Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g getting updates

Oracle's key sales pitch for its Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g updates is "integration," but according to some, there’s still room for more of it.

Oracle is busy updating its Fusion Middleware 11g line of products, with one end user saying the biggest feature of them is integration -- and the biggest thing missing is more integration.

In the past week or so, Oracle has upgraded its Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) products, both of which are part of the company’s effort to bring everything up to speed with its Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g brand. Mike Rokitka uses BPM at Benderson Development Company, where he is the enterprise software architect.

The University Park, Fla.-based business is one of the largest privately owned development companies in North America, focusing largely on retail space. Rokitka said the updated version unifies two ways of organizing business processes – the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) with the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN).

“This allows process developers greater choice and flexibility in how to implement a business process,” Rokitka said.

Still, he would like to see more, including support for call activities in BPMN 2.0 to “provide better reuse and encapsulation.”

“I think there is also a need for a process-level API to allow developers access and control over running process instances in external systems,” he added.

Aside from supporting BPEL and BPMN processes, the new version of Oracle BPM for Fusion Middleware 11g aims to improve users’ experience with modeling and monitoring business processes largely through a Web interface. It also has a social media element to it, adding support for things like wikis and blogs so that users can collaborate on business processes in the making.

The new version of Enterprise Content Management Suite for Fusion Middleware 11g, meanwhile, includes the management of content, records, imaging, processes and information rights.

David Shaffer, vice president of product management for Oracle Fusion Middleware, said 11g is where Oracle has started to bring together all the different lines within Fusion Middleware to work together more effectively. Oracle is selling that tight integration as a benefit, but can end users escape if they want something different?

“I don’t really find tight integration as an issue,” Rokitka said. “If the out-of-the-box functionality doesn’t provide what you need, there are typically good extension points and APIs that are exposed that allow you to perform customizations as you wish.”

Mark Fontecchio can be reached at [email protected].

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