The Apiary Editor has to count as a pretty new entry into the possible features that could be considered with Apiary only coming into the Oracle family in the last year. Apiary as a solution provides a platform by which modern REST based APIs can be designed, documented and simulated. Apiary supports the API First design philosophy (more here) using API Blueprint notation or Swagger (now known as Open API).
The feature I want to focus on is the Apiary Editor itself (shown below), particularly when working with the API Blueprint. The beauty of the solution is that as the documentation or API syntax is edited in the editing side (left) the API definition/documentation immediately appears on the presentation side of the editor (right) making it easy both see the technical specificastion and how the information is initially presented to a potential API user. This makes it really easy to understand the clarity of what is being communicated which is one of the important aspects of an API definition and API first.
Whilst Agile development states ‘prefer working code over documentation’ this provides agility as you can develop the API definition and allow people to develop against the contract we can still easily deliver quality API descriptions with sufficient information to make it understandable to a 3rd party.
With Oracle Open World 2017 over the ICS presentation is available at – Oracle integration cloud service (ICS) best practices learned from the field (OOW17)
We saw a lot of exciting new features and capabilities coming from Oracle in the ICS space. So keep an eye on the site as we publish new articles.
The API Platform presentation that was co-presented with Luis Weir is here…
As part of the UKOUG SIG committee for middleware I have had the opportunity to contribute to the planning of the conference in December (Tech17). The agenda looks really exciting with a range a high class submissions covering on-premises to cloud, from micro to monolith, API to application, source to SOA.
Presenters go from newbies to world class names, not to mention key Oracle product managers.
Here are a couple of tweets from the planning day …
So it has been a busy week in terms of seeing articles published that I’ve at least contributed to. It’s funny the gap between writing and publishing can be several weeks. So whilst we’re thinking about new things we see the twitter pickup etc or work several weeks old.
Anyway, first up was a contribution to Leon Smiers‘ blog on integrating chatbots. The latest in a series of excellent blog posts looking at the capabilities a chatbot solution needs etc. The latest post is about integration, hence my contribution. My contributions to the blog series go back to the conversations Leon and I had whilst at the Oracle Partner event earlier this year. Since then, I have helped Leon by providing a critical eye and offering suggestions.
The big event, has been to have an article published on Oracle Technology Network(OTN). This is a bit of an honour as we where invited to write. My piece can be found at here. It is actually a part of a pair of articles written for OTN. With article was written by Luis Weir, and is the parent article about API management.
My article came about as a result several discussions with Luis whilst travelling to and from a client about the relationship between between microservice registries, load balancers and API Gateways. Particularly as API Gateways have a natural relationship with microservices. I’ll say no more, go read the article.
The request to present came late as we where needed to cover someone who had to cancel (not that we aren’t grateful for the opportunity). This did mean getting the presentation together was a little bit of a scramble, unfortunately I missed a couple of sessions as I needed to assemble an environment, work out how I wanted to explain the point Luis’ slides where communicating as this was the first time presenting with Luis as a double act. Add to that address the day to day work demands.
Despite these challenges, I think the presentation went very smoothly (and we’re looking forward to receiving the feedback). The slides can be found here …
I did catch a few presentations, including the keynote by Adam Bien, Tim Hall‘s presentation on exposing databases using REST services, Lucas Jemella‘s microservices and eventing backbone and finally CQRS by Sebastian Daschner. All presentations where all top notch, loaded with useful information. I’ve been fortunate to see both Lucas and Tim presenting before so knew I would in for a really good presentations. So if you ever want to know about Oracle DB stuff with practical honest insights I’d recommend looking Tim up. Like wise in the middleware space for Lucas.
Seeing the presentations and different presenting styles was interesting. Those presenters with a Java Rockstar background vs those from an Oracle Ace background. The Java guys taking a very minimalist (if any) slides and all code / demo – but blink and you’ll miss it, where as the Ace community (of which I am fortunate enough to be a member) with slides that are often visually very strong and still supported by demos.
Whilst I’ve attended Oracle Open World, I’ve not yet seen the parrallel Java One conference in San Francisco. That said, the feel of the day’s event (and presumably the goal) is what I’d expect Java One to be like. I have in the past attended similar RedHat events, whilst the venue has a similar feel (not unsurprising as both have used SkillsMatter venues), what was different between the Oracle and RedHat events was that the atmosphere felt a lot friendlier and communial at Oracle Code. This maybe down in part to the fact that I know more of the people both Aces and Oracle employees, although that can’t be the only reason as when I was involved in the RedHat environment I had known senior people within the organisation and encountered presenters.
My last observation, more technical is the fact that JavaEE was mentioned a lot more than I’d expected, even those much maligned EJBs got a mention. Is JavaEE making a reassurgence?
So, if you get a chance to attend OracleCode – as an architect or developer I’d recommend that you take the opportunity. Whilst Devox maybe bigger with the really big name speakers, the day was both informative, engaging and rewarding.
My presentation for UKOUG Tech 16 can be seen by following the link – Introduction to SOA CS. or see below It was a tremendous 4 days (if you include the Tech stream’s Super Sunday). If you are a UKOUG member and didn’t make it to the conference I’d look out for the material to be become available.
Whilst I’m not a big Apex fan (stitching business logic into the persistence layer feels wrong to a middleware person), i did attend the keynote session which covered Apex’s history and future direction, and there are some very exiciting things coming and if everything materialises as I understand it then some big steps to getting developers engaged with Oracle cloud offerings.
Oracle has done a lot of work on the middleware layer with apps container (using common Docker configurations without needing to worry about Docker), Kafka, Node.js and others to engage developers and provide the means to offer a polyglot microservices platform that is not just attractive to the traditional Oracle customer base but also those wanting the middle ground of supported open source. What Oracle are missing is the means to get developers trying the technology and being creative with it. Amazon and Red Hat have got this by offering limited footprints for a long time. Oracle offer 30 day trials which is fine to do a project sponsored PoC. But to hook grass roots users you need a lengthy period where people in spare time can built some cool/geeky solutions.
Now this maybe down to the fact that Oracle cloud is built on their Exa machines with clever on silicon security features, and Oracle can’t manufacture it quick enough. Whereas other cloud providers work with largely commodity components. But if they want to challenge Amazon as Ellison says they need to change this.
The latest edition of the UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) Oracle Scene Journal is out now with another article from me, in addition to some great content from other contributors. This article builds upon and updates an article previously published in the Oracle Apps User Group about 18 months ago. We updated and republished as part of the run up to the UKOUG special Event in March next year which will be fully announced at the conference in a couple of weeks. You can see it here Oracle Scene Edition 62 – Journey to the Cloud
The background to this post, and the OTN Appreciation Day can be seen at Oracle-Base.
Oracle Messaging Cloud Service (OMCS) is I think an overlooked gem of Oracle iPaaS portfolio. I say this as it offers a JMS 1.1 compliant Java library but at the same time provides a means through which integration through REST APIs can be performed. This means it is possible to pretty transparently connect legacy JMS based integrations with new REST based products. The magic sauce (and therefore my favourite feature) is the concept of the Push Listener. Through the REST API it is possible to register a REST URL as a target for queues and topics to have messages sent to. Once registered when a message appears on the queue or topic it will get passed on as a REST call. Whilst is is possible to do with with a little bit of Java code. the Push Listener simplifies the job to a REST call with a bit of XML configuration.
There is one small challenge that makes the integration completely transparent to the recipient of the PushListener today, and that is it currently demands that authentication process take place on initial contact. This is not a complicated or challenging thing to address, but does require a tiny bit of code to address.