Oracle After Enterprise Web 2.0 Blood

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One of the sure signs that there is money to made in a technology sector is when the big sharks start gathering around spots where the little fish have been happily churning up some waves.

The announcement that uber-shark Oracle has come up with a “new” product called Oracle WebCenter Suite that “uses Web 2.0 technology to create a context-aware interactive environment that supports the intersection of people, processes, and information across multiple channels to enhance the productivity of information workers” is an outrage to the English language but a sure sign that the battle to integrate Web 2.0 technologies in enterprises has begun in earnest. Says Oracle:

Oracle WebCenter Suite is also the first environment to provide a revolutionary approach to deploying the new wave of Web 2.0 technologies across the enterprise. The expectations of end users within a contemporary organization are increasingly shaped by their experience on public web sites that offer highly participatory and personalized interfaces. Oracle WebCenter Suite supports integrating Web 2.0 services such as Mashups, Wikis, Voice-over-IP, RSS feeds, Discussion Forums and Online Web Content Publishing into structured applications, creating a more productive and dynamically evolving work environment for individuals and teams. Enterprises can use Oracle WebCenter Suite capabilities to embed and synchronize task-oriented and information-oriented Portlets and Web 2.0 services to create composite applications or “Enterprise Mashups”.

I’m no software expert by a long shot but I really don’t see why anyone would pay $50,000 per CPU for a license to use a tarted-up version of Oracle Fusion Middleware when so many clever subversives on the edges of organizations are already doing all these cool Web 2.0 things now for pennies a month and there are so many really sensational, and far less expensive, enterprise-level integration solutions available or in the works.

Not to mention the fact that the version Oracle released today is missing two of its most essential components-WebCenter Composer, a piece that enables the creation and customization of user interfaces, business rules, profiles and policies, and another called WebCenter Spaces, which allows individuals and groups to collaborate and manage projects.

Without those critical pieces, the whole thing kind of comes up lame although there are probably corporate types who will buy into the top-down “comprehensive enterprise framework” (read big, clumsy and expensive) jive.

The good news here is that the big fish are starting to take the Enterprise 2.0 pool seriously but Oracle’s announcement is more like an old dog marking a fire hydrant than a real shark attack.



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Jerry Bowles has more than 30 years of varied experience as a writer, editor, marketing consultant, corporate communications director and blogger. For the past 20 years, he has produced and written special supplements on new technologies for a number of magazines, including Forbes, Fortune and Newsweek.


Oracle After Enterprise Web 2.0 Blood
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