Oracles Open

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-08-01 Print this article Print

-Standards Philosophy"> Asked if that deal had changed the competitive landscape for Oracle, Shimp said he had not seen any greater traction for JBoss in the marketplace, adding that it basically remains an application server that is popular among open-source proponents. Oracle has also ported many of its middleware components directly onto JBoss because customers wanted that, "But we have not seen them gain any significant advantage from the Red Hat acquisition per se," he said.
Shimp said Oracle has a fundamental philosophy, which is that everything has to be based on open standards and that its products support other brands of product, and, while there were advantages for customers in having a complete integrated stack from Oracle, "we dont force people to make an all-or-nothing choice," he said.
"We also go to market with vertical industry solutions, and you will continue to see us develop more offerings along those lines that really minimize and obviate the need to talk about whats in the stack but rather solve specific business problems. Thats another part of our strategy. So how open-source and commercial technologies play into that will evolve over time," Shimp said. With regard to the companys relationship with Sun Microsystems, Shimp said Oracle was using Suns technology to develop a small number of its applications, but added that all of its database and middleware development work is done on Linux. "Only a very small number of our developers are doing Solaris platform work," he said. But Oracle is excited about Suns commitment to open-source Java, as this could be a "game changer in the industry, and people have been looking for that for a long time," he said, cautioning that it remains to be seen how this will be fully implemented. Click here to read more about the question of open-source Java. "The devil is in the details and we will wait and see exactly what technology gets which open-source license and then take a view," he said, noting that having access to Javas source code would allow Oracle to provide extensions, improvements and possibly better support. With regard to other new technologies Oracle was looking at working on and contributing to the Linux kernel in the future, Shimp said it was considering I/O architectures, security software and virtualization. "But we are not doing this on our own. We do not create a load of code and then throw it over the wall and then try and strong-arm it into being accepted by the open-source community. Our focus is on being part of the larger team that helps to drive consensus in the community around some of these issues," he said. "I think we bring valuable perspective on how customers in large enterprises do these things, but it has to be driven by consensus on whats in the best interests of the community as a whole," Shimp said. Oracle is also working on Zend Core for Oracle, a product featuring integration between Oracle and PHP, he said. In addition, Oracle has successfully managed to get the Oracle Cluster File System technology, an open-standard file system, adopted as part of the Linux 2.6 kernel, the first such technology to be included in the kernel. "This was a big step and it took us a couple of years of effort, design work and co-operation with the kernel maintainers to get there," Shimp said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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