It has been three weeks since 50,000 friends and I converged in San Francisco to attend Oracle Open World. It was an amazing event with three giant vendor exhibit halls including almost every IT vendor in the world and a stunning exhibit of the NEW Oracle, called Complete.

As I reflect on this event, I realize two things:

  1. I would not be where I am without Sun Microsystems and all the great things they did for me, Rally and our industry.
  2. Oracle’s new “Complete” solution including enterprise hardware, enterprise database, enterprise middleware and enterprise applications is a very powerful story for the enterprise.

    Thank you Sun Microsystems


    As a result of Sun Microsystems’ engineering innovations and culture, I have had a great 15 years. Including:

    1. Joined Tim Miller, following the first Java One in 1996, and helped grow a great company called Avitek that focused exclusively on Java development and was a Sun Authorized Java Center
    2. Dreamed of having someone put a huge arrow through our building or assemble a VW in my office
    3. (Avitek) getting acquired by BEA Systems because of the success of Java in the marketplace
    4. Built BEA’s portal on top of WebLogic which drove $50 Million of contribution to the business in the first 12 months as Java on the server went mainstream
    5. Built Rally’s multi-tenant solution using the large collection of skilled java engineers in and around Boulder and Raleigh
    6. Read with pure joy, Citizen Engineer, written by Dave Douglas, Sun’s ex-Chief Sustainability Officer and Greg Poppodopolus, their ex-CTO
    7. Got introduced and worked with Dave and Greg’s HR Partner Matt Artz
    8. Will earn a sabbatical with Rally for seven years of service, based on Sun’s model and crafted by Matt Artz (can’t wait to share my sabbatical proposal in November)

    I owe a ton to the infinite game that Sun was able to create by opening Java to the industry. Now as that jewel as well as other great and open technologies from Sun and BEA exist at Oracle, I feel confident Oracle will find a way to continue to evolve the rules and boundaries to create plenty for all.

      Oracle Powerhouse

      Now that BEA, Sun, StorageTek and a large collection of software application companies are part of Oracle, Oracle Open World has become quite an event.  Like Apple’s hugely successful vertical integration of the desktop/handheld, Oracle has completed that integration on the enterprise server.  Based on walking around all three exhibit areas, and attending many of the executive keynotes, you get a sense for Oracle’s growing influence in the marketplace.

      Looking at the price, performance and energy saving virtues of both the exalogic and exadata machines from Oracle, it was easy to see the power of the combined vertical approach.  The fact that those machines run open and industry standard Java and SQL makes this vertical integration strategy more interesting than Apple’s integration.

      Oracle’s Fusion Application effort, a rewrite of all the applications, leveraging the common middleware components including Hyperion and Fuego, were very obvious in the booths. These new enterprise application components are available in a mix and match relationship with existing Peoplesoft, Siebel, JD Edwards, Agile and Premavera applications.  As a result, they seem to be managing the transition to Fusion without leaving a crack for competitors to break in.

      Americas Cup TrophyOn a side note from the technology, I really enjoyed the BMW Oracle Racing exhibit in Moscone North.  If you have not seen videos of SLAM, the winner of 33rd America’s cup, you are missing out on some heart pounding thrills. I would love to be the helmsman of that thing while it was flying two hulls out of the water.  I couldn’t resist buying a cool vest and getting my picture taken in front of the America’s cup.

      In addition to attending the Leadership Circle events, I presented a keynote on agile software development prior to Ted Farrell, who is the Chief Architect and SVP of Fusion middleware and tools group at Oracle.  The whole talk is available below and describes the linchpins to agile software development and how to leverage new technologies like Oracle’s Rich Enterprise Applications.

      I hope you enjoy the talk as much I did.  Many people commented about how the vivid model of making tomatillo salsa the agile way is now etched into their brain.  I know it was nothing like the rock groups that played Treasure Island, but is was big for me.

      Thank you Sun and thank you Oracle.


      Ryan Martens is a school board member at Friend School Boulder, and CTO at Rally Software Development.

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