Tuesday, September 30, 2008

OpenWorld 2008 Final Post: Fusion Applications, X, R12 - Change Pack & Payment Manager plus SES

A bit of a delay on my final post on OpenWorld - Wednesday, the Appreciation Event and Thursday went past in a blur, then on to enjoying the final moments in the Valley, lastly the long haul home & back to reality.

Fusion Applications came to the fore at Steve Miranda's presentation on Wednesday the highlights for me were as follows - let me know if my scrawls have been translated to something incorrect!

  • Built on ADF stack - I went to a few hands on sessions prior so familiar with the look n feel. Nice.
  • WebCenter Integration
  • Document Management (Stellant?) Integration
  • Secure Enterprise Search (SES) standard (top and center in the UI)
  • BI Publisher in the technology stack
  • Prebuilt Dashboards and Embedded BI
  • Tagging / Categories
  • RSS
  • Instant Collaboration built in - Chat / IM / Voice / Email
  • Help includes User Ratings, Audio/Video
  • Configuration comparison and loading tools across instances
  • Upgrades as per provided today - ie. If you can upgrade your eBusiness Suite, then the same will apply to upgrade to Fusion. Note upgrade paths do not including merging instances, splitting instances. Supports Pillars.

But when are Fusion Applications going to be available? Let me know! Although given the fullness of the demo screens and a couple of mumbles I'd bet there are business trialling it now.

Following on from that the next interesting item was Larry's speech from the blogger's area and that box with the X and Oracle/HP badges; the HP Oracle Database Machine. Unfortunately my sentiment on this is similar to Tim Hall's - in New Zealand there might be 2 perhaps 3 companies with the kind of dosh needed to shell out and buy one... sigh ... but hey, prove me wrong someone in NZ and get me in to have a little play ;-)

After a highly enjoyable and entertaining night at the Appreciation Event, amusements, Seal and UB40 (thanks Greg, Michael & co) Thursday came around all to quick for me and my new Unicorn friend ;-) so skipped a few sessions, and headed to the demo grounds, notes follow.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Change Pack for Release 12.x

The "Change Pack" was very briefly mentioned during the R12 and 12.1 update without details. So I got down to the demo pod to check it out. Had a succinct demo from one of the On Demand team who are currently using it. With my Apps DBA hat on the the Change Pack looks really, really good and here's a rundown of the features:

  • Automation of Patch Application, including automatic downloads, unzip and merge of designated patches. Basically you specify the patches you want applied and it comes up with a task list based on the patches where you can add/reorder etc. the steps.
  • Creation of custom steps to integrate into a given patch run
  • Patch run scheduling, including viewing status of other patch runs
  • Automated notification of patch failures
  • Post install tasks like Generate Messages, Compile etc just a checkbox
  • Creation of Custom Patches that can be applied by adpatch

Note that unfortunately the features don't include patch analysis or automated dependency checking based on the underlying patch Metalink Notes... or should I call them Knowledge Base Notes now? It would be great if the Metalink Notes for Patches were in a strict format so the Change Pack could datamine them and work out patch dependencies etc. Hoping for too much ;-) Of course all features mentioned here are not official yet as Change Pack is due for release sometime in 2009 I think. Bring it on!

Release 12 Payment Manager was the next demo pod, the updates to Payment Batch process from Release 11i and earlier is something I've been looking forward to for a loooong time ... even though parts of it such as easy payment document changes via BI Publisher Templates and built in FTP/SFTP etc delivery are going to negate the need for some of my development time! Good stuff.

The Secure Enterprise Search (SES) for Release 12 demo pod also caught my attention, so took a brief flight through that - seems like it would take quite a bit of configuration to get it working, and more than a few $$ as well, with the need of the SES server and the eBusiness Suite "adaptors". But worth a look all the same ... now where did I put that Google Desktop Search for eBusiness Suite functionality ;-)

Eye Scanning: One of the more fun pods was focussed on UI design by tracking and recording eye movements - so I sat down and after a quick callibration exercise and intro, I went through an eye tracking session. Very very interesting to see where I looked when reading and searching for something on screen. Worth the time - glad the 50K price of the hardware isn't coming out of my budget though!

Well, that wraps up my first OpenWorld. The highlight for me was meeting all the people face to face that I've interacted with or heard about online - the stars from Oracle Forums, Bloggers, Oracle Staff (especially those Product Managers ;-), various NZers/Australians and a bunch of other great people. Good to hang out and catch up at the OTN Lounge, and events like the Bloggers Meetup, OTN Night and APEX Meetup. Hope to hear from you all soon!

1 comment:

Joe Goldberg said...

Glad you enjoyed our eye tracking pod -- we'll be doing routine eye tracking analysis of Fusion apps; its another tool in our usability arsenal. You can read more about eye tracking and usability at http://usableapps.us.oracle.com/

Joe Goldberg, Oracle Apps User Experience