Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oracle Fusion Strategy Briefing

Well... two hours later, and what did we learn? We learn that Oracle is 'half way there', but not much more.

For those of you who didn't hear about this, Oracle was in San Francisco at the City Hall on the 18th giving an update on their progress with Project Fusion (although we aren't supposed to say 'project' any more). There are several places you can read about this including here.

Is it just me, or is everybody just waiting to hear if they are going to support a database other than just Oracle? We know that Fusion is based on open standards. We know that it is based on SOA and tied together with BPEL. We heard all of that at OpenWorld. Through all of the marketing, here is what I took away:
  • Oracle plans on having something to deliver by 2008, at which point 80% of their customers would be able to upgrade. They didn't, however, go into detail about what makes up the 20% that won't.

  • "Half way done" really just means that Oracle has defined what the Fusion architecture looks like (Fusion App Server, BPEL, J-Developer, etc. - nothing we didn't hear at OracleWorld) and that the requirements are complete. Apparently this is the 'hardest part'. Personally I think pulling it all off by 2008 is going to be the hardest part.

  • Oracle will be using the eBusiness Suite code and data model as the starting point for Fusion. Since 60% of the eBusiness Suite is already Java, this can be reused and cut the development time required. So much for your PeopleCode and PeopleTools skills.

  • Oracle mentioned that customers could put themselves in a better position to upgrade to Fusion by exploring the functionality offered in the current releases of PeopleSoft, and start replacing their customizations with the delivered functionality. This seems to imply that little or no tools will be provided to migrate customizations from PeopleSoft to Fusion. While I am not an Oracle Apps guy by any means, my understanding is that they have never been very customization friendly... at least not that the level that PeopleSoft was.

They say they are going to have an upgrade path from PeopleSoft to Oracle, but what can they really do other than provide you a Vanilla PS to Vanilla Fusion data conversion script? Sure... if they see that 90% of the customers are adding a particular feature, they might included that in Fusion, but that isn't exactly an 'upgrade path'.

As for the whole database question... I will go on record as guessing that they will support Oracle and DB2... not SQL Server.