Reaching out to JD Edwards and PeopleSoft customers, Oracle used its official launch of the combined Oracle/PeopleSoft to sketch out future product roadmaps and attempt to settle customer concerns.
Development of current products will continue as planned until 2006, after which all the company's 8,000 developers will focus on Project Fusion. This will be the foundation for all future Oracle applications, the company said.
Project Fusion aims to merge the best elements of the Oracle, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards products into a single application suite scheduled for a 2008 launch, with individual elements released at earlier stages.
The suite will be a modularised Java-based service oriented architecture, enabling users to build customisations using industry standard Java development tools.
Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison assured users and partners at the launch event that moving to the merged product from one of the existing application suites will be "as easy as moving from Oracle 11i to Oracle 12: not an conversion, an automated update".
Ellison reiterated his earlier promise to continue support for the Oracle Ebusiness Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and JD Edwards World products until 2013.
"Some time short of 2013, at a time that is convenient for your organisation, you will upgrade to the merged product," he told users.
Ellison contradicted reports that he would force PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers to switch to an Oracle database and application server by discontinuing support for competing products like BEA's application server or IBM's DB2 database.
"Nothing is really going to change," Ellison told a worried PeopleSoft user who asked whether she should continue deploying the product. "Keep doing what you are doing. We'll continue to support these products for many years to come."
Scott Tiazkun, programme manager with analyst firm IDC, told vnunet.com that Oracle's confirming its commitment to current users "makes sense".
"Oracle is making sure that it doesn't ruffle the PeopleSoft customers," he said, adding that he didn't expect anything less from the database firm. "If it loses its customer base, this acquisition was worthless."
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