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Thursday, 21 March 2013

End of an era?

I'm late, but welcome to 2013.

Staring last year and continuing up to now, the trend is for new technologies or their iterations to be feature-reduced. 2012 was a year of consolidation, where vendors reshaped their offerings to suit themselves. It was about monetising, protecting IP, repositioning, outmanoeuvring the competition. Some noteworthy examples include the iOS6 maps debacle, Twitter's API trimming, the float of Facebook, the ubiquitous rise of the cloud. It was a reversal of the previous golden years of consumer-driven innovation, or perhaps it was simply an exhaustion of useful new ideas. It seems Web 2.0 had fully run its course and the new wave is yet to form.

It is in this context where Oracle seems to have ended development of WebCenter Content. 11g was about its consolidation & integration into the Middleware stack. SiteStudio offered no new features, just maturity. Social media enhancements, such as the whispered Folksonomy component, were abandoned. Apart from the long-anticipated replacement to Folders and of SSXA (both designed for better interoperability with other systems) it seems the Stellent foundation product is parked in the cul-de-sac of software development.

(Well that's why I'm running out of ideas for blog articles!)

With Oracle 12c on the horizon the rumour mill suggests that SiteStudio will be dropped altogether. The strategy seems to have been to reduce the product back to a content repository for a larger suite of Oracle products, shifting preference for websites to the newly-acquired WebCenter Sites. And in the context of the technological consolidation I discussed earlier I would expect some sort of dependency or integration with Oracle cloud would take precedence over any shiny new features.

I assume this is driven by marketing and of sales of product licenses, perhaps it is unfair for me to speculate so cynically. But it affects my job. I'm faced with the choice of just supporting legacy clients or to invest new expertise in WebCenter Sites (or non-Oracle alternatives.) And frankly I'm not happy about the choice. But this is all speculative until WebCenter 12c is released.

What do you see as the future of the Stellent product?

This article explores the collapse of consumer-innovation in software development from a different angle:

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree with you ! I don't know what's the direction of Stellent-UCM-Webcenter product going forward !