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Oracle's 'Tsunami' Is on the Way

Oracle is close to unveiling new Web services tools and a content management server as the cornerstone of its new information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy.

In a joint event touting its technology and applications in San Francisco next week, the company will work to instill the theme of "information" into the minds of some 20,000 registered attendees, said Bob Shimp, vice president of technology marketing at Oracle.

Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco combines the OracleWorld and Oracle AppsWorld shows in an attempt to show unity under ILM. The emerging strategy, already touted by EMC , IBM , HP and others, focuses on managing information from its inception to its disposal.

ILM is crucial at a time when government regulators are hawkishly watching businesses to make sure they are keeping records for specific lengths of time.

"We see the world changing from a focus on networks and business processes to more of a focus on building your application around your information," Shimp told internetnews.com. "We're going to be talking about our ILM vision and new technology support for that."

While Shimp refused to confirm it, Oracle officials have said the company will unveil Tsunami, the code name for its enterprise content management (ECM) server.

ECM is an integral part of ILM because it helps companies manage information on networks fraught with e-mail, media files and loads of other unstructured traffic. Tsunami is Oracle's answer to the glut of data that threatens to clog networks, and it will compete directly with ECM products from IBM and Microsoft.

"Content management is going to come to the forefront," Shimp said. "A number of the vendors, Microsoft most notably, have painted a vision of how you should do content management, but no one has been able to deliver on it and Oracle will be the first."

For example, the company has major new designs to broaden Web services support for its application server, said Vijay Tella, vice president and chief strategy officer of Oracle Application Server. Tella refused to provide specifics, but he said Oracle's model for grid computing will move into focus more than ever.

Tella did tell internetnews.com that customers in 2004 are looking for complete SOA portfolios and application platform suites.

Oracle officials previously said the show will be the launch platform for Oracle Integration, an update to the company's Data Hub strategy for synchronizing information in one consolidated view.

Integration includes Oracle's 10G Application Server, with improved support for Web services, BPEL , EDI and a host of other protocols. Like Microsoft, IBM and BEA, Oracle is looking to steer the industry away from classic enterprise application integration and toward service-oriented architecture (SOA) .

Distributed computing architectures that subscribe to the notion of reusing assets such as code, SOAs are the choice of future software platforms for customers who want to cut down on manual coding.

As for the conference, which will run from Dec. 6-9, Shimp said he anticipates it will be the largest ever for the company, which made a big splash when it introduced its 10g grid computing in 2003. Some 600 sessions are expected to convene.