Oracle Stacks Up, Plugs in MetaSolv

Oracle  is shoring up its midsection.

The software maker used its Oracle OpenWorld customer conference in San Francisco today to reaffirm and shore up its Fusion middleware strategy for integrating its disparate application sets and infrastructure software.

Oracle led off its raft of announcements with a bid to acquire operations support system vendor MetaSolv  for $219.2 million.

MetaSolv offers communications service providers a comprehensive solution for service fulfillment operations, including provisioning, network inventory and activation.

The solutions support a host of services, including VoIP , IPTV , VPN , broadband and mobile services, as well as traditional voice and data services.

The acquisition, which is expected to close in late 2006 or early 2007, builds on the service delivery platform that Oracle announced in April.

Industry analyst Richard Ptak, of Ptak, Noel & Associates, said the deal will allow Oracle to provide enhanced mobility services to complement its data-centric applications.

“Oracle has recognized that the battle for systems management vendors is going to be about providing a comprehensive set of services for content, its management, its analysis, its acquisition and its distribution,” he told

Oracle is also pressing its size advantage by offering customers a variety of new software tools that play well with each other using a distributed computing framework known as service-oriented architecture .

For example, the new SOA Suite 10g Release 3 simplifies SOA deployment and installation thanks to a one-click install.

The software also features an enhanced Web services registry and Web services manager, allowing customers to access appropriate reusable services and speeds assembly of composite applications.

Oracle also introduced Oracle Developer Depot (ODD), a source code repository for Java and SOA application developers.

ODD, which runs on Oracle Application Server 10g, provides a library of application code that can be used to develop new applications.

Oracle said it is working with Adobe to help customers create visual displays within enterprise processes and data using Flash, HTML or Ajax-based components.

The company also introduced Oracle Accelerate, a set of prepackaged application bundles targeted at specific vertical markets.

The software, aimed at the lucrative small- and medium-sized business (SMB) market, includes a rapid implementation tool that captures responses to simple questions about specific business requirements and then automatically applies that information to the application implementation.

“Comprehensive software stacks enable large vendors like Oracle to compete more effectively and gain a larger share of the customer wallet,” noted Merrill Lynch analyst Kash Rangan in a note published this morning.

Software stacks, which include server software, systems management, database, middleware, tools and applications, have emerged as the basis of differentiation for large enterprise software companies.

Oracle, Microsoft , SAP , IBM , HP  and Sybase  are all pitching customers the idea that buying into their stacks will lower costs and reduce integration risks.

For Oracle, the stack begins and ends with Fusion.

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