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Oracle bits and bytes from 2005

Oracle Corp. continued to blaze a trail of acquisitions through the IT industry in 2005 -- producing no shortage of news and analysis along the way.

Oracle Corp. continued to blaze a trail of acquisitions through the IT industry in 2005 -- leading to no shortage of news and analysis along the way.

Throughout the year, industry analysts had plenty to say about Oracle's acquisitions -- from Oblix to Innobase -- as well as Project Fusion, Oracle's plan to integrate the spoils of its many acquisitions into a single "best of" platform. looked through its 2005 archives (OK, we did a Web search) in an effort to find some of the more interesting analysis. Take a look at what we came up with and let us know if you think industry pundits were correct in their analysis, or just plain wrong.

On industry consolidation:
"It is somewhat mythological that choice is diminishing, because any reasonable analysis of enterprise application software shows that Oracle and SAP combined do not even come close to half of the market.

"Furthermore, what is happening is that both IBM and Microsoft are pushing ecosystems that are meant to be deliberately attractive to independent software vendors, which is a burgeoning partner market.

"Lastly, in terms of total acquisitions in the software industry, things are not much different from last year or the year before." – Joshua Greenbaum, principal of Enterprise Applications Consulting, Berkeley, Calif.

On the licensing challenges of Project Fusion:
"A lot can be said be said for the lack of license growth that Oracle is experiencing this year. They are doing quite well on the maintenance and services side, but the network license growth is down and is down from what analysts were expecting with all the acquisitions. Granted, it is hard to compare between the two, but SAP is growing licensing revenue organically and has been successful and Oracle has not." – Joshua Greenbaum

On PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM Operational Dashboards -- the first apps to be released on Fusion middleware
"This is really the first proof point of Fusion... What I really like is they use that dashboard to execute business processes where you can define rules to notify users or execute action. Instead of just a view, it's a portal into what's happening. This really does have user control." --John Ragsdale, research director with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc.

On Oracle and SAP AG's battle for Retek
"Retek is a company that was solely focused on the retail industry and has functionality specifically tailored to that industry. SAP has to spread its research and development over five or six different categories, so by its very nature SAP has a challenge in developing deep functionality in retail." -- Michael Dominy, senior analyst with Boston-based Yankee Group

On Oracle's purchase of security software firm Oblix Inc.
This seems to be one of those 'cheaper to buy than to build' deals,' though it also points to the importance of identity management in delivering integrated management and security solutions -- Charles King, principal analyst with Hayward, Calif.-based Pund-IT Research

On Oracle's curious purchase of Innobase:
"Oracle is threatened by MySQL and this acquisition is a result of that threat. They felt MySQL was gaining share and momentum, impacting business, and certainly this acquisition is right up there as something to stop penetration and adoption. To date, Oracle does not have a strategy on Innobase, and it hasn't shown signs it is going to come up with strategy.

"However, Oracle could play its cards in a different manner; [it] could support Innobase, which means getting into an open source database platform, really extend Innobase and have a migration path for customers trying to use a bigger database. Basically, customers could use Innobase as a simple database, and then by using some Oracle technology [it] can then have a migration path to the entire Oracle suite of databases." – Noel Yuhanna, senior analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc.

The well-timed release and patches that came with 10g Release 2:
"The release of 10g R2, which came out mid-year was much more stable, much more reliable and customers have liked it considerably. Oracle was the first database vendor to add data at risk encryption -- previously customers had to rely on third party vendors for this functionality. We at Forrester [believe] that one-third of all databases that store private data will be using data at risk encryption in the next three to four years." – Noel Yuhanna

Were these analysts right on the money with their comments, or just plain wrong? Tell us what you think. E-mail your comments to news editor Mark Brunelli.

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