I had an interesting conversation today, where it was pointed out to me that our book Implementing Oracle Integration Cloud Service, the first ever Oracle PaaS book is five years old today (according to Amazon). This website was also five years old back in August last year.
While some parts of the UI have become more sophisticated than shown in the book, and the choice of adaptors has grown significantly the core fundamentals of the book still hold true.
A couple of days ago the updates for OIC included a new feature B2B (April 2020 new). Specifically, support for EDI X12. Whilst this doesn’t mean SOA Suite B2B is redundant yet (as that still offers a broad range of other complex exchange protocols HL7, EDIFACT, SAP iDoc – complete list here). I wouldn’t be surprised if Oracle considers leaving behind support for one or two of the more complex file formats such as EDIEL. But with X12 cracked, I wouldn’t be surprised to see EDIFACT follow soon.
SOA CS future?
So where does the leave SOA CS given one of the differentiators to OIC was the existence of the B2B and MFT elements? OIC has not yet fully displaced SOA and SOA CS, there are use cases that OIC can not yet fully address. For example in the MFT space OIC has caps on filesize (whilst MFT does not). MFT also supports Applicability Statement (AS) standards (IETF specification for AS2). Unlike some of the payload formats, particularly the metadata-driven ones we may see fall away more quickly, the AS standards provide the means for communications to be responded with a ‘Message Disposition Notification‘ (MDN) which means the receiver will tell the sender the receiver has safely and fully received the communicated payload – non-repudiation. We have seen banks and other data-sensitive organizations continue to use such standards (after all you want your employer saying they told their bank to pay your salary, and the bank say, nope not got anything or transfers between the bank and the tax man).
How quickly these gaps will be addressed in OIC is not clear, or whether these cases will be addressed, or whether SOA will continue to answer these edge cases until superseding standards and techniques make them redundant.
The bottom line is there are too many customers with legacy estates on-prem for SOA CS to be retired any time soon. However, I would not be surprised if SOA follows the route of ODI when it comes to Oracle Cloud. Oracle has developed ODI on Oracle Cloud Marketplace, which provides an on-prem style deployment configured (and presumably tuned) to run on Oracle Cloud as an IaaS Virtual Machine. This potentially simplifies the BYOL license model leaving the customer responsible for a level of patch maintenance (be that take a new ODI Marketplace instance spin it up and apply the configuration, then drop the old one, or run the traditional patch processes).
We will see SOA continue to be patched and maintained for a long time to come. But I wouldn’t surprised if Oracle makes it more and more attractive for SOA customers to use OIC – possibly combining OIC and their SOA Suite instances with a view that when customers need to update migrations, they consider the port.
Whilst this may sound like Oracle are potentially leaving customers without the infamous paddle. However, our experience in the partner space is that Oracle seeks to enable them and recognize that most partners are very capable. Not to mention, when the heat is on, partners with middleware Aces can usually find their way through the Oracle organization to get what is needed.
I think we’ll continue to see a number of Oracle’s specialist partners file the gap with tooling adapted from on-premise solutions. It is these partners that also have the wealth of expertise on knowing to get the most out of SOA Suite and keep it secure.
So OIC will continue to absorb capabilities that had separated it from SOA suite cementing it as the mainstream offering. But the old warhorse will be around for a long time (remember many older companies still use Cobol successfully) yet. To use a car analogy, those sticking with their trusty vintage Mark 1 Golf that has done 500,000 miles will have to stop looking to the manufacture for service and parts and enlist the support of a passionate specialist.
To be clear, this is only our opinion, and not informed or confirmed by Oracle.
The transformation of Oracle Integration Cloud Service (ICS) into Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) continues to progress. If you’ve read our earlier posts (such as this) on the subject you’ll remember that ICS becomes part of OIC, and depending on which version of OIC you take you will also see other components including:
Visual Builder Cloud Service (VBCS)
Process Cloud Service (PCS)
Whilst the product is evolving, the heart of our book remains very relevant to the integratiobn capabilities of OIC, even if the screen shots have changed a little. But what does this all mean to this website? As authors we’ve been a bit preoccupied with our current writing projects as they come to a close (Implementing API Platform and Blockchain Across Oracle). But worry not, we will be adding content. At the very least in the immediate time we have continued to capture and maintain the list of external articles we think are helpful and informative here.
On the subject of the of this catalogue, as the scope of OIC has grown and we’ll start to see lots of material around the PCS capabilities under the OIC title, and of course PCS in its pre-OIC form are still very relevant. In the coming days we’ll incorporate into the catalogue an additional filter to separate sections to cover the different underlying products/capabilities and add start to pickup related content. it maybe necessary to go as far as plitting the catlogue as we already have over 100 referenced entries.
As for articles on this stie, we’ll continue to focus on the integration side of things. For a good look at PCS, we’d recommend checking out the award winning Jarvis Pizzaria material – check it out here.
This session explores best practices developed by AMIS and Capgemini for Oracle Integration Cloud Service in real-world scenarios. The best practices cover areas including configuration management, continuous integration, and use of the new REPL tool. Learn the various options for exposing databases to Oracle Integration Cloud Service that will work for the execution agent, and practical techniques for working with very large WSDLs such as the Salesforce interface. This session is presented by the authors of the recently published book “Implementing Oracle Integration Cloud Service,” Robert van Mölken and Phil Wilkins.
Platform and Development:Integration
Robert van Mölken, Senior Integration Specialist, AMIS Services BV