Oracle launches data integration initiative

After years of repeating, mantra-like, the Oracle Corp. message of one database, one data model, Chuck Phillips, Oracle's new president, delivered an updated, more inclusive message to 10,000 Oracle developers and customers at its annual Oracle AppsWorld conference in San Diego.

Delivering the opening keynote, Philips told the audience that now Oracle will offer its customers three choices "to get higher quality information" out of their systems.

The first choice, Phillips called it "choice A," was the familiar full Oracle E-Business suite deployment.

"This is recommended. It gives users a single, complete data model and builds applications around that data model," said Phillips.

However, as he went down the alphabet to choices b and c, Phillips said the company would open up its applications in ways it has never done before.

Choice B will focus on the E-Business suite with more "formal" integration technologies embedded into the suite to work with legacy applications.

However, keeping to its theme of the entire e-business suite is still best, Phillips said the point of choice b was to "evolve into the E-Business suite over time."

Oracle will open up the suite by building a services layer between the suite and legacy applications using Web services in addition to packaging adapters, APIs, and using "data quality" services.

Finally, Phillips unveiled Choice C which he called the Data Hub for Information Access, a layer that would sit between the business process layer and the application servers, database, and storage layer.

While short on details during the keynote, Phillips promised to "drill down" during the week's breakout sessions.

What was said was that the data hub would give users a single view of customer definitions, allow for real-time synchronization, include data cleansing of duplicate data, and include single views of key customer data such as order, contract, and service history.

"It will be a 360-degree view of the customer with pre-built analytics," Phillips said.

The data hub will also include a single management and development framework.

Phillips said "data matters" but what he didn't say that was apparent from the new Oracle message is that attempts to convince its present and future customers to deploy only Oracle products as a solution to integration was unrealistic. It seems Oracle is coming around to what its customers always knew.

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