As Published In
Oracle Magazine
November/December 2008

AT ORACLE: Oracle News Briefs

Oracle Introduces My Oracle Support

Oracle has unveiled My Oracle Support, its next-generation customer support platform, which integrates Oracle MetaLink with Oracle Software Configuration Manager to deliver personalized, proactive support capabilities. To use the new support portal, users download the configuration manager and upload their detailed configurations to Oracle to enable the enhanced functionality.

My Oracle Support delivers service request creation up to 30 percent faster and service request resolution up to 40 percent faster than Oracle MetaLink. It offers personalized knowledge management and guided search capabilities to quickly locate relevant articles and information. With proactive health checks based on personalized system configuration information, customers can avoid unplanned system downtime.

A feature called My Oracle Support PowerView offers a personalized dashboard that allows customers to track, manage, and support their systems in a single, centralized location. In addition, Oracle Support personnel can access interactive reports about components, deployments, and hardware to quickly and efficiently fix problems.

My Oracle Support is included with an Oracle Premier Support subscription.

“We are focused on delivering exceptional customer service to drive business value for our customers and to enable them to achieve maximum success with their Oracle solutions,” says Juergen Rottler, executive vice president, global customer services, Oracle.

“Enterprise customers are demanding more-proactive and more-simplified support from their providers to improve business agility and maximize performance,” adds Elaina Stergiades, senior research analyst, software support services, IDC. “The new My Oracle Support platform can deliver on this promise, a sign of continuing trends in software support services. With the My Oracle Support platform, Oracle will be able to provide a more personalized experience and streamline support delivery for its customers.”

Oracle WebLogic Server 10g Release 3 Now Available

Oracle has released Oracle WebLogic Server 10g Release 3, which features a lightweight footprint, faster startup, and optional service startup, for an improved developer and end-user experience. A new FastSwap feature provides seamless and rapid develop-debug-test cycles, while a new HTTP publish-subscribe feature enables improved out-of-the-box capability for support of dynamically updated Web 2.0-style rich user interfaces.

This release works with a variety of development environments, including Eclipse, Oracle JDeveloper, and Oracle WebLogic Workshop 10.3.

Oracle WebLogic Server 10g Release 3 supports Java Platform, Standard Edition 6, and Oracle JRockit Mission Control, which allows developers and end users to get more performance and insight into application behavior and responsiveness. It also supports the SAML 2.0, WS-Security 1.1, and WS-SecurityPolicy 1.2 security standards and JAX-WS 2.1, WS-Reliable Messaging 1.1, and WS-Policy 1.5 Web services standards.

“The accelerated release of Oracle WebLogic Server 10g Release 3 demonstrates our commitment to BEA customers to quickly deliver new integrations with Oracle Fusion Middleware,” says Thomas Kurian, senior vice president, Oracle Fusion Middleware. “As the No. 1 middleware provider, we plan to continue providing a complete and preintegrated middleware suite that allows our customers to develop and deploy applications on the internet.”

Oracle JDeveloper 11g and Oracle Application Development Framework 11g Released

Now available, Oracle JDeveloper 11g, Oracle’s Java-based integrated development environment, and Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF) 11g, Oracle’s Java development framework, offer developers higher levels of productivity by making it easier for them to create and deploy Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 5, Web 2.0, and Ajax applications.

Oracle JDeveloper 11g and Oracle ADF 11g provide advanced tooling and a visual development environment that includes adaptive rendering, which targets applications for both desktop and mobile devices using prebuilt rendering kits optimized for a given client technology. These new releases support more than 150 Ajax-enabled, JavaServer Faces 1.2-based rich-client components, allowing visualization of tabular, cubic, XML, and spatial data into multidimensional, interactive, portable user interfaces. These tools also feature tight integration with Oracle WebLogic Server, an optimized debugging environment, and support for JAX-WS-compliant Web services. 

Did You Know?

