Oracle Fusion Middleware or Oracle Confusion Middleware?

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Oracle Fusion Middleware is often confused with Oracle Fusion Applications.

Ah, technology! To differentiate its offering from that of their competitors, technology companies often name their products the way they want to, and most of the time, these names are often confusing or misleading.

Oracle is no different. Case in point is its Oracle Fusion Middleware. Most people think that because it has middleware in its name, it is nothing but an integration tool. But it is not.

And the confusion does not stop there.

Oracle Fusion Middleware is often confused with Oracle Fusion Applications. But aside from this confusion, the piece of software from Oracle certainly has a lot of uses.

It spans other enterprise applications from Oracle, including Order Management, Customer Relationship Management, Billing, Enterprise Resource Planning, Lifecycle Management, Supply Chain Management, and others. As such it is a horizontal technology and not just a systems integration technology. It is one of the key product lines of Oracle, the other two being Database and Applications.

Some examples of Oracle Fusion Middleware products include products for these categories:

  • SOA
  • BPM
  • Business Intelligence
  • Enterprise Project Management
  • Enterprise Content Management
  • Portals
  • Java

There is at least one software for each of these categories. For some, there are several offerings falling under one category. For instance, for Directory Services, you have at least three products under Oracle Fusion Middleware Identity Management: OID, OUD and ODSEE.

These are bundled together under one package: the Oracle Directory Services Plus.

Another cause for confusion is that names could change year after year. For example, Oracle Directory Services Enterprise Edition used to have for different names:

  1. Sun Java System Directory Server
  2. Sun ONE Directory Server
  3. iPlanet Directory Server
  4. Netscape Directory Server

So what should you remember about Oracle Fusion Middleware?

  1. It’s a major Oracle product line.
  2. It has several products under its umbrella, including but not limited to systems integration software and other software that could be lumped together, albeit loosely, in the middleware category.
  3. It is not something that you can buy or install. You can only purchase an item packaging under the Oracle Fusion Middleware category and you can only mount an item from that packaging.
  4. You need to use Oracle Fusion Middleware with other Oracle products. For instance, you only use Oracle Internet Directory with Oracle Database. As such, Oracle Fusion Middleware is not a standalone product.
  5. A good majority of Oracle Fusion Middleware needs a server to run. That is you need to have WebLogic Server to run Oracle Fusion Middleware products.
  6. There are four different install base versions for Oracle Fusion Middleware: 9i, 10g, 11g and 12c.

Apart from these, you also have different versioning for each class of Oracle Fusion Middleware and there may be different release dates for stable versions. For example, JDeveloper 12c is now available, but developers writing code for WebCenter would need to use the 11g version.

Confused and need help? Four Cornerstone offers Oracle consulting in Dallas and we help you make heads and tails with Oracle’s different products. Call us today.

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