Autonomous, intelligent and open Cloud – An Oracle Open World and Code One Wrap-up

Oracle Open World 2018 is over, so it’s time to take a step back and replay about what happened during some interesting days fully-packed with great and useful information.

Oracle Gen2 Cloud Infrastructure – the big thing in IaaS

Oracle Gen2 Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), is intended to deliver a better Performance (Compute, Memory, Block Storage, Network) and a better Pricing to customers than the Gen1 infrastructure.

From an architectural perspective Oracle’s new Cloud infrastructure is more than just a facelift, since it has been re-designed from the ground up.


As the picture above shows, Oracle introduced a completely new tier: the Cloud Control Computers. These specific components, called the impenetrable barrier, run all Cloud control code. Before, the Cloud control code was co-located with all customer code, which was suspect to be less secure and vulnerable. The Cloud Control computers surround the Oracle Cloud infrastructure to protect the Cloud as such and additionally surround each customer zone. This leads to enhanced security and more data privacy.

In addition to the impenetrable barrier, Oracle introduced so called Autonomous Robots that detect and kill potential threats automatically. To be able to identify those threats, the Robots are empowered by Machine Learning algorithms and so protect the Oracle Gen2 Cloud infrastructure for attacks.

OCI is already available in most regions today and will also be available for Cloud@Customer in Summer 2019.

Oracle Autonomous Database

The Oracle Autonomous Database was already announced during last years Open World; now the vision seems to be compete. The Database can be used for implementing transaction-intense applications (OLTP) as well as for defining analytics applications (OLAP, Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse) and leverages the new OCI infrastructure. In the context of the Autonomous Database autonomous Robots are responsible for:

  • Provisioning
  • Scaling
  • Tuning (tuning is constantly applied)
  • Recovery
  • Patch & update
  • Fault-tolerant failover
  • Backup & Recovery

Doing so, the Database is supposed to be more stable and available (Availability: 99.995%) and should allow Developers and Administrators to focus on more important questions with respect to data organisation and business logic.

From an architectural perspective, Oracle Autonomous Database is designed in a Serverless fashion, which means that customers only need to pay when data is actively processed. When the Servers are idle, nothing needs to be paid – with the exception of storage.

OCI Security announcements

The Security topic was very prominent this year. For the OCI infrastructure the following new announcements in this area were made:

  • Key Management Service– Store & Manage all encryption keys for all storage layers
  • Cloud Access Security Borker (CASB)– Automated, continuous security monitoring and management (e.g. configuration changes done by potential attackers)
  • Web Application Firewall– Web application traffic inspection
  • Distributed Denial of Service Protection– Automated DDoS attack detection and mitigation of high volume layer 3 & 4 attacks

With that the OCI offering becomes more secure and trustworthy, so that customers have less to worry about data security in the Cloud.

News and noteworthy from the SaaS and PaaS space

Oracle SaaS and PaaS solutions are leveraging from the innovations for Oracle Gen2 Cloud infrastructure, since the respective solutions are running upon the IaaS components.

Oracle SaaS

In the SaaS space, Oracle claims the market leader position, especially in the Cloud ERP space. Bringing existing on-premise customers to Oracle Fusion SaaS is something were Oracle is working on hard, to make this journey as easy as possible. In addition, it should be done at a very low-cost level and in the shortest possible period, which is depending on the number of customisations built in the existing on-premises solution.

Talking about customisations Larry Ellison said: “We love extensions, extensions are great! We have these great tools for extensions to our SaaS applications.”, and he further explained that customisations are not welcomed. From a long-term maintenance perspective, this is comprehensible.

With great tools, Ellison points amongst others to the integration accelerators that can be used to integrate Fusion SaaS apps and the respective data with other applications. Regarding data integration and analytics of the existing Fusion data Oracle introduces the brand new Fusion Analytics Data Warehouse that is build upon Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse as well as the Oracle Analytics Cloud Service (PaaS), which is intended to make data analytics very easy and efficient by just pushing a button.


Oracle PaaS

Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) seems to be very popular nowadays and omnipresent at a lot of presentations at Open World this year, as already mentioned in this post, while talking about OCI and the concept of the autonomous Robots.

