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Oracle to Support IBM WebSphere with Project Fusion Apps
February 8, 2006
Mark Rittman

Oracle to Support IBM WebSphere with Project Fusion Apps: "A week ago, as IBMers in the iSeries Division were preparing, like myself, to head down to Orlando, Fla., for the COMMON iSeries user group meeting, other IBMers from Software Group were heading out to Silicon Valley to do a legal dance in advance of the OracleWorld user group meeting for Oracle customers, which was held last week as well. What came out of those meetings was an agreement by Oracle to support IBM's WebSphere application server on the forthcoming "Project Fusion" application suite, which will be a whole new software suite due in 2008 or so that will be upgradeable from current Oracle, JDE, and PeopleSoft suites (and probably Siebel and Retek as well).

You might be thinking, how did that happen? Well, there is a kind of détente between Oracle and IBM. Back in the old dot-com days, Oracle was predominantly sold on Sun and HP Unix servers and a bunch of other Unix iron by vendors who are not around any more. But by acquiring so many application vendors, Oracle's dominant server platforms in its customer base is--yup, you guessed it--IBM iron. Oracle is not interested in pleasing Big Blue one bit, but the word on the street is that plenty PeopleSoft, JDE, and now Siebel customers have been saying to Oracle that they have invested huge amounts of money in WebSphere and there is no way that they want to retool. And by their very nature, these customers want choice when it comes to database and middleware options. And that is why Oracle and IBM are setting up a joint development team to work to make this happen."

Certainly the most momentous news that came out of Open World last week was the rapprochement between IBM and Oracle and the subsequent deal to certify e-Business Suite and the forthcoming Fusion applications on IBM's middleware technology. This could well lead to a situation where Oracle support Fusion on a whole range of competitors middleware and databases, and you could even imagine a situation where WebSphere becomes the preferred application server over Oracle's Application Server 10g. All very interesting compared to a couple of years ago, when Oracle's aquisition of PeopleSoft was seen as a way of driving Oracle database and app server sales; I imagine Oracle's desire to lead the apps market - where it presumably sees the bulk of it's revenues in the future - means that it now needs to follow it's customers' requirements to support all the major databases and J2EE servers on the market, not just Oracle's, which is why there was all the talk last week about standards-compliance and "hot swappable" middleware components.


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