David Shaffer from Oracle gave a keynote this morning on 4 topics. He divided this up into four areas as follows:
Simplified Product Development
Four main areas for development include Web services, Adapters, ESB, Rules Engine, BPEL/BPM Engine, Human Workflow and finally policy-oriented security. Much of this has gone through an evolution that leads to SCA to develop composite applications using all of the above. SCA talks about how to wire these all together. It exposes services and makes references to other services that can be used to realize a business service. Spring components are new and help support bi-directional communication/integration with Spring and SCA. SCA allows you to manage the whole SLC from code to deploy as single artifacts to help increase developer productivity.
Extreme Performance & Scalability
Scaling is a lot of work. This led to the emergence of the application grid to allow for simplification of scaling, HA, caching, etc. Oracle realizes this through a high-performance JVM (e.g., deterministic GC), distributed cache, and a powerful application server. The latter is enhanced with manageability, scalability, and scriptability, regardless if it’s an internal data center or a cloud. Stateful services can really take advantage of the “application grid” to maintain long-running transactions. Ultimately, all the components of a SOA can be managed on the grid to provide continuous availability for services, data, and processing logic.
Denies Burton’s affirmation that “SOA is dead” (no surprise!). Cloud computing is expected to go through the same “hype curve” as SOA. Cloud is amalgamation of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Oracle finds PaaS the most interesting for opportunities for growth and development. PaaS is a natural strategy for enterprises. This allows for flexibility around tools. Traditionally, operational guys want homogeneous environments, but with PaaS you can aggregate consistent foundations for different styles of development that are housed under PaaS. To accomplish this you have to create higher level building blocks using application assemblies. Assemblies can be packaged up and deployed on the grid based on meta data configuration that alters the platform based on an individual application’s need. Operational guys can provision this all on a VM infrastruction.
Unified Platform for Services, Events, and Processes
SCA event processing is key to develop and end-to-end unified platform. This can implemented on JMS and add additional meta data. BPEL4People is a standard that now can incorporate people into workflow tasks. This allows for easy configuration to assign and complete tasks in a workflow. BPMN 2.0 extends standard graphical representation for system analysts use to describe the system by providing an enhanced metamodel. This allows them to be transformed to BPEL or have them executed natively without involving further development.
Oracle is still heavily invested in SOA and sees it at the end of the “hype” cycle and asserts standards and unification marks an inflection point without sacrificing the simplicity of open and interoperable systems. Application grid will be the platform to realize this vision and be a key enabler.
Question: Is this too Utopian and how do you support this abstraction when things go wrong? Oracle sees that this architecture makes organizations more Agile so the feedback loop is shorter to make corrections.