Oracle Releases Agile Product Lifecycle Management 9.3

Oracle's new application-version allows the enterprise to analyze the inherent risk within its products' lifecycles, while also offering a variety of management tools designed to improve both data quality and governance across systems. Oracle has had a busy 2009, capped by mid-year with the acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Oracle announced the release of Agile Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) 9.3, which offers advanced risk analysis along with a product lifecycle management backbone that incorporates a variety of applications designed to reduce costs and boost productivity, on June 22.

On the risk analysis side, the application includes:

Supplier Risk Analysis, which points out high-risk suppliers based on factors such as quality and overexposure.

Part Risk Analysis, which identifies parts that lack product information or risk obsolescence.

Product Quality Risk Analysis, which detects products impacted most by quality issues and prioritizes customer complaints.

Product Design Volatility Analysis, which locates products or lines with late-stage changes to the new product release cycle, along identifying "the severity of those changes and operational impact."

The other part of the application, the Enterprise PLM Backbone, offers up a SOA (service oriented architecture) that allows for the integration of PLM services into existing engineering and enterprise systems. In order to seed the deployment, integration and extension of product lifecycle processes, the SOA Enterprise PLM Platform offers modularized Web services, event management and extensible scripting for PLM components such as CAD objects.

Other features include Integrated Product Master Data Management, which manages data mappings, as well as improving data quality and governance across systems, and Oracle Application Integration Architecture (AIA), which offers open standards-based integrations to broader enterprise systems such as Oracle and SAP.

The application leverages a Web 2.0 user interface, with new and streamlined controls ranging from drag-and-drop capabilities to context-aware pop-ups.

The application is "a highly strategic tool," Hardeep Gulati, vice president of Oracle's PLM Product Strategy, said in a statement, adding that the PLM gives organizations "more out-of-the-box processes to support their corporate initiatives within the framework of a scalable, enterprise PLM backbone."

In addition to issuing several rounds of new products, Oracle has also been on an aggressive acquisition streak throughout 2009. In April, the company acquired Sun Microsystems, allowing it to open a broad competitive front against Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Cisco Systems and other IT giants while expanding its own end-to-end offerings. That deal was worth roughly $7.4 billion, or $9.50 a share.