One WebCenter To Rule Them All!

Oracle announced recently a pretty major rebranding around their Enterprise 2.0 offerings in their Fusion Middleware stack. In my opinion, it's about time, because it was starting to get a bit crowded there. Instead of calling everything Enterprise 2.0 -- which is a bit vague -- they decided to bundle everything under the WebCenter name. This is more in line with what Microsoft does with it's SharePoint name...

Ready to play musical chairs with product terminology and positioning??? No, neither am I, but lets all just focus and we'll get through this together...

WebCenter is now just called WebCenter Portal. What was known up until now as simply "WebCenter" will now have a more specific name for the toolkit. This includes the ADF-based WebCenter Framework, WebCenter Services, and WebCenter Interaction. This is used throughout Oracle's Fusion Applications stack for making composite applications. I would have preferred something like "WebCenter Toolkit," since it's not a "thing" as much as a "thing that makes things..." but this works too.

FatWite is now WebCenter Sites for Web Experience Management... which I covered earlier. Andy MacMillan said it will also include any related / supporting Oracle technologies... which is a bit vague... That could mean including Site Studio, or Real Time Decisions, or possibly ATG! I guess we have to wait and see what makes the final cut.

Stellent/UCM is now WebCenter Content. If you follow my blog, you should already know what this is... all the web content management, document management, records management, and imaging & process management. There is an open question about Site Studio versus FatWire here... if you own both WebCenter Sites and WebCenter Content, what should you use for your web sites??? That's the cue for the suspense hamster...

OnTrack is now WebCenter Connect. I first saw this product about a year ago at Open World... it was a pretty slick enterprise social software application around "stream based" communication. It captures the "informal" process (IM, mobile devices, phone calls) around the "official" process. It was not a product that Oracle acquired: it appeared to be a skunk-works project based on Open Social (and not ADF). OnTrack was one of the more interesting pieces of software I saw back in Open World 2010. I'm curious to find out how well it integrates with all the back-end stuff and Fusion Applications... altho a OpenSocial/MDS bridge would be pretty slick...

Takeaways

I have a few opinions about this...

It's waaaaaaay too early to decide Site Studio versus FatWire. All software has tradeoffs: the right tool to use depends on what problem you're trying to solve, and what kind of development team you have. Some people take the "use the right tool for the job" approach and learn a lot of tools... others use an all-purpose tool (like a Swiss army knife, or Perl) for everything, even if it's an awkward fit. Which strategy to use typically depends on your technical team. Personal guess: Site Studio for content-heavy sites, FatWire for metrics-heavy sites. Oracle is planning a dedicated web cast about this subject...

Its a good thing to blend the architectures and departments into just "WebCenter". Everybody has an opinion about the "right" way to do something -- such as Mobile Applications... but everybody also has a prejudice based on their own product line. Should it focus on content, connectivity, or engagement? The answer is, all of the above... if your mobile tools don't enable it all in the right way, you'll be missing out on something big.

Social Business is the new bacon -- they're putting it in everything... It's not really a question anymore about if you're a social business, it's about how well you use it to enable small improvements and the "next big thing." Ideally, you'll have a cross-silo strategy that addresses each of the items above.

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What happened to UOA in the new WebCentre Content ?

Some time ago (2008/2009) I read about Oracle's Universal Online Archiver (UOA) technology on this blog. It sounded great.

I think now (2011) is my first opportunity to use it on a client site (e.g. email archiving) and I can't see it any more in the new WebCentre Content bundle.

Any idea what happened to it?

a couple of things

The UOA stuff had two basic parts: high-speed ingestion, and a third party email archive connector. The high speed ingestion code was rolled into UCM 11g, whereas the 3rd party connectors may or may not still be available.

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