BOSTON -- Oracle tends to keep a tight lid on the specific announcements it will make each year at the OpenWorld conference prior to show time, but a newly released session catalog provides plenty of clues and fodder for speculation as to what's in store at the event, which runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 in San Francisco.
1. Cloud computing
OpenWorld will no doubt see plenty of updates and refresher courses on Oracle's recently launched Oracle Cloud, which runs the gamut from Fusion Applications delivered as SaaS (software as a service) to an on-demand database and Java application server.
It wasn't clear from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's presentation earlier this month whether all elements of Oracle Cloud are generally available, but any lingering questions on that front should be answered at OpenWorld.
Meanwhile, one OpenWorld session will feature a number of Oracle technical staffers sharing "lessons and best practices learned in the initial rollout" of the database service, which uses the vendor's flagship database with pay-as-you-go pricing.
It appears that Oracle is going to beef up the PaaS (platform as a service) elements of its cloud strategy as well. One talk will center on Oracle Developer Cloud Services, described as "a hosted environment for your application development infrastructure, including version management, build services, tasks and defects tracking, wikis, document storage, and more."
In addition, Oracle will make a cloud pitch of sorts to customers looking to upgrade their on-premises installations. A session will cover Oracle Consulting Cloud Environments, which give customers "access to virtualized Oracle Applications environments (including Oracle Fusion; Oracle E-Business Suite; and Oracle's PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel product lines) as well as Oracle Consulting tools and accelerators," according to the description. These tools will include "prebuilt conversions, interfaces, test scripts, project templates, product documentation, and business process maps," which can help speed up the upgrade process, it adds.
2. Engineered systems
Wall Street has been eyeing Oracle's hardware business closely since the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, which was completed in early 2010. Ellison and others have said repeatedly that the company is most interested in selling higher-margin "engineered systems" like the Exadata database machine and Exalogic application server, which combine its hardware and software for various computing workloads, and is reluctant to compete in the commodity server market.
Last year at OpenWorld, Oracle unveiled the Big Data Appliance and Exalytics machines.
The OpenWorld session catalog doesn't appear to spill the beans on any additional systems to be announced at the show, but Oracle plans to closely align Fusion Applications with Exadata and Exalogic. One session describes those products as the "ultimate platform" for deploying its next-generation Fusion Applications. Speculation has also swirled in the past that Oracle would eventually ship Fusion Applications pre-installed on its appliances; this session could reflect a step in that direction.