Oracle Webcenter InteractionMigration Strategy1 INTRODUCTIONThe Aqualogic/Oracle Webcenter Interaction product Suite was created as a way to easily create toolsused to create portals, contentportlets, collaborative communities, composite applications, and otherapplications that use service architecture. These technologies work cross-platform.Oracle Webcenter Interaction (WCI) primarily consists of the following Objects Knowledge Directories Projects (including My Projects and Project Folders) Communities Documents from content server Content from Publisher server Tasks Discussions and Messages Calendars and Events Announcements Links Polls/Surveys Calendaring The Following diagram summarizes the architecture of Oracle Webcenter Interaction.
2 ORACLE WEBCENTER INTERACTION TO WEBCENTER PORTAL MIGRATION STRATEGYSince Oracle now owns multiple product stacks, there are three “portal” offerings – and, if customersbuy the Oracle WebCenter Suite, they own them all:Weblogic Portal. Built as a set of APIs that allowed developers to create portal applications in Eclipse ontop of WebLogic Server, this was a powerful set of libraries that provided a great environment for Javashops to code their web interfaces to back-end applications.AquaLogic User Interaction (aka Oracle WebCenter Interaction). Built as an out-of-the-box portal, thePlumtree application was designed to be open and flexible, but more for mixed (.NET/Java, Oracle/SQLServer) shops to configure the web interfaces to their applications.WebCenter Spaces. This is basically Oracle’s “portal”, which provides a web-based UI to access varioussocial networking and personal productivity (read: Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking) features provided byWebCenter Services.We can’t profess to know the exact plans that Oracle has here, but it seems pretty clear to most outsideobservers (and most insiders we’ve spoken to): WebLogic Portal and WebCenter Interaction willcontinue to be supported for years to come, but Oracle is throwing its weight behind WebCenter Spaces.This has a couple of implications for legacy Plumtree customers:Oracle is going down the path that the Weblogic Portal took – while a lot of the functionality clientsneed (such as Collaborative and Social tools) will be available out of the box through WebCenterServices, clients will be doing most of their customizations with Java in jDeveloper.If our clients are a .NET shop, they need to brace themself for a huge learning curve, or consider lookingat other platforms, such as SharePoint, or a hybrid solution using tools like Confluence, WordPress, andsome glue that holds the pieces together.There still is no formal migration plan for getting from WCI to Spaces. Although Oracle has promised itfor some time, a migration will not be a one-click process, so when clients are evaluating what to do“after WCI” – whether they’re Java or .NET – consider ALL available options, as a migration from WCI toSpaces could be as complicated as just “starting over”.Each of the individual products in the stack has its own migration path. For example, WCI configurationswill need to be migrated to WebCenter Spaces, Publisher content will need to be migrated to OracleUniversal Content Manager (UCM), and Collaboration and Studio will need to be migrated to theirequivalent WebCenter Services.Regardless of what path we choose, at this point it’s pretty clear: we need to start thinking about along-term strategy in a post-Plumtree world.
For a true migration to work there needs to be both replacement pieces of functionality as well a planfor the migration of existing data. This is the only way that WCI content managers can be truly happyand not lose anything that they currently have.2.1 AN ITERATIVE MIGRATION PROCESS Its never as simple as set it up once and migrate. Our content migration methodology is an iterative process with a number of steps. Heres the at-a-glance view: Oracle WebCenter Interaction 10gR3 (Base Portal) Oracle Collaboration Server 10.3 (Offers ability to share documents within a secure group) Oracle Publisher 6.4 (Content Management System) Oracle Studio 2.2 (Surveys, polls, etc)
2.2 THE PROCESSES OF DISCOVERY AND ANALYSISThe processes of Discovery and Analysis (figuring out what is in the source system) to the Load process isiterative — organizations will do these steps over and over until they are satisfied that the content is inthe right format and going to the right location.A couple of important points to make here:Not all content may need to be migrated and its important to filter out the unwanted information soyou arent wasting your time moving something you dont want or need.The extraction process should pull out all the meaningful information for a piece of content, includingrelationships and associated content.Part of the transformation process involves not only transforming the content to something the newsystem understands, but also the required security on that content.Loading the content isnt a simple process, not when we remember that we need to things like includeversions, security and publishing state.2.3 AUTOMATED CONTENT MIGRATION: Manual content migration - although it has its benefits - can be extremely time consuming. Automated content migration is essential, and the more quickly and easily this can be accomplished, the sooner content managers can benefit from the many functionalities of the new Enterprise Content Management System. Automated content migration can be devised by consuming various Webcenter Interaction APIs and other tools &services. Static Content Mapping: Straight mapping of a static content to one in the target system. Important Content Mapping: A source content/Community copied to the target system with some transformation. Generated Content Mapping: A completely new content added to the target system. From this you can see that its clearly not as simple as taking from one and putting into the other, theres some thinking about the portal taxonomy, content types, content items and associated attributes that needs to be done prior to the actual migration. We set up your source systems and your target systems to get started. Note that you can pull your content from more than one system at a time and load it into more than one system at a time. It all depends on the requirements.
