Oracle SOA briefcamp

I attended a "briefcamp" at Oracle London today. A bit of a strange one this, it was really an overview of the SOA suite. Unfortunately the demo Gods were at the very worst today and nothing really worked, a little bit worrying since this is released code but I’ve been around computers too long to worry too much about that. As my blog probably shows I’m very much a Microsoft shop developer so I have to try very hard to keep an open mind about Oracle development tools but here goes. There are a lot of comparisons to be made between the offerings from Oracle and Microsoft but from a Architectural point of view they achieve pretty much the same thing. However, in my unbiased(?) view the .net Framework seems better that the Oracle versions. I would say that you can achieve what want with Oracle but the tools are unpolished, they have the feel of tools that are 5 years old. The demonstrator was pleased to show off the fact you could create a web service from a component in one click…really, that’s something I demand from a dev’ tool, not something I’d hope was there. The biggest gap for me was in configuration. An example give was the way of avoiding the performance cost when communicating with a web service. Oracle have a special in-memory type of wrapper that allows you to call a web service but really it doesn’t use http (et el). The problem is that if you use this wrapper you lose the portability of moving the service to a different location, i.e. the other side of a firewall. I asked how do you configure it to use the web service rather than the in-memory wrapper thinking that it would be like Microsoft’s Communication Foundation, "you recompile it" was the answer…hmm not exactly SOA in my book.

Overall though I’m not knocking Oracle on this, what is clear is that whether you chose Oracle or Microsoft as your preferred development platform, they both will do pretty much the same thing, it will probably come down to past preferences and political issues more than technical advantages…although I prefer Microsoft’s 😉

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