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Oracle Launches Cloud Platform for CRM, HR

By Sean Michael Kerner     Feedback

Larry Ellison blasts Salesforce.com as a 'roach motel' cloud as new database, Java and Fusion Apps cloud debuts.

Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) is now a cloud vendor.

The Oracle Public Cloud was officially announced at OpenWorld, providing users with the opportunity to run Oracle Fusion Apps, Middleware, Database and Java on an Oracle managed and operated cloud infrastructure. Oracle is positioning the new services as a deployment option that enables portability and openness.

The Oracle Fusion cloud apps include CRM, HR and a new enterprise collaboration and networking service similar to Salesforce Chatter.

"The key difference is our cloud is based on industry standards and supports full interoperability with other clouds and your data center on-premise," Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said during an OpenWorld keynote.

Ellison stressed that by using industry standards, customer data and applications are portable. In contrast, Ellison berated Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) for not using industry standards in its cloud, further fueling a growing rivalry between Ellison and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

"Salesforce is the ultimate vendor lock-in, you can check in, but you can't check out," Ellison said. "I like to think of it as the roach motel of clouds."

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All of the Oracle public cloud's interoperability is built on top of Oracle's own engineered systems, including Exalogic and Exadata. In a technical keynote on Thursday, Amit Zavery, vice president of product management at Oracle, explained that the integration of Java and database services in the Oracle Public Cloud is also a key component. Zavery said that enterprise users know how difficult it can be to integrate component on premises and it's even harder in the cloud.

Zavery said the Oracle public cloud also has enterprise-grade isolation of data and resources and has the elastic ability to scale as needed. The separation of resources is built on top of virtualization technology that provides isolation and scalability.

The actual Database service is the same Oracle database that enterprises use on premises, and data can be moved from on premises to the cloud and back. The Java Cloud service is a Weblogic service that runs Java SE and EE apps. Additionally Zavery explained that common Java development environments including Eclipse and Netbeans will integrate with the Oracle Cloud for easy deployment of applications.

The new Oracle Cloud offerings are being met by some initial positive reviews, according to a research note today from analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research, who wrote, "Oracle is the only vendor that provides a comprehensive Suite of enterprise solutions in the cloud, which includes both the Application Services and Platform Services."

"Converged view is that Oracle will be able to capture the Large Enterprise customers and some of the Small and Medium Business customers; and this is going to hurt Salesforce.com revenues," Chowdhry wrote.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

This article was originally published on October 6, 2011
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