RealTime IT News

Oracle Factors in TimesTen

Oracle acquired data management provider TimesTen for an undisclosed sum to get its foot in the door at more financial services firms and telecommunications providers.

Privately held TimesTen makes database software for mid-tier applications, a caching infrastructure product and a transaction processing system. These products power real-time billing, stock trading and call centers.

But where TimesTen differs from Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and Sybase is that its memory storage procedures aren't centered around disk technologies, which can be a bit slow and cumbersome.

TimesTen uses memory as the primary storage location, replicating data to ensure continuous operation. TimesTen CEO Jim Groff said on a conference call that this approach helps process applications faster, allows them to handle massive loads of peak transactions better and boosts availability.

The relationship between Oracle and TimesTen is quite synergistic. Groff noted that while Oracle is built to scale from hundreds of gigabytes to tens of terabytes, housing corporate data purely on the back-end, TimesTen's Cache product can recall smaller subsets of data stored in Oracle 10g to the front for transaction processing.

This is crucial for real-time data retrieval needs. For example, a capital markets business can store millions of records on clients in Oracle's enterprise-scale database. But TimesTen can be used to bring chunks of records to the fore for speedy transactions.

Groff said TimesTen technology was designed for the "first and last 20 minutes of a day on Wall Street, which require massive loads of peak transactions."

Moreover, TimesTen's Cache only works with Oracle's database software at this time. Also, both Oracle's and TimesTen's software support industry standards, such as SQL, JDBC, ODBC, SNMP and XML.

Telcos and financial services firms have always required speedy data storage and retrieval. Now Oracle can provide that boost to customers and improve its deployment of its 10g application servers with the TimesTen technology.

TimesTen customers include Amdocs, Aspect Communications, Avaya, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, JP Morgan, Lucent, NEC, Nokia, Sprint and United Airlines.

Andrew Mendelsohn, senior vice president of Oracle database server technologies, said on the call that the purchase is a good complement to Oracle's database and should also bolster its Fusion Middleware line: TimesTen integrates well with enterprise service buses, applications servers and other applications stacks.

Mendelsohn said Oracle envisions scenarios where telco carriers could rely on a combination of TimesTen and Oracle technology to store and serve data for pre-paid services, such as phone cards.

Mendelsohn said he expects the majority of Mountain View, Calif.-based TimesTen's employees to join Oracle when the deal closes in July.