I’m back from Malaga after attending the Oracle Fusion Middleware (OFM) Partner Forum #ofmforum. All I have to say is “Wow”. Hans Blass and Juergen Kress at Oracle did another great job this year and I’m already looking forward to the next.. Please don’t let it be in cold England though!
The last event was in Utrecht and was also my first OFM Partner Forum. Full credit has to be given to Hans and Juergen for the time and effort they put into planning and getting this organised – with bringing the partner community together to present and revealing a few internal tidbits of what the future has in store for us and our clients.
On Monday I left Cancun, Mexico after celebrating at the Fishbowl Solutions’ P-Club event – we successfully hit our 2011 numbers! (By the way, if you want to see how we party then check out our Facebook page). I caught connecting flights in Miami, Madrid and finally onto Malaga (that was an adventure in itself…) After a few delays with connecting flights and misinformation being shown to lead me to think I had missed a flight – I finally made it to Malaga Hotel Tuesday 11am an hour before registration. I had just enough time for a shower, shave and a Five Hour Energy.
The event began with the general intros; discussion on Spain, Malaga and why Oracle were there – I believe great weather and siestas came up – those lucky Spanish;) Following on, Hans and Juergan pushed the relevance and how important Oracle specialisation is both with WebCenter and SOA. Oracle specialisation is becoming more of a brand and a statement of success. If you are specialised then you should display the logo on your business cards – 2 of the attending partners retrieved their customised business cards from Hans which were very nice. However, I was wondering where Fishbowl’s were, Hans? Fishbowl Solutions was the first WebCenter Partner to have both Portal and Content Specialisations, having achieved these back in March of 2011. There was also mention that Oracle will be producing elegant specialised stands for partners reception areas, looking forward to seeing those go up.
After the break, eProseed covered their approach to a full deployment of the OFM Suite. This is a very large undertaking for any partner to handle, and I found it a shame that the client was unable to attend and talk alongside of the challenges and hurdles they managed to overcome. Nevertheless, it is was good to see how they approached the challenging implementation and integration of the suite.
Throughout the day I met a number of Partners – some I didn’t recognise who grabbed me; it’s very strange when people engage you as if they know you from talking about ADF Mobile, Spaces and strategies. However, I was glad to finally meet Yannick Ongena – the first appointed WebCenter Ace in EMEA – congrats, by the way. I’ve known Yannick for around 3 years now chatting and blogging about WebCenter. Somehow we missed each other at the last event at Utrecht, but considering how many people attend these events – I think over 200 delegates attended this year from 35 countries – meet ups with every person in attendance simply is not possible.
Yannick also introduced me to Andrejus Baranovskis, who is someone I’ve always followed due to all his knowledge on Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF), and is someone I will definitely be keeping in touch with in the future.
The next presentation was from a client – Inmarsat presented by David Rametta. For me these are always the most interesting as the client has an opportunity to present their challenges with other products and their success with working with Oracle Products and partners. David is the Digital Marketing Manager who approached Oracle directly – wanting to escape Inmarsat digital graveyard and escape open source driven content management systems to bring relevant up-to-date content to users accessing the site. They achieved this was via the semantic engine, which provided a platform to deliver taxonomy driven content via Web Experience Management / Site Studio. This for me was the best presentation of the event.
Tuesdays presentation ended with the new features on 12c, as well as Oracle’s direction on Mobility, WebSphere, ADF, and Weblogic. Let’s just say its going to be an exciting time for 2012/13 for us developers…
Tuesday Evening Partner Social Event
Hans & Juergen booked El Pimpi, a famous bar in Malaga opposite the old castle of Malaga, to enjoy the local tapas with Andalusian music in a traditional Spanish bodega. It was all very nice, but I chose to escape with a few of the other partners to a quieter area of the bar to discuss the day. After the reception, we headed on for a gorgeous meal where I had time to talk with the EMEA director of partner sales and other Oracle partners to discuss Oracles future and how we can further our partner relations.
The night ended with after drinks with Oracle, Vass, InfoMentum & Sapient – overall a great evening!
A number of breakout sessions – sometimes I wish I could clone myself to attend more than one – but here are the ones I attended.
Integrating Oracle WebCenter with Business Content and Apps – There is no wrong way to do it.
Srdjan Bakovic InfoMentum
Presentation covering 3 Case studies of WebCenter Content implementation with proven integrations and approaches with WebCenter Portal. SSXA over Content Presenter – Cancer Research UK; Hays Recruitment and an unnamed Government org.
Grant Ronald – Oracle Senior Group Product Manager
A great intro into using Groovy with ADF/JDeveloper – a small but nice presentation by Grant.
WebCenter Competitive Intelligence
Sales driven presentation discussing Gartner findings regarding Oracle product advantages over competitive solutions from Open Source to proprietary – LifeRay, Sharepoint & Alfresco.
What is New in 12c for WebCenter Portal & WebCenter Content
Kumar Vora, SVP of Development
This image best describes the topic – but ADF, Templating, Mobility, WebSphere and product enhancements were all at the top of the list for this talk. The product is going from strength to strength! Really glad to see the direction Oracle is taking with WebCenter.
Oracle Social Network
For those who missed OpenWorld last year it was nice to see an updated presentation of Social. This was especially interesting for me – I have been watching Social’s progress before the re-brand, and back when it was known as Oracle Ontrack. A lot has changed since then, including a simplified user interface. Unfortunately, I’m not in the group that agrees with Social’s new positioning. Instead, I would like to see a rich interface on social and use Portal to pull in required portlets to create a simplified interface to interact with. I believe Portal should be the key solution and stepping stone for pulling in components and integrating with the other Oracle solutions. Social still no official release date, but I’m sure this will be a hit for both clients and partners.
Thursday/Friday WebCenter and ADF Masterclass
Presented by Oracle PTS, VASS, InfoMentum and Red Samurai.
The day started with Andrejus Baranovskis from Red Samurai discussing ADF, and how to build an application based off the XE HR Scheme database from a List Of Values. The preso ended with instructions on how to set up taskflows.
Next Rob De Gouw from Quobell presented their case study on working with ADF to develop a solution for Canon. They covered challenges they had and how they resolved them, as well as questions for the audience on how others had overcome these issues. For Quobell the issues they encountered and struggled with included working with an external webdesign team to create a Canon branded ADF interface. The struggle was due to the fact that external web design agencies do not understand the complexities of developing for a tag driven language where the CSS and DOM is all generated via the ADF renderkit engine. The next issue was creating flexible web-based components based off the external webdesign teams concepts, such as a paging solution. Lastly, how to incorporate multilingual support across the site with ADF and WebCenter Content integrations.
Yannick finished off the day covering WebCenter UI and the best approach for designing lightweight interactive Templates and Page Style. He showed off 2 templates, one of which he gave a shout out to me for providing;) Thanks Yannick! See it here: http://www.yonaweb.be/webcenter_11g_ps3_tutorial_building_webcenter_template
Yannick finnished the day off with some great presentations on Portlet intercommunications, error handling and supporting questions, and queries with WebCenter.
Overall another successful EMEA Partner Event. I will be looking forward to attending the next event with fingers crossed you’ll see me presenting and talking on ADF Mobile and its future with Phonegap. Stay tuned!