Oracle Corp. is crystallizing an enterprise content management initiative and shoring up its integration strategy to answer growing customer demand for both unstructured data management and improved application flexibility.
At the heart of the effort is Oracles forthcoming “Tsunami,” the ECM-oriented and redesigned Oracle Files product that Oracle officials say will push database sales even further. The company will officially unveil the product at its Oracle OpenWorld customer conference in San Francisco.
Tsunami, due to be included in a planned major upgrade of Oracle Collaboration Suite early next year, is designed to exist between ubiquitous file server technology and traditional high-end ECM systems to solve specific and escalating document management problems across large enterprises, said Rich Buchheim, senior director of Oracle content management at the Redwood Shores, Calif., company.
Scheduled for the first half of next year in product form, the first generation of Tsunami will feature such capabilities 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, according to a report by Ovum, a London-based software consulting firm that was given demonstrations of the product.
Ovum officials said Tsunami is also likely to include document management components such as imaging and print services based on various partnerships.
Buchheim declined to comment on Tsunami specifics or the Ovum report.
Tsunami will eventually work with other ECM software, such as EMC Corp.s Documentum, OpenText Corp.s namesake software and products from FileNet Corp., by a federated means to scale out to large numbers of users with specialized content requirements, said Buchheim.
The timing could be right for such a push. According to Meta Group Inc., of Stamford, Conn., the ECM market will reach $2.3 billion in software sales and $7 billion in services by 2007. In fact, such market potential is pushing database rival IBM as well. The company is putting the finishing touches on a new tool set, dubbed “Project Cinnamon,” that allows for the injection of XML schema formats. As a result, users are able to map and make changes to data on different content and document formats, said IBM officials in Somers, N.Y.
Project Cinnamon, currently in beta form and due for release next quarter, is built on top of DB2 Content Manager.
For its part, EMC is looking at support of new content types, such as capturing and indexing voice, as well as how to componentize its platform as an SOA (service-oriented architecture), said company officials in Hopkinton, Mass.
To strengthen its message around integration—and show that it can compete with platform providers IBM, Microsoft Corp. and BEA Systems Inc.—Oracle will pound home its product-backed integration strategy, called Oracle Integration, at OpenWorld.
Over the next 12 months, Oracle Integration, a group of integration products from OracleAS (Application Server) 10g Enterprise Edition, is expected to go through a metamorphosis of sorts, according to IT research company Gartner Inc., also in Stamford. “The main change [to Oracle Integration] is the integration of the Collaxa BPEL [Business Process Execution Language] engine into the ProcessConnect product,” said Gartner analyst Pezzini Massimo.
Oracle is expected to announce this week an evolution of InterConnect, a message broker for data integration, that has support for standard messaging through JMS (Java Message Service) and Web services, according to sources familiar with the companys plans.
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