I read a post this morning by Grant Ronald talking about fusion apps. In Grant’s post he mentioned things that people have been saying about Fusion over the years. Middleware and Apps are not my specialist field, but I get to hear a lot about them from the conferences and ACE Director meetings, so I have been witness to the Oracle Fusion myth from the beginning.
Cast your mind back several years and the whole concept of Fusion was launched at OOW. We were told that the middleware stack was going to become a single coherent product, rather than the buggy rag-tag bunch of technologies we had in 9iAS and AS10g. Sounds good so far, but then all the existing stuff got rebranded as Fusion Middleware when the products it was made up of hadn’t significantly changed. That’s confusing.
Fast forward a bit and we were expecting something like real Fusion Middleware to appear, then the BEA buyout was announced and WebLogic became the core of Fusion Middleware. Oh. So this wonderful coherent product that Oracle had been developing and we were expecting soon was swapped for a best-of-breed app server from an acquisition. Strange and a little disconcerting, but at least we have a better app server now, except that some of the existing features still required you to install the old AS10g stuff. Still the name Fusion is plastered everywhere.
Fast forward a bit more and we have got to a point where applying the term “Fusion” to the middleware stack is less insulting, but if anyone experienced Fusion along the way they would probably have been left with a bad feeling about what Fusion actually means. It’s very hard to overcome a bad first impression. Are Oracle really surprised that the term “Fusion” is associated with myth and confusion?
OK. That’s the Middleware. What about Fusion Apps? Well, the name includes the word “Fusion”, so it takes on all the bad connotations associated with the infancy of Fusion Middleware. Added to that, since the original announcement of Fusion Apps there have been numerous acquisitions, all of which have no doubt added to the confusion about what Fusion Apps actually is. Then we are told there is no natural upgrade from eBusiness Suite to Fusion Apps. It’s a new product and we have to migrate data to it as we would any new ERP. Next we are told that the initial release will only be a subset of the modules we require, so we will have to run it alongside eBusiness Suite. Wow. This is really confusing. That sounds like a half-finished ERP built on a half-finished middleware stack. Once again, are Oracle really surprised people react like this?
Now I’m not saying the Fusion Middleware is bad. It’s come a long way. I’m also not saying Fusion Apps are bad. I’ve seen the demos and they look amazing. I’ve also talked to people in that field who are genuinely impressed and exited by it. I believe it will be a big eye opener and possibly a game-changer for a lot of people. What I’m saying is I can totally understand when people on the outside of our little goldfish bowl have a really bad and confused impression of anything containing the term “Fusion”, because it does have a very long and sordid history.
In my opinion the term Fusion needs to be scrapped and replaced, then perhaps we can forget the history and focus on the now. Kinda like they did with Beehive.