Oracle Java Development
Oracle offers the most comprehensive and productive Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) development and deployment environments available. As an executive member of the Java Community Process, Oracle participates in more than 80 Java Specification Requests (JSRs) and Oracle gurus serve as specification leads for important JSRs such as the XQuery API for Java, Standard Data Binding and Data Access Facility for J2EE, and Design-Time Metadata for JavaServer Faces (JSF) Components.
Coauthor of Pro EJB 3: Java Persistence API (Apress, 2006)
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Product: Oracle TopLink
Q: Why do you think you were nominated for the Oracle Innovation Showcase?
A: I was the co-specification lead for EJB [Enterprise JavaBeans] 3.0 [JSR 220], which involved overhauling the standards and specifications for persistence and enterprise components for Java EE. EJB and persistence were traditionally seen as fairly complex specifications. Programmers had a hard time developing with it and users had a hard time using it. We went through and completely revamped EJB to simplify both the developer and user experiences, and we spun off the persistence portion into a whole new specification.
Q: What makes EJB 3.0 innovative?
A: It is the first enterprise standard for persistence in Java EE. The innovations for this standard effect not only Oracle customers, but all Java customers. Virtually every developer involved with enterprise software and Java uses these standards. EJB 3.0 makes it much easier to develop and maintain applications. It's a huge step forward for Java developers.
Q: How do you define innovation?
A: Innovation to me means exploring things that haven't been tried before. Sometimes you have an idea and it goes places, and sometimes it doesn't. But it takes you off the beaten path and you learn new things from it. Ideas don't necessarily have to be developed into products. Sometimes you innovate in a new direction and come up with a new technology that can be applied in a completely different area.
Q: What is the enemy of innovation?
A: Always being focused on deadlines. You have to have some spare time to let your mind wander a bit. It's very easy to get caught up in the next release, trying to get things done in time. I've been very fortunate that the people that I report to have given me the time and space to innovate and explore new areas in standards and specifications.
Q: Why is innovation important?
A: We live in a very dynamic time, and we're part of a very dynamic industry. Software is always moving and advancing, so it's important that software architects are innovating in ways that can improve the software cycle. Software should be progressing in a way that makes it easier to create and use applications. We should be able to not only do more, but do it better and faster.
Q: What innovative technology are you excited about now?
A: I'm currently actively involved in the OSGi Enterprise Expert Group. We are creating specifications, Reference Implementations and Compatibility Test Suites to make OSGi more enterprise-ready. I believe that this is going to heavily influence the future of enterprise Java, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to help steer it in this direction.
Q: What are the attributes of an innovative person?
A: Innovators are always willing to try something that seems a little bit odd or different. They think of fresh ways to put ideas and technology together, and they're not afraid to fail. Innovators are also willing to work hard and take the time to make their ideas a reality.
Q: Who in the broader world history do you think of as innovative?
A: I think America's first immigrants were very innovative because they had to adapt quickly to a completely different climate, surroundings, and environment. I think their pioneering spirit helped foster a whole culture of innovation in this society.
Q: What's the most innovative product (not Oracle's) that you can think of?
A: The Slinky has always amazed me! I'm intrigued by the idea of taking something so simple, yet beautiful in its simplicity, and turning it into a hugely successful product.