Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Does Oracle AIA deliver on it's integration promise? Answer is here!

Many thanks to all who attended my presentation today at DOAG Conference + Exhibition 2011. Your attendance is appreciated, and I enjoyed the casual and open discussion with the audience.

Me on the DOAG main floor... in a suit!

The title of my presentation was Oracle AIA - Does it deliver on it's integration promise? and the abstract as follows:
Oracle Application Integration Architecture (AIA) is designed to simplify the integration between Oracle and non-Oracle applications, including E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel CRM, and more. Unfortunately, most organizations are fearful in adopting AIA for their integration solution for various reasons.

Oracle claims that implementing AIA to integrate your applications shortens project timelines, reduces risk, and ultimately lowers overall project cost.

So what is AIA? What are the benefits and challenges of implementing AIA? Should you consider traditional SOA development instead of AIA for your integration needs? This presentation will answer all these questions and more to help you determine whether AIA is right for you. Find out why AIA should be considered for your application integration needs, and learn of the challenges that past projects have faced when implementing AIA, as well as the successes they have achieved.
One of the highlights of my presentation was the "Truth Meter" slide. In this slide, I listed out several claims extracted from Oracle AIA marketing material, press releases, and release notes and posed them to 12 senior Oracle AIA Solution Architects asking them to rank, on a scale of 1 to 10, the truthfulness of each statement. These architects are customer architects, systems integration architects (i.e., consultants), and architects currently employed at Oracle Corporation.
The "truth" about Oracle's claims on AIA

One of the main observations from the table above is that it is questionable on whether AIA reduces complexity and accelerates delivery. However, there seems to be overwhelming agreement that it promotes reuse, is based on open and industry standards and best practices, and that the EBOs definitely do speed up design by standardizing on them.

Overall, kudos to Oracle Sales for being more realistic now with what AIA can do compared to the past. Oracle Sales seemed to sell AIA as the end all solution to your integration problems, and that was never the case from product development. Now, with the AIA Foundation Pack 11g and its supporting PIPs, the sales teams are better educated and more realistic when engaging customers on what it can and can't solve.

Despite mumblings from my Oracle colleagues regarding the future of AIA (i.e., that it does not have a bright one), in my opinion, it will continue to exist (and grow), but perhaps not in its current shape or form.

Ahmed Aboulnaga

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