Will Oracle OpenWorld be, well, open?

Oracle OpenWorld 2010 is scheduled for September 19th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. But with doubts hanging in the air over whether Oracle will still uphold Sun’s comparatively clean record for open source altruism, one naturally starts to question – just how ‘open’ will Oracle OpenWorld be.


Earlier this month the company did in fact release its Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g, which if it does what it says on the tin, will help accelerate Java development tasks. The new release extends support for the open source built GlassFish Server and WebLogic Server for building and deploying enterprise Java EE applications – both of which sit as components of Oracle Fusion Middleware.

According to Oracle, “A component of Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse is a free set of Eclipse-based plug-ins that enables developers to build Java EE and Web Services applications for the Oracle Fusion Middleware platform where Eclipse is the preferred Integrated Development Environment (IDE).”

Beyond this layer of Oracle’s newly enriched technology stack, there is the fact that the OpenWorld conference will inevitably feature a widened partner network with plenty of pure-play open source companies all vying for some voice.

The company will host what it calls the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Forum as part of this September’s event and which will feature the following special interest group meetings: Database, Middleware, Applications, Project Portfolio Management, Servers and Storage, Software-as-a Service, Partnering with Oracle in the Cloud – and, crucially perhaps, Solaris, Linux and Java.

Oracle is clearly a business and a profit-focused commercial entity at that. That the company should be continually castigated for this given its newfound stewardship of Java is already becoming tiring. I hope we can start to provide more balance and tell both sides of the story. Yes Oracle looks to have abandoned OpenSolaris development in favour of, well, Solaris.

But for every story in this vein, let’s try and scratch below the surface to keep our balance. After all, we wouldn’t want to fall off the log now would we?