Oracle's Ellison Takes Aim at Microsoft, IBM

Loraine Lawson

So, I guess the big news today is that BEA sold out, literally, and Oracle now has itself a big slice of SOA pie for a sweet $8.5 billion.


As you know, BEA sells a BPM solution (BEA AquaLogic BPM Suite); an application integration platform (the Java-based BEA WebLogic Integration); plus other SOA-related technologies, such as an ESB (BEA AquaLogic Service Bus); a data services layer tool (AquaLogic Data Services Platform 3.0); a repository (BEA AquaLogic Registry Repository); and even a SOA governance tool (AquaLogic SOA Management).


You can see why Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison is thrilled to add that list to Oracle's offering. Not that Oracle wasn't offering SOA-related solutions, but as this Intelligent Enterprise article notes, it's been a struggle. Analysts are predicting that BEA's technology will give Oracle's Fusion products a much-needed technology boost.


But word on the street is that this is also significantly about buying customers. "The integration market has been headed towards a commodity market for years now. This is a consolidation play and Oracle is buying a customer base," Jim Sinur, chief strategy officer at Global 360, wrote on his blog. The Intelligent Enterprise article points out that the deal brings in some big-name BEA clients, including Pfizer, Airbus and Halliburton.


At this point, the impact on BEA and Oracle customers is mostly guess work, and I'm sure you'll run across plenty of that without me. As is common after acquisitions, Oracle is currently assuring everyone that it doesn't plan to discontinue any BEA products, though the Intelligent Enterprise article does tack on the admonition that BEA customers "will be able to use their BEA software in a standalone fashion or as an integrated piece of Oracle's middleware suite."


Obviously, there are plans for integration. No big shocker there.


CIO.com published the best article devoted to the question of how it might affect BEA and Oracle customers. Again, it's guess work, but the the most significant effect is expected to be on those who use BEA's portal and WebLogic products.


In skimming the coverage, I was bemused by an Ellison remark alluded to on Sys-Con's coverage of the acquisition. The article noted that Ellison "cast Oracle-BEA combination as a stronger Java/SOA alternative to Microsoft and .NET."


Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but it looks to me as if Ellison managed in one quick comment to both dis his competitors and imply Microsoft doesn't offer a SOA solution. I'm starting to see why Microsoft sometimes gets a big grumpy about defending its work with SOA.


In fact, IT Business Edge just published an interview with Microsoft's Director of Product Management in the Connected Systems Division, Burley Kawasaki, in which Kawasaki explains how Microsoft's approach to SOA differs from IBM and other competitors, and why modeling is such an important component to Oslo. He also takes issue with those who claim Microsoft's Oslo isn't standards-based and so, isn't a good SOA option.

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