Oracle Releases Oracle Warehouse Management

Oracle releases Oracle Warehouse Management, a modular application that can now be operated by businesses and the enterprise without upgrading to Oracle E-Business Suite. Oracle has had a busy 2009, capped by its plans to acquire Sun Microsystems, in addition to a number of smaller companies.

Oracle announced the release of a new version of Oracle Warehouse Management June 1. The scalable application allows users to manage complex warehouse operations, including multiple supply chain processes and materials management functionality.

A version of the application had previously only been available to customers using the Oracle E-Business Suite. In its new and more modular iteration, the Warehouse Management application can be run outside of the E-Business Suite, allowing businesses to utilize a logistics and transportation solution without necessarily needing to upgrade other parts of their operations' IT.

However, the new version does support earlier versions of the Oracle E-Business Suite. It also features support for multiple order capture systems under one independent fulfillment engine, multiple inventory solutions, and a variety of warehouse execution systems operating against a single global ERP system.

Aside from modifying some of its offerings, Oracle has had a busy 2009.

In April 2009, Oracle announced plans to acquire Sun Microsystems in a deal worth roughly $7.4 billion, allowing Oracle to more fully leverage Java and Solaris in its products. The acquisition followed close on the heels of IBM's own failed attempt to buy up Sun, reportedly for a price exceeding $7 billion.

Sun had been grappling with losses due to a "perfect storm" of deep recession and contracting server and data center markets, leading to losses of more than $209 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Oracle, by contrast, had 44.3 percent of the relational database management systems (RDBMS) market in 2007, the last full year for which IDC had figures, and had been using its cash reserves to purchase a number of smaller companies throughout 2009.

In May 2009, Oracle also purchased Virtual Iron, a designer of server virtualization software, allowing Oracle to compete more fully against VMware, Microsoft and Citrix Systems in the virtualization market.