Oracle Takes Next Steps to Fusion
Oracle continued its applications and SOA pushes with a series of announcements between Monday and Wednesday this week. Its "Applications Unlimited" initiative incorporates plans to enhance JD Edwards, Oracle, PeopleSoft, and Siebel applications on a continuing basis, with continued releases and more visibility into product road maps. Other elements of the initiative include dedicated development teams. The company plans to work closely with its customer advisory boards and user groups to help design new releases and functionality enhancements to the current Oracle Application product families.
One marker of the new strategies is the road map for certifying Siebel business applications and analytic products with Fusion Middleware. PeopleSoft and JD Edwards applications have already been certified, but Oracle initiated the development of a Siebel certification process following the close of the Siebel acquisition in January 2006, according to the company.
Once certified, organizations that have deployed Siebel CRM and Siebel Business Analytics apps can use Fusion Middleware to integrate with other Oracle-owned functionality like PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Oracle E-Business Suite. Certification will also enable organizations to more easily integrate and support their Oracle and non-Oracle enterprise applications, including competitor SAP, and help them protect their current investments, while preparing them to upgrade to Oracle Fusion applications.
Certification of Siebel 7.8 with Oracle Fusion Middleware will span a variety of middleware components including Oracle Containers for Java, Oracle Java Messaging Services, Oracle Portal, Oracle Enterprise Service Bus, Oracle BPEL Process Manager and Oracle Identity Management. Siebel 7.8 certification is scheduled for completion during the second half of calendar year 2006, while Oracle Fusion Middleware's Business Analytics Technology is already certified to work with Siebel 7.8.
Other noteworthy announcements include the availability of the latest version of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and Oracle's plans to provide continued enhancements to Oracle's JD Edwards World and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications running on IBM's System i business computing solution, formerly iSeries.
JD Edwards also announced the availability of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 8.12 offers support for current and future releases of platforms, like IBM WebSphere 6.0, IBM Portal 5.1, Sun Solaris Unix 10, and Redhat Linux 3.0. The release is also certified on Oracle Fusion Middleware.
A new integrated module, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Operational Sourcing, is intended to help automate the process of obtaining bids after a request for proposals or request for information is issued. Functionality improvements to JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Human Capital Management include employee scheduling, enhanced time and labor, and self-service capabilities, while JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Supply Chain Management delivers transportation shipment sequencing. The Fixed Asset Management module has been enhanced to stay in line with accounting and regulatory requirements.
"Oracle really seems to want to make its functionality interoperable, run in an SOA atmosphere, and really create a reality around Fusion," says Martin Schneider, enterprise software analyst for The 451 Group. "They're still a very long ways away from making all of the vision real and, secondly, shifting the buying community's opinions from them as kind of weak in applications towards really being an applications leader in the enterprise space." He adds that Oracle appears dedicated to the effort. "On each whistle stop on this train ride they are making progress."
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