"It's been a long time coming" said Larry Ellison, announcing Oracle Cloud, a new portfolio of software as a service applications, platform as a service, and social capabilities, available on a subscription basis.
Oracle has created a public cloud service after what it describes as “almost seven years of relentless engineering and innovation plus key strategic acquisitions and an investment of billions.”
In his launch announcement, Ellison explains that Oracle made the decision to rebuild all its applications for the cloud almost seven years ago and the project, known as "Fusion" inside Oracle, was dubbed "Confusion" by an unnamed competitor. Oracle Cloud has emerged as the fruition of the work of thousands of people and billions of dollars, much of it overseen by the former President Charles Phillips of Oracle.
In typical Ellison understatement, he described the new service as
“the most comprehensive Cloud on the planet Earth," adding: “Most cloud vendors only have niche assets. They don't have platforms to extend. Oracle is the only vendor that offers a complete suite of modern, socially-enabled applications, all based on a standards-based platform."
While Ellison described the cloud as being standards-based, it is based on Oracle Exadata and Exalogic hardware, and uses Oracle Database for customer data. The cloud will offer subscription-based access to Oracle Platform Services, Application Services, and Social Services.
From a developer viewpoint, you’ll be able to use Java Services to develop, deploy and manage Java applications with Oracle WebLogic. The SDK has Ant tasks and Maven plugins for interacting with the Oracle Java Cloud Service instances, alongside support for Eclipse, NetBeans and JDeveloper. The database service includes the Oracle Application Express (APEX) browser-based development environment, and there’s support for PHP, Ruby, and Python for creating Web apps.
Subscribers will be able to use Oracle’s existing range of enterprise apps in cloud format, with an integrated suite covering business intelligence, ERP, sales and marketing, management, customer service, recruitment and lifecycle management apps.
There’s also a platform called social services that is designed to give companies a way to interact with customers via public social networks alongside the ability to run private internal social networks.
This short promo video suggests how Oracle intends its Enterprise Cloud to be used:
One possible side effect of the announcement will be doubts over the future of Oracle database services in the Amazon Web Services cloud, though no details were given of this in Ellison’s launch speech.