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Oracle updates J.D. Edwards compliance tools

Says move is proof that it will continue to support many of the technologies gained through its various acquisitions.

Oracle launched on Wednesday a new set of upgrades for the J.D. Edwards compliance software it absorbed via its buyout of PeopleSoft.

The database and enterprise-software maker said the update for its J.D. Edwards World package, labeled as A7.3 Service Pack 16, stands as proof that it will continue to support many of the technologies gained through its various acquisitions.

Oracle promised to maintain the compliance software and other J.D. Edwards products when it finalized its purchase of rival PeopleSoft in early 2005. PeopleSoft had acquired J.D. Edwards, a maker of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software, in 2003.

Among the upgrades offered in the update are new cash-flow reporting, auditing and ledger tools, all aimed at helping companies adhere to regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which calls for more stringent financial reporting practices.

Also added in the package is new self-service software, which promises to give companies a greater ability to let customers track issues such as order status on their own. Oracle said it has also improved tools used by companies to create personalized Web pages for customers and that the self-service technology has been integrated more tightly with other Oracle and J.D. Edwards ERP tools.

In addition, Oracle reported that it has extended its partnership with longtime database rival IBM in order to let companies improve their installations of J.D. Edwards applications on IBM's eServer iSeries systems. Oracle also said it would continue to work with IBM to help customers running J.D. Edwards applications on the IT giant's databases.

"If you look at iSeries, this isn't an area where Oracle has had a large presence traditionally, so there's a recognition that these customers need for us to work with IBM," said John Schiff, general manager of Oracle's J.D. Edwards World organization. "We also want to be there for customers to support them when and if they want to move over to new products, and will provide a direct upgrade path for these organizations."

Schiff said Oracle would detail that upgrade plan as part of its Project Fusion effort, which is aimed at melding together many of the different software applications Oracle has obtained via its acquisitions.

"We're looking at how we can deliver on the combined strength of the company, products, (and) industry and technology expertise involved in Project Fusion," Schiff said. "Oracle is of course looking to combine those skills to deliver future products, but this release is an example of how we are also looking at existing products and how we can improve on those today."