Oracle Shows Off Content Management Platform

 
 
By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-05-18 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Updated: The relational database vendor's enterprise platform, previously code-named Tsunami, offers structured and unstructured data management.

Oracle quietly unveiled beta code for its next-generation enterprise content management platform, previously code-named Tsunami, at the AIIM On Demand show in Philadelphia this week. According to Alan Pelz-Sharpe, vice president of software and services for the London-based research firm Ovum, the code is on display at Oracle Corp.s booth.
"Its here, and people can see it, and theyre looking at it and talking about it," he said. "Its certainly brought a whole new dynamic to the show, in the sense that everybody realizes now that this market is serious and it will grow."
Pelz-Sharpe said the platform has been renamed Oracle Content Services 10g, but an Oracle spokesperson said that the company does not yet have an official name for the product. First announced at Oracle OpenWorld in December, the new platform is the companys response to growing demands for the ability to manage both structured and unstructured data management. Read more here about Oracles enterprise content management platform, formerly code-named Tsunami.
According to a report by Ovum after the firm was given demonstrations of the product before the OpenWorld announcement, Oracle planned to feature capabilities such as access control lists, check-in/check-out, policy-based retention and storage management, folder- and document-level security, workflow services and policy-based versioning. At that time, Ovum reported that the product would also likely include document-management components such as imaging and print services based on various partnerships. Read more here about file management in Oracles "Tsunami." While IBM has long been a player in the ECM (enterprise cost management) market, Oracle is relatively new to it. Because of a lower price point and its large installed user base, Oracles entry into the market will enable ECM to play to a much larger audience, Pelz-Sharpe said. "[Oracle] wont replace FileNet [Corp.] or [EMC Corp.s] Documentum or any of those firms, but they will bring this kind of capability to a much broader audience than in the past," he said. "The very low price point for sure" will help Oracle gain traction with the new platform, Pelz-Sharpe said, as will the fact that Oracle built the product to be "very easy to scale to very large numbers indeed," with very little administration. Oracle had not returned calls for product or pricing details by the time this story was posted. "The ease [with which one can] scale to 5,000, 10,000, 50,000, without having to bring in another administrator … thats very impressive," Pelz-Sharpe said. While IBM has been in the ECM space a long time and is currently a market leader, its legacy applications keep it from radical innovation, he said. "Oracle doesnt have that legacy, so theyre able to do something quite different," he said. "IBM has to keep two camps happy, and thats difficult." Some analysts say that vendors from other realms are currently doing a better job at the ECM job of wrangling structured and unstructured data, via metadata, than the technology stalwarts. William Hurley, an analyst with Enterprise Strategies Group, pointed to Apple Computer Inc. or Avid Technology Inc.—vendors that have a strong hold on digital editing and professional audio systems used by the film, music, and television industries. "Theres a high degree of transparency between the widget and the information they produce," he said. What relational database players IBM and Oracle bring to the table, however, is their genius at handling relational structures—still the simplest way of handling unstructured or structured data. "Ultimately, metadata, whether expressed in XML or not, is most useful in relational structures, so you can cross-correlate," he said. Editors Note: This story was updated to correct information about the name and status of Oracles content management platform. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.
 
 
 
 
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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