The Myth of Oracle Fusion…


I read a post this morning by Grant Ronald talking about fusion apps. In Grant’s post he mentioned things that people have been saying about Fusion over the years. Middleware and Apps are not my specialist field, but I get to hear a lot about them from the conferences and ACE Director meetings, so I have been witness to the Oracle Fusion myth from the beginning.

Cast your mind back several years and the whole concept of Fusion was launched at OOW. We were told that the middleware stack was going to become a single coherent product, rather than the buggy rag-tag bunch of technologies we had in 9iAS and AS10g. Sounds good so far, but then all the existing stuff got rebranded as Fusion Middleware when the products it was made up of hadn’t significantly changed. That’s confusing.

Fast forward a bit and we were expecting something like real Fusion Middleware to appear, then the BEA buyout was announced and WebLogic became the core of Fusion Middleware. Oh. So this wonderful coherent product that Oracle had been developing and we were expecting soon was swapped for a best-of-breed app server from an acquisition. Strange and a little disconcerting, but at least we have a better app server now, except that some of the existing features still required you to install the old AS10g stuff. Still the name Fusion is plastered everywhere.

Fast forward a bit more and we have got to a point where applying the term “Fusion” to the middleware stack is less insulting, but if anyone experienced Fusion along the way they would probably have been left with a bad feeling about what Fusion actually means. It’s very hard to overcome a bad first impression. Are Oracle really surprised that the term “Fusion” is associated with myth and confusion?

OK. That’s the Middleware. What about Fusion Apps? Well, the name includes the word “Fusion”, so it takes on all the bad connotations associated with the infancy of Fusion Middleware. Added to that, since the original announcement of Fusion Apps there have been numerous acquisitions, all of which have no doubt added to the confusion about what Fusion Apps actually is. Then we are told there is no natural upgrade from eBusiness Suite to Fusion Apps. It’s a new product and we have to migrate data to it as we would any new ERP. Next we are told that the initial release will only be a subset of the modules we require, so we will have to run it alongside eBusiness Suite. Wow. This is really confusing. That sounds like a half-finished ERP built on a half-finished middleware stack. Once again, are Oracle really surprised people react like this?

Now I’m not saying the Fusion Middleware is bad. It’s come a long way. I’m also not saying Fusion Apps are bad. I’ve seen the demos and they look amazing. I’ve also talked to people in that field who are genuinely impressed and exited by it. I believe it will be a big eye opener and possibly a game-changer for a lot of people. What I’m saying is I can totally understand when people on the outside of our little goldfish bowl have a really bad and confused impression of anything containing the term “Fusion”, because it does have a very long and sordid history.

In my opinion the term Fusion needs to be scrapped and replaced, then perhaps we can forget the history and focus on the now. Kinda like they did with Beehive. 🙂



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

3 thoughts on “The Myth of Oracle Fusion…”

  1. Completely agree with this, from my albeit more limited expose to Oracle and its product set. Product groupings are ambiguously named and inconsistent. For a newcomer to Oracle software, it is overwhelming when trying to understand where to start with something simple like the concepts of OBIEE. Is it middleware? but I thought middleware was app servers? Ah but it’s *Fusion* middleware? And is that FMW? WTF FMW? etc.

    I suppose with the vast number of acquisitions and the sheer size of their product set now organising it and presenting it in a logical and understandable manner is going to be difficult — but isn’t that what people get paid the big bucks to do?

    I do get the impression from Oracle with things like their website, support and product set naming that they either (i) don’t care or (ii) are arrogant enough to work on the basis that *they* understand it and so it’s up to the dumb folk implementing it to understand it their way too

  2. Total agreement also with this post. I worked for Oracle during the mess that was 9iAS, and the abomination that was Collaboration Suite. Few clients could comprehend the complexity of the product list, let alone the technology portfolio.

    Come on Oracle …sort it out. KISS still wins over sales bloat. At least with our customers!

  3. Well, when a few of us said more than 7 years ago that the whole thing was nothing more nothing less than vapourware pushed by folks with no IT credibility whatsoever, we got crucified, called “dba 1.0” and suffered all sorts of deriding marketing nonsense. Still do, in some cases.

    Now, the cat is out of the bag and someone else has realized “the king is naked” after all.

    And apparently the market and the clients required a little bit more than just flashy “awesome” demos and powerpoint presentations. Fancy that!

    Ah well… Hate to say this, but:
    I told you so!

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