As an Enterprise Integration Architect I need to get my hands dirty with products such as Oracle’s SOA suite and AIA Foundation Pack. In the past, I’ve dealt with this by talking with our infrastructure team – obtaining a VM or a laptop with sufficient guts to host SOA Suite (and it doesn’t have a small footprint). This is all well and fine, but means I have to lug a big old laptop (our current standard laptop spec’s are lovely light machines with SSD’s but just don’t pack the punch for SOA Suite when it comes to memory) or have to leap through a series of security steps to get remote access – again not a problem unless I want to share my skunk works with someone outside the organisation. Nor, do I really want to invest chunks of time building a SOA Suite environment to work with – I don’t do it enough to be able to throw these things together quickly. Even Oracle recognise that with the support for a prebuilt VirtualBox with SOA Suite and BPM. The only problem with VirtualBox is I’ve saved on the build time, but still need that heavy laptop or remote access.
With the rise of the cloud, particularly Oracle’s big push (announcements at Open World 2013), Amazon offering small footprint dev platforms more or less for free I thought we’d be able to get a PaaS deployment of SOA Suite – after all Oracle offer a range of Fusion Apps in the cloud (built on top of SOA Suite technologies), have launched development of Java and ADF solutions in their cloud and even offer Weblogic on Microsoft’s Azure. How I wrong could I have been. So I started looking around, perhaps someone has an AMI ready to go – well sort of if I want 10g. So I’ve dug around, and found the odd provider who could deliver what was needed (e.g. Titan GS) but we’re talking big bucks – not a low cost dev/skunk works environment.
This is very surprising really, and sort of ironic, given Oracle’s recent announcement for SaaS Adapters for the likes of SalesForce and WorkDay along with convenience tooling to connect to Oracle Cloud solutions such as HCM. I say ironic, because to use the cloud adapters you can’t have a SaaS middleware; in fact the whitepaper Oracle published on Simplifying Cloud Integration infers/assumes that you’d be hosting your own middleware. So if a midsized business has Has HCM, Taleo etc for their staffing management, SalesForce for the Sales/CRM operations and perhaps EBis or JD Edwards to move your business into the cloud you have to either go IaaS and carry the labour of maintaining the middleware platform or self host (one of the things the adoption of SaaS is trying to free you from).
All of this seems to be a really missed opportunity for Oracle. If the oracle wants to host the world (and I think Larry Ellison would like that) and definitely get into that midmarket sector that JDEwards particularly tries to inhabit they need to make it easy for businesses to cloud all aspects of their IT solution, that includes orchestrating specialist solutions that will be hosted by someone other than Oracle (shock, horror). All of which means SOA Suite (and ideally AIA) need to be in the cloud.
As for my problem, its either the pain of building something on Amazon or setting up several copies of the VirtualBox deployment linked to a common GIT repository, and hope those I would like to collaborate with can also get their hands on the virtualbox and connect to GIT.