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What Oracle Will Announce This Week: Predictions

Oracle OpenWorld is this week, so expect an avalanche of announcements by the company about their various efforts

Oracle OpenWorld is this week, so expect an avalanche of announcements by the company about their various efforts. OK, so the title is misleading. I admit I do not *actually* know what Oracle is going to announce, but it is not hard to figure out what's coming. Here's my top 10 list of likely Oracle announcements.

Linux Announcement. There have been rumors flying around The Valley all week, and a few press articles as well, that suggest Oracle is going to make some kind of Linux announcement. My guess is that if they do, it will be that they are making their own version of Linux. In one way or another, they have been doing this since 9i RAC, so this will be a non-announcement. The real question people should ask is: How will they get adoption of this, and can they build a strong community. Their efforts in open source have been meager, so this would not bode well. Could they also be announcing a purchase, like RedHat or something like Ubuntu? Doubtful. The first is unlikely since it's saddled with the JBOSS boat-anchor and the second would mean a hefty rewrite of their existing work. However, to be clear I am not knocking Ubuntu. As I have written in the past, its a great OS and I have it on my desktop.

Some Fusion Announcement. There will undoubtedly be some kind of (con) Fusion announcement at OOW, or Thomas Kurian and Rich Schultz aren't doing their jobs. It will have something to do about some meaningless milestone, or some niche feature blown up to look like the cure for the common cold. Just remember, last year they said the "fuse-ing" of Fusion could take until 2013. But then again, knowing Oracle, they could also announce a delay until 2015. In contrast, BEA is ALREADY delivering the industry's most complete and unified platform to help customers integrate, transform and optimize business and IT processes via BEA SOA 360º.

Some kind of ESB or Portal Announcement. The markets for ESBs and Portals are hot right now, and from what I see, Oracle's products are laggards and significantly behind BEA in every category. Expect another non-announcement in this area.

Open Source. For what ever reason, open source still attracts press. Oracle could announce they are open sourcing one or more of the technologies they have acquired recently. Or they could talk about some kind of announcement around Oracle ADF or the JavaServer Faces framework. I would really like to see them open source their own version of Java, but they are too close to Sun to have this happen. BEA continues to embrace and deliver open source Java solutions via its Blended Application Development and Deployment model, which provides the essential framework support, development tools, and variety of deployment platforms for an enterprise to successfully optimize the advantages of Open Source technology.

SOA Strategy, anyone? We have been talking about SOA since 2003, and IBM has recently painted a good part of its software with a lovely coat of SOA paint. Expect another "Me Too" announcement on how everything they do is SOA, and comes from the database. We have been having some success with SOA. In fact, an analyst who attended our Prague BEAWorld said:"BEA has made significant strides over the last couple of years and is in a good position to benefit commercially with the new announcements" (Peter Abrahams, Bloor Research).

JEE5 Support. All of the vendors have been feverishly toward getting a JEE5 version of their app servers out. I know we are. Expect an "empty" announcement from Oracle on this. They will announce availability of their certified app server, but it will be sometime in the future. They will win the award for the 2nd app server to be certified (Sun is first, but they cheat by delivering the reference implementation as a commercial product). Make sure you read the fine print about when they are actually delivering bits.

Telco: We've had a lot of success with the WebLogic Communications Platform, for doing VoIP. (In fact, there is a US telecom provider who has 100% of their VoIP traffic running on WLCP. Expect Oracle to produce another "me too" announcement in this area as well. The "me too" efforts continue with Oracle in the telecom space. On the service delivery side, we expect Oracle to announce the Oracle Communications Platform (geez…do they have to copy us right down to our naming convention?) We expect it will include a number of components such as a SIP application server, a rehashed version of HotSip from their acquisition earlier this year, and a Virtual PBX and Parlay application server, both of which came from their Net4call acquisition earlier this year. Separately, they may tout their ability to integrate with OSS/BSS and particularly Siebel (customers) and portal (billing, etc.) in a move towards hosted services, with an enterprise target. These are narrow solutions in a market where federation is what matters most. Oracle's modus operandi (MO) has always been to buy or build inferior products and come to market late. We are getting in front of the market.

Bash SAP. For a while, BEA was the whipping boy when it came to a single minded womping of the competition. But the latest target for blows seems to be SAP. Oracle's earnings calls are rife with this stuff, begging the question "can't we all get along?" Considering the source, the answer is likely "no" so expect more rhetoric about why SAP is the "great Satan" for the Oracle faithful.

Market Position Puffery. They will, no doubt, talk about how they are market leaders in every category. Make sure you ask them where they get their numbers. Eric Stahl has written about this in the past. Interestingly, Gartner's numbers show us in a pretty good position both this year and the last. Also, whenever you hear a number from Oracle, make sure you ask if its actual deployments, or counting the number of "shelfware" seats.

An Acquisition. Who knows? Oracle has not done a large purchase in a long time, and they could be itching to start up again. No clues on who, though. And you have to really ask how they will be able to handle the weight of all these existing businesses any way.

    If I get any of these right, I will be sure to post someting saying so in the next week or so. :)

    More Stories By Bill Roth

    Bill Roth is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years in the industry. He has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like BEA, Sun, Morgan Stanley, and EBay Enterprise. He was recently named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Bloggers.

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