Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Can I take you(r method) home with me?

Already a couple of years I'm a member of a group within the Oracle Methods Group that is responsible for the Oracle Unified Method, or OUM for short. OUM is based on the Unified Process (UP), as is the Rational Unified Process (RUP) and as such has many similarities with RUP.

"So why yet another method?", you might ask. Well, there are plenty of reasons, but to mention a few important ones:

  • Years ago Oracle created the Custom Development Method. That method has been a great success for ourselves as well our customers, and many people are used to it. While creating OUM we are able to make it relatively easy for people to "migrate" from one method to the other by using the same kind of structure.

  • RUP is optimized for being used with Rational/IBM tooling. And as Oracle has it's own extensive set of tooling it makes sense to have a method taking that into consideration. Of course, to a certain extend RUP is configurable and extendable, but that has its limitations and would not facilitate the first point.

  • Maybe you do not know Oracle for running IT projects, but we do have a lot of expirience, especially regarding projects that involve a database or a Service Oriented Architecture and found that there is a lot of room for improvement in how the (Rational) Unified Process addresses those issues, if at all.

  • Last but not least, the Unified Process does not address cross-project/enterprise-level issues very well. Nowadays there is also the Enterprise Unified Process. Although a valuable extension to UP for us it still has a few shortcomings. Among them that it still does not address all aspects we found to be important to cover, like IT Governance.

On a very short notice the Oracle Methods Group will make OUM 4.3 available. That version will have a first cut of what we consider to be necessary to add to UP to make it an enterprise-level development method. For that we added an extra "dimension" to UP which we call Envision, as well as a couple of enterprise-level processes.

OUM 4.3 will also be the first release that (to a limited extend) is available for our customers as well. As the specifics are yet to be determined, I cannot tell you more yet, but I will keep you posted.

I know, going to the pub telling people that I'm working on OUM "which now has Envision as well!" won't get me the hottest chicks wanting to take me home. But hey, to most girls telling you are in the IT business is a turn-off anyway, so now you know I dare to tell you I'm quite exited about this release going to hit the streets!

And as soon as it does, I will let you know ...


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