Oracle Releases New Apps for Portfolio Management, Enterprise Docs

Oracle continues its rapid release cycle for new products and updates with Oracle Primavera Portfolio Management 8 and AutoVue 20.0, designed for project portfolio management and document collaboration, respectively. These new products follow on the heels of Tuxedo 11g, which integrates technology from the company's 2008 acquisition of BEA Systems.

Oracle unveiled Oracle Primavera Portfolio Management 8, designed to assist organizations in project portfolio management from conception through execution, on April 6. This is just one of several Oracle product announcements over the past few weeks, as the company seems to be stepping up its effort to provide systems solutions to the enterprise.

Primavera Portfolio Management 8 allows managers to compare a project's progress against both historical data and projected milestones, theoretically improving accountability. Various business intelligence tools can be used to identify risks and potential impacts, including "metric thresholds" that produce red flags when performance isn't meeting projections and, in theory, allow organizations to pivot and redeploy resources in order to meet those metrics.

"Organizations are under pressure to ensure that they are not only spending money on the right things, but also flawlessly executing on those investments," Joel Koppelman, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle's Primavera Global Business Unit, said in a statement. "With the launch of Oracle's Primavera Portfolio Management 8, Oracle is effectively delivering an enterprise portfolio 'GPS' that gives organizations the information and capabilities they need to optimize both the selection and management of any type of investment."

On April 5, Oracle also released AutoVue 20.0, a document visualization and collaboration tool that can be integrated into enterprise applications, allowing users to access and view documents stored across the breadth of an enterprise. This new version includes an offline mode that uploads to an enterprise server any updates made by mobile workers while offline, as well as additional support for industries such as engineering and construction, utilities, oil and gas, and manufacturing.

AutoVue functionality can be accessed via the Primavera dashboard, as it was baked into Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management 7.0 and Oracle Primavera Contact Management 13.0. Performance enhancements to AutoVue 20.0 include enhanced three-dimensional large model handling and simplified access to larger Word files.

The announcements come not long after Oracle's March 31 release of Tuxedo 11g, which integrates technology from the company's 2008 acquisition of BEA Systems. Redeployed as part of the Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g platform, Tuxedo 11g is an application server that operates as an SOA (service-oriented architecture)-ready system, supporting the development and deployment of C/C++ and COBOL, as well as the newly added Ruby and Python developer languages. Oracle claims that Tuxedo 11g will support the deployment of tens of thousands of application domains within an application grid architecture.

As part of that release, Oracle also issued Tuxedo Application Runtime for CICS and Batch11g, and Tuxedo Application Rehosting Workbench 11g, which work in concert to allow the rehosting of mainframe applications to a grid architecture of massively multiple microcomputer processors. The applications allow developers to create new applications as well as migrate legacy C/C++ and COBOL mainframe applications to cloud server platforms. By creating a CICS API emulation batch environment, Oracle Tuxedo Application Runtime for CICS and Batch11g can run on Tuxedo 11g in a multinode grid environment with centralized production control.

In addition to its multitude of releases, Oracle has also been working on digesting its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems. On March 16, the company announced the availability of its Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center, a platform through which IT administrators can use both physical and virtual Sun Microsystems environments. The platform also allows for life-cycle management of Oracle Solaris Containers and Oracle VM Server for SPARC, and the updating of Oracle Solaris through a proprietary software dependency engine; on top of that, Oracle Enterprise Management Connector for Ops Center allows a view into underlying Sun servers, Oracle Solaris and related virtualization.

Oracle's goal throughout 2009 and 2010, in addition to acquisitions, seems to have been integrating applications into existing portfolios, with an eye toward creating complete software stacks that can then be offered to enterprises as end-to-end packages. "We have a deep interest in the systems business," Oracle CEO Larry Ellison told an audience at the Churchill Club, in San Jose, Calif., in September 2009. "We've already beaten IBM in software. Now we want to beat them in systems."