We have been working on implementing Oracle Fusion middleware for our SOA solution, ESB and BPEL and all the other bells and whistles, BAM and BPA. I have to say, even for an old dog like me, this is an amazing concept. We had IBM and Oracle come and visit numerous times flogging their software and we decided on oracle simply because their products seemed to be more tightly integrated and basically looked better. The kicker was that everything is done via JDeveloper instead of 3 or 4 different products like IBM's SOA stuff (Websphere).
I have built a handful of adapters of some interfaces I know very well. I was able to retrieve data without a problem, I then took a crack at creating ESB and BPEL services to then "listen" for changes and move the data around. All I can say is wow, the ease at which data can be mapped and moved around is astounding. The largest time saving is an adapter only has to be made once per system and then a simple BPEL assign to do the mapping and presto, data acquired, transformed to a common format, and then transformed to what the destination system requires. Then the ESB process sits and waits for more data to come in. Wonderful stuff, no wonder everybody is talking about SOA, even though it is in hushed voices and darkened hallways. The learning curve is extreme and my knowledge of XML,XSD and XSLT has increased a hundred fold, but it is all worth it.
After this I am off to update by CV ;)
We have a few training classes scheduled to try and get the rest of the department some exposure to the products. BPA - Business Process Analyzer I believe is what the acronym is, there are just a few to try and remember. BPA is a product that I have just started to look at, we bought a lot of licenses for it, and as the marketing for it says, it allows business "super users" to actually map the work flow in an almost Visio environment, pass that to a developer and with a lot less work than I expected, the developer can turn that into a BPEL flow and deploy the application. The best part is the changes to the flow the developer needed (if any) are automatically passed back to the user that created the original document.
Really cool stuff.