I lost my voice last week at cmf2007, and while I've almost fully recovered, seeing 43,000 delegates at Oracle's annual lovefest, Oracle OpenWorld 2007, gave me new appreciation for conference organizing on a massive scale. Today's sessions offered interesting insights into the future Oracle's two portal products, as well as a new related collaboration offering:
During the Oracle Portal roadmap session a few interesting questions came up. First a delegate asked if the product was about to be discontinued. Later another delegate asked when the product would be replaced by WCS. Both questions were firmly answered by a slightly annoyed Rahul Patel, VP Server Technologies, who clearly stated that Oracle Portal is not going away. According to Oracle the two portal products are intended for different use cases.
While I've been advocating for a while that you may indeed need multiple products, I remain unconvinced that Oracle's strategy is very clear here. I've previously speculated that Oracle is switching portals. However, in the short-term clearly WCS will remain more a developer framework than anything else, and far from a real replacement to Oracle Portal. Even the WebCenter Quick Start carries quite a steep learning curve. Interestingly WCS has wiki functionality, but all you'll find on the Quick Start guide is a link to Wikipedia. Also for portlets you are taken to a Oracle Portal section and the page shows that to understand the tool and the services you need a primer on many different Oracle technologies and products. Finally the product is not in the Oracle Store, which means license info is hard to come by. It feels like a slow ramp-up to me, and product customers should recognize their early adopter status, with all that entails.
In the long-term Oracle may offer a smooth migration from Oracle Portal to OWS, or indeed both products could well survive. Judging from the questions at OpenWorld, Oracle still has some explaining to do. (Thanks to Sten Vesterli from Oracle partner Scott/Tiger for valuable input.)
Portals and Content Integration Evaluation Stream looks at... Collaboration Services in WebCenter
"Remember that services like the Wiki and Blog services are back-end services that need to be installed as part of the Oracle WebCenter Suite installation. This means that in your portal, you actually need to call a wiki or blog via web clipping, iFrame, web services, REST API, or some other similar mechanism that can consume a URL...."
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