Monday, October 22, 2007


Oracle-Bea, Portals,Portals everywhere !!

Is the portal market going to see another acquisition by Oracle? Though Bea has denied the deal of $6.66 bn as “too low”, but as we know Oracle has a history of acquiring BIG companies and maintaining multiple products of same line. BEA and Oracle own two Portal products each (Aqualogic and Weblogic) and (Oracle Portal and webcenter), respectively.

If in case, the acquisition happens then in my view it will be relatively hard for Oracle to maintain and sell these portal products as Oracle is concentrating and investing huge in its webcenter suite and has a roadmap of releasing the next version i.e. Webcenter 11g very soon.With so many like products and no clear
feature demarcations of which product will cater to which type of customer its going to be a big challange for the sales team.

Looking from another perspective, Oracle surely will have business benefits with this acquisition as -
1) Oracle will eliminate a very big competitor.
2) Oracle portal is quite old and is in the edge of retirement and Oracle Webcenter is new in the portal market and is more developer centric. Oracle will revive with having aqualogic and weblogic in its main portal product stream
3) With Aqualogic and Weblogic from BEA, Oracle surely will have more and better products to sell.
4) As BEA Weblogic application server leads the middleware market and Oracle standalone application server lags far behind. Selling Bea appserver is going to add huge $$$ in Oracle’s account.
5) Oracle will also get boost to its SOA strategies, as both the companies have invested heavily on the SOA paradigm.

Apart from the above stated products, Oracle will rethink in supporting the other Bea products and suites as they may lag behind when compared to Oracle’s home grown products for example, BPEL solution and Presence Solution

Lets wait another leap that Oracle going to make and keep eye in the next quarter results.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


JAX India 2007: Web2.0: What you should do?

Craig McClanahan talked on the Web2.0 at JAX India 2007.You can find more detilas about what he covered in Shishank's post. Here’s a bit of elaboration of those 10 points what Craig suggested to make the web right :-
10 - Expose Data/Logic as services
* Content is more important than presentation.
* Use REST based Services when you “Can”
* Use SOAP based Services when you “must”
9 - Incorporate External Content
* No single application or database can contain everything
* Combine available content from multiple sources
8 - Seek QOS (Quality of Service) deals from Sources
* Authentication guarantee
* Performance provisioning
* API and format compatibility
7 - Give QOS Deals to users
* External consumer will also become dependent upon your content
6 - Adopt Agile Processes
* Continuous iterative improvement model
* Incremental release every 7-14 days
5 - Test Driven Development
* Reduce release testing
* Do aggressive unit /functional testing
4 - Architect for Scalability
* Separate view, logic and persistence
* Break into layers that can be independently scaled
* Add resource as needed for bottlenecks
3 - Embrace Heterogeneity
* Data and logic as “service” insulates layers both internally and externally
* Agile Technology benefits in for fast UI fixes
2 - Reach out to Mobile Clients
* UI for Mobile devices can share existing service
1 - Enable User Provided Content
* Participating in “mashups” counts
* User like to participate not just “view”

The suggestion that Craig has provided, gives a clear perspective on how Web2.0 should be incorporated gradually within your organizations portal, CMS or website.If you read the above points again I feel that some of them directly or indirectly take you to the SOA space where we re-architect our implementations so that our applications can be “loosely coupled” and “interoperable” when used as “services”.

Monday, April 30, 2007


Portals: Intruding the ECM space?

If Portals are the underlying technology for the presentation, aggregation, integration and SOA implementation (as every vendor talks about it ), then the Content Management System (CMS) is what feeds the portals.

Portals have been designed to integrate with CMS products as a part of their offerings. At the same time they have come up with their own version of built-in CMS.

Besides Partnering with vendors from Web Content Management (WCM) or Enterprise Content Management (ECM) arena, Portal vendors are also working successfully towards their own built-in CMS. These built-in CMS provide you the best a CMS product can offer. Journal Content Management, Document Management, Integration with MS office or Open Office, Drag and Drop of your desktop files, Workflow management, Integrated Publishing and Search.

WebSphere Portal 6.0 Integrates externally with CMS products like Interwoven Teamsite ,Documentum etc , also includes IBM Workplace Web Content Management Version 6.0 which itself carries a full fledged WCM capabilities. BEA provides the integration with Stellent, documentum and Vignette CMS products but has its own Content Management system and virtual content repository. Open source player Liferay portal 4.2 has come up with portlets for Alfresco (another open source Leader in ECM),but again it has its own "Liferay Journal" CMS which covers most of the WCM functionalities.

Sun and Bea have partnered with FatWire to provide Portal Server customers with unlimited-use licenses of FatWire Spark Portal Content Management (pCM) software at no cost.

There is a definite and clear separation of a built-in CMS and a third party CMS integration on to the portals. The choice is up to you, it all depends on what satisfies your business requirements. As for small and mid-size customers, these built-in CMS are doing the job, that too with a lot of ease and bringing in cost benefits.

CMS market has always been more mature, streamlined and more professional. On the other hand, the Portal market are not making the impact that was expected of them and was so fiercly predicted by the experts, a few years ago. The reasons could be cost, need, ease of implementation or lack of expertise with the service providers. In such a scenario are Portal vendors adding on CMS to their product feature list to stay alive?

If yes, what next? Would they continue to break ground and venture into ECM territory as they have now ventured into WCM territory?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


"Portals" and "Portal-like"

Few days’ back I got to know about the something called “portal-like” . wow...a new word and a new concept after Collaboration, Web2.0 and SOA in the portal space. Drilled down a little deeper I came to know that this concept make sense when it comes to mid-size enterprise ,here it goes....

Portals Implementation gives you the solution but with a huge investment of money, infrastructure, resources and support.
Mid sized Customers who wants the portal features (with less investments) now can use the “Portal-like” products to leverage the features what a portal offers. These “Portal-like“ frameworks uses the Jsp, Jsf environment as a core language to built the applications and provide the addition runtime environment (portlet container) to consume/include the portlets on top of the jsp, jsf application. These frameworks support the deployment of standard based portlets (jsr168, wsrp1.0) together with the vendor specific portlets.
End users can also be provided with “virtually” customization features that will be a part of JSF/JSP/AJAX implementation.
These products are well suited where the core application takes more functional space than the utility portlets, which is opposite in the case of actual portal implementation.

There are few pros and cons of these frameworks/tools/products -
1) Comparatively less investment than the Portal product
2) No portal expertise required to develop “Portal-like“ application
3) Use of standard based pre-built portlets (blogs,wikis,cms,rss etc )
1) Application can not be easily scaled to portlets in the near future :)
2) Cannot be used as Integration point with other Enterprise/legacy applications.
3) Confidence of the customer towards the solution vendors.

The Introduction of such a framework is done by Oracle with its Web Center Suite. That provides the Content Integration, Runtime Customization, Metadata Management and Communication Services (Again a new Word for me “Presence Server”)