The concepts and methodology behind the development of the UAN align with wider architectural changes in software architecture, and are leading Siebel’s [SEBL] efforts to adapt. UAN is even impacting on how the core Siebel application engine is built, bringing more structure to the way it is developed.
Siebel is preparing to shift its architecture to its new Universal Application Network platform.
Siebel is making gradual progress in the massive shift towards to process orientation, but the implications of the shift go beyond the application and UAN platforms. When the CRM vendor has made the shift from old architecture to the new and can offer an application in the form of a collection of business services, that is the point when it will be able to move away from its own application server.
The company has been trialling UAN for the best part of a year now, and has confirmed that the version 8 of its core application suite will be based on non-Siebel application servers and offer native support for both J2EE and .NET environments.
With the UAN, Siebel is trying to apply many of the benefits of a packaged product to the issue of integration, using its own expertise in front-office processes combined with the skills of integration partners and customers to cover as wide a base a possible.
One of the concerns has always been whether Siebel has the capacity to manage an operation of this size and complexity; the risk if it fails is that it will have produced another limited use integration platform that merely adds to the complexity of customers’ infrastructures.
Although Siebel is still working with partners and customers to build out first level processes, one of the next areas of development is to add depth through the development of extensions to some of those existing processes. To date the extensions have been around the area of error-handling in the context of transaction roll-out and rollback over multiple steps. Going forward, there are plans to provide customers with options such as a choice between a simple or complex order processes.
As the UAN is the technology that binds the richer and more on-premise Siebel application suite with the more simplistic on-demand Siebel offering, this split process approach will play an important factor in delivering on the promise of seamless integration and migration between the two deployment models, and underlines the significance of the UAN to Siebel as a whole.