The wife has written a couple of posts recently (here and here) about the inevitable confusion that results when speaking about Oracle applications and the cloud. It’s really hard to speak about this stuff and know everyone is hearing and understanding what is being said, rather than what they think is being said.
Think about it for a minute.
- Oracle Cloud Apps – Version 12. You can run them On-Prem, but most people will only ever experience them on the cloud. Not surprisingly, when I say “Oracle Cloud Apps”, this is what I’m talking about. My company is currently moving to Oracle Cloud Apps and we have no EBS.
- E-Business Suite on the Cloud. Version 12.x. They’re Oracle applications and they run on the cloud, so they are Oracle Cloud Apps right?
- If you are writing extensions to SaaS using the PaaS features, you are writing Oracle apps in the cloud. These are Oracle Cloud Apps right?
- E-Business Suite 12.x. They are Oracle Apps and they are at version 12, so they are Oracle Apps 12 right?
- Fusion Middleware 12c Release 1 or 2. If I’m writing apps on this stack they are Oracle Apps at version 12 right?
- I can put anything on Oracle Public Cloud. Those are then Oracle Cloud Apps right?
- All the other applications products and NetSuite etc. They are Oracle Cloud Apps right?
In the above examples I’m being intentionally silly, but I think you get the picture. If you are a little loose with your terminology, description or phrasing it’s really easy to be misunderstood.
What’s more, as individuals we each have a different set of experiences, so we are entering the conversation with some specific context in mind, and kind-of assume everyone understands our context.
Today I had a chat on Twitter with a couple of guys (Andrejs Karpovs and Andrejs Prokopjevs) about my “Oracle Cloud Apps DBA” comments in this post. Both those guys are infinitely more qualified to speak about apps than me, but for a time I think we were speaking at cross purposes. I agree with everything that was said in the context it was said, but we were coming at things from quite different angles, so we seemed to be disagreeing at times. 🙂
It just feeds back into what Debra has been saying about how you have to be super careful when you discuss this stuff, and why she’s started to use the “Oracle Fusion Apps” name again in some conversations. I find myself saying things like, “Oracle Cloud Apps, formerly know as Oracle Fusion Apps”, which is a complete pain in the ass and doesn’t work too well on Twitter. 🙂
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. 🙂
“Hot-Pluggable” was one of the big buzzwords at OpenWorld 2007. The message Oracle were trying to convey was that an organization doesn’t have to use the total Oracle stack. Of course, they would prefer them to, but if an organization already has an investment in non-Oracle technology, that doesn’t exclude them from snapping pieces of Oracle technology into the mix.
I listened to this message with more than a little skepticism, not really believing that Oracle would actually make their applications available to run on alternative databases and application servers, but it does seem like this plan may pay off in two ways.
- Oracle will be able to sell products to sites that already have a heavy investment in non-Oracle technologies. That’s the obvious message that is being touted, which I already mentioned it in the opening paragraph.
- The future acquisition of companies would be far easier for Oracle, as their newly acquired products could just slot into fusion middleware from day-one.
I’ve never heard Oracle suggest option 2 as a reason for the Hot-Pluggable buzz, but the talk of acquiring BEA make me think it may be as important to Oracle as option 1. WebLogic would just snap right in there, no messin’. Bob’s your uncle. 🙂
Enough of the conspiracy theories.