Discussions at the UKOUG App Server & Middleware SIG (11g Upgrade day)
31 Mar 2010 by Simon Haslam (in Events)
|Last week we had a very lively and enjoyable UKOUG App Server & Middleware Special Interest Group
meeting. For the uninitiated, these are one day events run by the UKOUG
which have a mixture of presentations, discussions and networking
sessions. Last week's was held at Oracle's Blythe Valley Park office,
just south of Birmingham, so reasonably accessible. || |
I won't review the presentations here (the slides are available to UKOUG members) but will mention the networking session. For this we split into groups based around a "main" technology - there were two Forms/Reports groups, one for Identity Management and one for Java applications & SOA. I posed three questions for consideration within the groups, then we had an open discussion session:
- What are your main reasons to upgrade to 11g?
- What is putting you off upgrading?
- What could Oracle do to help?
Martin Morris & Russ Hodgson from Oracle Support kindly operated the flipchart and keyboard to collate the opinions, which I have summarised here:
What are your main reasons to upgrade to 11g?
- To stay in support
- To stay on certified hardware (e.g. where existing hardware is End of Life and becoming expensive/difficult to maintain)
- Access to newer Forms features and better management functionality
- Other product dependencies i.e. old version of database out of support
- (ISV) Customer requirements/commercial opportunity
- ODSM (web-based replacement for OID admin tool)
- Many advantages of JEE 6, JRockit and WebLogic Server
- To be able to use OSB instead of OESB
- Far better SOA functionality in 11g
What is putting you off upgrading?
- Licensing costs (see my second note below)
- Extra hardware costs
- Capacity of existing hardware for out of place upgrades / parallel run
- Reliability? Product is "less than 1 year old." "Historical lack of confidence in Oracle base release."
- Whole new terminology, directory structure, time to learn new architecture
- Expense: testing, implementation and documentation costs
What could Oracle do to help?
- Improve OUI: make more user friendly and flexible (e.g. during re-installs)
- More clarity on Oracle Access Manager: a Statement of Direction on how to move from 10g SSO/DAS to OAM and when there will be an 11g version released
- Clarify what parts of OAM you are licensed to use if you are currently using SOA
There were two particularly hot topics:
1) Premier support for iAS 10.1.2 ends in December 2010 - in particular, Oracle SSO/DAS. As there's not yet a clear migration route from OSSO to OAM 11g people felt they wouldn't have very long to migrate before the existing products would go out of support (or else they'd have to pay extra for extended support).
2) Many customers thought they only have the option of upgrading to WebLogic Server Suite so would need to spend money on Oracle licences as well as training, implementation time, probably new hardware etc. This isn't actually the case - whilst WLS Suite does offer additional functionality, there is a WLS Basic Edition which current iAS customers are entitled to use. For further information I refer readers to my blog post covering the OFM 11g licensing options, including WebLogic Server Basic Edition.
Anyway, Martin is feeding these views back to Oracle management and their responses will be circulated to SIG delegates in a week or so.
Update 15 April 2010 (see SIG agenda page)
Oracle has just moved the Premier Support end date back a year to December 2011. See page 7 of http://www.oracle.com/support/library/brochure/lifetime-support-middleware.pdf . Thank you to all those at the SIG who provided feedback and to Oracle for responding to users' concerns.
Russ Hodgson has collated answers to this concern and other questions raised at the SIG and written them up in http://www.ukoug.org/lib/show_document.jsp?id=11702 .
Sunny Patel has provided the following answers to the questions raised about Forms 11g at http://www.ukoug.org/assets/uploads/library/Oracle11gFormsAnswers.pdf .
Overall I think it was a very useful day and demonstrated the importance of SIGs as both a means of discussing issues with your peers as well as providing feedback to Oracle in an informal environment. I look forward to seeing the results from post-event questionnaire.
* Note: I'm always looking for SIG speakers so if you have an interesting story to tell please drop me a line!