Oracle Maps 'Project Fusion' Plans

by Michael Singer

The company will simultaneously develop old and new products under the banner of standards-based Java. A Combined Oracle Launches

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. -- Oracle launched its first initiative today as a newly merged company.

Dubbed "Project Fusion," the venture is part of Oracle's plan to simultaneously support Oracle's acquired technology from PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards, as well as develop its next-generation merged product. To do that, Oracle is dedicating some 8,000 developers from the three companies to the project.

The initiative was initially designed to help quell the fears of PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards and their third-party developers. Oracle reiterated that it will provide support for the PeopleSoft Enterprise, J.D. Edwards EnterpriseOne and J.D. Edwards World product lines through at least 2013.

As part of that support, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said the company would maintain rival database technologies, including IBM's DB2 and Microsoft's SQL Server. Ellison also said Oracle would support rival middleware from IBM and BEA, including Tuxedo.

"If completely new customers come to us, we will steer them to Oracle products," Ellison said. "There are some third-party products from very small vendors. Some are so small that we don't know if they will be around in 2013. So we will provide alternatives so we can meet all of our support commitments."

In the past three months, Oracle has reached out to more than 4,500 PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards customers. The combined organizations consist of more than 6,000 support staff in 16 global support centers and more than 1,300 Oracle and PeopleSoft applications partners.

"The message is obviously to keep customers at all cost," Joshua Greenbaum, a principal analyst with Enterprise Applications Consulting, told internetnews.com. "What will be interesting to see now is how well they execute the contracts since everyone will have to review their contracts with Oracle."

Ellison touted Project Fusion as taking the best features, flows and usability traits of the three companies and presenting them under the banner of standards-based Java.

"For the first time, a major applications company is committing to a standards-based environment," the CEO said at the launch event here, noting other proprietary offerings such as German-based SAP's ABAP language and its NetWeaver software.

"SAP will have to respond to what we are doing like when they had to move to a relational database model," he said. "Starting from scratch with NetWeaver is huge. Plus they don't have the underlying database. When you adopt the suite of industry standard security model, you inherent a lot.

"We think we can develop a class Java base with Report Objects and Portal Objects. This is truly modern Internet-based technology for tools and interfaces."

Besides the Java Development Environment, Ellison said Project Fusion is also founded on Internet standards like HTML, DHTML and advanced user interfaces.

The first Project Fusion components, specifically data hubs and transaction bases, are scheduled to appear in 2006, with initial applications available in 2007. Oracle said its full Project Fusion applications suite is scheduled for 2008.

As for supporting current contracts, Oracle said PeopleSoft Enterprise 8.9 will be completed this year. Oracle E-Business Suite 12, PeopleSoft Enterprise 9 and J.D. Edwards EnterpriseOne 8.12 are slated for release in 2006.

In addition, Oracle is extending J.D. Edwards EnterpriseOne XE and 8.0 support to February 2007. Oracle said it will also adopt PeopleSoft's current retirement policies in their software platforms, including J.D. Edwards World.

  This article was originally published on Wednesday Jan 19th 2005
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