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Oracle prepares to enter PaaS wars

Oracle's platform as a service strategy may take center stage at an event with CEO Larry Ellison next week

By Chris Kanaracus
May 29, 2012 08:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - Oracle may lay out how it plans to become a player in the burgeoning PaaS (platform as a service) market next week during a webcast event featuring CEO Larry Ellison and co-president Mark Hurd.

The company first announced Oracle Public Cloud at the OpenWorld conference in October. The Public Cloud header encompasses Oracle applications delivered as SaaS (software as a service) as well as PaaS features, including the Java Cloud Service and Database Cloud Service.

Oracle already announced the availability of Fusion HCM (human capital management) and CRM (customer relationship management) via the Public Cloud, but so far the PaaS components have remained available only on a "preview availability" basis. It's possible that Ellison and Hurd will declare those services are generally available.

Company spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined to provide more details on the announcements planned for the event, which will also include discussion of "game-changing advances in Oracle Support."

Many details about the PaaS services have already been made available on Oracle's website, meaning that the interest in next week's event may center on specifics about strategy, pricing and delivery dates.

Java Cloud Service allows developers to create Java Enterprise Edition-based applications using standards such as JSP, JSF, JPA and JAX-WS, according to the Public Cloud website. It's also possible to use third-party Java frameworks such as Hibernate and Spring. In addition, a range of Java IDEs (integrated development environments) are supported.

Overall, the service isn't dependent on a particular tool as long as the application being built uses supported features, but developers will gain advantages from various productivity tools Oracle has developed, according to a FAQ document.

Meanwhile, the Database Cloud Service uses version 11g Release 2 of the Oracle database, with high availability and data encryption provided.

Access can come "directly from the cloud" via Oracle Application Express, through Oracle Java Cloud Service applications using JDBC, and from any other development platform that supports REST (representational state transfer) Web services, according to Oracle's site.

Oracle Public Cloud is run on top of Oracle's Exadata and Exalogic appliances, which combine its software with a specialized arrangement of hardware and networking equipment. This approach differs from other cloud platforms, which tend to run large farms of commodity servers.

Ellison and Hurd may also tout Public Cloud's advanced security and system management features as advantages over the competition.

Subscriptions will be available globally but at launch, there will only be data centers in the U.S., according to a FAQ document. Oracle will add centers in Europe and Asia Pacific according to demand, it adds.

Oracle plans to follow common practices in how it charges for the platform services, with pricing slotted into multiple tiers and made "elastic for usage growth and shrinkage."

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