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Oracle lifts curtain on Fusion Middleware 11g

The company's top executive for its middleware efforts gives people at Oracle OpenWorld a peek at its Fusion 11g beta.

Fusion, or confusion?

For Niranjan Reddy, a technical lead at Office Depot, the answer was Fusion, with less confusion.

That was Reddy's assessment, after listening to Thomas Kurian, top executive on Oracle's Fusion middleware efforts, during his keynote speech Tuesday at Oracle OpenWorld on the company's Fusion Middleware 11g beta.

"We wanted to see how much better it would be to use Fusion 11g with E-Business (Suite) 12," Reddy said. "Right now, we're using many different adapters outside of Fusion Middleware, but with Fusion 11g and E-Business 12 we could bring it all in--we could develop and deploy within E-Business 12."

And for John Doe consumer perusing the isles or Web site at Office Depot, Reddy said it will help get an improved picture of the inventory carried on the shelves.

Kurian, taking the stage at Oracle OpenWorld, touted the new features, from offering a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), enterprise 2.0 functionality and grid computing via a single platform.

He added the new features will also include greater security, such as encryption and authentication, as well as the ability to develop richer enterprise applications via Oracle's Applications Development Framework.

Fusion Middleware 11g, which is slated for delivery next year, may offer additional bells and whistles, but it's debatable how many customers will switch over from their current Oracle installations.

Although Fusion Middleware will feature a PeopleSoft user interface, the actual PeopleSoft code will not be baked in. A number of Oracle's PeopleSoft customers use middleware from other vendors, such as BEA Systems--a company Oracle recently tried to acquire but was rebuffed.

"It won't be a smooth transition for PeopleSoft customers. It's not as simple as an upgrade. It will be equivalent to a re-implementation," said Lee Geishecker, enterprise strategies vice president for AMR Research.

Because Oracle is not forcing customers of the companies it acquires to adopt its Fusion Middleware, or Fusion applications once the software is released, it will need to woo them over with the technology Fusion offers, Geishecker said.

And Kurian attempted to do just that Tuesday.