The last time we asked you to cast your vote for one of these three candidates, a clear winner did not emerge: some liked Toad because of its speed, some preferred SQL Developer because of its price and others didn’t see much difference between the three.
But users may now have many new reasons to choose Toad.
In what Quest VP Larry Humphries calls “one of Quest’s biggest and most exciting releases of Toad for Oracle in ten years,” Quest software announced that it expects to release Toad for Oracle 10 this October. According to Quest’s press release, many of the features in the upcoming version were inspired by suggestions from users in the Toad community.
So, what can you expect in Toad for Oracle 10?
Quest has announced Toad enhancements in development, administration, platform and education. Some specific new features include editing enhancements, a schema ER diagram reporting window and greater manageability and automation abilities.
In his blog post “Sneak Peak at Toad v10,” Quest solution architect Jeff Smith takes an even closer look at three of the new features, namely full Unicode support, new data grids and the new ER diagrammer. Smith says one of the most noticeable changes for users will be the data grids, which has a new interface and the ability to auto-group by specific columns.
The good news is users don’t have to wait until this fall to get their hands on the new version. Quest is offering a Toad for Oracle beta program so users can get hands-on experience with the tool and offer feedback before it’s released.
If you’re an Oracle SQL Developer or PL/SQL Developer user, will these enhancements make you reconsider Toad? When you’re purchasing an editing and debugging tool, which is more important to you – price or functionality? And if you’ve already joined this beta program, let us know what you think of it so far?]]>
The company’s quarterly financial reports over the past year have pleased Wall St. analysts, thanks largely to its perpetually steady maintenance revenues. Company officials have also pointed out over the past month or two pockets of growth in its broad product portfolio including its Exadata Database Machine and Fusion Middleware offerings. Licenses of its bread and butter database products however, have been flat to slightly down.
But most recently there are signs that maybe this wicked and seemingly unending recession is taking a toll on the folks in Redwood Shores.
In its financial statement last month for the quarter ending May 31, Oracle took a half step back. The company reported a net profit of $1.9 billion which is down 7% from the same quarter a year ago, while revenues tumbled 5.2% to $6.9 billion. But even this news wasn’t received so badly by Wall St. analysts who were expecting Oracle to lose even more.
In a note of caution however, Peter Goldmacher, an analyst with Cowen & Co., wrote last month he believed “Oracle’s standalone margin profile is unsustainable, and the pending acquisition of Sun is going to be more challenging than the current valuation implies.”
Then Oracle announced it was cutting up to 1,000 jobs in Europe. It isn’t the 5,000 layoffs that Microsoft announced a while back, or the 9,000 people IBM has let go this year, but still an indication the company was looking for ways to tighten its belt. Again this news is not so bad, but it is no reason to break out the champagne either.
But then two weeks ago the company announced it was halting construction of a mammoth $313 million data center in West Jordan, Utah. The 200,000-sqaure-foot facility will store customers’ data and be dedicated to supporting the products and services of its on-demand division. Oracle officials recently said revenues from that division have been growing at an impressive 25% a year.
It’s logical to assume this building, which will serve as the model for other “green” facilities Oracle is planning, will be instrumental in helping Oracle launch whatever cloud computing strategies it has planned. And the company will pursue a cloud computing strategy, despite some ambiguity about that issue coming from Mr. Ellison from time to time. Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president, Oracle Fusion Middleware Products, made that clear speaking at the company’s Fusion Middleware 11g announcement earlier this month.
Oracle didn’t offer any specific reasons for halting construction nor did it say when it would resume the project. What made some people nervous, particularly those in the state of Utah where the data center was projected to bring some $500 million in new state revenues over a 12-year period, was that Oracle used the word “postpone” in its only official statement.
On top of sales of new software licenses being down, it could be the fact Oracle will be shelling out $5.6 billion very soon for Sun, which could be weighing on the company’s decision to halt construction.
While faring better than its enterprise archrivals, Oracle will need the economy to improve significantly if corporate customers are going to spend more on new software licenses in the second half of this year. Maybe Fusion Middleware 11g and its associated tools, announced July 1, will help coax more dollars out of those tightly closed wallets.]]>
What is Vaughan-Nichols basing his claims on?
He says that “Sun, Oracle and third-party sources are telling (him)” that OpenSolaris developers are worried about their futures after the acquisition, but he never gives any specific names or examples. While Vaughan-Nichols is entitled to his opinion, perhaps justifiably not many people are buying it.
So, what are some of the counter arguments? Other bloggers and those commenting on Vaughan-Nichols’ blog have had little difficulty coming up with a steady stream of them including:
Another reason for Oracle to hold on to OpenSolaris is stack selling. Oracle has made it clear, as recently as July 1 at its Fusion Middleware announcement, that it intends to do more selling of integrated hardware-software stacks, all the way from the chips to the disk. You can’t sell a bunch of Sun servers without the operating system that fits Oracle’s databases and middleware like a glove. It would like an Oreo cookie without the filling.
