Oracle starting shipping its latest IPM product, 11g earlier this quarter. As a company, ImageSource has been working as a partner with Oracle on this next step in their ECM evolution. I, personally, am a little late to the 11g game, so I will be sharing with you my impressions as a relative newcomer to the 11g world.
First off, 11g is a complete rewrite from IPM 7.7.x and the 11g install is big. The download is well over a gigabyte and I ended up downloading two other components in excess of 700M apiece. Installation is no picnic either. It’s been my experience over the years that Oracle produces products which are hard to install and configure properly, but once properly setup, they can outperform anything else in their class.
I will admit that I was unable to get my 11g system installed properly (I still say it’s Oracle’s fault, but that’s a long story; it also had to do with the undersized server I was attempting to use), but the guys in the Tech Support and Services department are letting me use one of their installs to get my dev system booted.
11g is written in Java and lives on top of WebLogic and the rest of Oracle’s Fusion Middleware products, so it’s time to dust off the old Java coding skills. The Fusion Middleware stuff is good news for customers and developers who want to integrate with any number of Oracle back-end systems (PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, etc). It will be much more tightly integrated.
My first impression of the new web interface for the Imaging piece is that it’s nice, but not “wow!” but better than before. Some of the icons look a little clunky, but I suppose we will get used to them. The controls I’ve seen have both Tooltips and annoying Ajax popup menus. I’ve not had a chance to look very deeply into Process Management piece, which is built on BPEL, but I’ll be blogging more on it as I get deeper into in.
The API into the system is kind of the reverse from the IPM 7.7 way of doing things. There, the WebService API called down into the COM layer. Here, the Java client-side calls all go into the WebServices on the server. There’s no actual “client” codebase or DLL to call into. You log into one of several webservices (ApplicationService, ConnectionService, DocumentContentService, DocumentService, ImportExportService,LoginService, PreferenceService, SearchServiceService, SecurityService, TicketService) and proceed from there.