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Oracle targets SAP with Fusion middleware

Oracle is confident that its upcoming middleware release will not only lure SAP users but integrate its recent acquisitions.

NEWTON, MASS. -- Oracle is setting its sights on potential users of rival SAP's NetWeaver platform.

We've just internally announced an SAP battle desk...
Charles Phillips,
presidentOracle Corp.

At an event here Wednesday, Oracle executives offered up highly-anticipated details about its ongoing Project Fusion, and, specifically, Fusion middleware, the company's new server software infrastructure scheduled for a gradual rollout beginning at the end of this year.

Oracle's Project Fusion is the company's ongoing initiative designed to integrate the applications and customers it acquired through the purchase of PeopleSoft Corp., retail software maker Retek Inc., security firm Oblix, and others. Fusion middleware will be the first product rollout resulting from that initiative.

Company president Charles Phillips and senior vice president of applications John Wookey told customers that Fusion middleware will eventually be the underlying infrastructure for all of Oracle's applications, and it's designed to target current and potential users of SAP's NetWeaver standards-based infrastructure software.

"Most of those [SAP/NetWeaver] customers already use our database," Phillips told reporters following the event. "So, we have some opportunity -- I don't know how big -- to go back in to some of these customers and say, 'hey, at least evaluate us.'"

"We've just internally announced an SAP battle desk that globally will help us do exactly that," he added.

Based on Web services standards, Fusion middleware will include a Java application server, a Web portal, the Oracle Collaboration suite and business intelligence applications.

More on Oracle's Project Fusion:

Oracle to unveil combined suite

Analyst sizes up Oracle's Project Fusion

Wookey said the move to Java and Web services standards will improve ease-of-use and interoperability with applications not sold by Oracle. He said the move will also make it easier for developers to customize Oracle applications so they'll work better with those in-house or third-party applications.

"We think in the end that all of our applications will have to move to Java. All of our applications will have to support a service oriented architecture," Wookey said. "We can do it in a fairly evolutionary way, partly because I think we've had more of a component approach to delivering applications anyways."

Oracle executives said that updates to its various product lines will all be certified to run on the middleware suite as they come out.

The company is also planning to implement a common pricing scheme across all of its older and newly acquired applications.

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