Love LettersBy Blair Campbell
Whether it’s SOA, BPEL, or Oracle ADF, three ACEs share accolades for acronyms.
What’s your favorite tool or technique on the job? Definitely Oracle SOA Suite 10g. It’s very powerful—and while there’s a bit of a learning curve, services-based architecture is a compelling option. It seamlessly enables open standards, platform neutrality, and data exchange between different back ends.
Do you have any favorite features in Oracle SOA Suite or other products? I love all the flashback technologies in Oracle Database 10g and the pivot table in Oracle Database 11g, but I especially love the direction of the Oracle Applications Adapter in Oracle SOA Suite. It lays a solid foundation for Oracle Application Integration Architecture and seamless integration.
What advice do you have about how to get into Web, database, and/or application development? Just be curious and a strong problem-solver. Challenge the status quo—even published documentation—and push the envelope on every project.
What technology has most changed your life? For a long time I worked with client/server tools, but with the arrival of Web applications I was looking for a tool that allowed me to build Web solutions and get the same productivity that I got with Oracle Forms. It wasn’t until the arrival of Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle ADF [Oracle Application Development Framework] that I could experience that same level of ease I had gotten with the previous Oracle tools.
How do you use the internet today? I use the internet as much to offer information as to obtain it. I often contribute to a portal about Java technology in Spanish: www.jdeveloperLA.com . This site was the first Spanish-language portal to publish technical articles and interviews and organize events around Oracle JDeveloper. Currently, we have 4,000 enthusiastic members in Latin America and Spain.
If you were going to the International Space Station for six months and could only take one Oracle reference book, what would it be? Oracle JDeveloper for Forms & PL/SQL Developers: A Guide to J2EE Development (Oracle Press, 2006), by Peter Koletzke and Duncan Mills.
How did you get started in IT? I earned graduate degrees in computer science and theater engineering, so I started out in the entertainment industry working for a company that did the engineering and control systems for Broadway shows. When it was decided that we needed to upgrade our enterprise resource planning system, I led the implementation since I had done development work. We implemented Oracle E-Business Suite completely by ourselves, and I’ve been working in IT ever since.
Which new features in Oracle applications are you finding most valuable? We’re investigating how we can use BPEL and the integration features of Oracle Fusion Middleware for creating data hubs and solving other integration issues across enterprise resource planning products. Many companies have more than one software package that’s utilized during a high-level business process. Using BPEL, you can coordinate the process and ensure auditability and compliance while reducing the number of “touchpoints.”
What’s your favorite thing to do that doesn’t involve work? Woodworking. When you’re done crafting a piece of furniture, you can physically touch it and say, “I made that.”