Oracle users focus on middleware strategy

Oracle's Project Fusion middleware strategy will be a major focus at the UK Oracle User Group Conference in Birmingham this week.

Oracle's Project Fusion middleware strategy will be a major focus at the UK Oracle User Group Conference in Birmingham this week.

Oracle unveiled Project Fusion in September. The middleware strategy aims to provide a common architecture for users of Oracle, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards enterprise software.

The conference will include streams for PeopleSoft and JD Edwards users, following Oracle's takeover of the software suppliers at the beginning of this year.

Gartner analysts Simon Hayward and Lee Geishecker said last month, "Although Oracle's intention is welcome, the reality will be seen in its execution. Customers should require implementation details and not rely on aspirations to openness and standardisation."

Speaking after Fusion's launch, Debra Lilley, deputy chairwoman at the UK Oracle User Group, told Computer Weekly, "There is cautious excitement about Fusion and we are interested to see what will be in it." Users can expect more details this week at the conference.

Along with Project Fusion, one of the key trends for discussion at the conference will be the take-up of the latest 10g release of Oracle's relational database server. A survey due to be published at the conference found that the number of users migrating to the 10g database server was increasing.

The 10g version of Oracle's flagship database server offers users a way to deploy a grid of low-cost servers on which to host the database. The benefit of the grid is that the computational workload can be distributed across it, improving usage of individual servers within the grid.

The study found that 17% of Oracle users said they mainly used the 10g database server, and 49% mainly used the current 9i Enterprise edition. The proportion of users largely based on pre-9i versions of the Oracle database had dropped from 44% of users in 2004 to 20% of users in 2005.

Ronan Miles, chairman of the UK Oracle User Group, said, "A significant number of customers have moved onto 10g - more than I would have expected given the newness of the technology."

Miles said he was convinced that grid technology was coming of age. A recent special interest group meeting conducted by the UK Oracle User Group found users were deploying four- and five-node database grids.

There are still few details on Oracle's Fusion strategy. The user group said the project represented a huge undertaking.

Markit uses Oracle application server

Markit Group, a company that provides research services for the financial community, is to consolidate all of its applications on a single architecture based on the Oracle application server middleware.

Mike Bedford, chief technology officer at Markit, said, "We will have one single system through which all our applications can be provisioned."

Bedford selected the Oracle application server due to the debugging capability it offered, which allows administrators to identify specific lines of source code or a database query that may be causing degradation in performance.

The firm has already deployed an Oracle 10g database server in March 2005, which runs on Red Hat Linux using a two-node four-way HP Xeon server cluster and HP EVA5000 storage area network.


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