Oracle releases first ECM product since buying Stellent

Oracle's ECM platform retains Stellent's ability to interact with third-party products while tightening integration with Oracle software

Less than two weeks after unveiling a road map for its enterprise content management (ECM) software, Oracle released the first of the revamped products laid out in that strategy.

Previously known as Stellent Universal Content Management, Oracle renamed the software Oracle Universal Content Management 10g Release 3, to reflect its status as a component of Oracle's Fusion middleware, and made it generally available on Monday. It's the first product Oracle has released since acquiring ECM vendor Stellent for approximately $440 million in December.

Oracle Universal Content Management acts as an ECM platform enabling users to capture, store, manage, locate, publish and retain unstructured content such as documents, video and audio. Oracle has retained the Stellent's software ability to interact with a variety of third-party products while tightening integration with its own Oracle software.

Users now have more choice about how they store their content, according to Michelle Huff, principal product manager for Oracle Content Management, who was formerly with Stellent.

Universal Content Management has a new file store provider architecture so users can opt for a variety of storage options for their content from Oracle, BMC Software, Fujitsu, and Network Appliance. At present, the Oracle 10g relational database is the only one available as an out-of-the-box option, but, depending on demand, Oracle may eventually provide the same functionality for third-party offerings, she said.

Oracle Universal Content Management also features integration with Microsoft's SharePoint Web content management software. Previously, Stellent offered a SharePoint add-on for another of its products, Unified Records Management.

Oracle has worked to improve the integration between Universal Content Management and its own Oracle Portal Server and Oracle WebCenter Suite, as well as third-party portals from BEA Systems, IBM, and Sun Microsystems.

The software can also convert the native format that content is stored in, from a Microsoft Word document to a PDF (portable document format) file, for example.

In the past, Stellent embedded an OEM version of the Verity enterprise search software in its Universal Content Management product. Then, in response to user demand, the vendor allowed companies to use Verity, now part of Autonomy Corp., or rival technology from Fast Search & Transfer. In the new Oracle release, customers can also use Oracle Secure Enterprise Search (SES). A dedicated use license for SES is included with Oracle Universal Content Management so content managed by the ECM software can be indexed and accessed by SES.

Primary competition for Oracle's ECM software comes from EMC's Documentum family of products, with the vendor also coming across IBM, which acquired FileNet last year for $1.6 billion, Microsoft and Open Text, according to Huff. Oracle hopes its ECM products will resonate with existing customers who already use its database, middleware and applications, and with those who've yet to embrace content management.

Oracle plans to integrate Universal Content Management with more of its software in the future, including its enterprise applications.

Oracle Universal Content Management 10g Release 3 is priced from $100,000 per processor.

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