Microsoft, SAP Team Up Against Oracle

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Monday at the SQL Server 2005 launch event that the Redmond, Wash., company has developed a set of go-to-market programs with SAP to take market share from Oracle. Under the effort, Microsoft signed a multiyear licensing program with SAP that allows the ISV to embed and sell Microsoft's upgraded database with SAP's enterprise applications platform.

One Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) partner said the multiyear licensing pact is part of Microsoft's ISV royalty program and won&'t worry Microsoft's Dynamics partners as long as the pricing is fair.

"We're also a part of this, and what it does is give an ISV an ability to bundle SQL with their software, only for a significantly reduced price," said Simon Chan, president of Iteration2, an ISV and solution provider in Irvine, Calif. "It will cause concern in the MBS community if MBS partners are not allowed to bundle at that reduced price. I can't imagine that Microsoft will not offer a similar type of deal for MBS products, as well for this single-use royalty program."

Microsoft and SAP also unveiled a "Migrate From Oracle Now" campaign that offers customers who defect from Oracle to a Microsoft SQL Server-SAP implementation a 50 percent discount on licenses.

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Microsoft and SAP have edged closer together as Oracle continues to consolidate the enterprise applications market through its acquisition of PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards and, more recently, Siebel Systems.

Microsoft's first database upgrade in five years will support up to 93,000 concurrent users on SAP, or more than 10 times the largest SAP enterprise implementation, Ballmer told thousands gathered for the SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk 2006 launch event in San Francisco. Microsoft and SAP have more than 20,000 joint customers, he added.

Oracle, for its part, announced support for Microsoft's Visual Studio 2005, which also was launched at the event. Oracle said it will offer a free plugin for Visual Studio 2005 that enables tight integration between Visual Studio 2005 and Oracle Database 10g.