That Oracle takes the topic seriously, shows itself also by the announced acquisition of the Cloud-based AI data engine company DataFox for undisclosed terms. The acquired tech will enhance Oracle Cloud Applications and the Data as a Service offering.

“Machine learning is a technology as revolutionary as the internet” (Larry Ellison, CTO Oracle)

ML and AI technologies (and therefore the Autonomous Data Warehouse, which provides the data basis) are also the basis for the newly announced Oracle Digital Assistant, which is the next evolution level of Chatbots and Intelligent Bots.

Other as the Chatbot or Intelligent Bot offering before, the Oracle Digital Assistant is a new standalone Service offerings and combines diverse so called skills for different business contexts under a common interface. This makes the User experience more consistent, since users have a single entry point to follow up with different user journeys, depending on their current context. Empowered by ML and AI the digital assistance knows, by analysing the information provided by the user, which skill to use to fulfil the current request. From a interface perspective, Oracle provides an app, but also supports integration with existing Services like Slack or Facebook messenger. In addition to that there a completely new support for Voice is available, which allows integration with existing voice assistants like Siri or Alexa.

With respect to Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC), we’ll see some new innovations also driven by ML and AI. For example in the Process Space there’ll be support for Dynamic Business Rules and next best action offerings in the area of dynamic processes and in the integration space integrations can be built more efficiently by providing intelligent recommendations for data mappings.

A new kid on the block in the Process and Integration space is Robotic Process Automation (RPA), where application integration is done by so called Robots (other than the autonomous Robots used by OCI) by basically leveraging the existing UI capabilities of an existing application to realise a certain integration scenario. The RPA technology can be used in cases where no appropriate UI is available and integrations needs to be established quickly. To implement RPA-based integrations a developer basically defines a UI Flow, similar to a Screencast, which is replayed by the Robot.

For developing and running the Robots, Oracle has established a cooperation with UIPath, a leading company in the RPA space. At Open World Oracle announced a new OIC RPA Adapter, which can be used to easily integrate with UIPath’s RPA solution, which makes the development of those solutions more efficient.

Cloud-native application development

Cloud-native application development denotes a modern approach to build and run applications by exploiting the advantages that Cloud and emerging technologies for developing modern applications deliver. Cloud-native applications embrace the 12-factor  principles, integrate concepts like DevOps, Continuous delivery and are often build on Container technologies.

Oracle also implement some of their Cloud offerings considering Cloud-native principles. While doing so they also share technologies and frameworks with the Open-Source Community, like the Oracle JET framework (the standard UI Framework used for Cloud UIs). With Fn Project Oracle last year open-sourced a framework for defining Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) apps which are Docker-based and therefore can be executed vendor-agnostic.

At this years Open World Oracle introduced a new framework that was open-sourced just before Open World: Helidon. It is a framework to implement Microservices. It comes in two different flavours: MicroFramework, which is a lightweight and function-based variant, and MicroProfile, which supports MicroProfile version 1.1 and therefore comes with support for JEE features. So Helidon is a valid alternative to Spring Boot, when it comes to Microservices implementation on a Java basis.

During Open World 2018 Oracle Oracle announced 9 new Services to support Cloud-native application development, from Managed K8S, Kafka and Serverless, Orchestration, Telemetry, Notifications, Auto scaling and Cloud events.


The Orchestration Service for example aims at Infrastructure-as-Code, which is a very important thing for Cloud-native application development, since with that applications become even more independent from the runtime as it’s runtime is part of the software.


From a technology perspective topics like APIs,  Microservice technologies, like Service-Mesh with Istio or Envoy and Kubernetes as the Next-gen application development platform, were prominent citizens especially at Oracle Code One. In addition, the Kafka platform for real-time Data streaming and analytics, Serverless technologies and implementations as well as Machine Learning based on Open-Source technologies and frameworks were on the agenda.


This years Open World was mainly branded by the new Gen2 Infrastructure, the enhancements in this area and the autonomy of certain Oracle Cloud components, like the Database or the Data Warehouse. It seems that at least the Oracle IaaS stack is following a consistent vision and is becoming more mature. Also on the PaaS-level the available product palette seems to become more homogeneous and consistent, since everything converges together from a higher-level perspective. There are still some childhood illnesses, but maybe that’s just a matter of time.

