Oracle forces upgrade on users

Oracle has come under fire for putting pressure on users to upgrade to its 11i suite of applications and exacerbating the...

Oracle has come under fire for putting pressure on users to upgrade to its 11i suite of applications and exacerbating the shortage of trained staff, writes Antony Adshead.

Its users have complained over the company's plans to withdraw transition support for the current Applications 10.7 suite from June next year and standard support from December this year.

Ronan Miles, chairman of the Oracle UK user group, complained, "Trained staff shortages are not uncommon at the beginning of a product's life cycle but it has become more of an issue because Applications 10.7 will be unsupported at the end of this year. Oracle needs to address the issue by extending the support period for 10.7 and making sure education facilities are in place."

A Gartner report warned in August that there was no certification programme in place for Oracle 11i and that shortages of trained staff were being felt. Miles said he also anticipated problems and was starting to hear of staff shortages.

The report also said that users will have to upgrade both software and hardware for the migration to 11i, including application and database servers, network infrastructure and end-user terminals, depending on which 10.7 version they migrate from. For example, 11i is a Java-based architecture where each PC must run Java applets, meaning each terminal needs 64Mbytes of Ram and at least 200Mhz of processing power. Gartner suggested that all Oracle 10.7 users should have a budget and migration plan in place by the end of this year.

Oracle was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

Upgrade planning guidelines

        Est cost (% of orig
  Tech architecture Functionality User training implementation)
Version 10.7 High High High 10-40
Character mode 10.7 High High Moderate 10-30
Smart client 10.7 Moderate High Moderate 5-20
Network computing 11 Low Moderate Low 5-15

Source: GartnerGroup

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