One of the biggest stumbling blocks to adopting Oracle Corp.s major new release—Oracle Database 10g—will soon be overcome, as PeopleSoft Inc., Oracle itself and SAP AG ready 10g-certified applications that will be out in the fastest certification release cycle ever for a major Oracle database release.
Ken Jacobs, vice president of product strategy for the Redwood Shores, Calif., company, told eWEEK.com that Oracle applications will be certified on 10g within weeks, or “probably in June.”
Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Version 5.9 will be certified on 10g with what Jacobs described as “a little interoperability patch set” for the applications. Subsequently, Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Version 5.10 will be certified on the first patch set for Oracle Database 10g, which will be released in late May or June, Jacobs said.
This certification schedule—Oracle Database 10g was released only in January—is a surprisingly quick turnaround when compared with past major database releases, Jacobs said. “This is by far the earliest ever,” he said. “Its taken two years sometimes, which is very disappointing.”
According to Jacobs, SAP has indicated that its applications will be certified on 10g in the first quarter of 2005. Jacobs said that will be the fastest turnaround ever for SAP to certify on a major Oracle database release.
Ditto for PeopleSoft, which is on track to certify on 10g by this summer, Jacobs said, in spite of “all the activity” between Oracle and PeopleSoft regarding Oracles hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft. “It shows that at the engineering level, were still able to get something done together,” Jacobs said.
Both the early rollout of certified applications and the fact that the first patch set is due out in a matter of weeks mean that enterprises should update to 10g “now,” Jacobs said, rather than letting the “dot-zero” syndrome keep them from getting their hands on a major release before important applications are certified and before all of the bugs have been worked out.
Getting on board with 10g earlier rather than later was the main gist of Jacobs opening keynote Monday at the International Oracle Users Group Live 2004 conference in Toronto. Another interesting tidbit from the keynote was Jacobs statement that 11i is experiencing between 20 percent and 30 percent performance improvements running on 10g as compared with Oracle9i, which he said is yet another reason to upgrade quickly.
In pushing for a fast migration to 10g, Jacobs also pointed to the calendar for the expiration of 8i, a database version that a “substantial minority” of customers are still running. Support for 8i was set to expire at the end of December 2003 but was extended to the end of this year after the company announced 10g.
Oracle is encouraging 8i customers to migrate directly to 10g without stopping at 9i for a number of reasons: First, support is running out. Second, its simple, Jacobs said.
“The assumption that [migration] is difficult is wrong,” he said. “Its very straightforward. We have a migration utility that makes sure all the software has its prerequisites met, and post-install checking” ensures that the installation went smoothly.
George Trujillo, president and CEO of Denver-based Trubix Inc., which is the worlds largest third-party provider of Oracle educational materials, said he agrees for the most part with the migrate-early message. At the Toronto conference, Trujillo will be a member of panel discussing whether to upgrade to 10g sooner or later.
“[My answer] is sooner, but let me qualify that,” he said. “First, if youre running third-party applications, they need to be certified before you migrate to 10g. Youre not migrating until thats taken care of.”
Another reason to migrate early is that all enterprises are trying to reduce costs, database administration and downtime, he said. “Most organizations have reduced DBA [database administrator] staffs significantly over the past two or two-and-a-half years,” Trujillo said. “If there are any lower-profile databases that arent mission-critical, they are ideal candidates for the self-managing features in 10g that will reduce administration.”
During his keynote, Jacobs also pointed to a manageability study done by Progressive Strategy that found that Oracle Database 10g is easier to manage than Microsoft Corp.s SQL Server relational database.
The study clocked the time it takes database administrators to do a range of tasks, including tuning, backup, recovery, installation and so forth. The study, which was funded by Oracle, found that on average it took 30 percent less time to run tasks on Oracle than on SQL Server.
Thats surprising, given that Oracle has been notorious for creating databases with a mind-boggling array of knobs to turn, Jacobs noted. “It takes manageability off the table as an issue,” he said. “It is and it isnt surprising. We certainly put a big, big focus on this, on manageability, for several years now, and its culminated in the technology in 10g.”