Oracles Roadmap Revision: Lines to Merge in Project Fusion

The company promises to continue to support PeopleSoft products while unveiling plans for a successor suite of applications, dubbed Project Fusion.

At the official launch of a combined Oracle Corp. and PeopleSoft Inc. Tuesday, Oracle executives outlined the companys commitment to PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards & Co. customers, as well as the companys future plans with a combined suite.

PeopleSoft, now part of Oracle after an 18-month battle to remain independent, acquired JDE in the summer of 2003.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison covered a broad swath regarding the companys commitment to PeopleSofts application development and support, promising to continue to support and enhance its three product lines—Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, and EnterpriseOne—until 2013. The company will continue the development of Enterprise and EnterpriseOnes current versions, develop the next iterations of both suites, and begin work on a combined super suite.

In some cases—primarily, it seems, with World, JDEs oldest line of software—Oracle plans to extend support for PeopleSofts product lines beyond what PeopleSoft itself offered.

The successor suite of products, dubbed Project Fusion, will merge the best functionality from each suite, using an open-standards Java-based platform, according to Ellison, whose biggest current hurdle seems to be convincing users, analysts and press that the newly combined company can maintain all three product lines and at the same time develop new technology.

"Im going to try and persuade you that we can do both," said Ellison, at the companys Redwood Shores, Calif., headquarters. "We are very large, with 50,000 employees. We can do both. We can develop three lines while simultaneously developing a new suite. We can do it. We have enough people and enough resources."

Ellison also said Oracle would continue to support PeopleSoft and JDE users underlying infrastructures, including technology from IBM, Microsoft Corp. and BEA Systems Inc., until 2013. Because it did not have its own database and application server technology, PeopleSoft wrote an abstraction layer to its applications that supports Oracles and IBMs database, as well as Oracles and BEAs application server.

/zimages/3/28571.gifSources say Oracle executives are preparing to implement a 2 percent increase in annual maintenance fees for PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards customers. Click here to read more.

Users will, however, eventually have to look at migration, according to Ellison.

"We are not asking anyone to stay frozen [on their current infrastructure]," he said. "But we expect people to at some point between now and 2013—sometime before that—to upgrade to Project Fusion."

It was not clear from Tuesdays conference what the Fusion architecture will consist of.

Next page: Continued Support.