AT ORACLE: Briefs
Oracle has released an Oracle VM blade cluster reference configuration for Sun Blade 6000 modular systems that can significantly reduce the time required to deploy virtual infrastructures when compared to multivendor configurations. The tested reference configuration consists of Oracle VM Server for x86 software, preinstalled on Oracle’s Sun Blade servers; Oracle’s Sun ZFS Storage Appliance; and a best-practices guide.
“Assembling and integrating software and hardware systems from different vendors can be a huge barrier to deploying virtualized infrastructures as it is often a complicated, time-consuming, risky, and expensive process,” says Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Linux engineering at Oracle. “By delivering a pretested, single-vendor solution for the entire hardware and software stack, the new Oracle VM blade cluster reference configuration dramatically simplifies the process and can enable customers to set up Oracle VM–based virtual infrastructures in a matter of hours rather than weeks.”
In a related development, Oracle expanded its Sun Blade portfolio with the SPARC T3-1B server module and a dual-node Sun Blade X6275 M2 server module. These enhanced Sun Blade modular systems, which are featured in the SPARC and Oracle Solaris–based Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud T3-1B, offer extreme compute density; reduced power consumption; leading performance; simplified management; and best-in-class reliability, availability, and serviceability.
Oracle has unveiled Oracle On Demand Professional Edition, an offering specifically for midsize companies that want to use Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, or Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise or Hyperion enterprise performance management applications.
Oracle On Demand Professional Edition starts with as many as 100 concurrent users, and additional blocks of users can be added. The base configuration consists of modules for financials, manufacturing, and human capital management. It includes annual maintenance updates and quarterly refreshes of client customizations and test-and-development systems.
“There’s a lot of interest in hosted application management among midsize businesses, taking advantage of the cloud,” says Marc Fiedler, vice president of business strategy and planning, Oracle On Demand. “Oracle On Demand Professional Edition offers a ‘right-sized’ solution to allow these customers to gain benefits of the cloud with lower risk and less cost.”
Oracle has released Oracle Business Intelligence Standard Edition One 11g, a business intelligence (BI) solution for midsize businesses. The offering is based on the same technology platform as Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition for scalability and delivers the basic components needed to build and manage a BI solution.
The product provides interactive dashboards, formatted reports, self-service ad hoc analysis, data integration, and server administration on a modern Web architecture. Compatible with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, it offers midsize businesses investment protection as their usage requirements grow.
“Oracle Business Intelligence Standard Edition One provides a complete and cost-effective solution for organizations with 50 or fewer users,” says Tobin Gilman, vice president of product marketing for business intelligence and enterprise performance management at Oracle.
Oracle is now releasing feature packs to give users of its PeopleSoft Enterprise human capital management applications access to features as they are developed. The annual feature packs will enable users to adopt new capabilities without undertaking a full upgrade to the latest software and will also allow Oracle to deliver new features between major releases. Oracle will continue to provide other interim updates via bundles and maintenance packs.
The initial feature pack, available now, provides PeopleSoft 9.1 talent management integrations for users of PeopleSoft 9.0 and 8.9. Other new features include PeopleSoft Enterprise Company Directory, PeopleSoft Approval Workflow Engine, and integration with the Clairvia workforce scheduler for healthcare.
“Oracle is excited about delivering feature packs and off-cycle enhancements to PeopleSoft 9.1 customers as a way for them to save time, gain value, and lower their TCO,” says Paco Aubrejuan, group vice president and general manager for PeopleSoft Enterprise at Oracle. “PeopleSoft’s new delivery model will allow customers to provide continuous, incremental value to their organization without the need to upgrade.”
Oracle has introduced Oracle Cloud Office 1.0 and Oracle Open Office 3.3, two standards-based, enterprise-class office productivity suites for desktop, Web, and mobile devices. Formerly known as StarOffice/StarSuite, Oracle Open Office and Oracle Cloud Office are based on the Open Document Format and compatible with Microsoft Office file formats. The new Oracle products provide word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation, and drawing applications.
Oracle Open Office runs natively on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems and includes enterprise connectors to Oracle Business Intelligence 11g, Oracle E-Business Suite, and other Oracle applications, as well as Microsoft SharePoint.
Oracle Cloud Office extends office application functionality to Web browsers and smartphones and enables Web 2.0–style collaboration and mobile access to documents. It can be used in on-premises, on-demand, or software-as-a-service deployments.
“Oracle Cloud Office and Oracle Open Office 3.3 deliver complete, open, and cost-effective office productivity suites that are designed and optimized for our customers’ needs,” says Michael Bemmer, vice president of Oracle Open Office.
An enablement service pack is now available for both Oracle User Productivity Kit 3.6.1 and Oracle User Productivity Kit Professional 6.3. The service pack supports 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Office 2010.
Also new is support for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2 in the multiuser developer installation; support for Apple’s Safari 5; and updated target application support for Oracle applications including Oracle’s Agile product lifecycle management; Oracle E-Business Suite; Oracle CRM On Demand; Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management; and Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, JD Edwards World, and PeopleSoft Enterprise applications.
“Enhancement service packs reduce IT costs by enabling customers to receive product updates without upgrade effort,” says Dave Shaffer, vice president of product management at Oracle.
In related news, Oracle has unveiled Oracle Tutor 14, the latest version of its process documentation tool. It features import and export capabilities with Oracle Business Process Management Suite 11g and Oracle Business Process Analysis Suite 11g and can also import Microsoft Visio diagrams and XPDL-capable modeling files.
