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‘Stickier Than a Roach Motel’

The Register’s Timothy Prickett Morgan scoops what is some of the best (and latest) Oracle Fusion information I’ve seen. Here he is with the overview of the modern-day Fusion, what it is, and how it’s built:

Ellison started off talking about the Fusion apps, a reworking from the ground up of all the business logic embodied in the Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel, JD Edwards, and other applications that the software giant has either built or acquired in the past 15 years. The plan, said Ellison, was to get these Fusion applications out the door in four years, but it took six years. The Fusion suite is written in Java and uses BPEL as a means of linking the apps to outside applications. It includes more than 100 modules encompassing financial, human capital, supply chain, and project portfolio management as well as procurement and governance and compliance apps.

For our more visually-inclined readers:

(Click to enlarge)

But the most interesting aspect of this latest volley of Fusion information is Larry Ellison’s edgy, almost pugnacious presentation of the what the Fusion-powered Oracle ‘cloud’ is, especially as it relates to proprietary clouds, like, he says, those powering rival platform Salesforce.com. For those who missed the drama, note that a year ago, Benioff tweeted, during an OpenWorld keynote, “Beware of false clouds.”

Ellison didn’t pass on the opportunity this year to swipe at Benioff’s comment.

“That is such good advice. I could not have said it better myself,” Ellison sneered, rattling off a list of differences between the Oracle Public Cloud and Salesforce.com. The Oracle cloud is built on “standards,” by which Ellison meant Java, BPEL, SQL, SOA, Groovy, Web services, and so on, while Salesforce.com is a proprietary cloud platform with proprietary applications, with its APEX language, the Heroku platform cloud, and extensions like Force.com, Appforce, Siteforce, and vmforce.

By contrast, the Oracle cloud runs glatt kosher Java and supports Oracle’s database and Fusion middleware, which means you can run your applications on premise, in the Oracle Public Cloud, or even Amazon’s EC2 cloud. Salesforce.com’s applications, said Ellison, run only on its own cloud.

“It’s kind of the ultimate vendor lock-in,” said Ellison, winding the crowd up. “You can check in, but you can’t check out. It’s stickier than a roach motel.” He paused for a second and then added: “It’s like an airplane you fly into the cloud and you never come out.”

Ellison also took a few swings at Salesforce.com’s multitenancy model, which, he says, was a good idea 15 years ago, when people had no other options. Today, that’s no longer the case.

Fusion is just taking shape for many people, and it’s becoming clearer that it’s a cloud-powered, elastic layer that will use BPEL and other web services to connect your existing applications and data stores. It’s a major shift for Oracle, but one that I admire — the company couldn’t evolve without it.  Is it formidable? Of course it is — it’s Oracle, after all. And how can you not admire an enterprise company who communicates so boldly and plainly?

What are your thoughts? Is Fusion what you thought it would be?  More? Less? Still need a better understanding of what it is and where it will fit into your business?

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