viernes, 13 de marzo de 2015

A First Glance at Oracle Stream Explorer 12c

The brand new Oracle Stream Explorer 12c has been released today. The idea behind this product, which gives it a lot of relevance, is to bring simplicity, usability and enterprise readiness to Event Processing.

We have talked before about Industrial SOA, and the impact that such concepts as: IoT, Social Media, Mobile, Fast Data bring to the table. With this in mind, we have to acknowledge that enterprises nowadays, constantly find themselves dealing with huge, endless amounts of data in motion.

Oracle's pitch in this sense, with Oracle SX, is to put this Real Time Streaming Intelligence in the hands of Business Users and Integrators, who can instantly determine the business value of the information and its relevance as business opportunities and threats.

So let's take a look at the product istself:

As you can see, Oracle SX looks really cool!!, and the first thing we must say in this regard, is that the product's user interface has been entirely built using Alta UI. Hence we are practically guaranteed a very favorable user experience which is not only nice, but will also help us position the tool in our clients.

Functionality-wise, SX abstracts event processing capabilities to a degree in which the user requires no knowledge whatsoever of Real Time Event Driven Architectures, Continuous Query Language (CQL), Java Event Server or the semantics of Event Stream Processing Application Models.

Basically, Stream Explorer introduces three main concepts that we must understand in order to configure the scenarios we want:

  • Exploration: An application that correlates events from streams, data from data sources, even other Explorations. It uses filters, groupings, summaries, ranges, and more to Identify, Qualify and Expose a Real Time Business Solution.
  • Stream: An incoming flow of events that you want to analyze, for example a stream of JMS, EDN events, or simulated Business events from a CSV file.
  • Reference: A connection to static data that is joined to your stream to enrich it and/or to be used in business logic and output.

So, in order to work with my data on Stream Explorer, I would start by creating Streams and References, after which I would assemble specific Explorations based on my information and visualization requirements. Once I begin publishing my explorations, the data will start flowing in real-time:

As you can see in the image above, we can tag our components for ease of discovery, and we can also customize some graphs, summaries and filters.

Some of the main features of Oracle SX include the following:
  • Dynamic uploading of CSV files, JMS, EDN, HTTP Publish and Subscribe and REST are all supported.
  • Reusable Business Solution Patterns are available for users to select a familiar solution analysis and simply apply the relevant Stream.
  • Drafting and Publishing of Explorations enables rapid prototyping of solutions.
  • Exploration chaining, which provides a very simplistic approach to complex solution
    solving, by enabling a streaming flow of resultant live output data between different distinct artifacts.
  • The export feature provides a mechanism to pass any Exploration, through a created jar file, for use in Oracle JDeveloper.
  • The product is Both On-Premise and Cloud enabled, keeping the same UI. It can also be deployed as standalone integrated in the SOA stack or lightweight on Embedded Java.
In conclusion, Oracle SX seems to be a revolutionary offering, very easy to use and attractive enough for customers so it can generate immediate interest. It also spans several use cases and industries, and the ease of deployment and configuration would make it very quick and simple to for example deliver a very good-looking PoC.

I will surely be playing a little more with it and post my findings and opinions, so if you're interested keep tuned!!

Thank you very much for your kind attention, comments and questions are welcome as always.

viernes, 6 de marzo de 2015

Budapest Tales - Recapping an Unforgettable Fortnight at #ofmForum

Budapest is a pearl of a city. Flanking the Blue Danube from either side, it is all bridges and landscapes and landmarks. The "Paris of Eastern Europe" may strike you at first as a town belonging to a distant past, yet it is so trendy and avant-garde once you get to know it.

And it was a perfect venue for this year's Oracle Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forum. The 20th edition of the conference brought together technicians from all over the world, and whilst most of them are natives of EMEA countries, there was a also a strong US contingent of Oracle employees, as well as a surprising party of Latin American professionals.

The first two days of the event were held at majestic Boscolo hotel, with a stacked program consisting of briefings, breakout presentations, use cases, live demos and networking lapses. Having never been to an OFM Forum before, what really startled me was the generalized quality and relevance of the presentations. Even Oracle itself seems to recognize this gathering as a huge opportunity, bringing some of its top guns loaded with red-hot information to discuss with the community members. I've been in Beta Programs, CABs and Councils before, but this is just a different atmosphere.

Networking at #ofmForum is also something else, as I got to meet and talk with people I admire and respect so much, such as Lucas Jellema, Luis Weir, etc., and of course Jürgen Kress, our conference chair, who does such an exceptional job leading the community and really goes out of his way to ensure these events are not only succesful, but also extremely pleasant and memorable for everyone involved. This guy combines german precision with heart and passion, which is such a powerful mix; with his help we have managed to get so much exposure, so we're truly grateful for that.

Timing was also perfect for me in this occasion, since I was able to spend lots of time with Luis, whom I will be helping produce his second book on the topic of SOA / API Management Strategy. Thanks buddy for giving this huge opportunity to Rolando Carrasco and yours truly. Besides discussing the book, we had a lot of fun talking about technology, tweeting our brains out, sightseeing and doing lots of cool stuff in the city. One more thing I can say about Luis is that he is such a challenging guy, so driven, so hungry for knowledge and answers; I really enjoyed watching him give the Oracle guys a run for their money at the conference and the  workshops.

The people who like me, signed up for the SOA track, spent the last couple of days at the Oracle office doing hands-on work and giving feedback for groundbreaking products like ICS and Stream Explorer. I will be writing much more about these tools on days to come so stay tuned. A great thing about the change of location, was that we got to walk back to the center of the city just along the Danube river, with a setting sun, a multicolored sky and a mind at ease after a full day of hard and fulfilling work.

So, the big topics which made my short list for this week are: API Management, Cloud Integration, Mobility, Adaptive Case Management, Rich UIs and IoT; also considered were Ruin Bars, Goulash Soup, Thermal Baths and Palinka. As soon as I arrive home, but after suitable rest, I will start looking into my notes for each of this subjects (the first ones) and putting them together into specific posts.

Thanks once more for your kind attention, comments and questions are welcome as always; until next time!!