As Published In
Oracle Magazine
January/February 2007


Oracle Product News

An update on new product releases and key product enhancements

Oracle WebCenter Suite Delivers Unified User Experience

Oracle WebCenter Suite 10g Release 3, a new component of Oracle Fusion Middleware, provides a unified, context-aware user experience that integrates a full set of enterprise services. Users can access business applications, structured and unstructured content, business intelligence, enterprise search, business processes, and communication and collaboration services. By breaking down the boundaries among Web-based portals, enterprise applications, and Web 2.0 technologies, Oracle WebCenter Suite enables the rapid creation of flexible, context-sensitive work processes.

"Information workers need an easy-to-use, task-oriented, rich-client user interface through which they can access information and enterprise applications, quickly execute transactions within enterprise applications, and share information and collaborate with other people over a variety of channels—messaging, Voice over IP, discussions—using familiar desktop tools," says Thomas Kurian, senior vice president, Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Oracle WebCenter Suite represents the next step in advanced user-interaction environments and will be the basis for a new generation of context-aware applications designed to improve user productivity. Tasks that currently involve jumping between many different applications and tools that aren't aware of each other and don't share content or context can be streamlined and automated through Oracle WebCenter Suite.

Based on an open standards-based architecture, Oracle WebCenter Suite provides developers with a fast, low-risk way to develop and deploy Web 2.0 services across the enterprise, including wikis, mashups, instant messaging, Voice over IP, Really Simple Syndication feeds, discussion forums, and Web content publishing into structured applications. Enterprises can use Oracle WebCenter Suite's capabilities to embed and synchronize task-oriented and information-oriented portlets and Web 2.0 services to create composite applications.

Oracle WebCenter Suite is available as an option for Oracle Application Server Enterprise Edition, at US$50,000 per CPU. The first release includes Oracle WebCenter Framework, a JavaServer Faces (JSF) and Oracle Application Development Framework-based framework for embedding Asynchronous JavaScript And XML (Ajax) components, portlets, and content into JSF applications; Oracle WebCenter Services; embeddable Web 2.0 content, collaboration, and communication components; and Oracle WebCenter Studio, which exposes the Oracle WebCenter Framework and Oracle WebCenter Services to programmers inside Oracle JDeveloper. This release also includes Session Initiation Protocol-based instant messaging, online presence, threaded discussion and wiki services, Oracle Secure Enterprise Search, and a limited use license of Oracle Content Database.

Oracle Database 11g Beta Program Announced

Oracle has announced that the Oracle Database 11g Beta Program is underway. Customers and partners interested in participating in the beta program should contact their account manager or alliance manager or visit the Oracle Server Technologies Beta Programs Web site.

"Oracle Database 11g will help organizations deal with one of the greatest challenges in IT: change," says Willie Hardie, vice president of database product marketing at Oracle. "The new release will help lower the risk and cost of implementing new software, application, and other system changes and updates."

Oracle Database 11g is planned to include key change assurance features, such as a facility to easily capture actual production workloads at the database level and replay test systems to fully analyze the impact of system changes including critical concurrency characteristics. Another planned new feature, SQL Replay, identifies SQL execution plan changes and performance regressions. Other planned enhancements include rolling online application upgrades and "hot" patching; automated capture of fault diagnostics for faster fault resolution; and repair advisers to guide DBAs through the fault diagnosis and resolution process.

Oracle Berkeley DB Release 4.5 Delivers Key Enhancements

Oracle Berkeley DB Release 4.5, the newest release of Oracle's open source, embeddable database, includes new capabilities for improved performance, availability, and ease of use. The new release supports multiversion concurrency control, nonstop upgrades for replicated environments, and a prebuilt replication framework to simplify development of highly available applications.

"Oracle Berkeley DB Release 4.5 is quickly becoming the database of choice for open source and commercial developers who need to embed a fast, reliable, transactional storage engine within their high-performance applications," says Rex Wang, vice president of embedded systems marketing at Oracle. Oracle Berkeley DB is part of Oracle's strategy to provide developers with a broad range of embeddable products to meet the diverse needs of independent software vendors and original equipment manufacturers, who integrate Oracle technology directly into software applications, devices, and equipment.

