The company's new co-president Chuck Phillips presented this change of tack in typically robust Oracle style, maintaining that customers would still be better advised to heed the database vendor's prior insistence on a single data model (its own). But Oracle now recognises that some customers are just too hidebound to admit the heresy of their ways, and has decided to indulge what it sees as their perverse attachment to operating a "hodgepodge" of lesser vendors' products albeit only insofar as it eases their subsequent migration path to the pure nirvana of an all-Oracle setup.
The Oracle plan, reports CRN in its story Oracle Hints At Things To Come At OracleApps World, is to introduce an integration package "with formally defined business processes, thousands of Web services, 800-plus business events, 150 transport messages, industry-specific protocols and a repository of interfaces." There will also be a "data hub" that opens up Oracle's data model (dubbed the "single source of truth" by Phillips) to third-party portals and applications.
However Oracle tries to dress up this announcement, it marks the beginning of the end for the vendor's hitherto fundamentalist line on all-or-nothing single-suite integration. The competitive pressure of web services standardization has irreversibly cracked open Oracle's citadel, as it will triumph over every proprietary redoubt. Even if its bid for PeopleSoft finally succeeds, there will never be a time when Oracle (or any other vendor) commands the enterprise application landscape as undisputed champion. In the emerging loosely coupled world of web services, the way to win customers is by demonstrating how well your products connect to those of your rivals or, to forge a new mantra from an old adage, if you want to beat 'em, join (to) 'em.