Oracle's OpenWorld Motif

From database to application server to Collaboration Suite, Oracle is in the process of updating its entire technology to the 10g generation. Creating version consistency should enable the software giant to offer a product line that, together, addresses user needs for grid computing, services-oriented enablement and event-driven architecture.

As part of Oracle's overall strategy, the different products share similar capabilities, such as business intelligence and self-diagnostics.

"We're really seeing a convergence of the product lines," said Ron Zapar, CEO of solution provider Re-Quest, Naperville, Ill. "It's obvious from what they are doing with the product lines that they're targeting the SMB market. You're seeing business applications and technology coming together because the message of separate stacks is too complex for that market."

The upgrades will center on the Oracle 10g Release 2 database underpinning, slated to hit beta next month and ship in the first half of next year. This upgrade will offer updated Automatic Storage Management (ASM) perks, including automated backup to tape and enhanced storage virtualization, said Andy Mendelsohn, senior vice president of database server technologies for the Redwood Shores, Calif., vendor.

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To ease adoption of Real Application Clusters (RAC), Release 2 of the database will also include a Cluster Verification Utility to scan the storage, interconnect and server infrastructure before installation. Better self-diagnostics tools include an Automated Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM) system to monitor database performance and flag problems.

Oracle's Application Server 10g Release 2, due later this month, boasts identification management, a new Enterprise Service Bus for improved message routing, a BPEL process designer for writing, mapping and orchestrating business processes, and new business activity monitoring (BAM) capabilities for creating processes that respond to event triggers.

"We're exposing all of our functionality as services—you can even call into BAM as a service to find out the status of the set of events," said Rick Schultz, vice president of marketing for application server and developer tools at Oracle. "Based on that status, the BPEL manager could reconfigure processes to handle different conditions. There's also a tie-in with the applications suite, some of which is exposed as services."

Oracle Collaboration Server 10g, based on the upgraded app server and database infrastructure, is slated to debut around March, according to Oracle President Charles Phillips. It will add Jabber-based instant messaging and voice capabilities to existing Web conferencing.