Oracle released version 9 of its PeopleSoft Enterprise application suite on Monday, an upgrade the company said will prepare customers to move toward a service-oriented architecture (SOA).
The new release is integrated with Oracle's Fusion Middleware, a portfolio of server software that allows applications from different vendors to interoperate. The integration allows better use of other Oracle technologies including XML Publisher, Business Activity Monitoring and Customer Data Hub, the company said.
Oracle said the version 9 release adds features related to corporate governance and compliance, CRM (customer relationship management) improvements for customer service agents, and enterprise-level planning. The company also expanded capabilities for areas such as the public sector, health care, financial services, communications, and higher education.
Oracle appointed a new general manager, Doris Wong, to run its PeopleSoft Enterprise wing, a move it said would centralize leadership and development of the product. Wong spent 11 years at PeopleSoft, Oracle said.
PeopleSoft was one Oracle's highest profile acquisitions intended to help it compete better with business applications market leader SAP. It also gobbled up Siebel Systems and J.D. Edwards, sparking concerns over the fate of those vendors' product lines. But Oracle officials have pledged to move forward with new product releases, including Siebel's version 8 line and version 12 of Oracle's own CRM software.
Oracle executives recently offered some details of how its various application suites will be merged into the forthcoming Fusion family. Siebel's software, seen as one of the strongest CRM offerings in the industry, will be used as the core, to be merged with the best functions and design elements donated from Oracle's E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft CRM and JD Edwards CRM.
Oracle has stressed that Fusion will be developed with an eye toward the SOA model, working with standards such as BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) and XML (Extensible Markup Language).
The Fusion applications are expected in 2008.