As Published In
Oracle Magazine
January/February 2007

CHANNELS: Partner News

Partner News

GridApp Systems Offer Free Oracle Real Application Clusters Licenses

GridApp Systems' "Ready. Set. RAC!" promotion bundles GridApp's D2500 database appliance with free Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) licenses. GridApp's reference architecture for Oracle RAC allows companies to avoid possible unforeseen costs of installing and managing an Oracle RAC environment. The "Ready. Set. RAC!" offering also includes optional storage and migration services.

GridApp's D2500 appliance combines IBM BladeCenter servers with Clarity, GridApp's database automation software, to simplify, automate, and virtualize the database environment. Because of the simplification and automation it provides, the D2500 can be put into production within one day and can scale databases in minutes, says GridApp Chief Scientist Matt Zito.

IBM Boosts Oracle on System Z and Linux

IBM and Oracle are collaborating on sales and marketing of enterprise business solutions featuring Oracle Applications (Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle's Siebel and Oracle's PeopleSoft products) and technology for Linux on IBM System z mainframe servers. The Oracle/IBM Joint Solution Center in Montpelier, France, and the IBM Oracle International Competency Center in California's Silicon Valley will develop best practices, implementation guidance, and support procedures for the new comprehensive solutions.

The solutions will be available on the IBM System z9 Enterprise Class and IBM System z9 Business Class servers. Customer incentives up to US$250,000 are planned. "Today, we offer a comprehensive set of enterprise infrastructure and solutions that build upon and modernize customer investments in System z, including Oracle E-Business Suite, Siebel Customer Relationship Management, and PeopleSoft Enterprise using Oracle Database 10g Release 2 on Linux on System z," says Robert Shimp, vice president of Oracle's Global Technology business unit.

EMC Launches New Oracle Solutions and Support

EMC has expanded its specialized storage solutions and services portfolio for Oracle customers in midsize and enterprise organizations and has announced new investments to support Oracle Grid technology.

For midsize enterprises, EMC has developed integrated solutions for Oracle Database 10g and Oracle Real Application Clusters based on the EMC Celerra IP storage systems. EMC and Oracle have performed system-level testing and validation of these storage systems in Oracle environments, and can provide documented best practices, reference architectures, and real-world validations to partners and customers. 

Partner Spotlight

SMB Partner Momentum Builds

As the number of Oracle partners serving the small and medium business (SMB) market continues to grow, Oracle is offering several programs to support partners. "Oracle has long been a trusted partner for small and medium businesses, and we have developed a wealth of knowledge to help facilitate the unique needs of that market," says Oracle President Charles Phillips.

Oracle Accelerate is a new program targeting partners who want to sell Oracle Applications into the SMB market. Prepackaged, industry-specific application bundles are one key to Oracle Accelerate. Working with its partners, Oracle has identified 80 product bundles that can help SMBs quickly employ Oracle's enterprise applications without sacrificing the applications' flexibility or functionality. The bundles deliver comprehensive business flows (front-office, back-office, and industry-specific processes) and can be extended by Oracle partners.

Oracle Business Accelerators—already an established part of Oracle's enterprise business—comprise the second key component of Oracle Accelerate. These automated setup tools create end-to-end business flows based on a series of simple but specific questions about the business, and automatically apply that information to the Oracle application implementation. Once a setup questionnaire is complete, a new application can be up and running within hours.

Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is the third key element in Oracle Accelerate. Oracle has expanded SMB-specific content on the OPN portal, making available customer presentations, product positioning documents, sales kits, and specialized training materials used by Oracle's own direct sales team. Oracle also plans to open regional SMB Solution Centers throughout the world to showcase Oracle Accelerate and to bring partners into the sales cycle.

To support Oracle Accelerate, Oracle has established an SMB Applications business unit, headed by Senior Vice President Tony Kender. The business unit will maintain the partner/reseller ecosystem, drive the development and refinement of product and industry-specific bundles, and generally work to ensure SMB customer success. Oracle currently has more than 19,000 applications customers worldwide that are SMBs.

