Larry Ellison used the giant Oracle OpenWorld user show in San Francisco last week to lay out his company's strategy to integrate all the products it has acquired during a 12 month buying spree.
The Oracle chief executive reiterated his company's pledge to provide lifetime support for PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Retek and Siebel users and spelt out the Project Fusion middleware integration strategy.
"Open standards are extremely important to us," he said. "If you build middleware on open standards [users] can plug in other middleware. You should be free to use whatever Java engine you choose and pick middleware components based on price, security or performance [criteria]."
The promise was generally well received by PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Retek users at the show, but there was some unease among users of the software giant's own E-Business suite software that the focus on integrating new products could divert attention from their requirements.
Nigel Montgomery, an analyst at AMR Research, said, "Oracle has spent so much time placating PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Retek customers, that it could be distancing itself from E-Business suite users."
Ronan Miles, chairman of the UK Oracle User Group said the target to deliver Project Fusion by 2008, was ambitious. "Blending Fusion with four [enterprise] applications is mind-boggling. It is a huge effort." The US-based Oracle Applications User Group said it wanted more detail about the costs of the company's lifetime support promise before passing judgment.
Gartner analysts Simon Hayward and Lee Geishecker said, "While the announcement of Oracle's intentions is welcome, the reality will be seen in its execution. CustomersÉ should require implementation details and not rely on aspirations to openness and standardisation."