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Analysis: Despite official announcement, few details available about Oracle 11g

By China Martens
July 18, 2007 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - While last week featured the official unveiling of Oracle Corp.'s 11g database and a look at the system's new features, information about pricing and availability was pretty thin. All the vendor would confirm is that the Linux version of 11g will ship this quarter, probably in August.

"It's our intention to do a pricing announcement closer to the release date," said Chuck Rozwat, executive vice president of server technologies at Oracle. "It's just a matter of weeks before we make that announcement."

He was speaking during a question-and-answer session following a more than two-hour 11g launch event in New York.

Oracle wouldn't comment on when 11g would be available for other operating systems, including Microsoft Corp.'s Windows.

What also remained unclear was which of the 400 features on display would end up being part of 11g -- and will therefore be free to customers upgrading from previous versions of the database -- and which ones Oracle will identify as options and charge users for. Rozwat said he couldn't make that call last week, but he did say that information would also be forthcoming next month.

Despite the lack of clarity on some fronts, customers earlier said they expect to quickly upgrade to the new release. Earlier during the launch event, Oracle President Charles Phillips tried to put the 11g release in context.

Oracle is currently celebrating its 30th year in business since beginning life as Software Development Laboratories, later Relational Software, a start-up working on building a relational database.

Since that time, the company has expanded, often through acquisition, into providing a wide range of other applications, notably middleware and back-office systems. Databases remain an important source of revenue for the vendor and also provide a 275,000-strong customer base into which it can try to sell its other products.

The name "Oracle" originally came from the code name for a project the start-up was working on for the CIA, said Phillips, a relative newcomer to the company, joining Oracle in 2003. He recalled an anecdote he'd been told by Larry Ellison, Oracle's co-founder and CEO. The start-up had expanded to two offices but had no way to run cabling for its servers between the two rooms. It appeared an intractable problem, but Ellison picked up a hammer and banged a hole in the wall, resolving the issue. "That's why we're Oracle today -- and he still carries that hammer around," Phillips quipped.

Customers' data needs are highly diverse, and Oracle is trying to cater to all of those different requirements, Phillips said. He drew a comparison to modes of

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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