Code One was a conference with many different facets, amazing presentations and awesome speakers. Here developers were able to share knowledge and exchange opinions, about how applications development should be done nowadays. It’s good to see that trend for embracing Open-Source technologies, which I already noticed last year, evolved further.

I am curious to see how the observed trends will develop further. Latest at Oracle Open World and Code One 2019, we’ll see how trend will look like.


DOAG 2017 contributions overview

With DOAG 2017 conference, I am done with my conference year. You can find the complete conference program here.


But – as always – after a conference is always before the next conference. With this in mind, I just quickly wanted to provide a quick overview on my contributions and where to find respective materials.

At this years conference I had 3 presentations, which I gave with with my congenial partner Danilo Schmiedel. We covered different topics all around strategies, guidelines and technologies on the area of digital transformation

Strategies for efficient Delivery with APIs, Containers, Microservices, DevOps

A central challenge for today’s IT is how to ensure business agility and how to keep the robustness of core business functionalities. A microservice-based architecture in conjunction with APIs for decoupling the building blocks becomes more and more important. By using modern container technologies, companies can leverage all the advantages of modern software development. This session covers the impact of modern software architectures based on a real-life scenario, which we implemented to establish faster delivery cycles and to start innovations. Learn different strategies for how modernized software architectures can be introduced. Slides are available on Slideshare.

Cloud meets On-Premises: Guidelines and Best Practices

Integrating distributed systems or microservices with each other has been a challenging topic over the past years. The architecture blueprint which will be explained in this session considers highlights and lessons learned from our real life experiences with hybrid and multi-cloud environments. As part of that we will demonstrate how to bring back architectural best practices into modern solutions that are suitable for organizations of any size and industry. Slides are available on Slideshare.

Dynamic Processes & DMN Accelerate Digital Transformation

Business Process Management (BPM) as a Service, that is what the Oracle Process Cloud Service (PCS) is about. It provides tools to collaboratively create business processes, forms, rules, documents, services and data in a zero-code web-based environment. Of course BPM is not a new topic and quite a few initiatives failed in the last decade. However, with dynamic processes and decision modeling, Oracle PCS provides two very important enrichments which avoid the main challenges from the past in order to deliver real value to the knowledge workers. But is BPM dead or is it still relevant with respect to digital transformation? This is a question, we’re trying to clarify. Slides are available on Slideshare.

In summary, we had very interesting sessions at the conference, with great feedback and discussions. I am really looking forward for the next year. Until then, I’d like to say thank you and see you next year in Nürnberg.

My Oracle Open World 2017 contributions in a nutshell

OOW 17 is behind us and is was again an amazing and informative experience to attend one of the world biggest and relevant IT conferences.

Time to give you an overview on contributions and outcomes I was involved in. In total, I delivered 4 sessions:

  • Modernize Your IT Landscape with API-Driven Architectures (delivered 2 times, once at OOW and once at JavaOne Oracle Code track)
  • Strategies for Efficient Delivery with APIs, Containers, Microservices, DevOps
  • Soaring Through the Clouds: Live Demo of 17 Oracle PaaS Services Working Together

In addition, my colleague Danilo Schmiedel and me did an Dev interview with Bob Rhubart about APIs and Microservices and it’s meaning with respect to modern software architectures.

Concluding the conference, I also wrote a blog post, containing my thoughts and impressions of Oracle Open World 2017, which was published on the OPITZ CONSULTING CattleCrew Blog.

As you can, a significant number of contributions have been delivered and, more important than that, tons of information and impressions that I took home form an impressive conference!


Oracle API Platform Cloud Service – The Next-Gen API Management Platform

Nowadays APIs are omnipresent. In a world of intelligent Virtual assistants (a.k.a. Chatbots), like Google’s Alexa, and a “Connect everything”-mentality this is not surprising. In addition, APIs are essential building blocks of modern software applications build on top of new architectural patterns like Microservices. That’s the technical side.

From a corporate perspective, APIs provide the chance to create new digital business models and economies by exposing services and data to business partners and customers. The challenge: How to ensure Usability, Security, Transparency and Discoverability for the exposed APIs?

Design-Driven API Management

With API Platform Cloud Service (APIP CS), Oracle launched the next big thing today making their Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering even more complete.

