. Will They Buy?"> Oracles second major applications announcement this week centers around the release of PeopleSoft Enterprise Release 9, a version many PeopleSoft customers feared would never see the light of day when Oracle initially announced its plans to acquire PeopleSoft. Since then, Oracle has pledged to support PeopleSoft (and JD Edwards) applications into the foreseeable future, cementing the pledge with its Applications Unlimited program announced in April."Moving forward there will be a dedicated organization thats focused on new releases, new technology, new functionality in PeopleSoft Enterprise. Ill head that up in addition to the product strategy organization," said Wong, in Redwood Shores, Calif. "The message is: [customers] can continue to work with PeopleSoft Enterprise product until such time as they are ready to move to Fusion. So there are no forced upgrades." The PeopleSoft Enterprise 9 suite will be released in separate modules. The first, PeopleSoft Enterprise Learning Management, is available now with the rest of the Enterprise productsenterprise performance management, customer relationship management, supply chain management and financialswill roll out between now and the end of the year. The 9 suite of applications has been developed around three basic concepts, according to Wong, who came over from the PeopleSoft side of the house following Oracles acquisition: integration to Oracle Fusion Middleware, continuing best of class functionality, and building on PeopleSofts Total Ownership Experience initiative (Oracle has changed the unfortunate TOE acronym to Superior Cost of Ownership). To this end, the integration to Fusion Middleware in 9 essentially brings some Oracle elements into the PeopleTools development stack, including Oracle XML Publisher, Oracle Business Activity Monitoring, Oracle Customer Data Huball that allow for the expanded use of Web services and Oracles BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) Process Manager to better be able to orchestrate processes, according to Wong. The best in class functionality mission centers around "understanding the things that will really make business processes run more effectively," said Wong, while the SOE initiative focuses on finding ways to improve usability and performance of the applications. The question remains however, are there any new customers buying 9? The answer is a resounding no, according to industry analysts. "There are a lot of features in 9," said Forrester analyst Ray Wang. "Basically there are a lot of upgrades and changes to 9. When PeopleSoft and Oracle met during the merger, Oracle realized that PeopleSofts HR team had been asleep for two years, so Oracle caught up [in terms of functionality]. The same is true on the Oracle side with financials, so the [Oracle and PeopleSoft] products are fairly comparable." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.
Oracle announced June 26 that Wong would head the group.