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
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
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.