APIP CS is a lightweight, cloud-native platform that is capable for covering the complete API Lifecycle from Planning to Retirement.


Having an integration with, which was acquired by Oracle in the beginning of this year, the platform comes with a powerful API Design component and thus supports an API First approach, where API designers, API developers, architects and API consumer developers respectively App developers can consistently work collaboratively to create an appropriate API definition. This results in a consistent, intuitive API, driven by design.

Platform architecture

The picture below depicts the platform architecture of APIP CS (Graphic by Luis Weir, Capgemini):


Besides Apiary (1) as the API Design Platform, the graphic depicts the other basic components of APIP CS, which are the Management Service (2) and the API Gateway component (3). For Identity and Access Management purposes APIP CS integrates with the Identity Cloud Service (IDCS), which can connect to different Corporate directories.


As mentioned before Apiary is the API Design environment giving users with different responsibilities the chance to collaboratively work on new Business APIs, defining it in an API First style.

To support the API Lifecycle from the very first beginning, the Design phase, Apiary comes with an intuitive and easy-to-use browser-based UI, supporting API Blueprint and Swagger for describing APIs. In addition, Apiary provides Source Code Management System integration, e.g. with Github, to further collaboration and offers a Mock Server, so that App developers can directly work against newly defined APIs. This ensures short feedback cycles and furthers an efficient API delivery.

Management Service

The Management Service is the central heart of APIP CS and is used for implementing, managing and discovering APIs. It is a cloud-based component which “lives” in the Oracle Cloud. Out-of-the-box the Management Service provides two UIs: the Management Console and the Developer Portal.

The Management Console is the main tool for API Managers. Using the console, new API implementations can be created, deployed, managed and monitored. In addition, the API Manager can publish a documentation of the API to the Developer Portal. for which simply a link to Apiary can be created.

The Developer Portal is the main UI for App developers that can use the portal to discover the published APIs and to register applications for using those APIs for their app development. If no appropriate API could be found by the App developer, it potentially needs to be created.

Through it’s Platform APIs, the Management Service is customizable and extendable. Basically all functionalities, provided by the Management Portal or the Developer Portal can be also executed using the corresponding REST-based Platform APIs of the Management Service.

API Gateways

A Gateway is the component responsible for executing the Policies defined for the APIs at runtime. APIs are deployed to a Gateway node using either the Management Service or a REST API.

The Gateway as such is a standalone component which can be installed either to Oracle Cloud platform, 3rd party Clouds (Azure or Amazon) or On-Premise. A Gateway periodically reaches out to the Management Service to check for updated API implementations and to send analytics informations to the Management Service.

This “Hollywood”-style communication approach (“Don’t call us, we call you”), makes life much more easier, because there is no need for explicitly opening firewall ports per Gateway, since every Gateway does outbound calls to the Management Service and not the other way around.


Oracle APIP CS has a very strong and clear vision, how API Management should be done today – and how it should not be done, of course. It supports users to ensure Usability, Security, Transparency and Discoverability for the exposed APIs and convinces with it’s API First philosophy, is extendable as well as customizable.

From an User experience (UX) perspective, the implementation of APIs using the Management Console is intuitive and straight-forward; there’s no need for extensive training on how to implement APIs using APIP CS. The same is true for the Developer Portal and also for the Design platform Apiary.

From an infrastructure respectively architecture perspective, the hybrid deployment model of the API Gateway components, allows the creation of flexible, consistent and robust API-based architectures.

To make a long story short: APIP CS is a flexible, scalable and easy-to-use solution to thrive innovation by unleashing the power of APIs.







Oracle Code Berlin – Personal impressions from a surprisingly different conference

Monday the 24th of April, 3:15 a.m.: My alarm clocks rings me up – yes, this is of course brutally early! But it was necessary to catch my train from Cologne to Berlin, where the newly invented conference format “Oracle Code” opens the doors. With respect to these early hours, knowing that this will be a long day and not sure what to expect, I made my way to Berlin – and this was a very good invest!

