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Oracle plans to throw a coming-out party of sorts for its Primavera Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software at its annual OpenWorld 2009 conference in October.

Oracle, which bought Primavera last October, has ambitious plans for the company's products, which help larger organizations plan and manage complex projects from soup to nuts, including the ability to propose and prioritize project investments.

While Oracle has been relatively quiet about its longer-term plans to mesh Primavera's products with some of its other strategic applications, it appears to have ambitious goals there.

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Find out more about Oracle's Primavera acquisition

At the time of the acquisition, Oracle officials stated their intention to combine Primavera's project management software with its applications and infrastructure, thereby creating an "enterprise-class project portfolio management solution" to help users make better decisions through the use of real-time data.

Oracle's ambitions may be justified. Forrester Research Inc. expects the project-based solutions market to be worth some $6.5 billion by the end of next year, up dramatically from $4.25 billion in 2007.

"The Primavera acquisition firmly put Oracle into this services-based, projects-based business," said Ray Wang, principal analyst with Forrester. "The software is core to what a wide range of businesses do, from construction to government contracting. You tie all that in with Oracle's other applications, and it gives them access to markets it hasn't been in before."

Wang said that besides the gravitation toward services-based models around the world, another factor fueling growth is that many companies began heavily investing in PPM applications about 10 years ago, and now those systems are beginning to feel their age.

Yet another factor is that many vendors' PPM products have become highly customized for a range of different industries, which presented a choice for customers who were then forced to customize their other software tools in order to fit their requirements, Wang wrote in a recent report.

With a more aggressive push into the project software market, Oracle will face offerings from archrival SAP, which shares a large set of common users with Primavera, as well as going head to head with Microsoft's Project.

It is generally anticipated that Oracle will offer more details at OpenWorld 2009 concerning Primavera's product roadmap and how those products will work in concert with Oracle's key applications. Oracle officials declined to comment on the company's plans for Primavera's products

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