Oracle releases content, records management tools

Oracle Corp. is making content and records management tools available to users of its database in a bid to gain share in the base-level content management software market.

Released Wednesday, Content Database (Content DB) and Records Database (Records DB) are optional add-ons to Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition. The tools are designed to help Oracle customers and partners securely manage unstructured content such as Microsoft Corp. Office documents, PDF (portable document format) files, document images and graphics.

Oracle first announced the two offerings in June, positioning them as part of the company’s plan to bring content management to the masses. Using the tools, users can capture, classify, retain and then get rid of content based on internal corporate policies.

Content DB allows organizations to consolidate their unstructured content into an Oracle Database repository, while Records DB manages the storage and disposal of content.

On a Tuesday conference call to discuss Oracle’s first-quarter fiscal 2007 financial results, Charles Phillips, company co-president, singled out Content DB and Records DB as future revenue generators for Oracle.

Oracle doesn’t view Content DB and Records DB as replacements for enterprise content management (ECM) software from the likes of EMC Corp.’s Documentum, FileNet Corp., IBM Corp., Interwoven Inc. and Open Text Corp. Instead, Oracle has positioned its tools as providing more basic functionality, while the traditional ECM companies focus on offering more sophisticated capabilities.

However, moves by Oracle and Microsoft to enter the lower levels of the content management market are one of the factors leading to consolidation in the ECM market. Last month, IBM announced a bid to acquire FileNet for US$1.6 billion, while Open Text moved in on ECM rival Hummingbird making a $489 million offer for the company. With Open Text publicly supporting the June unveiling of Content DB and Records DB and increasing its closeness to Oracle, some analysts are predicting the database and applications vendor may end up acquiring Open Text for its ECM expertise.

Users can download Content DB and Records DB from Oracle’s Web site. Both tools are priced at $50,000 per processor. The two products run on most Oracle Database platforms including Linux, Hewlett-Packard Co.’s HP-UX, Sun Microsystems Inc.’s Solaris and IBM’s AIX5L. There’s also a client version of Content DB which runs on Microsoft’s Windows.

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