Oracle Openworld 2016

First thoughts on Oracle Open World 2016

Boxfusion Consulting are back in San Francisco for Oracle OpenWorld 2016, taking in the latest roadmap news, meetings with Oracle executives and contacts from across the industry, and presenting ourselves about our UX expertise!

As in the previous four years, Boxfusion are back in San Francisco for Oracle Open World. It doesn't seem to get any easier as time goes by: with over 1800 sessions across 5 days, it is physically impossible to sit through all of them (it would require a team of around 60 people to accomplish that feat!), not including the parallel sessions and meetings with Oracle Product Management and Product Development, demo grounds and just usual catching up with various people. Andy is also presenting, but more on that later on in the week!

So far, the conversations here have been about the continuing deployment of new services on Oracle Cloud and the necessary technology upgrades and innovations that power the growing demand of Oracle public Cloud. IoT, Big Data and Machine Learning are really growing as topics and might become more prominent (or mainstream) in coming years. In terms of sessions, the usual product roadmap updates are key to allow us to continue providing long-term recommendations to our customers on how best to leverage their products.

Day 1 (Sunday) saw a few sessions and the main event - Larry Ellison's annual Sunday opening keynote. There were a lot of new product announcements in the PaaS and IaaS spaces in particular. We were however, probably most interested in the announcement of the new Virtual Assistant Chatbot platform; Larry even did a live demo using a messenger tool integrated with the chatbot platform to request new business cards (his title has changed after all!) and with the incredible growth in messaging services in the mobile world, this is probably a platform we will hear a lot more about.

From today's session calendar, I've decided to focus on those where hopefully we can cover topics that will drive our growth as a company and provide more and better services to our customers. These include roadmap and new product announcements, and also drilldown sessions on nascent technologies, frameworks and concepts.

The majority of the (arguably!) more interesting developments are going into the PaaS layer, with numerous developments on integration (ICS with orchestration on the roadmap, for example). These developments continue to follow the trend we see in technology:

  • From on-premise to Cloud, integration had to change radically; no longer is it possible for SIs to bend applications to whatever customer requirements because vendors (Oracle primarily due to the venue in which this blog post is being written, but the same applies across the industry) now have a tight control on the interfaces available on their SaaS offerings.
  • After Cloud, mobile and IoT are introducing growing pressures on the integration capabilities of modern digital solutions, requiring continuously more agile approaches to integration, to meet customer demand faster and to accelerate innovation. Modern IT architectures are based on micro-services and APIs.

It is against this backdrop that Oracle ICS, SOA Cloud Service (with API management), Process Cloud Service and other PaaS offerings bring increasingly more value.

But it is unlikely that things will stop here. With technology-savvy customers *and* employees, companies will feel pressures, from both the outside and within, to make APIs available. Employees will want the flexibility of APIs to build their own simplified processes, and patterns such as those provided by IFTTT, will soon be common place in industry as well.

On the mobile side, with the separation of duties that SaaS services bring, dedicated mobile apps are surely soon to follow. It's now easier than ever for people to build mobile apps and Oracle are providing services that will allow business users to build mobile apps, freeing developers to work on the critical backend systems that support all of this. With Application Builder Cloud Service, business users can deploy simple mobile applications with zero lines of code. For more complex uses, MAF (Mobile Application Framework) and JET (Javascript Extension Toolkit) will allow developers to build rich mobile applications on top of Oracle PaaS and SaaS services.

We will be following these sessions closely and reporting back on these and also other important items, such as product roadmaps. Stay tuned.