The facts of Oracle Code 2017 in Berlin:

  • 350 attendees
  • More than 20 sessions covering relevant topics like
    • Micorservices
    • API Management
    • Chatbots
    • Docker
    • DevOps
    • Kafka
  • 2 Hands-On-Labs (Docker introduction and Oracle Bare Metal Cloud)
  • Experienced, international speakers

The focussed audience of this conference were developers and architects, so the focus of the conference presentation was on technology, real-world problems and solutions – no marketing, which was very welcomed! If you want to know more about the agenda: here we go.

Our contribution to the conference

My colleague Danilo Schmiedel and myself had two talks at the conference this time.

The first one was about “API Management and why it matters”. In this session we were presenting an internal project, where we’re currently working on breaking up a monolithic application, following modern architecture approaches and concepts, like Microservices, API Management and modern UI technologies. We showed to the audience how this looks like form an architectural perspective and focussed also on how the implementation is done.

In the second talk “Improve Your Cloud Integrations with Test-driven Development”, we were talking on how to establish a consistent DevOps in integration respectively cloud integration projects. We explained this based on experiences from customer projects and described why Test-Driven Development is also or especially important in (cloud) integration projects as well as how to support a DevOps approach using Oracle Developers Cloud Service.

Between the two presentations I was interviewed by Javed Mohammed from OTN, where we talked about different topics with reference to our sessions and about me current thoughts regarding relevant challenges to be solved with modern software architectures. The complete interview can be found here.

Wrap up

To make the story complete, I just wanted to mention that my Oracle Code journey ended yesterday at 11:30 p.m.

It was an exhausting, but very valuable conference day. I really enjoyed, to be part of this great conference. Great sessions, interesting topics, an interesting audience and also a great finale, since there was beer and pizza at the party afterwards!

Thanks to the organization team for this wonderful event – I will definitely come back next time!

Chatbots, Cloud and beyond – Impressions about the PaaS Forum in Split

The yearly PaaS Forum should be a fix appointment in every Oracle-focussed IT Specialist. Why do I think that? Here are some reasons:

  • Get aligned with the newest products, features and roadmap information regarding Orcale’s massively growing Cloud offering
  • Get into touch with Oracle Product Management, Architects from the A-Team and leading experts from diverse Oracle Partners
  • Use the productive atmosphere at beautiful locations to network and talk about the newest trends and challenges in the IT market

This year the conference took place in Split at the beautiful Croatian coast in an excellent hotel; ideal settings for a productive and valuable working atmosphere.

The topics of the conference were all related to the Oracle Cloud Platform and insights into the roadmap as well as the strategy and where things are heading to. The key aspects of that will be briefly covered in the following.

Chatbots awakens

It sounds a little more scary than it really is; we will not run into a Terminator-like Skynet vision! But, it’s fact that chatbots seems to become more and more relevant, even for the business world.

In the consumer area chatbots are commodity. Intelligent asssitents like Siri or Alexa are helping us to organize daily work. Companies can also leverage from that. With today’s technologies the creation of those virtual assistants is possible in a quite easy way.

Key to be successful is to train the bot to identify the intent of the conversation partner, so that it can provide an appropriate answer. Since natural language is not that easy and straight-forward this can be challenging, because the bot also needs to know about synonyms, etc. In addition, a chatbot must be enabled to be self-learning, which is supported throug Machine Learning algorithms.

With their Chatbots Development Platform, Oracle allows the implementation of those virtual assistants. With Facebook as a strong cooperation partner in this space, Oracle seems to be well prepared to be at top, when the broad business adoption of chatbots begins.

APIs as a key enabler for new business models

APIs are doors to an enterprises data, services and processes, which might be exposed to the outbound world. Those APIs need to be managed to allow the definition of security, thread protection and throttling. In addition, things like API usage monitoring and monetization are also very important since a consistent API management approach is a key enabler for new business models.

With Oracle API Platform Cloud Service (APIP CS), which will come out soon, Oracle addresses the needs for implementing a consistent API Management approach, which covers the full API lifecycle from design over implementation to deployment, monitoring and management. The acquisition of Apiary, which covers the full API design lifecycle, makes the platform even more complete. You should definetly keep an eye on this upcoming product.

Integration is not dead yet

The basis for adopting new concepts, like for example IoT, are integrated enterprise systems. Even if integration as such is not as sexy as chatbots, since it purely happens in the background without user interaction, it is essential for keeping backend systems into sync with each other and for supporting concepts like a harmonized data model.

