Oracle Database Cloud Service : Say Hello to Oracle Database 12cR2 (12.2)

cloudAs pointed out by Franck Pachot in a tweet about 5 hours ago, Oracle Database 12cR2 (12.2) has now come to the Oracle Database Cloud Service.

12cR2 has been available since Oracle OpenWorld if you were using the Oracle Exadata Express service, but I wasn’t, so this is the first time this version of the database has become accessible to me.

Obviously I’m going to start writing about 12.2 now, but there will still be some things that are off limits. There won’t be any installation articles produced until the on-premise release is dropped.


If you have access to the DBaaS service on Oracle Public Cloud, I’m sure you will be busy for a few months. šŸ™‚



Update 1: I’ve been trying on the EM2 data centre all weekend and it’s not worked yet. I think they are only part way through setting up the service.

Update 2: It’s working now. šŸ™‚

Oracle : Tech Company or Service Company?

Oracle OpenWorld is imminent and we will see Oracle continue their push into the cloud market. Oracle have hadĀ a longĀ history of being strong in the technology space, but conversely they have had a long history of being weak as far asĀ customer service is concerned. The move to the cloudĀ presents a unique problem for Oracle that I’m not sure they can even see at the moment…

I use a number of cloud services in my daily life, but let’s just focus on a simple one likeĀ emailĀ for the moment. It could be Gmail,, Yahoo Mail etc.Ā I couldn’t tell you what the underlying tech for any of these services is. I don’t know which is technically superior, but to be honest I don’t really care. They are just services I use and they work. As long as they work and my user experience is good I have no reason to question them. If I am not having a good time with a specific product, I will move. This happened to me when I moved from Hotmail to Gmail. When came along I actually preferred it to Gmail, but not enough to be bothered to move again. šŸ™‚ The point is, this move was based on user experience, not technical superiority…

So now we come to Oracle’s move to the cloud. Oracle now have a wider service catalog than just about any cloud provider. If you judge cloud providers by the breadth of their service catalog I think Oracle are now number 1, but do peopleĀ judge a cloud provider in that way? I don’t think so. I think most customers judge by their experienceĀ of the service.

Having used Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Public Cloud for quite some time I have to say that Oracle Public Cloud lags far behind the other two in user experience. It’s not a criticism of the tech behind the scenes. It’s just the day-to-day usage of the services I’m talking about. Over the last year Oracle have added lots of new services to theĀ OracleĀ Public Cloud, but there has been little-to-no focus on the user experience. Most of the issuesĀ I highlighted over a year ago are still present today.

The more time I spend using cloud services, the less I care about the tech that underpins them. This might sound a bit contradictory for a tech geek, but think about it for a minute. No matter how good the technology, you can use it badly. If I don’t get to see exactly what is under the hood and the day-to-day operations behind the scenes I am having to make a leap of faith anyway, so the only thing I can use to judge between servicesĀ is the care and attention that has been put into the user experience and the customer service.

IMHOĀ if Oracle want their public cloud offering to succeed, they need to:

  • Focus onĀ user experience of the Oracle Public Cloud. Oracle should aim to be easier to use than any of their competitors.
  • Focus on customer service. A pissed off customer goes out of their way to look for things to complain about. A happy customer will put up with odd issues.
  • Listen to their customers. The days are gone when developers decided what they think the customers want. As a customer, the most infuriating thing that can happen to you is to feel like nobody is listening. When you ask for something, it should happen, or someone should explain why it can’t happen. When feedback drops into a bottomless pit the incentive to keep supplying feedback diminishes.

I want Oracle Public Cloud to be successful. Adding hundreds of new services is not as important as improvingĀ the ones they already have. Please, please, please listen to us Oracle!



PS.Ā When you listen to the announcements during this next week, ask yourself how many relate to new technology, rather than new services built on existing technology… šŸ˜‰

PPS. Oracle Public Cloud and Oracle Cloud Apps are not the same thing. My comments relate to Oracle Public Cloud!

Oracle Public Cloud User Experience Issues

For some time I’ve been openly critical of the user experience (UX) of Oracle Public Cloud. Just to be clear what I mean by this…

  • I am not talking about the quality of the services that are delivered, or the underlying technologies being used. I’m talking about the day-to-day usage of the Oracle Public Cloud (OPC) interface. The web pages you use to administer this stuff.
  • I’m not talking about the SaaS offerings, like Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications. I have no experience of them, so I am not in a position to comment on them.

With that understood, I haveĀ some big issues with the UI/UX of Oracle Public Cloud. I have been providing feedback (briefings, webinars, direct feedback and private forum posts) for some time, but while there are some improvements, the experience of administering your services through the OPC web interface is far behind that provided by Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure IMHO.

We recently had an ACED webinar and during the questions at the end I hadĀ a littleĀ rant about the user experience. Once that had ended, I wrote and email apologising to the presenter, but also listing a few of my gripes. I also reached outĀ to the Oracle Applications User Experience team…

Yesterday I had a phone call with Jeremy Ashley about the situation and in the next couple of weeks I will hopefully be engaging with the UX team to discuss and demonstrate the issues I have.

Most of the problems I have are about wanting toĀ follow a natural flow of tasks. Many aspects of the interface look like aĀ developer has tried to expose the underlying tech, rather than asking how a user might want to interact with the service. The interface and the implementation do not have to match!

I was going to start a series of blog posts discussing the various UI/UX issues that annoy me, but I will probably hold back on that. Doing some constructive criticism directly to people that can make a difference is much better than me publicly throwing my toys out of the pram, but it’s not quite as fun. šŸ™‚

Fingers crossed!



PS. I’ve been getting some stick from the guys at work about my telephone voice at the start of the call with Jeremy. I allegedly sounded like a cross between Hyacinth Bucket and Kenneth Williams. šŸ™‚