Tuesday, June 07, 2016

#AMIS25 and The Oracle Cloud Shift : Insights from my first Holland trip


I would like to take this opportunity to wish AMIS Netherlands a very happy 25th birthday. In the context of Oracle SOA, the the name AMIS often keeps popping up - they have contributed a lot to the knowledge available to the community around this and related Oracle technology. 

As they chose to celebrate this occasion in a uniquely signature style - by holding a global Oracle conference with an impressive lineup of speakers from all 6 continents and also by holding the event in an old aircraft hangar (commemorating their origins as the Aircraft Management Information Systems) 
It was a pleasure to be invited by Lucas Jellema (@lucasjellema) so I decided to attend at least one day - the Friday, 3rd of June. The line-up of events though was fantastic on both days. 


I arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, the 2nd (my first visit to the country, outside the airport that is) and decided to explore places nearby... More on this later!

All the speakers might upload their presentations as they see fit and of course, know the best about their subject matter. I'm going to write about the talks I attended and my observations on the main themes.

One thing that is quite apparent is that the mainstream Oracle world is now cloud. This is quite the realisation of c of 12c.

First, the conference day started for me with Simon Haslam's (@simon_haslam) talk on the Oracle Traffic Director. This was one of the aha moments when you realise a gap in existing technology that you vaguely knew was there but had always either ignored or worked around it!
OTD offers seriously advanced load-balancing, fit for globally distributed cloud applications that is also 'application aware' (both OOTB and with options to extend with custom programming)

In my second session, Matt Wright of Rubicon Red shared his company's insights and a roadmap for moving integrations to the cloud. 

Peter Ebell of AMIS presented a talk on new SOA paradigms ("Alien architectures" as he termed it) - the post RDBMS world. The premise was that traditionally, SOA service layers that directly perform DML on RDBMS databases are very prone to changes in the database. Perhaps new approaches might need to be explored - especially for the new world where data in general is more unstructured or semi-structured. 
He started with a typical 'napkin architecture' and then progressed on to explain how it would evolve for certain modern requirements. 
At first the speaker started the talk in Dutch and I thought it would be an interesting challenge to try and understand everything in Dutch! But he then switched to English.


Shay Shmeltzer (@JDevShay) introduced the Oracle Developer cloud - this is a boon for the developer community as with a few clicks, a developer can provision the basic development environment (Source control, wiki, issue tracker, build server) up and running for a whole team! 
As Shay reiterated "..A mature DevOps facilitates short and quick release cycles...." , which is precisely today's need and expectation from businesses. 


Lonneke Dikmans of eProseed and Lucas Jellema of AMIS introduced the various Oracle cloud offerings - PaaS offerings to be precise. Beyond the familiar SOA CS,  ICS (Integration cloud service), PCS (Process cloud service - with it's BPM engine and BPM Workspace, the IoT and Big data cloud services are interesting new offerings. 
I noticed that both IoT and BigData CS included 'analytics' -  Lonnenke clarified that this targeted different types of data (real time data in flux versus static-historic data). 
As I see it, the IoT cloud service adds value by "turning sensor data into sensible information" - that can subsequently be fed in to underlying data, integration and analytics services. Very compelling. 

Lucas described a realistic strategy for migration to the cloud by targeting 'edge systems' first. 

Bram Van Der Pelt of AMIS gave a session on Identity 3.0 and it's possible application in the Oracle world. Identity 3.0 is a new proposal developed by the Jericho Forum, which essentially proposes a mechanism whereby Identity and it's related attributes are maintained by and shared by the authority that owns them (such as a national government or the individual themselves). The root of every identity is proposed as anonymous. These principles facilitate privacy. 
This is a major paradigm from the currently prevalent model in every application where copies of user identities and lots of personal profile information are stored locally. 


......Beyond technology, the conference also gave me the opportunity to see some nice parts of Holland. As I arrived at Amsterdam on the afternoon of Thursday, I started to make my way towards Katwijk. As the historic city of Leiden was on the way, I took the opportunity to explore the Leiden town centre a bit and also see the  Rijksmuseum van Oudheden - which is the national archaeological museum of the Netherlands. The collection is nice and includes artifacts from ancient Egypt, Persia and local archaeological finds from the regions in and around the Netherlands. 





"Why should we look to the past in order to prepare for the future?
Because there is nowhere else to look"

~James Burke  (Quoted at the 
Rijksmuseum van Oudheden)
An interesting fact about Leiden is that it's the birth place of the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt. 

The day after the conference, I headed to Amsterdam (having stayed overnight at Den Haag/The Hague). Found a map of the city and started the day with walks along the canals from Central station to the Museum district. Eventually decided on exploring the Rijksmuseum, which I explored for most of the day with it's extensive collection of paintings by Rembrandt, Veneer and other artists. 



"You have two eyes and but one mouth. Let this be a signal to pay heed, not to talk here, but to read"
(~Quoted on the walls of the Library at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, pictured below)



Having spent hours at the Rijksmuseum, for the remainder of the day all I could do was to walk around the city some more, before it was time to catch my flight. A very fruitful first trip to Holland - not only for the information packed conference, but also because I got to sightsee and visit two main national museums of the country!