build their cloud, and is busy (re)defining their principles. Insight in these principles gives an understanding of what we as partners and customers can expect from the Oracle cloud. First an overview of principles related to the on-premise technology stack for Fusion Middleware is provided, then the principles guiding the way towards the new Oracle cloud are investigated.
The on-premise world - Complete, Open and Integrated
Ten years ago Oracle chose to expand their their footprint from the Database, Oracle Forms and Oracle eBS towards a comprehensive stack which encompassed a complete set of ERP functionality to conquer SAP. This resulted in acquiring a humongous stack of ERP related functionality, to name few – Siebel, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Retek. Shortly after acquiring these products Oracle realised that all these products were based on a different technologies and that communication between these applications was a huge challenge. The solution to this challenge was that the stack and it’s functionality needed to be fully standardized in the following areas:
For new functionality to be created one computing language – Java, had to be introduced
All communication between any component in the landscape had to be done on XML and Web Services
Reuse of existing components
With these principles in mind the giant Oracle Fusion stack, that now is the basis of the current SaaS cloud offering, was built.
Cloud, cloud, cloud
It is not so long ago (only 2009) that Larry was still bashing the cloud as being water vapour. "All it is, is a computer attached to a network…”
. Today this has changed now dramatically, to the extent that Cloud is the only thing that counts for Oracle, despite the fact that a most of the Oracle customers are still based on-premise with their applications.
But now that Oracle is moving towards the cloud a couple of new principles need to be added to the stack and the way the products are delivered:
Every product delivers it’s functionality as API’s
Every SaaS/PaaS product is delivering in an accelerated pace functionality as API’s. The Oracle Cloud is moving towards REST and JSON, as one of the chief product manager of Oracle pointed out. One key component in the PaaS, to be delivered next year, is API management, where design and the run time aspect of all API’s are measured.
The internal systems of the (PaaS and IaaS) products are moving towards a microservices based environment, which in turn enables the next principle.
Short delivery cycles are used to deliver new functionality on short notice to the market. Separate our different team to handle design, development, deploy and maintenance of the separate microservices.
Measuring the way the cloud is used
This is about measuring the run-time aspect but also the design-time aspect. The run-time aspect is measured to understand the impact of a product change for the current existing live customer implementations.
Another aspect is the design-time measurements. A good example is Oracle Integration Cloud Services (ICS). When designing mappings in ICS between two applications, a recommendation engine provides a possible mapping structures based upon the way other designers have made their mappings for the integration artefacts.
Only one version of the product is supported. This is opposed to the way the on-premise products are supported. For the on-premise products multiple versions of a product are supported, since clients run all sorts of product versions, are a not very eager to follow the latest product versions.
In the move towards the Cloud for Oracle new principles are brought in. These principles have impact on design (Microservices, API’s), the way the teams are delivering (Agile) and the way the customers are serviced (Agile, Measuring, One version)