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Holiday debut for Oracle 11g middleware bundle

Relative promise

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OpenWorld Oracle will take a step closer towards launching its next major middleware suite - Fusion - in the next few weeks by releasing a preview that targets developers.

The database giant promises a preview edition of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g for seven million members of the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) "before the Holiday season".

The bundle should give developers a first real taste of new features in JDeveloper 11 - already available in preview - to build and compose applications and workflows for the newer Oracle middleware.

There's still no word on final availability of any of the elements of the 11g tooling and middleware package.

Thomas Kurian, Oracle's middleware chief, today opened the developer stream of Oracle's annual OpenWorld Hajj in San Francisco, by outlining what developers can expect in the preview package. Fusion Middleware comprises 18 elements, and Kurian took his audience through a handful.

Changes include tighter integration between Oracle's middleware and JDeveloper 11g to simplify development.

Integration is through shared use of Java and web services APIs, which tapping into Oracle's Application Development Framework (ADF), which underpins JDeveloper's drag-and-drop development. It's the latest extension of the metadata-based programming model that's driven the JDeveloper story.

Playing to the Web 2.0 crowd, JDeveloper 11g will feature an application composer feature to build pages that consist of different internet and application data feeds using drag and drop. According to Kurian, this is possible because the structure, layout and actions of the page components will be described using metadata.

"All you are doing is tweaking the metadata," Kurian said.

Meatier features include new support for database modeling using SQL, PL/SQL and XML DB, and support for Enterprise Java Bean (EJB) 3.0 and JavaServer Faces (JSF) at the presentation layer, with the added ability to model Beans on top of the database schema using the new Visual JPA modeler.

Developers can use mapping to run queries to Oracle and non-Oracle databases, and build search into applications on top of the business service layer.

A key focus is the separation of business logic, and support for new workflows and different interfaces.

Beans can be exposed to the user interface using declarative data binding so the data is not tied to the interface. Combined with JDeveloper's support for JSF, AJAX, Flash and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), applications can be displayed in Microsoft Office, Outlook or other email clients. Kurian promised the separation of workflow and interface meant the same Oracle data entry form could be accessed through both a browser and an Excel spreadsheet depending on whether the user is connected. A.NET proxy client will talk to Microsoft's Excel, and tie into the Pocket PC and Blackberry.

Kurian also promised support for "human" workflows instead of just machine workflows.®

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