The Oracle Australia and New Zealand Middleware and Technology Blog.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Last Redroom Post

To all our readers and followers

this marks the last post ever to the current RedRoom site. We have moved the RedRoom blog to a new Oracle community site located at OJAM. Please redirect your RSS subscriptions to this new site as we will be posting our content here from this point moving forward.

Thank you to all, we have over 3500 followers of this site - we hope to see you all at OJAM in the future.

Paul & the RedRoom team.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oracle Launches 11gR2 and OJAM.BIZ


today, Oracle launches 11gR2 AND OJAM.BIZ.

OJAM.BIZ will replace the Red Room as Oracle ANZ's blog and establishes the world's first Oracle community portal.

Please join us at OJAM.BIZ


Monday, September 7, 2009


Red Room Followers - Watch This Space!!

We are working on an exciting development to the Red Room - launching this coming Thursday at the 11gR2 event at the Hilton Sydney.

More to come Thursday morning, stay tuned!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oracle releases Database 11g R2!!!

Oracle releases Database 11g R2!!! Consolidate, Compress, Control.

Today we announced the release of the latest version of the Oracle Database on Linux 32bit and 64bit. The install files can be downloaded off of the Oracle Technology Network by following the following link: 11g R2 Download There is also another dedicate site which can be found here: Oracle Database 11gR2 Homepage

We are continuing a tradition of innovation in the database with a large number of improvements and enhancements that are all aimed at making things easier for Database Administrators as well as proving to show some tangible returns and savings in the way the database is managed. The official release homepage is here:
There are some exciting new technologies in the database in this release and some of these include:

Advanced Compression for OLTP
-Ability to now compress ALL data types, both structured and unstructured data. Compress large application tables allowing for strong performance and storage reduction in transaction processing. Improve query performance by searching through less data and only searching for compressed data as opposed to needing to uncompress and then search.

Instance Caging
-We've improved the granularity of the amount of control you have over your databases by introducing the new technology known as "instance caging". With this technology i am able to maintain Service Level Agreements by allocating a number of cores in a large server for use with a particular instance of the database. Example, in a quad socket quad core server (16 CPU cores) i could allocate 8 of those cores at ALL TIMES to the database instance used by the ERP system, then another four cores to the CRM system and another four cores for datawarehouse usage. This way if an application ever needs excessive CPU then the other applications aren't affected, more importantly your ERP system will still be able to communicate with your ERP DB instance allowing for business continuance.

The ASM Cluster File System
-As expected the ASM cluster File System or ACFS can be used for Oracle database files and Oracle software binaries, however the new advancement is the ability to use "general-purpose" file systems in ACFS covering the ability to store non-Oracle related files. Read-only snapshot capability is present with up to 64 point-in-time copies of the file system data available.

We have released a whitepaper that sums up the new technologies available in Oracle DB 11g R2, this whitepaper can be found here: Oracle DB 11gR2 Whitepaper
Our direction can be seen as heading towards achieving a self-automated, self-healing database with focus on reducing costs for IT (storage/management) and raising the bar in High Availability.

Would love to hear your feedback on our latest release!

Happy Installing (with 40% fewer install steps) ;)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

SOA Projects In Crisis

Are you on Linkedin? I am. If you are, are you a member of the ZDNet Australia Group? You should be it's a good discussion community on all things tech headed up by Renai LeMay, Chris Duckett and Brian Haverty.I was really interested in this recent comment recent from Kevin McIsaac, "it seems SOA has been over-hyped (by middleware vendors like Oracle) many SOA projects are in crisis." and thought I'd respond.

It's a fair cop, guv. Yes, SOA has been over-hyped (by middleware vendors like Oracle)... and analysts and bloggers and industry commentators and many more folk besides. By the way, one thing I love about everything 2.0 is how we are all actually able to get through industry hype in a much more direct and meaningful way - ways like this in fact. And a couple or three things on SOA projects in crisis. I'm sure some are, but I would attest that it's not because they are SOA projects, it's because they projects. And there are projects in crisis in all aspects and all disciplines of our industry and others.

The key to avoiding failure is to stay faithful to certain principles of project governance that we have been able to identify based on our learnings from some of the many successful projects we have seen. Along with a few of my colleagues here at The Red Room we've riffed away recently about '10 Mistakes That Cause SOA Projects to Fail'. Some of the specific posts I would point you to are; this one from Anton Gouws on common project management pitfalls in SOA; Saul Cunningham writing about SOA as an architecture not a project; and one written by me on the value of simplicity.

And not all SOA projects are in crisis, here are some links to local customers that I know talking about their successful SOA projects - Greg Behrendt from Stanwell Corporation and Max Kennedy from Yarra Valley Water.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sweating COTS With Services

On a recent trip to Malaysia, I asked two local people how to get to a landmark, and I got two different answers. I realised though that without a common reference (map), I had no idea where the goal was, how I was going to get there, and whether the routes that were suggested were sound. Needless to say, I eventually got to my destination, much to delight of my taxi driver who financially benefited from the scenic journey!

