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Oracle updates business-management tools

Oracle has released a new version of its business-management applications, introducing financial reporting capabilities and a host of specialized features for more than 20 industries, the company said Thursday. For instance, E-business Suite 11i9 includes tools for managing electronic signatures and securing audit trails. These tools could help pharmaceutical and consumer goods companies comply with government regulations, Oracle said. In addition, the updated version of its accounting system is designed to give executives a better view of corporate finances. These features are designed to give publicly held companies tools to comply with new government regulations set up in the wake of recent corporate accounting scandals, Oracle added.

Oracle, the world's largest database software company, is in the midst of a hostile attempt to acquire applications rival PeopleSoft. Sales of Oracle applications, which run atop its database systems, have slipped in recent years. Oracle remains second fiddle in the market to German competitor SAP.