During 14th and the 18th of March I had a cloudy week. I attended the 22nd edition of the Fusion Middleware, and 1st PaaS, Partner Community Forum. This time we flew with 9 people from AMIS to Valencia, Spain for an amazing week of Cloud content.
Fusion Middleware & PaaS Partner Community Forum XXII
From my point of view this is the most important event to attend if you are an employee of an Oracle partner. This was my third time in a row to go to this event and it always has a wonderful location; 2014 – St Julians, Malta. 2015 – Budapest, Hungary and this year, 2016 – Valencia, Spain. What was even more exiting was that it was planned during the annual #LasFallas festival. This year the location of the conference was the Las Arenas hotel directly at the beach of the Balearic Sea.
The official first day is on Tuesday, but I always arrive one or more days earlier. This year I arrive on Sunday late in the evening. By doing this you can relax a day and already meet some of your friends and new attendees. This day is already one of the most valuable days of the week. The conference is kicked-off with the Community Forum drinks. During the evening you can meet peers, experts but most important the Oracle product managers in a informal way. The location was Distino 56, also right at the beach just minutes from the hotel. We were treated with drinks of our choice and nice tapas for diner.
Tuesday – the official first day of the forum
The first day is as always a plenary conference day, a day packed with great sessions and content. This day consists of sessions presented by Oracle Product Managers. Jürgen Kress, the conference chair / organiser, traditionally opens the conference, welcomes everybody and tells about the content of the upcoming days. His focus is on partner adaptions and explains in a energetic manner how to get the most out of Oracle as a partner. This year he has a special challenges, the 10000 project, to get 10000 followers on twitter, 10000 members on community workspaces and 10000 members on linkedin.
So for everybody that is not yet part of the community help Jürgen to reach 10000 on twitter, SOA & WLS community, and linkedin.
The first real session was by Alistair Hopkins with some Non-Disclosure topics, one thing that he announced was a new way for partners to dynamically bundle hardware and cloud when selling Oracle to customers. Ed Zou continued on the subject of PaaS (Platform as a Service) and MAF (Mobile Application Framework) and presented and showed some demo’s only using the cloud from his pocket (mobile phone). They only thing I had problems with is that the slide deck was not shown properly (low resolution) on the screen.
After lunch the day continued with presentations from Vikas Anand – Sr. Director of Product Management (SOA/BPM), Cesare Rotundo – Director of Product Management (BPM) and Grant Ronald – Director of Product Management (Mobile). Vikas talked about the cool and new stuff that is coming to SOA Suite CS, Cesare switch to talk about the development surrounding PCS and Grant ended the plenary sessions with the current development in the mobile space with MCS (Mobile Cloud Service).
Another tradition on this first day are the Community Awards, which are picked by Jürgen Kress himself. This year AMIS (or better to say Lucas) the award for Outstanding Community Contribution based on the publication of the OOW 2015 review whitepaper. Besides AMIS the other winners included avanttic (mobile), HCL (cloud) and eProseed (SOA).
The day ended with splendid tapas, traditional Paella Valenciana and drinks at the social event later that evening. I stayed till the end, took the last bus back to the hotel, where some of us got a drink before the night ended.
Wednesday – Breakout sessions
On day two attendees can choose their own sessions they want to follow. This year attendees could choose sessions from 4 kind of tracks; SOA & Integration, BPM & PCS & User experience, WebLogic & Java Cloud Service & Engineered Systems and the Mobile & Internet of Things track. I followed all sessions from the SOA & Integration track, not all sessions where to my liking but nonetheless very inspiring.
The first sessions of the day was ‘SOA Suite 12.2.1 and beyond’. You would think the presentation was related to this subject, but it was totally different. Lucas, CTO at AMIS showed us a new on-premises product that is coming very very soon ;). With this product the business can get real-time insight on their integrations (SB & SOA). The tool is very powerful, and needs a less tech-savvy person to use it, if you compare it to Business Activity Monitor (BAM).
The second session in this track was a about the upcoming API Platform Cloud Service and was presented by it’s product manager, Darko Vukovic. This guy can present very well. I met him at Open World 2015 and he is one from the new generation. He truly want to innovate on the API Management side of integrations. With the new API Platform you can secure Cloud and On-Premises services by exposing them as APIs to public consumers. See this as the new version of the current API Gateway & API Manager that Oracle offers.
The third session, presented by Yogesh Sontakke, was about new upcoming 16.2 version of Integration Cloud Service. The main feature in this release is Orchestration, BPEL in the Cloud. He also touched ground on the new addition to the SOA Cloud Service; MFT and BAM. When you look at the current version of ICS and what it is heading to then I’m convinced that iPaaS is going to be worth it and will reach a new market within small and medium sized companies.
The last breakout session of the day I went to was also in the SOA track. Robert Wunderlich talked about Microservices. I like the concept of microservices and how I would need to implement it with Oracle solution, but I was not feeling the content.
The last session was something I was excited for, for a long time since I knew about it last month. It is also a tradition at the OFM Forum and that is the ACED hackaton. This year they had the challenge to connect as much Cloud services in a end-to-end integrated solution. The team consisted of Lucas Jellema, Lonneke Dikmans, Mark Simpson, Torsten Winterberg and Wilfred van der Deijl. Wilfred count not be there in person, so he was on skype (while everybody was texting him, which was funny).
The end-to-end solution used several cloud service for integrations (ICS, PCS, IoTCS and MCS), but also Sites CS was used and not to forget a Oracle JET application was created to show the final outcome. The main idea was a voting system for the artist that would be performing at the appreciation at OOW 2016. Attendees tweeted there artist and the data was picked up by ICS and would trigger a process in PCS. PCS then integrated with MCS. IotCS was used to analyse the incoming streams of votes. The results where shown in the Oracle JET application. It was spectacular and if you missed it you can attend a improved version at the AMIS conference this june.
We ended the conference by saying good bye to the people that were not going to attend the workshops the next to days. With a maximum of 100 attendees we had a sunset sailing trip of a big catamaran. It was the first time we had three social events, each night one. It was very cold, because of the strong winds, but this was one of the best ways to end the conference.
After the sailing trip I had another special end of the night. With the speakers and attending Oracle ACEs we had dinner. I was hoping to see something from the #LasFallas festival, but after a long day it is even longer to wait till 01:30 AM to see the fireworks, so I decided to go to bed.
Two days of workshops
After two days of conference you still have the opportunity to follow one of the handson workshops. This year you could choose between 5 different workshops and I picked the Internet of Things workshop. These two days I had hands-on experience with IoT Cloud Service and implemented my own device by using the Client Library. On friday we got al lot of demo’s on the new 16.1.5 version from last week. I was a little disappointed that I could not test drive it myself. The day before we used an older version, but the new version looks just much nicer and complete. The demo’s really got my hard pumping, because it look so much more mature.
Recapping the recap
Jürgen does a tremendous job every year and this year was one of the most packed editions. Also thanks to the ladies from DDG for organising all that needs to happen on the days itself. For everybody reading this recap, this event is not one to miss. Please join our community if you are not part of it, its free.
Let’s end with a video that I recorded together with some other ACEs Arturo Viveros, Rolando Carrasco and AMIS colleague Maarten Smeets talking about our thoughts on this years #ofmForum.