First Thoughts on Application Builder Cloud Services – another PaaS4SaaS by Debra Lilley


If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that I am on a mission to use PaaS to extend the SaaS HCM & ERP applications, and now I am finally getting to play with ABCS

A year ago I was excited about a new Oracle offering Application Builder Cloud Service, a PaaS offering for the Citizen Developer. This should heave been just what I need, no development skills – remember ‘I’m not technical’ and connected to SaaS, Oracle Cloud (or Fusion) apps.

I saw my first demo at Kscope15 and my thoughts at that time were:

  • This is a totally new product, developed, I hope, specifically for building simple extensions to SaaS
  • How will this connect to SaaS when I have the lack of APIs highlighted as a constraint for Java Cloud Services?

However I volunteered to repeat the Proof of Concept I had for PaaS4SaaS that used JCS. A few weeks later my suspicions were confirmed, it was working with CX but not HCM & ERP. This is not the fault of the ABCS team, the APIs needed to come from apps development.

When we got to Oracle Open World, in the ACE briefings, this was still being ‘sold’ as PaaS4SaaS, rather than PaaS4CX. This annoyed me, it showed a lot of promise but simply didn’t work with my SaaS, the HCM & ERP. The ACE briefings should be about discussing with technical experts (my ACE colleagues), where Oracle are and where they are going. This is not the arena for marketing.

However this year in June OTN bought the ACE Directors together again for a PaaS Developer Challenge, and in an update at that event it was announced that ABCS was in beta testing for HCM. I was excited at this prospect especially when it was explained that it was because there are now REST APIs from HCM, but rather disappointed that I hadn’t been asked to be part of the beta program, I guess in my inflated opinion of myself I thought I would be an obvious choice.

Anyway I soon got that resolved and got a trial version of ABCS. Thanks again to OTN the trial is being extended, so I can build demos and include them in my presentations.

The APIs are in controlled release, I was told there was a patch that was needed and I raised an SR for this, to be told they were standard in Release 11, and the patch was only valid for Release 10. As Certus beta test Cloud HCM (&ERP) for Oracle we were already on R11.

By this time it was Kscope16, exactly a year after I first heard of ABCS, and I attended a ‘hands on lab’ session to build a stand alone (not integrated) ABCS application. My honest belief was this isn’t a Citizen Developer, you do need to understand a few basic concepts, but these can be fixed with some kind of training. There are some youtube videos and documents and I think that a simple sample application and perhaps a script to replicate the ‘hands on lab’ would help even more. Read the complete article here.

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