"This version adds compelling new features and helps developers build and deploy applications requiring fast, reliable storage without human administration," adds Wang.

Oracle Berkeley DB Release 4.5 is generally available under a dual license. A no-cost open source license permits redistribution if the application using Oracle Berkeley DB is open source. A commercial license is available for redistribution of proprietary applications.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Integrates Application Management

Oracle has broadened the capabilities of Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g to deliver management functionality for Oracle Applications and third-party applications. Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g will enhance the management and monitoring of Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise, and Oracle's Siebel environments and provide management capabilities for customer applications running on Oracle and non-Oracle databases and middleware.

Oracle will deliver advanced application management, monitoring, and service-level capabilities through three new Oracle Application Management Packs for Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, and Siebel. The Oracle Application Management Pack for PeopleSoft Enterprise is now available; the remaining packs are planned for availability in 2007.

With new capabilities for application management, Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g delivers comprehensive management functionality from the operating system through the application layer—regardless of the underlying infrastructure—all the way to the end user.

Product Spotlight

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 Thinks Globally

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, scheduled for availability in 2007, is being designed to help businesses gain a competitive edge in the global economy. This major release is intended to allow organizations to think globally to make better decisions, work globally to be more competitive, and manage globally to lower costs and increase performance.

"Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 is expected to help companies meet global market needs," says Fred Studer, group vice president of applications and technologies at Oracle. "Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 should ensure companies that comprehensive requirements driving their global business are absolutely addressed with better technology and better applications—both coming together to drive value for our customers."

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 is planned to include key enhancements to help organizations make decisions based on complete information from systems that span regions and divisions. For example, as part of the release, Oracle Profitability Manager is expected to give users expanded capabilities to perform profitability analysis and reporting not only for individual product lines, but also for individual customers. Oracle Strategic Network Optimization is intended to allow users to continuously evaluate the cost and revenue implications of any decision affecting their global supply chain. Oracle Project Portfolio Analysis should enable users to choose, fund, and prioritize global projects based on what-if scenario analysis.

For customers facing the complexities of running an organization with multiple divisions across different global regions, Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 is planned to include capabilities that make it simpler and cheaper to implement, manage, and scale applications. To ease compliance management, the release is expected to provide a repository for reviewing and auditing accounting business rules in a single environment. The release is also planned to leverage best practices from existing and acquired products to deliver an easy-to-use user experience.

The release is intended to simplify global application management through preinstrumented management functionality in Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12. It is planned to include extensive integration capabilities, such as advanced support for integrating Oracle Applications with third-party applications and a Web services repository that catalogs hundreds of services in Oracle E-Business Suite.

The release is also planned to include thousands of cross-industry capabilities spanning enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and customer relationship management (CRM). For example, for the communications industry, Oracle Order Management is expected to support CRM by including the reconfiguration, upgrade, downgrade, and disconnection of services. Oracle Asset Tracking is intended to enable service providers to manage the financial and operational lifecycle of their network infrastructure.

For the high-tech and manufacturing industries, the release is intended to support compliance requirements in Japan and China through Oracle Financial Management support for charge-based Shikyu and Golden Tax.

"Oracle Applications and third-party application customers will have a single solution at their disposal to manage their applications and underlying systems comprehensively," says Jay Rossiter, vice president of system management products at Oracle. "With a consolidated view of their entire environment, customers will be better able to identify and resolve application availability and performance issues quickly and accurately, resulting in improved service quality."

Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enables Pervasive Intelligence

The next version of Oracle's open standards-based business intelligence (BI) suite, Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition 10g Release 3, is planned to allow organizations to distill intelligence from existing applications and data sources and distribute it pervasively across the enterprise. This pervasive intelligence will serve to optimize business processes, decisions, and actions.

Scheduled for general availability in the next calendar year, this release is planned to include strategic integration with Oracle Applications, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and Oracle Database to provide a comprehensive BI solution, as well as expanded hot-pluggable support for third-party data sources and systems.

