The Social Connection
Oracle WebCenter Suite 11g connects business and IT
users and embeds social components into applications.
Oracle recently released a major update to Oracle WebCenter Suite 11g. Caroline
Kvitka, Oracle Magazine senior managing
editor, sat down with Andy MacMillan,
vice president of Enterprise 2.0 product
management at Oracle, to talk about product
developments. The following is an excerpt
from that interview. Download the full
podcast at oracle.com/magcasts.
Oracle Magazine: How has Oracle WebCenter
Suite evolved since it was first launched?
MacMillan: Oracle WebCenter Suite was
originally launched to take advantage of
the shift in the modern user experience.
Websites and Web applications were being
built differently, and we wanted to have a
leading product to meet user expectations.
Over the last couple of years we’ve acquired
several related technologies and portal products. We’ve done a lot of work to bring the
best of the best from those different products into Oracle WebCenter Suite.
Oracle Magazine: Oracle is calling this a user
experience platform. What does that mean?
MacMillan: User experience platform is a
little broader than what people would typically refer to as a Web development or portal
platform. A user experience platform is a
way to bring together user components and
application components so that people can
interact with them in a rich Web-like way,
but it is also about how the components
interact with each other. It’s the idea that it’s
no longer enough to bring up, for example, a
list of things on one portlet and then have a
map on another portlet. People actually want
to see that information blended together so
that there’s a richness of the context that’s
created by bringing different datasources,
content, and business processes together.
Oracle Magazine: How have Oracle’s acquisitions contributed to the portal capabilities in
Oracle WebCenter Suite 11g?
MacMillan: We acquired two great portal
Andy MacMillan, Vice President of Enterprise 2.0
Product Management, Oracle
products from BEA: WebLogic Portal and
AquaLogic User Interaction Portal. We also
have the Sun portal technologies, and a
lot of application-specific portals such as
PeopleSoft Portal and Oracle Portal.
In Oracle WebCenter Suite 11g, we took a
lot of those portal features, like the ability to
surface high-transaction portlets in Oracle
WebLogic Portal and to create business
communities in AquaLogic User Interaction
Portal, and we brought them into Oracle
WebCenter Suite. In many cases we rewrote
those core technologies, leveraging their
heritage, and in many cases we had the
original developers building and evolving
Oracle Magazine: How have the content
management capabilities in Oracle
WebCenter Suite 11g evolved?
MacMillan: Content management in Oracle
WebCenter Suite has a heritage from
Stellent. That product, Oracle Universal
Content Management, is a leading enterprise
content management product in its own
right. Initially with Oracle WebCenter Suite,
we had a straightforward connection to that
technology. You could store documents
from the portal in the content management
platform. In this release, we’ve exposed a lot
of additional capabilities from the content
management system in the portal. We have
a richer document library and content pre-
viewing and markup capabilities. You can go
to a piece of content in an Oracle WebCenter
Suite portal, click on it, and use the Web
content management capabilities from
Oracle Universal Content Management.
Oracle Magazine: As a development platform,
what does Oracle WebCenter Suite 11 g offer?
MacMillan: Oracle WebCenter Suite is a
Java application. It’s used as a development
platform for building portal and Web appli-
cations. Oracle WebCenter Suite is built on
Oracle ADF [Oracle Application Development
Framework] and is used as a composite user
experience layer to bring together Oracle
ADF applications. I’m sure many of your
readers are familiar with Oracle ADF and
the role that it’s playing in Oracle Fusion
architecture and Oracle Fusion Middleware.
Oracle WebCenter 11 g is really the front
end or the user experience technology for
bringing together Oracle ADF and non-
Oracle ADF applications.