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OpenWorld 2012: What's in store

Chris Kanaracus | Oct. 1, 2012
With each year, Oracle becomes a bigger company and in turn, so does its annual OpenWorld conference, which kicks off Sunday in San Francisco.

But Oracle has a number of updates to provide with respect to Fusion, namely the rate of customer adoption and live projects, as well as a public subscription price list for deployments in its recently launched cloud service.

The "top level message" for Fusion Applications will be a "focus on customer adoption and their success," Oracle executive vice president of application development Steve Miranda said during a "Tweet chat" event this week on Twitter.

Miranda also acknowledged the lack of public pricing, which is common among SaaS vendors, but said Oracle's fees are "competitive."

MySQL Connect: Anyone looking for a concrete sense of where Oracle is headed with the development of its open-source MySQL database should attend a joint keynote scheduled for Saturday featuring Tomas Ulin, vice president of MySQL engineering, and Edward Screven, Oracle's chief corporate architect.

The talk will give showgoers a look at "Oracle's MySQL strategy, and the key latest developments including product releases, roadmap and community," according to the event's description.

While many MySQL users expressed fear over the database's future following Oracle's acquisition of previous owner Sun Microsystems, the presence of Screven, a longtime Oracle employee who reports directly to Ellison, could underscore the vendor's commitment to the platform.

Bottomless cups of Java: The JavaOne conference, which starts Sunday, will give attendees a look at where the open-source Java programming language is going from a number of perspectives.

A keynote covering Oracle's future strategy for Java, as well as a technical Java keynote, are scheduled for Sunday. Later in the week, a keynote covering Java community issues is on tap. This is all on top of some 400 planned sessions.


Oracle's Amazon Web Services?: Ellison also revealed during last week's earnings call that Oracle will announce a new IaaS (infrastructure as a service) offering at OpenWorld, but didn't mention many details.

The CEO may provide more information on Sunday, but it seems more likely that the nitty-gritty details will come on Wednesday during a keynote by Fowler and other executives.

One general question that may be answered is whether Oracle is interested in competing head-to-head with the likes of Amazon Web Services and Rackspace for all sorts of IaaS business, or mostly planning to offer the IaaS to existing customers who would ordinarily use those other services.

Overall, Oracle's entry into IaaS "is likely to mean one thing: lower prices for computing power from all of the big incumbents," Canaccord Genuity analyst Richard Davis said in a research note issued Friday.

This is good news for "disruptive technology startups" and SaaS (software as a service) vendors as well, according to Davis.

Bragging rights: San Franciscans are still reeling from the last big software event held at the Moscone Center,'s Dreamforce. That show reportedly drew 90,000 registered attendees, a figure helped by the fact there was no charge to attend keynotes as well as a number of musical events.


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