Oracle Open World and Code One are just over, so it’s the ideal time to reflect what happened during the days at the conference. The big things of this years conference were:
- New Data centers
- Autonomous Database enhancements
- Autonomous Linux
- Partnerships with Microsoft & VM Ware
- Intelligent Apps development (Powered by ML/AI)
- Cloud Native
In the following sections let’s take a closer look with regards to the aforementioned topics.
New Data centers
Besides that Oracle showed how aggressively they’re building out new Gen-2 data center regions, to catch up with the main competitor AWS.
By the end of this year it is planned to have 19 data centers all over the world, for both Commercial and Governmental customers.
Autonomous Database enhancements
The Autonomous Database (ADB) is Oracle’s flagship product for Data Management in the Cloud. It is nothing new, but a lot of new enhancements are currently happening or going to happen in the near future.
Besides features like automatic indexing, self-scaling and built-in Machine Learning capabilities, one of the most important messages was that ADB will be evolved in the direction of a Multi-model Data Management Platform. Multi-model means that besides relational data there will be support for JSON, Key Value, Graph, Spatial and Files. Saying that, it was announced that a new Autonomous JSON database will be available that will coexist with Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing and Autonomous Data Warehouse.
To run Production workloads in a secure and isolated way, Autonomous Database Dedicated was announced. This basically means that such database tenants are isolated and run on dedicated Exadata Cloud infrastructure. This model feels like a fully isolated private Cloud in the Public Cloud and comes with a guaranteed availability of 99.995%.
Since ADB will be the central Data Management Platform within Oracle Cloud, Security is another hot topic. To further security, Oracle Data Safe was announced, which is the new, unified database security Control Center and comes with features like Security configuration assessment, User Activity Auditing and Data masking. This new offering is free for Cloud Databases and can also be used for On-prem Databases (for those you’re charged). With that you have kind of a hybrid, unified and central Security Control Center, which is quite cool from my perspective.
One of the biggest announcements for sure was the Free Cloud tier. This includes an always free Autonomous Data (2 Micro instances with 20 GB storage and 1 OCPU per instance). In addition to that you get the full development experience because it includes APEX, ORDS, SQL Developer Web, Machine Learning Notebooks. Having said that: Finally also APEX arrived on Autonomous Database. APEX is a low-code development platform to rapidly develop DB-centric applications.
Taking the autonomous strategy to the next level, Oracle announced Autonomous Linux, along with the new Oracle OS Management Service, which the first and only autonomous operating system offering that eliminates complexity and human error.
You can get more information about these new offerings in the official Press release: https://www.oracle.com/corporate/pressrelease/oow19-oracle-autonomous-linux-091619.html
Partnerships with Microsoft and VM Ware
It is good to see that Oracle is further opening themselves embracing Open Source and collaborate with other companies. Just before Open World a partnership with Microsoft was announced and during Open World more details about this partnership were announced, which includes:
- Running MSSQL on Oracle Cloud
- Running Oracle Ecosystem on Azure (Database, Apps, Linux, Java on Azure, WebLogic)
- Oracle provides license mobility for Oracle Software from On-prem to Azure
Besides that on some data centers there’ll be Oracle Gen-2 infrastructure co-located to Azure infra, which means less latency.
Oracle on VM Ware virtualization was always on of the most annoying topics for Oracle customers. Now Oracle and VM Ware announced a partnership where customers will be enabled to run VM Ware workloads on Oracle Cloud and furthermore Oracle will provide technical support for customers to run Oracle products on VM Ware virtualization. Read more about this in the official VM Ware press release: https://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-newsfeed.Oracle-and-VMware-Partner-to-Support-Customers-Hybrid-Cloud-Strategies.1916340.html
Intelligent Apps development
Intelligent apps are supposed to deliver a next gen User experience by supporting users in an intelligent and convenient way.
In this area the Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA) platform, which is officially there since last years Open World, is one important thing. ODA allows you to create intelligent, conversational apps. Intelligence is derived from the existing data using AI and ML capabilities.
One big announcement for ODA was the upcoming support for Voice. On top of that it was announced that ODA will be enabled to understand specific Enterprise vocabulary using semantic pattern matching, so that the bot is able to better understand specific user intents.
ODA is constantly evolving and is also used by Oracle’s SaaS offering like HCM or ERP (pre-built skills). To allow ODA to connect and talk to other systems, Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) can be used, which comes with OOTB business accelerators. Those are basically pre-built integration recipes that can be used and adjusted to a certain use case if needed.
Content Management for ODA solutions can be done in Oracle Content and Experience Cloud (OCE), which has been evolved over to a multi-channel, intelligent Content Hub.
Besides Conversational apps, powered by ODA, Progressive Web App development is also a very interesting and relevant topic, especially when it comes to efficient software development. For that Oracle has Visual Builder Cloud Service sided by Oracle Developer Cloud Service (which is basically free). One announcement here was that those two services will become more integrated (Visual Builder Studio/Platform) to further Developer productivity and to provide an outstanding developer experience.
Cloud Native was an omni-present topic especially at Oracle Code One. Here we had a lot presentations with respect to Kubernetes, Microservice development, Function as a Service, Reactive app development, etc. The interesting thing to see was that Java is still relevant and as a programming language is constantly evolving. In the Java Keynote the GA of Java 13 was announced. Furthermore there are tons of Java-based framework to develop Microservices around (MicroProfile-based (Helidon), Quarkus, Micronaut).
From my perspective new applications today should be developed using Cloud Native technologies adhering the respective design principles (12-factor app). So, I recommend to make yourselves familliar with those concepts and technologies. A great source for that is the CNCF website (https://www.cncf.io).
Oracle itself has an impressive amount of Cloud Native OCI services, like Event Streaming or Functions (based on Project Fn), which become constantly improved and integrated with each other. The idea is to build and run scalable apps in public, private and hybrid Clouds. The philosophy for those services is to provide a completly managed Cloud Native development stack based on leading Open Source technologies that are certified by CNCF. In this area new services were announced Logging Service, for centralized log management, and a native OCI API Gateway. The later one is a fully Oracle-managed API Gateway.
By the way – What about On-prem?
Besides all the noise around Cloud, it is good to see that also the On-prem offering is further evolved in parallel. Shortly, we can expect a new Patchset for WebLogic Server (188.8.131.52), which brings in some enhancements and security fixes.
Furthermore it was announced that WebLogic Server 14.1.1 is currently under development and will be out in this calendar year. This version is expected to fully support Jakarta EE 8 and runs on top of JDK8 resp. JDK13. There will also be support for Middleware components like SOA Suite or Servicebus with upcoming releases of Weblogic Server (14.1.2).
Puuuuh… A lot of stuff is obviously going on. Oracle is moving forward and has – at least from my perspective – a very strong vision where the Cloud should go to. I am glad to see that, especially with respect to the newly announced partnerships and the constantly evolving adoption of Open Source technologies and also give things back to the Open Source community (Helidon, Oracle JET, Java EE -> Jakarta EE).