business processes, is really [key]. Were really coupling a pretty significant investment with Business Intelligen Are there other Fusion-esque capabilities that will show up first in the individual suites? Theres a broad category. Some are in line with things that have been delivered; we think business insight, designed with adaptive ce, out-of-the-box, with adaptive business process. Another area is application-service-level monitoring. [E-Business Suite] 12 takes tools that are very mature and well thought of, that are looking at whats happening in the system, going from one state of business process to another, and monitoring that, and creating a business issue. Suddenly you realize there is a problem and you have to dig around.So is the business process management functionality being moved over from the application server layer?No, its not moving it, its deploying middleware and using business functionality and exposing it in the engine, almost like you have a tool set and you take that and have business process flows. BPM is a little like business processes on steroids. The workflow engine is running in middleware, and there is a design in the application to take advantage of that. What makes this functionality different than the BPM capabilities that Oracle already offers? With our BPM tool, its not that [processes] arent communicating, but theyre communicating in a flowstep A, step Band what this does is give you much more flexibility in terms of how you want that business flow to work. So when youre at this point in a buying process, you say, I want to invoke a different process, and have the system reflect how that executes. Not that the system doesnt communicate today, but its difficult for an end user to say, This is not exactly how our business works, I want that to work better today. Take billing: People often go out and buy their own billing engine, and its a lot of hard work to integrate that into a flow. A business process management tool makes that easier. Ive talked to customers that are having difficulty now integrating business flows from one application to another in 11i10things like customer order data to accounting. What in Fusion or in E-Business Suite 12is going to change to make business process integration easier? The reason why customizations have always been such an issue is you took our billing engine, or another, and every time you [implemented] a released version, it would just sort of lay on top of that. The advantage of a business process tool is that it would identify that [implementation] and go ahead and re-invoke those [customizations], so you dont redo the engineering work. Oracle has been really very quiet over the past four monthswhats been going on? And how is the integration of the development teams going? Weve been doing the Fusion road shows for the past six weeks, and were here [at the OAUG conference] with 25 different events going on, so a couple of things. Click here to read an interview with Patricia Dues, president of the Oracle Applications User Group. The integration of the teams is going extraordinarily well. We continue to make good progress with our plans; [were] well under way with [E-Business Suite] 12 and pretty close to finalizing plans around [Enterprise] 8.9. Weve completed a major release of World that were announcing. There are a lot of things weve been dong. Is Fusion Oracles equivalent to SAP AGs NetWeaver? I guess it kind of depends on how you talk about NetWeaver, which started as an integration product. When SAP created mySAP ERP, they had to integrate to R/3 [SAPs older ERP suite]. Its kind of grown from there. Increasingly its looked as a new entrant into the application server space. If you were to draw a parallel, [Oracles] Fusion middleware is our core Java engine, BPM, analyticsall the things in a broad category that people call NetWeaver. Its a talking point to create a more flexible point for applications. Next page: Is Fusion Oracles answer to SOA?