With Integration Cloud Service (ICS) and SOA Cloud Service (SOA CS) Oracle provides a first class integration offering, which enables the implementation of hybrid integration architectures. Those architectures are relevant to support companies on their way to the Cloud.

Containerization as basis for flexible architectures

Markets are very dynamically today, which causes companies to react on that. Furthermore technology is also evolving faster. To keep up with that, an ability to change mindset is needed throughout an organization. This means the business side as well as the IT. Therefore applications, which depict business capabilities, need to be changeable in an appropriate amount of time, without disturbing the business continuity.

With the Oracle Cloud Platform it is possible to create applications in a Microservice architectural style, by using Servics like Application Container Cloud Service (ACCS) or Container Cloud Service (CCS). A broad palette of technologies is supported by ACCS and CCS, applications can be scaled out at runtime and containers can be orchestrated, which makes the solutions even more powerful and flexible. To support flexibility agility a complete DevOps approach can be established by leveraging Oracle Developers Cloud Service’s collaboration and development features.

With that services, Oracle provides a very consistent approach to develop next gen applications and services, adressing the volatility of markets, business requirements and technologies.

Human-centric business workflows

Depicting human-centric workflows can be done Process Cloud Service (PCS) that’s nothing new. With PCS straight-forward workflows can be expressed using BPMN. But when business processes have a more dynamic character, it will be difficult to address those with BPMN.

For depicting dynamic business processes Adaptive Case Management (ACM) is needed. This was already part of Oracle BPM 12c and now will also become part of PCS. This is great and makes even more valuable for businesses, since with that capability the platform provides the basis for Enterprise decision modeling and Human-centric business workflows.

ACE world record in integrating Cloud Services

From the ACE team a showcase was delivered showing the integration of 15 (!) different Cloud Services in a Showcase in which a Voting Platform, for this years Open World music act, was created.

The team lead by Lucas Jellema showed impressingly how different Oracle Cloud Services (DevCS, APIP CS, PCS, ICS, SOA CS, ACCS, CCS,…) can be combined and integrated with each other to depict a Cloud native application.

The ACE team consists of:

  • Lucas Jellama
  • Lonneke Dikmanns
  • Richard Olrichs
  • Danilo Schmiedel
  • Mark Simpson
  • Torsten Winterberg
  • Sven Bernhardt

It was good fun and also very experiencing, being part of this great team.


It was again a great conference, which I personally left totally inspired with new ideas, taken from the spirit of the conference. Good to see that Oracle is making their way in the Cloud space consistently and is taking the partners with them on this journey. It is essential to build up knowledge in this space, since there seems to be lack of knowledge in the market; homework for us as partners!

Special thanks to Jürgen Kress for building up such a great and powerful community of friends!



Oracle SB12c QuickTip: Fix HTTP 403 on calling SOAP/REST Proxy Services

A few days ago, I faced a strange behaviour when I tried to test SOAP and REST services deployed to a fresh SOA Suite 12c ( installation. Using SOAP UI for testing the services always gave me an response in a HTML format, which says ” Error 403 Forbidden”, like it is displayed in the screenshot below:

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-15-04-03Going through all log files of the corresponding Managed Server, where Servicebus was installed to, I didn’t find any hint that even the request was delivered to the servers. The requests simply had no footprint in the access.log or the server’s diagnostics.log – which seemed to be very strange to me. Assuming that the behaviour might have been something to do with the security policies applied to the services, I disabled all security policies as a next step – without any success.

After testing the services successfully in another environment, it was quite clear to me that something was wrong with the domain setup and after some investigations, I found the root cause for the “Error 403 Forbidden” message: Using the deployments view in Weblogic Console, I noticed that “API Manager Starter Application” was targeted to the Servicebus Cluster. Like described in MOS Note 2087277.1, I un-targeted this application from the Cluster, restarted the corresponding Managed Servers and afterwards, I was able to test the services without receiving the mentioned exception. Like the MOS note described this behaviour might happen, if the wrong Template (Oracle API Manager Template) is chosen for Servicebus, when setting up a domain.

Since it took me some time to understand the behaviour and to fix it accordingly, I hope this short post will preserve you from running into the same issue.