IT Executives See Green Data Center as Mission-Critical

Nearly 90 percent of 100 CIOs and senior IT executives interviewed at the 2008 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium said that green data centers will be crucial to meeting business objectives in 2009. 57 percent said that going green gives them a competitive advantage, 76 percent do not have a committed budget for going green, and 43 percent of respondents will implement a green data center in the next two years.
Source: Voltaire

Most Organizations Require Only Passwords to Access Critical Data

52 percent of organizations require only passwords for employees to access critical data and do not augment passwords with hardware tokens, digital certificates, or risk-based scoring. 88 percent of enterprise users have multiple work-related passwords (averaging between five and six), 64 percent of organizations never require users to change their passwords, and 45 percent of organizations allow standard dictionary terms (such as “password”) to be used as passwords. Nearly 150 organizations from a diverse set of global industries were polled.
Source: Strong User Authentication , a study from Quest Software and Aberdeen Group

CIOs Like Web-Based Training, Videoconferencing

When 1,400 CIOs in the U.S. were asked which communication technologies their companies use or anticipate using, the most popular responses were online training (60 percent) and videoconferencing (52 percent). Cited less frequently were Web 2.0 tools such as blogs (25 percent) and wikis (21 percent). The telephone survey contacted CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.
Source: Robert Half Technology

Oracle JDeveloper 11g and Oracle ADF 11g also offer reusability features including Oracle ADF task flows, JSF templating, simple component creation, and fully skinnable JSF components that help streamline the development process and boost productivity. Integration with the Oracle platform security services framework allows nonsecurity developers to incorporate security services such as authentication, authorization, audit, identity assertion, role mapping, single sign-on, and many others into applications. The framework also provides user-friendly abstractions of critical security functions that are required to protect sensitive data.

“Developers are faced with a multitude of technologies and learning curves for building Web 2.0, mobile, and rich enterprise applications, adding complexity and cost to the development process,” says Ted Farrell, chief architect and senior vice president, tools and middleware, Oracle. “Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle ADF address these complexities by abstracting developers from the underlying technologies, providing a productivity boost for standards-based application development.”

Oracle TopLink 11g Available

Oracle has released Oracle TopLink 11g, the latest version of its advanced object-relational persistence framework based on the open source EclipseLink project. Oracle TopLink 11g enhances the industry standard Java Persistence API (JPA) with advanced object-relational features for flexibility, performance, clustering, and scalability required for enterprise application deployments.

The new release features a JPA-enabled data grid that provides seamless integration with Oracle Coherence, allowing applications to leverage in-memory data grid capabilities through the standard JPA programming model, and allowing developers to leverage extreme performance without having to learn a new programming model. Another key feature is flexible object-XML binding, which supports efficient manipulation of XML through a Java domain model using Java Architecture for XML Binding and supports interaction with unstructured data through service data objects to reduce the need to integrate multiple point solutions.

Oracle TopLink 11g offers out-of-the-box compatibility with Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Application Development Framework 11g.

“Oracle continues to demonstrate its commitment to Java and open source, while recognizing that support services and commercial extensions can make a strong, positive impact on enterprise adoption,” says Dennis Leung, vice president, software development, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle. “With its enhanced persistence features and compatibility with other key infrastructure software, Oracle TopLink 11g helps developers significantly ease the development process.”

Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse Now Available

Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse is a new component of Oracle Fusion Middleware that delivers a certified set of Eclipse plug-ins to accelerate database development; Java development; Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) development; and Oracle WebLogic Server development. With Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, customers using Eclipse 3.3, Eclipse 3.4, and Oracle WebLogic Server can develop, debug, and deploy applications to Oracle WebLogic Server 10g Release 3, in addition to earlier versions, either locally or remotely.

“Continuing to enhance Oracle’s Eclipse developer tools for Oracle Fusion Middleware demonstrates our commitment to providing developers productivity with choice,” says Ted Farrell, chief architect and senior vice president, tools and middleware, Oracle. “The Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse helps to expand our offerings for the Eclipse and open source developer community.”

Oracle Delivers Oracle VM Release 2.1.2 and Oracle VM Templates

Oracle has unveiled the latest version of its server virtualization software, Oracle VM Release 2.1.2, which offers built-in high-availability features and provides secure, encrypted live migration capabilities. This new release is also certified with Oracle Real Application Clusters.

Oracle VM Release 2.1.2 features Oracle VM guest high availability to enable customers to minimize or eliminate planned and unplanned downtime. It also offers secure live migration with SSL encryption to eliminate outages associated with planned downtime by allowing quick and easy migration of running Oracle VM virtual machines from one physical server to another. Other new features include a clustered high-availability Oracle VM manager and physical-to-virtual/virtual-to-virtual machine conversion to quickly convert existing Linux physical servers or VMware virtual machines to Oracle VM virtual machines.

