Fujitsu Siemens, Oracle team on middleware

Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Holding) BV and Oracle plan to pool some of their software resources to help big businesses link legacy data to modern systems with Web interfaces.

The companies will jointly fund development of a software suite combining Fujitsu Siemens' openSeas middleware with Oracle Application Server 10g, which will replace the existing Java server in the openSeas suite, the companies announced Wednesday at the OracleWorld conference and exhibition in Paris.

Fujitsu Siemens is Oracle's biggest reseller in Europe, according to Oracle executives. It resells software from other vendors too, including SAP, and also sells its own PCs and mainframes throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Its openSeas software can be used to Web-enable applications running on Unix, OS/390, AS400 and its own BS2000/OSD operating system for mainframes, among other platforms.

The companies will cross-license one another's technology and work together on marketing and sales efforts to push the platform to big business users, he said. The companies have yet to announce their pricing plans for the software combination.

As a result of the partnership, Oracle's Java application server eventually will replace that of Fujitsu Siemens in the openSeas suite. Meanwhile, Oracle's application server will adopt software hooks offered with OpenSeas' Java server for linking to legacy applications, effectively merging the functionality of the two products.

Oracle and Fujitsu Siemens plan to merge the Oracle Application Server and openSeas software platforms over time, according to Timothy Payne, senior director for Oracle 9i marketing at Oracle UK. Customers who begin with either Oracle 9i or openSeas will, by migrating to successive versions of the software, gain the functionality of the other platform without having to rewrite their applications, he said.

"A lot of enterprise customers have got applications they haven't touched for years. It's very important for them to Web-enable them without touching that mainframe investment," Payne said.

Oracle's Java server will replace that of Fujitsu Siemens in openSeas within the next year, but Fujitsu Siemens plans to maintain its software for existing customers for at least five years, the company's vice president of strategic alliances, Bernd Kosch, said, speaking by telephone from Germany.

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