Oracle readies integration splash

Oracle Corp. at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco the week of Dec. 5 plans to unveil Oracle Integration, a product that combines the company’s application server with several other technologies for integration and enablement of service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

Featured in the integration package will be support of multiple standards-based technologies, including Web services, BPEL (Business Process Execution Language), EDI, RosettaNet, ebXML (electronic business XML), HIPAA, and HL7 (Health Level 7), said Amlan Debnath, Oracle vice-president of server technologies. B2B support and data integration will be key functions of the product. BAM (business activity monitoring) will be provided via a console that visualizes what is going on with the architecture, Debnath said.

Oracle with the package is attempting to provide SOA technologies as a successor to EAI, which focused on messaging and message brokering, said Debnath. “EAI is giving way to SOA-based integration,” he said.

Looking to compete against offerings such as BEA Systems Inc.’s WebLogic Platform and IBM Corp.’s WebSphere, Oracle believes it is offering a more complete standards-based product that does not rely on any proprietary translations at the core, according to Debnath. BPEL-based transactions, for example, would not be stored internally in a proprietary manner but in exact, BPEL semantics, he said.

“We’re using standard formats” to prevent any loss of information, said Debnath.

EDI-based communications in Oracle Integration will be offered both over the Internet and value-added networks, Debnath said.

Analysts at ZapThink were pleased that Oracle is focusing on integration but wondered whether the company is actually offering anything different from what already is on the market. They also questioned whether Oracle could keep up with IBM and BEA.

“They keep updating their marketing to sort of talk about what they want to be, but comparing them with what IBM and BEA are doing, I liken them to the five-year-old who tags behind the 10-year-old (and) who wants to play along but (is) just not up to the task,” said Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst at ZapThink LLC.

Oracle last week did not have details on pricing and availability of Oracle Integration. The product will run on Oracle-supported platforms such as Linux, Solaris, and Windows.

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