Monday, 13 July 2009

SoaSuite 11g Launched

Last Friday (july 10th) I went to the Fusion Middleware 11g introduction in De Meern, the Netherlands. Unfortunately I must say it was a bit of a bummer. I changed workingdays with my wife, since I found it a major introduction. At least partly due to all the recent acquisitions and forthcoming integrations, expecially with the nice BEA "gadgets", we've waited for 2 years, I think.
So I expected a huge party, with lots of drinks, cakes, decorations, nice gadgets, good speeches, in-depth tech demos and good-looking girls.
Well ok, it's a world-wide recession. And I know that Oracle is saving all their money to buy nice "new" companies to help us better. So that's for all the drinks, cakes, decorations, nice gatdgets and good-looking girls. Leaves us with the good speeches and in-depth tech demos, I mean the ones with the features we did not see allready in the previews.
Well the morning speeches were pretty ok, for executive briefings they might be considered good. Allthough quite some time was spent explaining that the demo's were actually pre-recorded flash-demo's. With the guarantee that it was recorded with real live production software.
But unfortunately the afternoon demo's were done by a very good guy, I'm sure, but he did not know much more about SoaSuite then the demo's and slides he studied.

So I did some digging up myself. That is, I was provided with some info by some good contacts, and I did some reading between the lines.
Most of the stuff about BPEL, Mediator, OSB, you probably allready know or have seen using the previews. I think people like Marc Kelderman and Lucas Jellema, can tell better than me.

But what pretty much is snowed under, are the B2B-capabilities or e-Commerce. Where Oracle's Integration B2B in 10g was a separate product, running on a 10gR2 app-server, B2B 11g is integrated with SoaSuite 11g.
As I can see it (I haven't had the change to to play with it), B2B is now sort of a binding in SoaSuite. This means that in stead of having to enqueue and dequeue messages on an AQ queue to have them transported with B2B, you can now couple your message-exchanges with Mediator.
Everything is tied together with a so-called Execution Context ID, so also B2B message-exchanges. And that's pretty neat since you can now track down a whole message change from B2b, via Mediator to BPEL PM and back. Since in 10g it was a seperate product, you had to correlate B2B messages to BPEL Processes yourself. We used to do that by putting the B2B-message-id on one of the BPEL PM indices.

The UI got a facelift too, getting it inline with the other AS consoles. Alltough in the demo's friday it occurred to me that the UI of Enterprise Manager/GridControl is stiil the same as the "old" AS UI's. B2B looks like Oracle ESB 10g, and FMW AS Control looks like the Weblogic consoles. So I think there is some work to do getting all the consoles in-line.

I got experienced with Integration B2B using the ebXML adapter. I got to know this one pretty in-depth. And I think ebXML is a very powerfull protocol. I have on my wishlist to create a HelloWorld E2E message flow with SoaSuite including ebXML between two machines.
One of the features on the wishlist was a CPA/CPP import/export utility. CPP stands for Collaboration Protocol Profile, which is an XML document that describes the ebXML capabilities of a partner. CPA is Collaboration Protocal Agreement and it describes the the parts of the CPP that two partners use with eachother: which message exchanges are allowed/agreed between two trading partners. I'm asured that these capabilities are upcoming (I hope I don't dissapoint my sources). That's also good news because this makes the configuration of B2B a lot easier.
Just import a CPA and you should be pretty much done. I expect only to have to deploy the agreement.

Another thing that caught my eye in the roadmaps is that in the upcoming releases B2B/eCommerce is included in AIA PIP's.

So although the dissapointing event of friday, I'm looking forward to be able to spare some time playing with SoaSuite 11g.

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