Oracle's Fusion Apps to finally debut in Q1 2011

Oracle has spent more than five years developing the next-generation suite

The first release of Oracle's long-awaited, next-generation Fusion Applications will be generally available in the first quarter of 2011, CEO Larry Ellison said during a keynote address at the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on Sunday.

"We knew we had to do a next-generation bringing together the best features of PeopleSoft, E-business suite, and Siebel," he said. "More than five years later, we're finally there. It was an enormous amount of work. ... It has been, and continues to be, an enormous engineering effort."

[ Also on InfoWorld: There are Fusion Apps questions Oracle still needs to answer. | Discover what's new in business applications with InfoWorld's Technology: Applications newsletter and Killer Apps blog. ]

Oracle had to re-implement those features "on top of a modern middleware infrastructure," namely Oracle's own Fusion Middleware, Ellison said.

There are some 10,000 unique business processes in the suite, and 100 different products will be available simultaneously at the general release, he said. "We've never done that before, and I hope we never do it again."

Oracle "didn't go into a cave" while developing the software, according to Ellison. It performed ample testing with customers along the way to ensure satisfaction with the user interface, he said.

The software "doesn't look a lot like E-Business Suite, it doesn't look a lot like SAP. It's a modern interface."

The applications are available on-premises or on-demand from Oracle, he said. "You decide." Customers can start running the software on-demand and easily move them in-house if they choose, according to Ellison.

Ellison indicated that Oracle has no intentions of pushing customers on older software products to switch to Fusion.

"We think for most customers, the right thing to do is see how these early deployments go. … You can go to Fusion at a time of your choosing. You know better about how to deploy your IT resources."

A series of additional sessions on Fusion Applications are set for OpenWorld, which continues through Thursday.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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