Yesterday, on the Friday before Oracle OpenWorld, JavaOne and Oracle Develop, we were invited to join the SOA and E2.0 Partner Council meetings at Oracle headquarters. Colleague Edwin Biemond went to the SOA meeting, Douwe Pieter van den Bos and I joined the session around the Enterprise 2.0 products.
The E2.0 offering comprises the Content Management and WebCenter products. Both product lines just had their 11g release and product management showed real interest in the first implementation feedback. The limited experience mostly from the US partners is positive, especially on the WebLogic based architecture.
Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
Michelle Huff director of product management for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) shared some preliminary priorities for the next releases (of course after showing us the Oracle safe harbor statement). Some personal highlights from the long list of wishes and needs:
- Content as infrastructure
An important development is making content part of the total architecture. ECM will be opened up for embedding, providing more documented ADF components and APIs, more standard integrations and support for more industry standards. BPM will be integrated to optionally replace the proprietary workflow and more ECM components will be available in BPM. BPM Suite 11g in its place includes a limited license of UCM to enable “Social BPM”, adding collaboration to BPM for managing unstructured business processes.
- Rich user experience
A lot of improvements can be expected in the user experience. The user interface will get a full redesign using ADF. Desktop integration will focus on productivity enhancing features and there’s a wish for OpenOffice integration.
- Web Content Management
An integration with Real Time Decisions from the BI offering will bring more options for targeted marketing. Siebel integration will improve campaign management. Reducing the effort for managing large websites, i.e. maintaining multilingual sites and managing translations, is another priority.
The strategy and product roadmap for WebCenter was shared by Sachin Agarwal, Director of Product Management for WebCenter. The WebCenter improvements for the near future are targeted at 3 main areas:
- Internet and extranet, here the focus is on useability;
- Intranet and enterprise portals, here integration and collaboration are the main concerns;
- Composite applications that will be used in either of the previous 2.
The list of new features is substantial. My personal highlights are:
- WebCenter Intelligent Collaboration helps to connect people within large organizations that have overlapping interests by mining the usage of content. After connecting these knowledge workers, it will act as a broker for sharing important information. Additionally, the activity streams of your contacts is used for scoring of search results.
- WebCenter Portal is a new portal product that will eventually replace all other portal solutions from Oracle. WebCenter Portal combines the strong features of the previous portals to address all functional needs. A tool to support migration from Oracle Portal to WebCenter Portal is already available from Oracle Consulting and selected Oracle partners. Other accelerators should become available at a later date. Whitehorses has a lot of experience with Oracle Portal and should be able to help in these migrations.
The Partner Council meeting lasted the whole day and was concluded with a diner in Oracle’s Executive Diner Room together with the visitors to the SOA Partner Council.
The Partner Council meeting is a strategic discussion forum for partners on product and solution development. During this meeting, some 20 executives from 12 selected partners were invited to give feedback and listen to presentations from Oracle product and alliance management. Besides two companies from the Netherlands, there representatives from the US, Mexico, Brazil, Norway and India. It is great to be invited and very much energizing to get information from so close to the source.