Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge at OpenWorld 2012

Noel (@noelportugal) and I have been working on something new for OpenWorld (@oracleopenworld) for quite some time, and today, I got the final approvals to go ahead with the Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge.

The skinny.

The Challenge is a modified hackathon, designed to run during OpenWorld and JavaOne (@javaoneconf), and attendees of both conferences are welcome to join and compete for the single prize of $500 in Amazon gift cards.

There’s only one prize, so bring your A-game.

The Challenge begins Sunday, September 30 at 7 PM and ends Wednesday, October 3 at 4 PM.

You can and should register now, but we won’t begin approving  registrations until Sunday at 7 PM. For legal reasons, you’ll need to register with a corporate email address, not a free webmail one, e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, ISP-provided mail, etc. If you work for a competitor of Oracle, sorry but you’re not eligible.

Everything you need is in the cloud, including support, but if you need help or have questions, visit office hours in the OTN Lounge in the Howard Street tent Monday, October 1 and Tuesday, October 2 4-8 PM to get help from the product team.

The judging begins Wednesday, October 3 at 4 PM. To be considered for the prize, you’ll need to attend to demo your working code to the judges.

Attendees with badges from either OpenWorld or JavaOne are welcome in the OTN Lounge, so you’ll need one of those too.

Did I mention, register now?

Now for the long-winded explanations.

What is it?

We know people will be in San Francisco to attend sessions, not necessarily to write code, so we’ve crafted the Challenge structure to fit into that framework.

Rather than a period of 12 or 24 hours like a standard hackathon, the Challenge runs throughout several days at OpenWorld, beginning Sunday, September 30 at 7 PM and ending Wednesday, October 3 at 4 PM.

Everything will be available online so we’re hoping people can use downtime to work on their entries, or if you feel like it, lock yourself in a room and work that entire time. Just don’t forget to eat and show up at the judging on Wednesday at 4 PM to demo your masterpiece.

But what is it?

The goal of the Challenge is to build something that solves a business problem using Oracle Social Network, its Public API and another service or application.

If you’re unfamiliar with Oracle Social Network, it’s the Social piece of the Oracle WebCenter Suite and part of the Oracle Cloud:

Oracle Social Network is a secure private network that provides a broad range of social tools designed to capture and preserve information flowing between people, enterprise applications, and business processes. By connecting you with your most critical applications, Oracle Social Network provides contextual, real-time communication within and across enterprises. With Oracle Social Network, you and your teams have the tools you need to collaborate quickly and efficiently, while leveraging the organization’s collective expertise to make informed decisions and drive business forward.

So, what’s a business problem?

The answer depends on your enterprise, your workflow and your colleagues, but here are some examples that might help get the idea juices flowing.

  • Coordinate travel and activities among your colleagues, some of whom use services like TripIt or TripCase and some of whom use good old email, in a single Conversation.
  • Work on and close issues with a team of developers using a system like JIRA, Pivotal Tracker or Github and non-technical stakeholders in a single Conversation.
  • Create an impromptu poll, collect ideas in real-time in a single Conversation and analyze the results by combining services like Twilio, Wufoo, Google Docs, and Zoho.
  • Aggregate and share meeting notes and minutes or collaborate on any real-world project, e.g. construction, accident assessment, using mobile devices and services, all in a single Conversation.

Get the idea? Oracle Social Network’s RESTful Public API allows you to connect other consumer or enterprise services to Conversations, so that collaboration among team members can happen in a single, consolidated place. No reply-all emails or forwarding existing threads. Everything is in one place, including relevant documents, which can be annotated and downloaded.

Because the Public API is RESTful, you can work in your programming language of choice, Java, JavaScript, Python, Perl, .NET, or even command line. We’ll have examples to get you started.

When is it?

The Challenge runs Sunday, September 30 at 7 PM, through Wednesday, October 3 at 4 PM.

If you need help or want to work in a collaborative environment, maybe form a team, you can stop by Office Hours, 4-8 PM on Monday, October 1 and Tuesday, October 2 in the OTN Lounge, Howard Street tent, between Moscone North and South.

Challenge judging begins Wednesday, October 3 at 4 PM in the OTN Lounge. To enter the Challenge officially, you must be present to demo your working code to the judges at this time.

Teams are encouraged because we know people will be busy attending a conference. You can even work with people who aren’t attending, but whomever comes to the judging will be expected to answer technical questions about the code. You won’t be able to phone a friend.

Check out the official terms, conditions and Challenge rules for more information.

Where is it?

Everything you need will be in the cloud, including support. When your registration is approved, you’ll be automatically added to a Conversation where you can ask questions and get help. We’ll have people in different time zones watching that Conversation who can assist.

There’s also a support number if you need it. You’ll get that when we approve your registration.

Sometimes an IRL conversation is best. So, if you need help or want to talk to the team who built Oracle Social Network, come by Office Hours 4-8 PM on Monday and Tuesday in the OTN Lounge.

Of course, you’ll need a badge from either OpenWorld or JavaOne to get into the OTN Lounge.

How do I . . . 

Join? Register first. We’ll being approving registrations on Sunday at 7 PM. Corporate email addresses only, no competitors please.

Win? Build something interesting. It has to use the Oracle Social Network Public API and work, i.e. no slideware, but other than that, use your imagination. The judges will be looking for:

  • Novelty, i.e. how innovative is it?
  • Execution, i.e. how finished is it?
  • Utility, i.e. how useful is it at solving the business problem you chose?

Get more information? Check out the details. Hit us up directly here in comments, by email, by Twitter. Come by the Office Hours.




  1. This is a great competition, we’ve been making use of the OSN tools and services to create our own social app in financials – I should show it to you some time.

  2. Thanks. Please let people know it’s happening and stop by the OTN Lounge to say hi and check out the work. Monkeys will fly.

  3. great competition jake, will check out the OTN lounge. love the business solution aspect, totally works for our design space while giving people freedom to think beyond usual toolkits.

  4. Definitely stop by to say hello. The flying monkeys will actually demonstrate a real business solution too, believe it or not 🙂

  5. Looking forward to playing around with this. Any chance you can toss up some links to developer 101 on this stuff? How to get access, how to speed up the approval process, where are the APIs, etc. Going to try and build something out of this.

  6. Noel has some 101 stuff prepared to get you started. We won’t start approving registrations until Sunday around 7 PM, but then, you’ll have everything you need. Are you at the show? If not, you won’t be able to attend the judging and actually enter your work. Even so, you can build something, just not win the prize 🙂

  7. I’m coming out on Monday morning, last minute addition to the speaker list. Any chance we can stream the introduction on Sunday night?

  8. Awesome. We need to catch up, been too long. There’s no introduction per se; we’ll just be talking about it generally, same content you can get here. Haven’t seen your registration yet 🙂

  9. Jake,

    Can you provide the link to the Oracle Social Network Public API? I can’t seem to locate it.

    I was at OOW 2012 unfortunately I didn’t get the word on the contest early enough to attend. It would have been great. Are the results also posted somewhere?


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