Oracle outlines Fusion plans

Oracle outlines Fusion plans

Fusion Middleware 11g will contain support for "Enterprise 2.0" technologies

At its annual OpenWorld event in San Francisco, Oracle offered a preview of the next version of its Fusion middleware platform – while keeping a low profile on its plans for a unified best-of-breed enterprise applications product under the same branding.

During his keynote, Thomas Kurian, senior vice president for Oracle Server Technologies, skimmed through a long list of new capabilities in the next release, including enhanced data visualisation and dynamic data processing in the firm's Business Intelligence suite; scenario-based modeling for the Hyperion planning tool; and support for human-oriented processes in BPEL Process Manager.

Fusion Middleware 11g will also feature support for "Enterprise 2.0" technologies, Kurian said. "Oracle's Enterprise 2.0 vision is bringing capabilities users are familiar with around wikis, blogs and discussion forums to enterprise applications using a standards-based model," he explained.

A key feature of this vision is the Oracle WebCenter Suite. This includes a Composer tool that supports customisation of user application interfaces and policies; and a Spaces module, which supports online collaboration.

Of the multitude of new capabilities promised, Rebecca Wettemann, vice president at analyst Nucleus Research, said Composer had a lot of potential. " It's about letting individual users have more power to customise their environments," she explained. "Through a browser-based tool, users can change the way they view information from enterprise applications. The closest parallel is the admin console of an on-demand CRM service such as"

However, Ronan Miles, head of the UK Oracle User Group, said that the next version "was 10g moved on a bit – there's not much there".

While Fusion Middleware was a big topic at the show, less was said about Oracle's Fusion application plans. During an executive press panel, Chuck Roswat, executive vice-president of product development at Oracle, would only say that there had been "no changes" to the plans, and that the first releases were still due to ship during 2008.