"The compelling benefits of the new release will further obviate the need for organizations to wire together tools from multiple point product BI vendors in order to have complete, integrated, best-of-breed solutions, regardless of whether they have Oracle, non-Oracle, or mixed environments," says Thomas Kurian, senior vice president, Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition 10g Release 3 is intended to leverage service-oriented architecture techniques and integration with Oracle BPEL Process Manager to support multiple models of analytics-driven workflow. This is planned to include invocation of a Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) process from the BI environment; BI that directs a BPEL process with intelligent decision points and conditional process steps based on analytics; and BPEL processes invoking analytic workflows through Web services. The suite is also planned to support seamless integration with Oracle Portal and Oracle Online Analytical Processing (OLAP).

The next release is also planned to allow users to access information through interactive dashboards, reports, ad hoc analysis, real-time alerts, mobile disconnected analytics, and integration with Microsoft Office. The release plan also includes support for Really Simple Syndication capabilities.

Oracle Developer Depot Simplifies Java Development

Oracle has announced the release of Oracle Developer Depot, a free, downloadable developer productivity tool that simplifies the way Java developers find, configure, and provision Java applications for learning or prototyping purposes. An integrated component of Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Developer Depot complements Oracle's end-to-end Java platform by facilitating development of Java and service-oriented-architecture-based applications.

As software shifts away from single, monolithic applications to assemblies of easily configurable services, developers are changing the way they work. To speed the development process, programmers often develop new applications by reusing existing or sample code as a starting point. However, obtaining, configuring, and deploying code can take a long time and be error-prone. Oracle Developer Depot, which runs on Oracle Application Server 10g, eliminates the complexity of the discover-to-deploy process by providing a library of reusable sample application code that can be downloaded and deployed with a single click. As a result, programmers without Java experience can have an application up and running rapidly, and more-experienced developers can get a head start on complex projects to meet business requirements quickly.

Oracle Developer Depot leverages popular Web 2.0 technologies such as Asynchronous JavaScript And XML (Ajax), the Spring 2.0 Framework, and Really Simple Syndication to facilitate code reuse and simplify development.

Oracle Makes Strategic Acquisitions

Web Locator

 Oracle WebCenter Suite
Oracle E-Business Suite
Oracle Server Technologies Beta Programs
Oracle Berkeley DB Release 4.5
Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite 10g Release 3 Enterprise Edition
Oracle Developer Depot
Oracle Strategic Acquisitions

Oracle has acquired SPL WorldGroup and Sunopsis and agreed to acquire MetaSolv Software and Stellent.

SPL is a leading provider of revenue and operations management software for the utilities industry and tax management software for government organizations. SPL delivers best-in-class solutions for customer care and billing, mobile workforce management, outage and distribution management, and asset management that are specifically designed for electric, gas, and water utilities.

Sunopsis is a leading provider of heterogeneous data integration products. Oracle plans to incorporate Sunopsis' high-performance data integration technology into the Oracle Fusion Middleware product family and make the technology an integrated part of its service-oriented architecture, business intelligence, and master data management solutions.

MetaSolv is a leading provider of service-fulfillment operations support system (OSS) solutions for the communications and media industry. The company offers communications service providers a comprehensive product set for OSS service fulfillment, including provisioning, network inventory, and activation. MetaSolv's standards-based solutions support all types of services, including next-generation Voice over IP, Internet Protocol Television, and IP virtual private network.

Stellent is a global provider of enterprise content management software solutions. With Stellent's Universal Content Management solution, customers can easily deploy multiple line-of-business applications—such as public Web sites, secure intranets and extranets, and compliance processes—and also scale the technology to support multisite management and enterprisewide content management needs.

Oracle's acquisition of Stellent will complement and extend Oracle's existing content management solution portfolio. Stellent's Universal Content Management works with Oracle Content Database and offers a variety of best-of-breed solutions for document management, Web content management, information rights management, digital asset management, records and retention management, and imaging, governance, risk, and compliance.

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