Oracle Exec Confirms Context Media Buy

Context Media

Context Media's technology and expertise will help Oracle deliver a solution that will "minimize change management as customers implement content management," said Rich Buchheim, senior director or product management for Oracle's content management and strategy group.

Buchheim would not comment on terms other than to say key engineering and other personnel will stay with Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif. Context Media is based in Providence, R.I.

Oracle plans to ship Content Management Services 10g "imminently," according to Buchheim. It's unclear, however, whether Context Media goods will find their way into that product in such short order. Buchheim said details on packaging have yet to be worked out. The new Context Media technology will also filter into Oracle's upcoming Collaboration Suite 10g, Buchheim said.

Context Media clearly has domain expertise here. Besides Oracle, it partners with Interwoven, IBM, Documentum and Fujitsu. In this content integration world, it competed against Venetica, which IBM snapped up just under a year ago.

Sponsored post

While some rivals might snipe that Oracle is backing away from CEO Larry Ellison's stance that customers should move all of their data and content into Oracle databases, Buchheim said this move is not a departure at all.

"What we've been saying all along is that we provide a technology using Oracle repositories that we think customers will find more compelling. But the reality is you don't drop a technology on a customer and the next day they're running everything on your repository," he said. "This is an acknowledgement of the reality. We think many customers will migrate from the 30 to 40 repositories they now have to a smaller number over time."

IBM Software's Information Management group has long stressed that customers will want to "federate" data -- that is, leave it where it is but ensure that it is efficiently piped around to the applications that need it.

According to Buchheim, customers will want to implement both new repositories and continue with their document management systems -- all of which must coexist as the content moves around. Context Media provides technology to create pipelines between all those content repositories, he said.

"Those pipelines do three things. On the source end, adapters enable content to be accessed by a variety of third-party repositories. On the target end, they allow information from repositories to be virtualized into a single view. And in the piece in between, which we consider critical, technologies will deal with mismatches and map different ways to do things to get a coherent view," Buchheim said.

Ron Zapar, CEO of Re-Quest, a Chicago Oracle partner, wants to hear more about what Context Media brings to the table, but said the whole issue of content integration is key. "People need to do more than just e-mail files around to post on a Web site. They need to handle HTML, Word documents, unified messaging content -- all via the same process with the same interfaces. This might help there," he said.