• April 17, 2007
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Oracle's New Integration Platform and the New Siebel

Oracle is moving forward on its product and architecture roadmap at the Collaboration user conference in Las Vegas this week. The company announced its Application Integration Architecture, an open, standards-based platform for business process management and integration with current enterprise software environments, as well as a number of related initiatives. The company followed these announcements on Tuesday with the release of Siebel CRM On Demand, restructured to use Oracle infrastructure instead of IBM. Part of service-oriented architecture's promise is the possibility of linking business processes regardless of how many computing systems are involved, and Application Integration Architecture (AIA) is Oracle's next step after Fusion Middleware to cope with aligning services to create applications. "We're getting to the point where applications don't speak the same language, not so much from a code point of view as in terms of content," says Paco Aubrejuan, vice president of application strategy. "Oracle Application Architecture is built on an extensible platform, is upgradeable and supported; it's the industry reference model of application-independent design." The architecture will include Process Integration Packs, combining two or more Oracle applications for a particular horizontal or vertical process ready out of the box. According to Aubrejuan, some of the early ones include order to cash, opportunity to quote, financial services, and e-business. Oracle will also include industry reference models, a set of tools and documented business processes to help partners and customers create workflows in environments with multiple vendors' products in use. "AIA is a big thing for Oracle," says Ray Wang, a principal analyst with Forrester Research. "The company has defined how it's going to deliver on an open standards platform. Oracle can build out the rest of its partner ecosystem and understand how it will integrate with other products." Oracle has also announced the next version of Siebel CRM On Demand. This 14th release in the Siebel family will be available within the next 12 months, according to the company, and will include Web 2.0 technologies for greater ease of use. Oracle is touting the latest version's single vendor infrastructure, completely supported on Oracle technology including grid computing, Oracle databases, and Fusion middleware. "Oracle says, 'we're going to build a stack on our own stuff--if it's built on IBM, it's getting yanked and replaced,'" Wang says. The move makes sense in terms of consolidating the technology footprint and moving forward with its proven on-demand computing structure. "Oracle owns one of the few proven multitenant architectures out there, so they should use it." Related articles: Ramping Up to Service On-Demand
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