Reports: Oracle planning more online software

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters say Oracle is developing new online software products in what could signal a shift in focus from traditional software to software as a service.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources and a document it reviewed, reports that Oracle is developing a set of online software offerings--seven new products, to be exact--in what could signal a shift in focus from traditional software to software as a service.

Reuters later confirmed the Journal report, also citing an unnamed source who was not authorized to publicly discuss the plan.

The online software is being developed to help customers "handle marketing and product management as well as a product targeted at the insurance industry," the Journal writes, citing the document. No word, however, on when the products will be available or much else in the way of details.

The Journal's sources had reportedly expected Oracle to talk about the new software at an event next week, but they changed their tune and now say an announcement will take place at a later date.

Reuters reports that the Internet-based programs would help businesses manage human resources functions, including employee recruitment. It also says Oracle is expanding its customer relationship management or CRM software, which competes with the likes of's SaaS programs.

Oracle last month bought Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion, and industry watchers have predicted Sun's assets will give Oracle more flexibility to adapt to cloud computing trends enabled by the Web and ever-improving bandwidth.

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