2.4 CONTENT EVALUATIONS Once we have mapped your content from the source system(s) into the target system(s) you can have a look at your content. You can view the content at different phases of the process. For example you can perform an item comparison side-by-side view that shows extracted content vs transformed content. A visual view shows the actual content, a detail view shows the metadata associated with the content.2.5 SECURITY MIGRATIONAs part of the migration export process, our devised Migration Utility for AquaLogic/WebcenterInteraction exports users and groups, as well as the following permissions:ReadSelectEditAdminUsing security mappings, community managers can perform the migration of users, groups (and groupsmembership) and permissions even across Active Directory domains.2.6 METADATA MIGRATION On top of the system properties, such as Created By and Modification Date, our migration technique for AquaLogic/Webcenter Interaction enables the migration of custom properties as columns/properties in the new system.
3 WEBCENTER SPACES VS WEBCENTER INTERACTION3.1 PRODUCT DEFINITIONSWebcenter Suite is an enterprise portal platform made up of many products including 3 portal products,Webcenter services and the Webcenter development framework. Also included is limited-use licensingfor Universal Content Management, Secure Enterprise Search and Presence and CommunicationsServices.Webcenter Interaction refers to the cross-platform portal product and services previously known asPlumtree and BEAs Aqualogic Interaction. It has portal versions native to both .net and Java.Webcenter Services is a set of Enterprise ready social services that can be integrated with existingportals as well as custom applications. It includes products for wikis, blogs, RSS, activity streams,discussions, tags and links.Webcenter Spaces is the portal application that provides the UI and administration layer to the productsthat make up Webcenter Suite. It has out of the box features that closely match the features providedwith Webcenter Interaction’s portal. It is the product with the highest level of integration to WebcenterServices, Fusion Middleware and other Oracle products.3.2 UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCESTo understand the differences it is good to know the history of the products. Webcenter Interactiongrew up as a pure play portal product. This meant that the product was originally meant to be a toplayer portal product that did not care too much about the backing technologies that needed to besurfaced. That being said, many of WCI’s components were built using Java and only the core portalproduct was jumped to .net using a java to .net conversion technology. Also, most of WCI’s add-onproducts and services are black box java apps that run on packaged tomcat or JBoss app servers.Development against WCI can be done using your IDE of choice depending on the technology you areusing (.net,java,php,rails or any html emitting technology) and the functionality or product you aresurfacing. An SDK and API web services are used for writing portlets and composite applications that
take advantage of portal services and intrinsic functionality. Exposing and consuming JSR 168 and WSRP1.0 compliant portlets is also possible with WCI.Webcenter Spaces, on the other hand is a pure java based application that is also supported fordeployment to Weblogic Application Server. It was built to be the presentation layer to the FusionMiddleware product line. Customizing and developing for Spaces involves the use of Oracles JdeveloperIDE. You can use another Java IDE but that would be painful. Jdeveloper has deep integration not onlywith the Webcenter stack but with ADF development and fusion middleware overall. The Webcenterframework used with Spaces allows for consumption of JSR 168 as well as WSRP 1 and 2 compliantportlets. Additionally, ADF taskflows can be exposed as JSR 168 portlets using the portlet bridgeavailable as part of the framework.3.3 WHICH DO WE GO WITH?Webcenter Interaction it is a GREAT product, with lots and lots of features in hand, easy customization,and easy to develop for as well, but it lacks one important thing, integration with the Services, andFramework, it even lacks integration with ADF applications and ADF Task Flows.Spaces is great as well, but it doesnt compete with WebCenterInteraction Portal in ease to use and thenumber of features included in it, but Spaces is progressing more than WebCenter Interaction, andWebCenter Interaction will continue to be supported with no major enhancements to come.So question is, what should clients choose Spaces or Interaction, and why? It sounds like a debatablequestion, but its worth the deliberation.3.4 WHAT IF YOU ARE ALREADY INVESTED IN WEBCENTER INTERACTION?What if you are already invested in Webcenter Interaction?If you are already on the Webcenter Interaction product stack you have your choice of paths. Thedecision on whether to move to Webcenter Spaces is dependent on a longer list of decision points thanwe can discuss here. So what kinds of paths might you take to transition to Spaces from WebcenterInteraction portal?Stay with the product for the foreseeable future. If you are heavily invested in the WCI product set andare only interested in modest changes for the foreseeable future you can certainly stay with WCI. Youcan augment functionality with Webcenter Services and integration with UCM. These integrations arenot yet mature but they will be soon.
Start a piece by piece migration. You can stay with the core portal product and start smaller migrationsof functionality. For example, you can migrate from Publisher to UCM or start migrating portlets or appsto be exposed via JSR 168 or WSRP and surfaced through Spaces.