"Our goal is simple: to become the No. 1 provider of applications to small and medium businesses," Kender says. "With Oracle Accelerate we are aligning Oracle's proven applications and rapid implementation tools with our partners' industry solutions under a single package. We have doubled our SMB marketing program budget and added a dozen new SMB-focused executives around the world."

In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), partner momentum around the SMB market is also on the rise. Since June 2006, more than 350 partners in EMEA have signed up for Oracle QuickStart Plus, an entry-level offering for new Oracle value-added resellers and independent software vendors wanting to sell Oracle Database and Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One and Standard Edition to SMBs. "[Oracle] QuickStart Plus provides support that allows partners to quickly take advantage of Oracle products and offer industry-leading solutions to a very buoyant SMB market," says Penny Philpot, senior director, Oracle Alliances and Channels.

For enterprise environments, EMC has developed an assessment service for Oracle Database 10g Readiness, and a Health Check service for infrastructures supporting Oracle E-Business Suite. The assessment service uses EMC tools and information lifecycle management methodology to assess a customer's environment and make recommendations about data layout, backup and recovery, availability, and infrastructure for migrating to Oracle Database 10g. The Health Check service evaluates the storage infrastructure up through the Oracle application layer to ensure that customers' Oracle solutions are running on appropriate infrastructure, and makes recommendations for optimizing those environments.

EMC is also investing US$20 million to help Oracle customers use its reference architectures, the two companies' joint services, and EMC/Oracle proof-of-concept facilities.

Adobe Builds Flex into Oracle Portals

Oracle and Adobe are collaborating to allow developers to include animations, charts, and graphs created in Adobe Flex (Adobe's Flash-based application creation framework) with other Asynchronous JavaScript And XML (Ajax) content in enterprise portals created by Oracle Portal. This allows applications with highly visual displays to be integrated with enterprise processes and data, creating enterprise mashups that have the impact and effectiveness of Web 2.0 applications but that also preserve the standards-based infrastructure.

The integration works with the current generation of Oracle Portal, and will be incorporated into future Oracle user-interaction environments. Oracle and Adobe intend to work with the Java Standardization Request (JSR) 168, JSR 268, and Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) 2.0 standards groups on the integration.

Itemfield ContentMaster Now Integrated with Warehouse Builder

Itemfield has integrated its ContentMaster universal data transformation software with Oracle Warehouse Builder 10g Release 2. The combined offering uses ContentMaster's data transformation capabilities to allow Oracle Warehouse Builder 10g to handle any type of data, including unstructured documents such as Microsoft Word and Excel documents and Adobe Portable Document Format files, and semistructured data such as electronic data interchange, Health Level 7, and complex COBOL copybooks.

By using Itemfield's software, Oracle customers can integrate unstructured and semistructured data for extract, transform, and load; data quality and auditing; integrated relational and dimensional modeling; and lifecycle management of data and metadata.

Genpact and TurnKey Automate Oracle E-Business Suite Testing

Genpact and TurnKey Solutions, two members of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, have formed a global alliance to provide testing automation for Oracle E-Business Suite customers.

Genpact will implement TurnKey's testing scripts against a wide range of Oracle modules, including Oracle Financials, Oracle Human Resources Management, Oracle Manufacturing, Oracle Order Management, and Oracle Projects. This will automate functional and regression testing efforts to improve patching, upgrade, and go-live Oracle E-Business Suite 11i rollouts.

One result, according to TurnKey CEO Bruce R. Guebner, will be more-effective conference room pilots. "As a result of deploying these automated technologies, we've seen a significant drop-off in the number of functional business users and technical engineers required to meet ever-more demanding testing lifecycle deadlines," Guebner says. "With this automation deployed, customers no longer have to wait for the application to be ready prior to testing."

