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Oracle, ink nine-year technology partnership

Chris Kanaracus | June 26, 2013 will deeply embrace Oracle's products even as the companies battle for cloud market share.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Credit: Oracle.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Credit: Oracle.

In a coming together of rivals, and Oracle have signed a nine-year agreement under which the companies will integrate their technologies and will make a significant investment in Oracle products for its cloud computing platform., long a user of Oracle's database, will standardize on Oracle's Linux OS distribution, Java middleware and Exadata server platform, as well as continue to use Oracle's database, according to the joint announcement on Tuesday.

Oracle will integrate's software with its Fusion HCM (human capital management) and cloud-based financial software, and will also implement those two applications "throughout the company," according to the announcement, which Oracle CEO Larry Ellison foreshadowed during Oracle's earnings call last week.

"Larry and I both agree that and Oracle need to integrate our clouds," CEO Marc Benioff said in a statement. Tying's CRM (customer relationship management) software with Oracle's applications represents "the best of both worlds," he added.

"When customers choose cloud applications they expect rapid low-cost implementations; they also expect application integrations to work right out of the box -- even when the applications are from different vendors," Ellison said in another statement. "That's why Marc and I believe it's important that our two companies work together to make it happen."

The pleasant tone of Ellison and Benioff's prepared remarks belies the long-standing public rivalry between the two software executives, in which they have repeatedly lobbed verbal volleys at one another despite's use of Oracle technology and Ellison's status as an early investor in

During the OpenWorld conference in 2011, Ellison called the "roach motel" of cloud platforms, pointing to its use of the proprietary APEX programming language and alleging that it is difficult for customers to move to other services. "You can check in but you can't check out" of, Ellison said at the time.

Meanwhile, has apparently locked itself deeper into Oracle's stack for the foreseeable future.

It wasn't immediately clear how much money is committing to the deal, but the broad outline of the agreement revealed Tuesday suggests it is significant. It also seems to dim's interest in exploring the use of other database technologies besides Oracle's, as some evidence has shown to be the case.

While not mentioned in Tuesday's announcement, is apparently going to use Oracle's 12c database, which is expected to be released imminently. This could result in a significant architectural shift for in the area of multitenancy, a concept applied by cloud vendors in the interest of serving many customers more efficiently.


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