Presentations from Oracle Open World


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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…

Build up to Oracle Open World 17

With Oracle Open World 2017 only a few weeks away we are in overdrive in terms of preparation. The first couple of chapters of our next book are heading to Packt so will be available through Alpha schema by the time of OOW. You can see the book at Packt (here) or on Amazon (here – note cover is wrong here).

8683The book now has its own domain at which we’re quickly putting together. As the book progresses we will be making supporting content available.

With Open world there are the commercial activities of creating some fresh brochures. Not only important generally, but to help as Capgemini will have a large stand and will be sponsoring some activities.

Open world itself will be a busy week with two presentations (one each on ICS and API Platform), and three video casts pencilled in with Dev Archbeat from the developer lounge.

Out there Talking

headphones_150So we’ve got more talking going on than writing at present. With an appearance on another OTN Podcast about Microservices and their relationship to SOA (or not) which includes thought leaders such as Chris Richardson (

Then we have in September presentations for the UKOUG Developer SIG and Middleware and Integration SIG.

All before Open World this year, where I am due to speak twice; once with my ICS co-author Robert van Mölken and once with Luis Weir on APIs.




Chatbot Blogs


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I have been fortunate to be supporting and occasionally contributing to a series of blogs on Chatbots being written by Leon Smiers, Capgemini Oracle Chatbot SME (and also Oracle Ace).  The blog posts are:

I’ve been talking with Leon about what next in the blog series, and we can expect to see some more exciting blog posts in the series.

Chatbot Maturity Model

UKOUG Conference


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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 …



Keeping an Engaged Team – 15:5


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When working with a team that is made up of individuals often working on diverse activities, as often happens with an architecture practise keeping everyone feeling engaged, informed and connected can be challenging.

Several years ago I was introduced to the idea of a 15:5. The concept is incredibly simple, demands little of the individual but really help address these issues. The idea works like this …

Once a week – ideally mid-afternoon on the last day of the week. Each individual takes no more than 15 minutes to answer 5 questions and then emails it to the rest of the team.  The emails typically will take no more than 5 minutes to read. He questions are along the lines of:

  • What have I done this week,
  • What have I got planned for next week,
  • What are my successes,
  • Where do I need help,
  • How do I feel?

The last question all the simplest can be the trickiest. The goal of this question is to help the team leader and understand the mood of the team and individuals. Having this insight means underlying issues of ill feeling etc can be addressed. But answer this question directly, can result in very anodyne responses. This can be addressed by encouraging people to respond with a bit of humour. This can reveal a lot more indirectly. One of my former colleagues, who was working in very challenging conditions got finding funny ways to express his frustration. For example “Forest Gump said life is like a box of chocolates, fine but I keeping the box when everyone has eaten all this nice chocolates if I’m lucky”.

Where do I need help, can be a directed request for some assistance, or could be I’ve been asked to do something that isn’t my area of knowledge. This kind of sharing can mean another member of he team, who maybe be able to help can respond or the team lead can look to facilitate some support.

Typically reading these emails only takes a few minutes. A lot of people when I’ve introduced this idea have pushed back and said – those minutes add up when there are a lot of us. This maybe true, but you don’t have to read them all at once, and pausing for a couple of minutes here and there whilst you drink your coffee, waiting for a meeting to start is dead time well used.

The secret to making this work is everyone does it regardless of seniority every week (unless you’re on holiday). To illustrate the idea, here is an fictional example:

What have I done this week,

  • An RFI that was passed to us for input at the last minute for infrastructure consulting
  • Got to the bottom of customer’s process for requesting network changes
  • Submitted network change requests

What have I got planned for next week,

  • Get incoming devs into Active Directory and into the correct groups
  • Get load balancer policy updated for app x
  • Project handover and holiday

What are my successes,

  • Finally got to the bottom of customer process and accountabilities
  • RFI returned

Where do I need help,

  • Given the urgency of customer project that some with some pull keeps pressure on infrastructure
  • Input from Joe to configure load balancing in F5 appliance

How do I feel?

  • Shattered, RFI being last minute and people playing politics around it BUT some time out with the family next week.

More Articles Published Elsewhere


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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.

New book project


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Now the big news, we have just agreed with Packt Publishing to write a book around Oracle’s new API Platform Cloud Service (APIP CS). This is going to be more of a team effort with 4 of us working on the book. With all the authors working for Capgemini as well it should be a lot easier in terms of effort The book is being targeted for late this year to be published so that we can cover the major features being released this summer which will make the product a lot more rounded and complete.
The book will also bring in another initiative that has been running in a fairly low profile manner, but starting to shape up in the form of something called OMESA ( This initiative is a cross party approach to define a reusable reference architecture that engages both the legacy landscape along with API driven / microservices based contemporary solution delivery.

We will of course continue to blog about ICS at

Mindmaps Update


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mindmap-4I have relocated my mindmaps to a new location – WiseMapping which presents the maps in a far more consumable manner than XMind. I’ve setup the links to now bounce through bitly so if things move again the links wont break. The maps available can be found using the following links: