eWeek recently reviewed Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control 10gR4. In the article, Cameron Sturdevant referred Enterprise Manager as “a high-powered ecosystem management platform that uses its home field advantage in Oracle shops to provide administrators with top-notch tools”. He went on to say that he recommends “administrators [to] consider a management strategy that brings Enterprise Manager in over time to take care of Oracle databases, application servers, web applications from Oracle and its fleet of acquired products from PeopleSoft, Siebel, JD Edwards and others.”
Wow, “home field advantage” . . . never thought of this metaphor when we planned our products, but it is the right idea. It is safe to say that Oracle, more than any other vendor, cares about whether customers can properly manage Oracle products, be they database, middleware or applications. They are all parts of our home field. It is also safe to say that Oracle, more than any other vendor, possesses the domain expertise for managing Oracle products. We built all these software in the first place, so we know how they work really well and we can build tools for managing them properly.
Oracle has made quite a bit of progress in solidifying its application management portfolio in the past 18 months. This started with the release of three application management packs that are designed specifically for managing Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise and Siebel. It continued with the introduction of Application Diagnostics for Java, acquisition of Moniforce for end user monitoring, acquisition of the e-Test product suite from Empirix for application functional and load testing and release of Enterprise Manager Grid Control 10gR4, which included, amongst many things, improved service level management, SOA management, data masking, and a new management pack for Oracle Business Intelligence applications.
So what do all these development means if you are an Oracle application customer? It means you now have a new set of fantastic option to consider when acquiring tools for managing your application, as these Enterprise Manager tools cover everything from configuration management to monitoring to diagnostics to pre-production testing, and they are designed specifically for managing Oracle application products. It also means that you have one fewer set of vendor to deal with by choosing these tools from Oracle.
In addition, you would have taken the first step to Fusion from an IT operations management perspective by centralizing the management of your applications on Oracle Enterprise Manager today. Oracle Enterprise Manager is the tool for managing Fusion Middleware, the foundation for Fusion Applications. Since all these technologies may be managed through Oracle Enterprise Manager, it means that you may evolve your IT management setups incrementally as your modernize your application environments through products such as WebCenter, Business Intelligence and Oracle Application Integration Architecture.
Let's consider the following example with Siebel CRM for front office and Oracle E-Business Suite for back office. At the beginning, you manage these two applications separately using the bundled tools.
Step #1 is to connect these applications to Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control using Application Management Pack for Siebel and Application Management Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite, respectively. You gain advanced monitoring, centralized event management, configuration management, transaction diagnostic for Siebel, advanced cloning automation for E-Business Suite, end user monitoring and service level management.
For step #2, you decide to connect Siebel with E-Business Suite so that orders captured in Siebel could be submitted into E-Business Suite for fulfillment. You deploy Oracle Process Integration Pack for Order-to-Cash, running the integration processes on Oracle SOA Suite. For management, activate SOA Management Pack on the same Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control instance. You may now manage both Siebel and E-Business Suite, along with the integration between the two applications as a single logical system.
For step #3, you want to expose information to your users in a unified portal using Oracle WebCenter, and provide business insights using data from both front and back office systems using Oracle Business Intelligence. As you deploy these products, activate Oracle Middleware Management Packs and Oracle Business Intelligence Management Pack on the same Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control environment, and manage these Fusion middleware components along with Siebel, E-Business Suite, and SOA Suite as a single logical system.
Fusion Applications arrive, and in step #4, you decide that you want to start uptaking these new functionalities and run the new applications along with your existing Siebel and E-Business Suite applications. No problem, just add Fusion Applications to the same Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control, and you may then use it to manage your Siebel, E-Business Suite, SOA Suite, WebCenter, Business Intelligence, and Fusion Applications as a single logical system.
As you can see, as you evolve your application environment to meet your changing business needs, one thing may remain constant – the tool for managing your applications, as it evolves with you. This approach provides continuity for your IT operations while at the same time give you access to a comprehensive set of tools designed specifically for your application environment. Sounds good? Let's take your first step today.
p.s.: These diagrams came from the slide deck that I used at Collaborate. You may find the full presentation on the conference CD.