Similar speculation occurred a couple of months ago as people wondered what Oracle would do with Sun’s open source database MySQL. Like, MySQL, OpenSolaris is free and open to the community. Therefore, even if Oracle were to abandon it, OpenSolaris could live on, the question is what would that quality of life be? Vaughan-Nichols had this to say:
“What I’m very much afraid I see happening is that Oracle is going to let OpenSolaris and other non-core to Oracle Sun projects like MySQL and VirtualBox wither and die on the vine without corporate support.”
But would Oracle really do this to a system that already has such a strong customer base? Do you think there’s any chance that Vaughan-Nichols is right about the future of OpenSolaris? How successful do you think MySQL or OpenSolaris could still be without Oracle’s support? Would one be more successful than the other?]]>
The shiny new Fusion Middleware 11g was described last week by Oracle President Charles Phillips as a “convergence layer” that will glue together an integrated stack of Oracle products.
That stack would be comprised of the upcoming Fusion applications, (the design and function of which will be based on Fusion Middleware 11g), the company’s core database, and the refurbished series of development tools optimized to work with Fusion Middleware 11g including JDeveloper.
If Oracle could deliver a truly seamless applications stack that, as he said, “worked like an enterprise version of the iPod,” it would lift a significant technical and financial weight from the shoulders of IT.
“Vendors throwing stuff over the wall that you (IT shops) have to assemble is architecture by improvisation. Improvisation is good for jazz musicians but not so good for enterprise architectures,” Phillips said.
Wouldn’t it be a relief for already overworked IT shops to not serve as their own systems integrators for a change. They could actually spend that new-found time developing more innovative applications that take advantage of a solid software foundation.
Phillips added, although without much detail, that Oracle could further build on this integrated stack strategy once it officially gets its hands on Sun’s hardware servers. It was his hope, Phillips said, that Redwood Shores could spearhead an industry-wide movement back to selling integrated stacks.
This would not be a novel approach of course, just one brought back from the dead. One of Oracle-Sun’s chief rivals, IBM, successfully pioneered the concept of selling integrated hardware-software stacks to corporate customers decades ago. But for Oracle to successfully pursue this back-to-the-future strategy itself, never mind convince the likes of IBM, SAP and others to follow them, it will take almost perfect technical execution and a nifty piece of marketing to get people excited about the idea.
Given the tough economic times and the aforementioned over burdened IT staffs, this is not impossible. We could see an era of Stack Wars emerge. All we need now to make this a reality is for IBM, Hewlett-Packard or even Dell to buy just one or two major enterprise vendors like SAP. And that’s not an impossibility over the short term either.
Another Oracle executive, Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president, Oracle Fusion Middleware Products, said rather clearly at last week’s announcements that Oracle will provide cloud and software-as-a-service-based solutions. Yes, you read that right. Oracle really is recognizing the market’s growing interest in these technologies.
“There is a lot of focus around SaaS and the cloud the last six months. Customers want to deliver their IT systems as services,” Rizvi said, in explaining some of the cloud capabilities of the new products. “A lot of customers want to do that internally and not necessarily through a public cloud.”
So pay no attention to the vague statements of that billionaire chairman behind the curtain. Cloud computing will be part and parcel of Oracle’s next generation strategies.
Best line at last week’s Fusion Middleware announcement had to go to Oracle President Charles Phillips. Coming on stage to kick off the announcement in Washington, D.C., fully aware he was not all that far from another President of African-American decent who dresses as nattily as he, Phillips said: “I know what you are thinking, but I am not him.”]]>
So has Ellison had a change of heart?
A year later, it looks that way. Oracle announced today SaaS for ISVs, a new pricing model that allows Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to pay for its Oracle SaaS platform by the month rather than make an upfront investment. This also allows ISVs to adjust their SaaS offerings to meet customer demand, according to Oracle.
Analyst China Martens calls this new licensing option part of the “continued gradual easing of Oracle into the SaaS arena,” according to the IDG’s Chris Kanaracus in this article.
Oracle has over 10,000 partners that are active ISVs in its partner program, said Judson Althoff, senior vice president, worldwide alliances and channels, in his video post on the Oracle site. Althoff says that while Oracle has mostly serviced the “higher end of the SaaS market,” the new model will “allow us to reach a much broader base of ISVs, and better cater to you, the partner who wants to roll out a SaaS offering.”
Althoff also said the monthly cost structure will help the ISV “better manage cash flow” and “only pay for just the actual elements for the Oracle platform that (it) used in the previous month.”
Oracle has also begun promoting SaaS for ISVs on its SaaS Knowledge Zone and a new ISV and SaaS blog by Oracle’s Kevin O’Brien, Senior Director of ISV and SaaS Strategy for Oracle’s Worldwide Alliances and Channels organization. According to an Oracle data sheet, the new pricing model will apply to the Oracle SaaS Platform from the Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle VM.
Oracle isn’t the only vendor to have made recent on-demand developments. SAP recently released its latest SaaS strategy, which includes on-demand applications for Business Suite customers that use a multi-tenant architecture rather than an isolated tenant model.
Where do you think Oracle stands in the SaaS market? Will this latest SaaS for ISVs offer help Oracle? Or, as some are saying, despite the new pricing model, is Oracle software just too expensive in the first place?]]>