Oracle has unveiled new Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and Oracle Real Application Clusters. These preinstalled, preconfigured software images provide a solution to deploying a fully configured software stack and enable virtual and cloud environments to be quickly and consistently provisioned and managed.
The new Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Real Application Clusters are available in 32-bit and 64-bit system formats. They can build clusters with any number of nodes and can be used for development, test, and production environments. The entire installation is automated, with the template requiring minimal information from the user when guests are booted. Oracle VM Templates are also available for Oracle Applications, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Database, Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, and other Oracle products.
“Using an Oracle VM infrastructure combined with the performance, scalability, and resiliency of Oracle Real Application Clusters and Oracle VM Templates, we help customers significantly reduce deployment and operational costs while enabling a highly available infrastructure,” says Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Linux engineering at Oracle.
Oracle has unveiled Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0, the latest release of its open source, cross-platform virtualization software. Oracle VM VirtualBox enables desktop or laptop computers to run multiple guest operating systems simultaneously. It supports a variety of host operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Oracle Solaris. The new release increases capacity and throughput to handle greater workloads, enhance virtual appliance capabilities, and improve usability.
“With an improved user interface and added virtual hardware support, customers will find Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 provides a richer user experience,” says Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Linux engineering at Oracle.
Oracle has added Oracle On Demand Strong Authentication Service to its lineup of extended security offerings, providing an extra layer of data protection and compliance capabilities to Oracle On Demand’s core security services. Powered by Oracle Adaptive Access Manager, Oracle On Demand Strong Authentication Service makes multifactor authentication and real-time Web fraud detection and prevention available as a managed service. Virtual authentication devices allow customers to combat threats from keystroke loggers and phishing attacks in real time. The service complies with strong authentication requirements.
Oracle’s line of hosted premium security services also includes Oracle On Demand HIPAA Security Services and Oracle On Demand Enhanced Security Services.
“As customers look to gain more value from their Oracle software, they often turn to Oracle On Demand,” says Gail Coury, vice president of risk management, Oracle On Demand. “With increased threats and exposures, security is the number-one concern for customers moving to the cloud. Oracle On Demand extended services address customer concerns in regards to safeguarding and protecting their information.”
Oracle has released Oracle Utilities business intelligence, software that helps utility companies access, organize, and use data from smart meter and smart grid deployments. Utilities can use Oracle Utilities business intelligence to improve decision-making and update their customers and first responders on situations such as outages.
Oracle Utilities business intelligence is built on Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and includes extractors and schema that pull data from Oracle Utilities production applications; dashboards that display information on maps; and graphical dashboards that analyze and summarize information in charts, stoplights, top-10 lists, and alerts.
“Smart meters expand consumption data by 1,000 percent or more, and many utilities are grappling with how they can manage and secure this volume of data and then use it effectively,” says Linda Jackman, group vice president of industry strategy, Oracle Utilities. “This latest release of Oracle Utilities business intelligence helps utilities meet those objectives by enabling them to access, organize, and use the data they need to make more-effective business decisions and provide more-meaningful information to consumers.”
Oracle has released Oracle Documaker Enterprise Edition, a rules-driven, multilanguage document lifecycle automation solution designed to help organizations create and manage enterprise communications.
Oracle Documaker Enterprise Edition’s Document Factory feature lets business users assemble and publish consistent content across multiple channels—including print, e-mail, Web, and short message service—from a single interface and then use dashboards, analytics, reporting, and an administrative console to improve visibility and control. A Web-based iDocumaker module enables users to create compliant communications, such as letters, policies, and ID cards, from internet-connected desktops.
“Insurers and other organizations need enterprise document automation that puts the power to manage the complete document lifecycle in the hands of the business user,” says Srini Venkatasantham, vice president of product strategy, Oracle Insurance. “Built with features such as rules-based configurability and interactive processing, Oracle Documaker Enterprise Edition makes possible an adaptive approach to enterprise document automation—documents when, where, and in the form they’re needed.”
Oracle has updated Oracle WebLogic Server 11g with new features that improve performance, availability, operational efficiency, and developer productivity.
New features in the updated release include Active GridLink for Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC), which enables datasources to rebalance runtime connections and workload immediately on changes within Oracle RAC infrastructures; further integration with Oracle Coherence, enabling Oracle Coherence to be managed, monitored, and administered as part of an Oracle WebLogic domain; and updates to Oracle JRockit Flight Recorder, which provides diagnostics of Java virtual machine and Java Platform, Enterprise Edition application-level information.
“Oracle WebLogic Server continues to lead the way in delivering real business value for customers while remaining the clear choice for high-performance, low-cost middleware,” says Steven G. Harris, senior vice president of product development at Oracle.
Oracle has enhanced Oracle WebCenter Suite 11g with best-of-breed capabilities from its portal portfolio that support organizational productivity. Updates include expanded support for branded and community targeted sites; an iPhone application that provides access to content and status within Oracle WebCenter Spaces; and contextual discovery and navigation of enterprise information via business activity streams. Other enhancements include increased collaboration capabilities; additional customization and personalization capabilities; and desktop integration with common word processing, spreadsheet, and e-mail applications.
“By bringing together the best features from our entire portfolio of Enterprise 2.0 products and providing preintegration with business applications, Oracle WebCenter Suite 11g delivers a modern user experience platform that is ideal for the information-driven workplace,” says Andy MacMillan, vice president of product management at Oracle.