Oracle Database to Get a Dust Up in 11g

Oracle is heading to New York to formally
introduce 11g, the company’s first major database refresh since the launch
of 10g nearly four years ago.

Forrester Research analyst Noel Yuhanna said
11g, which will be unveiled at a event in the city Wednesday, is an
extension of Oracle’s drive to boost availability, performance, security and
manageability in its popular data-serving product.

11g is designed to help Oracle extend its lead as the dominant database
software provider. IDC said Oracle
held 44 percent of the relational database management systems (RDBMS)
market. IBM commanded 21 percent of the market while
placed third with 18.6 percent.

Yuhanna said 11g, whose beta the company introduced at Oracle OpenWorld in October, will include more self-tuning
capabilities for SQL statements and applications as well as new advisors for
partitioning, space management and buffer management.

Manageability and automation are also important for Oracle because its database has traditionally been considered the most
complex product in the industry, the analyst remarked to

“With 10g, that was changed, and with 11g, we continue to see further
enhancements. Although, SQL Server continues to still have
the advantage over Oracle when it comes to manageability and ease-of-use,
the gap has further narrowed with 11g.”

Accordingly, expect storage management and online patching
as big steps forward in 11g. Oracle also added SecureFiles, which
improves the performance, compression, encryption and management of files
and other types of unstructured data.

While Oracle’s database has long been the moneymaker for the Redwood
Shores, Calif., vendor, the company has come to rely on applications and
other middleware pieces, acquired largely through various and sundry

As recently as the company’s fourth quarter conference call, Oracle
officials pledged to continue down that path to focus on “vertical

Cowen and Company said in a research note that it has compiled a list
of 48 application vendors from around the world with annual sales between
$50 million and $1 billion that might appeal to the software giant, which is
trying to fend off competition from SAP , Microsoft, IBM and
others on many fronts.

Cowen securities analyst Peter Goldmacher said targets are most likely to
come in financial services and communications fields and comprise two
segments: those that represent incremental breadth within existing Oracle
verticals and those that represent functionality overlap and an installed

Vendors on the list include mobile communications vendor Openwave Systems
Inc. , supply chain management provider i2 Technologies
customer relationship management enabler Chordiant
Software .

“While many names on this list are in verticals where Oracle already has
depth, acquiring many of these entities could offer additional breadth
and/or better account control,” Goldmacher said.

Despite some speculation, the analyst said Business Objects , Cognos
, and BEA Systems are unlikely merger targets for Oracle due to functional overlap in their products.

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