Watching the palm trees fly past my taxi window I came to think about the state of architectures in organisations. We have all got to some state of working architecture. Architectures have grown organically or by acquisition as businesses have become successful. During the 1990’s COTS (Commercial off the Shelf) applications dominated the software architectural landscape with the promise of delivering pre-built industry processes. While the success of COTS applications delivering business value cannot be negated, as business requirements evolve, COTS applications have been customised, extended, and application bolt-ons and integration work have been inextricably bound to the actual application. All these tightly coupled “modifications” could become a major contributor towards the cost of an application upgrade, so much so it could even prohibit an organisation enjoying the benefits of a new version of their COTS application.

So how can we reduce the cost of ownership around COTS on the one hand, and at the same time improve the level of flexibility offered to the business?

Lets look at the cost of ownership challenge, particularly with regards upgrades. Today, many COTS applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Siebel are service enabled. By using a services approach, application customisations, extensions and integrations can be built in a decoupled (loosely-coupled) manner. In other words service orientation can directly address the issues of customisations and extensions that are traditionally tightly bound to the application database schema and integrations that are point-to-point and heavily scripted, thereby facilitating smoother and cheaper application upgrades. Helio reduced their application integration effort by 50% through utilising reusable services.

What about flexibility? Using the same services approach, services from your COTS applications can be consumed and reused in numerous ways to form new composite applications or form part of flexible, enterprise-wide business processes. By decoupling the reliance of a business process to the underlying applications, the impact of application upgrades would be reduced, the speed of development work would be improved and flexibility will be introduced at the business process tier. ABN Amro and Dallas Fort Worth Airport are examples of organisations that benefited from adopting a process-centric approach to their business.

If you are wondering how you can go about maximising the value of your COTS investment, check out the Best Practice sites I found below…

E-Business Suite
JD Edwards

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ten Out Of Ten

I was thinking about 10 as I was putting this post together as it is the tenth in our series of ten on the death of SOA. I thought about Dudley Moore and Bo Derek in Blake Edwards '10'. I thought about Nigel Tufnel taking 10 all the way to 11 in 'This is Spinal Tap' - please take 51 seconds out of your busy day and watch this clip, you'll thank me for it. I finally settled on Ray and Charles Eames short documentary from 1977, 'Powers of Ten'. I liked how the powers of 10 idea fits with my thinking on architecture, the macro versus micro concerns that you are faced with, the importance of perspective, and the big picture.

Number 10 in this series brings us to letting the vendors drive the architecture. And I just love this one. Firstly I love the mental image of Larry Ellison, Sam Palmisano, Henning Kagermann and Vivek Ranadivé in a car together trying to decide where to go - that's once you've managed to get them in the same car in the first place.

And I love the absolute simplicity of this one. Hands up, who thinks that letting the vendors drive the architecture is a good idea? OK, so I know that hands-up as a device in a blog works about as well as it does on a podcast but that's not the point. If you do have your hand in the air then I need to take you on a brief English lesson. With thanks to the Macquarie Dictionary - "Vendor, noun, someone who vends or disposes of a thing by sale". Anglo-French, from vendre to sell, from Latin vendere. Newsflash, your vendor is trying to sell you something. Or even worse, your vendor is trying to dispose of something by sale - sounds bad doesn't it?

Disclosure, I work for a vendor, and yes I want to sell you something. There, I've said it. But I am not interested in selling you something once and disappearing. I know that the only way I can be successful is to build a long term relationship with my customers. I want to be able to keep doing business with my customers over the long term. Not just this quarter, or this year, but next year and the years to come. A mutually beneficial relationship where my customers are successful with the software and services that I can offer and I'm successful in seeing their projects delivered to production. That one-off sale is so last century, so 1.0, so shonky used-car-dealer that it's not even funny anymore. Maybe those sales people still exist - maybe those buyers still exist - but I don't recognise them from my experience. I have never met a customer that would be happy to let their vendor drive the architecture, and I have never met a vendor that would be able to.

Now, I get all a bit infinite monkey theorem here. You know the theory that states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. Let me explain, you can achieve your outcome with anyone driving that car - Larry, Sam, Henning, Vivek, it doesn't really matter. Given enough time - like the monkeys - each of their offerings will get you where you want to go. But you don't have enough time. And unlike the monkeys you certainly don't have infinite time. Yes, if you had unlimited time you can let the vendor drive the architecture and you'll get there. But given limited time and limited budget you need to find the vendor that you can share the driving with. When it's dark and raining. When you're tired. When you need someone to help you park or read the map. You need someone around that you can trust and rely on.

SOA isn't dead. It's not collateral damage roadkill as the vendors roar down the road in their architecure trucks. It's alive and well. If we return to Ann Thomas Manes of the Burton Group who started all this back in January, she wrote, "Although the word 'SOA' is dead, the requirement for service-oriented architecture is stronger than ever."

I think that's exactly what I've been trying to say all along.