Oracle sets out content management road map

Oracle will update five CM apps and offer an ECM suite integrating three of those products

Building on its December acquisition of Stellent, Oracle on Wednesday began to flesh out its content management software strategy.

As the amount of content generated within businesses continues to grow rapidly, companies are looking for ways to handle that data, be it structured information held in databases or unstructured content such as documents, video and audio. That's why companies like Oracle and Microsoft are becoming more serious about content management and enhancing their own base-level software to encroach on more established offerings from EMC, IBM, and Open Text.

There's already been sizeable consolidation in the enterprise content management (ECM) space as signaled last year by Oracle's $440 million purchase of Stellent, IBM's $1.6 billion acquisition of FileNet, and the $489 million Open Text paid to buy rival Hummingbird.

Oracle has now integrated Stellent's technology into its existing content management software, which is part of its Fusion middleware family of products.

Over the next 12 months, Oracle plans to bring out new releases of its five content management applications and provide an ECM suite more tightly integrating three of those products -- its Universal Content Management, Universal Records Management, and Imaging and Process Management software. The suite will likely cost $150,000 per processor, according to Oracle.

Oracle's other two content management applications are Information Rights Management and Content Database. The company became more serious about content management in June 2006, previewing two optional add-ons to its Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition -- Content Database and Records Database -- to enable users to capture, classify, retain and get rid of unstructured content based on internal corporate policies. Oracle shipped the add-ons in September.

The database, applications and middleware vendor has singled out content management as one of five growth areas for its business along with security, business intelligence (BI), grid computing and enterprise search. On the BI front, Oracle has just completed its $3.3 billion purchase of Hyperion Solutions.