NAVTEQ Map Data Now Bundled with Oracle Applications

Oracle and NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, have reached a multiyear worldwide agreement to incorporate NAVTEQ boundary mapping data into Oracle Database 10g and other Oracle products, effectively coupling geospatial information with enterprise data from supply chain, customer relationship management, and planning and risk-assessment applications. The NAVTEQ-Oracle combination will make it easier for customers to employ Oracle Spatial 10g, Oracle Locator, Oracle Application Server 10g MapViewer, and future Oracle products that will use geographic data.

Web Locator

 GridApp Systems
IBM System z
EMC Solutions for Oracle
 Itemfield's ContentMaster Universal Data Transformation Software

Genpact and TurnKey automation solutions
AppSecInc's AppRadar
SilverStorm RDS for Oracle

NAVTEQ's mapping data includes administrative boundaries for countries, states, and cities, as well as major highways and roads. The company also plans to offer additional map and demographic products, such as street networks, ZIP codes, and industry-specific data sets, to Oracle customers.

AppSecInc's AppRadar Now Available for Oracle on Linux

Application Security, Inc., (AppSecInc) has announced Oracle on Linux support in AppRadar, part of its application security solution. AppRadar uses real-time monitoring and security auditing to defend against application vulnerabilities while ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements. AppRadar protects databases against internal and external attacks without degrading database performance, and supports both host- and network-based deployment.

AppSecInc's decision to support Oracle on Linux was driven by customer demand. AppRadar is part of AppSecInc's database security suite, which also includes AppDetective for database vulnerability assessment scanning, DbEncrypt for column-level database encryption, and AppSecInc Console for distributed management.

SilverStorm RDS Over InfiniBank Now on Oracle Real Application Clusters

SilverStorm Technologies, a provider of high-performance interconnect solutions for clustered computing, has released the Reliable Datagram Sockets (RDS) over InfiniBand interconnect for Oracle Real Application Clusters 10g (Oracle RAC). InfiniBand is a high-performance, switched fabric interconnect standard for servers.

RDS was codeveloped by SilverStorm and Oracle. In beta testing, RDS over InfiniBand provided up to 60 percent performance improvement over Gigabit Ethernet for interconnect-intensive applications. SilverStorm's high-performance clustering solutions for Oracle RAC are showcased in Oracle's Enterprise Technology Centers.

RDS has been validated through Intel's Enabled Server Acceleration Alliance program and is available for Oracle Database 10g Release 2 at no cost and in SilverStorm's QuickSilver 3.2 or later host releases for Linux.


Querying XML: XQuery, XPath, and SQL/XML in Context (The Morgan Kauffman Series in Data Management Systems)

By Jim Melton and Stephen Buxton
Morgan Kaufmann
ISBN: 1-55-860711-0

XML has become the lingua franca for representing business data, exchanging information between business partners and applications, and adding structure—and sometimes meaning—to text-based documents. In the area of search, XML offers some challenges and opportunities: querying XML can produce precise, fine-grained results—if you know how to express and execute those queries.

Querying XML provides a comprehensive background on XML, from fundamental concepts (what is XML?), data models (infoset, post-schema-validation infoset, XQuery), to APIs (querying XML from SQL or Java), and more. The book provides software developers and system architects with the most-useful approaches to querying XML documents and repositories. It also offers managers and project leaders a way to grasp how querying XML fits into the larger context of querying and XML.

Oracle Database 10g Real Application Clusters Handbook

By K Gopalakrishnan
Oracle Press
ISBN: 0-07-146509-X

If you need a comprehensive guide to Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC), this is the book for you. Oracle Database 10 g Real Application Clusters Handbook covers the full spectrum of Oracle RAC topics. Rather than providing a lot of commands and syntaxes that are readily available in the standard documentation and other Oracle texts, the book offers a solid background on Oracle RAC as well as its fundamentals.

Author K Gopalakrishnan, a consultant with Oracle, provides tuning and troubleshooting tips and offers insight on the most advanced diagnostics available. He provides a complete conceptual overview of various Oracle RAC building blocks as well as deeper discussions on their inner workings.

"The goal of this book is to explain implementing and using Oracle RAC in the most efficient manner," says Gopalakrishnan. 

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