The past week my colleague Patrick Sinke and myself attended the Oracle Fusion Middleware Forum 2016 in Valencia, Spain held from March 15th to March 18th. It was a week overloaded with information, networking and deep-dive workshops. We worked hard, learned a lot and had some fun once in a while as well. The event coinciding with the annual Las Fallas festival also helped with that last part 🙂
In this blog I would like to give a recap of the things that I found most interesting.
The events unofficial kick-off was on Monday night with a meetup at local bar Destino 56 . Here we got to meet most of the organisers, speakers and fellow Fusion Middleware enthusiasts.
Day 1 – conference
Tuesday was the first day of the forum with an great amount of speakers and subjects. Juergen Kress (the conference chair) started the forum with a warm welcome and an explanation on how to get more customers involved in Fusion Middleware. He spoke of the several sales kits that are available and of the new 12c specialization tracks.
After that Alistair Hopkins announced the Dynamic Hybrid Bundling. A new way in which Oracle offers a combination of hardware (on-premise and in the cloud) and Cloud Credits (to buy software). He also revealed some exciting other news, but unfortunately this is still under a Non-Disclosure Agreement. But more will be announced to the public soon.
Ed Zou presented some great examples of projects that have been done with the Mobile Applications Framework (MAF) and Platform As A Service (PAAS).These projects included a large American retailer and several large cities that have introduced web applications to help their customers and citizens to get easier access to their services.
The other presenters of the day; Vikas Anand, Cesare Rotundo and Grant Ronald showed us more current and upcoming features that are available in the Cloud or on-premise. There are currently 33 cloud services available from Oracle and 16 more are planned between now and the end of this year.
Next to that Oracle is planning new products for customers to gain insight into their integration solutions, extending the currently available BAM.
Also on the Mobile front things are going to heat up in the near future with Mobile Cloud Service and Rapid Mobile Application Development with ABCS (Application Builder Cloud Service – out now) and a new product currently in beta.
The day ended with a great tapas and Valencian paella dinner at the hacienda Campo Anibal  with all attendees.
Day 2 – breakout sessions
On day two the group was split up. There were four seperate breakout tracks to dive somewhat deeper into the several subjects. I chose the SOA & Integration & SOA Cloud Service track. The others were BPM & Proces Cloud Service & User Experience, Weblogic & Java Cloud Service & Engineered Systems and Mobile & Internet of Things.
The first session of my track had the title “SOA Suite 12.2.1 and beyond”, but it actually was a live demo by Lucas Jellema of a product that Oracle will launch in the near future. It’s still under the NDA, but it promises to help the business to gain more insight in their data and integration. And it looked impressive.
After that, Darko Vukovic, Vikas Anand and Robert Wunderlich presented another upcoming product that will take the available Oracle API products to the new level. The last session of this track that I saw was that of Yogesh Sontakke. He showed a demo of iPaas, the Integration Cloud Service together with the SOA Cloud Service.
For the last session of the breakout tracks I took the opportunity to see Andrejus Beranovskis talk about Oracle JET and Websockets. A currently availble way to extend JET with more functionality. A new thing I learned was that Websockets are available on Weblogic 12c.
As a bonus he explained how it is possible to use the JET charts in an Oracle ADF application, so you can have the Enterprise capabilities of ADF combined with the features of JET.
After this everybody got together again for a live hacking session “Soaring through the clouds” with Oracle ACES Lucas Jellema, Lonneke Dikmans, Mark Simpson, Torsten Winterberg and (by Skype) Wilfred van der Deijl. This quintet had prepared an application that used as many of the cloud products that they could, to simulate the nomination of, voting for and negotiation with artists for the next Oracle OpenWorld appreciation event in October. The managed to build a system that uses a lot of Oracle’s best acronyms; Sites CS, PCS, OSN, Doc CS, JET, IoT CS, DBaas, ACC, SOA CS, ICS and MCS, enriched with Twitter and Spotify.
At the end of the day we said goodbye to the people that could only attend the conference and not the workshops on a sunset sailing trip on the Mediterranean.
Day 3 and 4 – hands-on workshops
The second half of the forum was reserved for hands-on workshops. In six different tracks we got the opportunity to work with the software ourselves. My choice was the SOA 12c and PaaS Cool & New workshop by Yogesh Sontakke, Robert Wunderlich and Darko Vukovic. To my luck this turned out to be the track with the most amount of content and the most diverse content. We got to work with SOA CS, ICS, Stream Explorer and 2 new (still secret) Oracle products.
All five of them were explained by a challenging case that we could build ourselves.
That the cases were challenging was illustrated by the fact that our group was the only group still working after the official end of the day 🙂
But with the knowledge I gained in the workshop, I’m sure I’ll be able to help customers with the current and upcoming Oracle integration products.
Juergen Kress and all of his team have provided us with an excellent event in a great location. I was able to learn a lot, meet new people and see familiar faces.
The direction that Oracle is taking Fusion Middleware is an exciting one with great possibilities for current customers and new ones. I think Oracle’s cloud strategy is becoming more and more adult now that some lessons have been learned in the first implementations.
It was great that we got to work with so many products, even ones that are in beta or not even that. This gave us a chance to look into Oracle’s kitchen, get a taste and provide feedback directly to the responsible product managers.
I hope that Oracle will keep organising this kind of events, since they give us a very valuable learning experience in an extremely short time.