Oracle has also released the first Oracle VM templates, which provide preinstalled and preconfigured images of enterprise software to enable customers to reduce installation, configuration, and ongoing maintenance costs. Oracle VM templates are available for Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management 8, and Oracle Enterprise Linux.

“Customers are experiencing increased challenges as the volume of information in their data centers continues to grow rapidly, leading to added hardware and energy costs and a depletion of server resources,” says Wim Coekaerts, vice president, Linux engineering, Oracle. “The combination of Oracle VM templates and Oracle VM offers customers the full benefits of server virtualization, including optimized resource utilization, and energy, power, and space savings, in addition to faster, easier, and more-cost-effective software deployment—leading to further lowering the cost of data center operations and contributing to green IT.”

Oracle Delivers Oracle Application Testing Suite

Oracle Application Testing Suite, now available, provides an integrated solution for load testing, functional testing, and test management. Part of Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Application Testing Suite enables customers to thoroughly test packaged, Web, and service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based applications and their underlying infrastructures to ensure optimum quality, scalability, and availability.

Three key components of the suite are Oracle Load Testing for Web Applications, Oracle Functional Testing for Web Applications, and Oracle Test Manager for Web Applications. Oracle Load Testing for Web Applications simulates tens of thousands of virtual users accessing the application simultaneously to measure the effect of the load on application performance. Oracle Functional Testing for Web Applications enables comprehensive functional testing of applications and Web services. Its transaction engine simplifies automated test script generation and enables the automation of complex Web applications and associated technologies out of the box to validate the end user’s experience. Oracle Test Manager for Web Applications helps users manage the Web application testing process, enabling full test coverage by allowing them to define testing requirements, specify and execute manual or automated tests to validate requirements, and then manage the defects that those tests uncover.

Oracle Application Testing Suite also provides a common scripting environment between functional testing and load testing to help simplify the test process and accelerate completion of tests by as much as 50 percent. 

Web Locator

 My Oracle Support
Oracle WebLogic Server
Oracle JDeveloper
Oracle ADF
Oracle TopLink
Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse
Oracle VM
Oracle Application Testing Suite
Oracle and Global Knowledge Software
Oracle and ClearApp

“With Oracle Application Testing Suite, Oracle has delivered a comprehensive testing solution for SOA and Web applications to help customers deliver high-quality, mission-critical applications faster and with less effort,” says Leng Leng Tan, vice president, applications and systems management, Oracle. “With this unique testing platform, customers can tackle small to very large testing projects and save time in both functional and load testing efforts.”

Oracle to Acquire Global Knowledge Software

Oracle has agreed to acquire Global Knowledge Software (GKS), a leading provider of self-service training automation software. Longtime Oracle partner GKS offers products that improve end-user competency using enterprise applications through simulated transactional training and testing, as well as autogenerated step-by-step instructions.

GKS’s OnDemand Personal Navigator product is resold as a core component of the Oracle User Productivity Kit, currently deployed at more than 2,000 Oracle customers. GKS products are also complementary to Oracle Tutor, Oracle’s role-based process documentation and training software.

The combination of GKS products, Oracle Tutor, and Oracle’s learning management software is expected to provide customers a comprehensive, end-to-end enterprise solution for creating and deploying business process documentation, interactive system training, and just-in-time embedded support for all applications.

“With this acquisition, customers will have access to a single technology for end-user training and process documentation that spans applications across their enterprise,” says Ed Abbo, senior vice president of Oracle application development.

Oracle to Buy ClearApp

Oracle has agreed to acquire ClearApp, a leading supplier of application management solutions for composite applications. ClearApp addresses the increasingly difficult task of managing composite applications built on service-oriented architecture (SOA) platforms by providing visibility into business services across all related application components.

“As customers deploy more SOA-based applications, the task of effectively managing them becomes paramount,” says Leng Leng Tan, vice president, applications and systems management, Oracle. “With the addition of ClearApp’s technology to the Oracle Enterprise Manager product family, our customers are expected to get continuous and uninterrupted top-down views of their business services and applications, helping them maximize service availability while reducing IT operations costs.”


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