Oracle talks up Fusion enterprise application suite

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Oracle talks up Fusion enterprise application suite

Architecture overhaul to better adapt to next generation of internet workers.

Oracle's forthcoming Fusion suite of enterprise applications will operate in the more in the background and hidden from the end user. This allows enterprise software to more closely match user expectations instead of forcing them to adjust to business processes, the company said in a presentation at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

In a demonstration at the event, the company showed off a desktop gadget or sidebar that presentes users with their tasks and guides them through processes. But the actual transactions take place in familiar applications such as text editors, Microsoft Outlook and online services.

"There is still an enterprise busines process that is underlying this entire transaction," said Oracle's John Wookey who heads up the company's enterprise application strategy group.

"But there is a next generation of application expectations that users are going to have about how they get their work done."

Slated for release in 2008, Oracle's Fusion enterprise application suite is designed to deliver next generation technology as well as offer a single replacements for Oracle's current Ebusiness Suite, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft and Siebel Systems products.

Building the new software from the ground up will allow Oracle to deliver new features that users expect from today's internet age such as real time collaboration, integrated search across enterprise systems and multi tasking.

"We have categories of users coming into the workforce now for whom the internet isn't something new," explained Wookey.

"They think about working through tools that were always developed on their desktops; they are expecting more and more that enterprises are going to support that approach for how they work."

While it is possible to retrofit existing software to deliver some of the desired features, Oracle has dismissed that option. Wookey likened the Fusion project to the Wikipedia user generated online encyclopedia where the alternative would be the online version of Encyclopedia Britannica.

Wookey touted that Oracle's Fusion project based open standards such as service oriented architectures and uses the company's next generation of middleware applications.

The company meanwhile reaffirmed its commitment to current users by stressing that it will remain supporting and building out the Oracle Ebusiness Suite, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft and Siebel applications that the company acquired over the past years.

When Oracle first unveiled the Fusion suite in 2005, the company said that it was planning to end support for its existing applications by 2013. The software developer last April however promised to indefinitely extend support.

"We allow you as a customer to chose how, when and if its appropriate to move to that next generation technology and not feel that you have to make a move, simply because you're not seeing the kind of investment in your current product lines to make your company more successful," said Wookey.

"What is very important to us is to ensure that in the end the decisions you make are based on your business objectives, not on a timeline that a vendor puts in front of you."
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