Oracle Corporation


Oracle Corporation
Oracle Corporation
Type Public
Traded as NYSEORCL
NASDAQORCL
NASDAQ-100 Component
S&P 500 Component
Industry Computer database,
Computer software,
Computer middleware,
Computer systems,
Computer hardware
Founded Santa Clara, California, U.S.
(June 16, 1977 (1977-06-16))[1]
Founder(s) Larry Ellison, Bob Miner,
Ed Oates
Headquarters 500 Oracle Parkway, Redwood Shores, Redwood City, California, United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people Larry Ellison (CEO)
Jeffrey Henley (Chairman)
Safra Catz (President)
Mark Hurd (President)
Products Oracle Applications, Oracle Database, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Financials, Oracle Fusion Middleware, servers, workstations, storage
Revenue increase US$ 35.6 billion (2011)[2]
Operating income increase US$ 12.0 billion (2011)[2]
Net income increase US$ 08.5 billion (2011)[2]
Total assets increase US$ 73.5 billion (2011)[2]
Total equity increase US$ 40.2 billion (2011)[2]
Employees 108,429 (2011)[2]
Subsidiaries List of Oracle subsidiaries
Website Oracle.com

Oracle Corporation (NASDAQORCL) is an American multinational computer technology corporation that specializes in developing and marketing hardware systems and enterprise software products – particularly database management systems. Headquartered in 500 Oracle Parkway, Redwood Shores, Redwood City, California, United States and employing approximately 108,000 people worldwide as of 31 May 2011 (2011 -05-31),[3] it has enlarged its share of the software market through organic growth and through a number of high-profile acquisitions. By 2007 Oracle had the third-largest software revenue, after Microsoft and IBM.[4]

The company also builds tools for database development and systems of middle-tier software, enterprise resource planning software (ERP), customer relationship management software (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) software.

Larry Ellison, a co-founder of Oracle Corporation, has served as Oracle's CEO throughout its history. He also served as the Chairman of the Board until his replacement by Jeffrey O. Henley in 2004. On August 22, 2008 the Associated Press ranked Ellison as the top-paid chief executive in the world.[5][6]

Contents

History

Oracle headquarters front view

Ellison took inspiration[7] from the 1970 paper written by Edgar F. Codd on relational database management systems (RDBMS) named "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks."[8] He had heard about the IBM System R database from an article in the IBM Research Journal provided by Ed Oates (a future co-founder of Oracle Corporation). System R also derived from Codd's theories, and Ellison wanted to make Oracle's product compatible with System R, but IBM stopped this by keeping the error codes for their DBMS secret. Ellison co-founded Oracle Corporation in 1977 with Bob Miner and Ed Oates under the name Software Development Laboratories (SDL). In 1979 SDL changed its name to Relational Software, Inc. (RSI).[9] In 1982, RSI renamed itself Oracle Systems[10] to align itself more closely with its flagship product Oracle Database. At this stage Bob Miner served as the company's senior programmer. In 1995, Oracle Systems Corporation changed its name to Oracle Corporation.[11]

Part of Oracle Corporation's early success arose from using the C programming language to implement its products. This eased porting to different operating systems (most of which support C). This gave Oracle Corporation an advantage over companies using operating-system-specific languages.[citation needed] Oracle Corporation programmers wrote the first C compiler for the IBM mainframe platform in order to port to that platform.[citation needed]

Overall timeline

  • June 16, 1977: Software Development Laboratories (SDL) is incorporated in Santa Clara, California[1] by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates.
  • 1978: Oracle Version 1, written in assembly language, runs on PDP-11 under RSX, in 128K of memory. Implementation separates Oracle code and user code. Oracle V1 is never officially released.[12] The name Oracle comes from the code name of a CIA project which the founders had all worked on while at the Ampex Corporation.
  • June 1979: SDL is renamed to Relational Software Inc. (RSI)[9] and relocated to Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, California. Oracle 2, the first version of the Oracle database software, as purchased by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, runs on PDP-11 hardware. The company decides to name the first version of its flagship product "version 2" rather than "version 1" because it believes customers might hesitate to buy the initial release of its product.
  • October 1979: RSI actively promotes Oracle on the VAX platform (the software runs on the VAX in PDP-11 emulator mode).
  • 1981: Umang Gupta joins RSI, where he writes the first business plan for the company and serves as Vice President and General Manager.
  • February 1981: RSI begins developing tools for the Oracle Database, including the Interactive Application Facility (IAF), a predecessor to Oracle*Forms.
  • 1982: RSI renames itself Oracle Systems Corporation in order to align itself more closely with its primary product.
  • March 1983: Oracle Database is rewritten in C for portability and Oracle version 3 is released.
  • April 1984: Oracle receives additional funding from Sequoia Capital.
  • October 1984: Oracle version 4 is released, introducing read consistency.
  • November 1984: Oracle database software is ported to the PC platform. The MS-DOS version (4.1.4) of Oracle runs in only 512K of memory. (Oracle for MSDOS version 5, released in 1986, runs in Protected Mode on 286 machines using a technique invented by Mike Roberts, among the first products to do so.)
  • April 1985: Oracle version 5 is released – one of the first RDBMSs to operate in client-server mode.
  • 1986: Oracle version 5.1 is released with support for distributed queries. Investigations into clustering begin.
  • March 12, 1986: Oracle goes public with revenues of $55 million US$.
  • August 1987: Oracle founds its Applications division, building business-management software closely integrated with its database software. Oracle acquires TCI for its project management software.
  • 1988: Oracle version 6 is released with support for row-level locking and hot backups. The developers embedded the PL/SQL procedural language engine into the database but made no provision to store program blocks such as procedures and triggers in the database – this capability came in version 7. Users could submit PL/SQL blocks for immediate execution in the server from an environment such as SQL*Plus, or via SQL statements embedded in a host program. Oracle included separate PL/SQL engines in various client tools (such as SQL*Forms and Reports).
  • 1989: Oracle moves its world headquarters to Redwood Shores, California. Revenues reach US$584 million.
  • 1990: In the third quarter, Oracle reports its first ever loss[citation needed]; it lays off hundreds of employees. Ellison hires Michael S. Fields as President of Oracle U.S.A., Jeffrey O. Henley as CFO and Raymond Lane as COO.
  • June 1992: Oracle 7 is released with performance enhancements, administrative utilities, application-development tools, security features, the ability to persist PL/SQL program units in the database as stored procedures and triggers, and support for declarative referential integrity.
  • 1993: Oracle releases its "Cooperative Development Environment" (CDE), which bundles Oracle Forms, Reports, Graphics, and Book.
  • 1994: Oracle acquires the database-product DEC Rdb (subsequently called Oracle Rdb) from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Oracle Rdb operates only on the OpenVMS platform (also a former product of DEC).
  • June 1, 1995: Oracle Systems Corporation announces the merger of Oracle Corporation into Oracle Systems Corporation. This transaction eliminates the holding company structure and streamlines the operating company, Oracle Corporation, with the public holding company, Oracle Systems Corporation. As part of the merger, Oracle Systems Corporation is renamed Oracle Corporation and is the surviving entity incorporated as a Delaware corporation.
  • June 21, 1995: Oracle Corporation announces new data-warehousing facilities, including parallel queries.
  • November 1995: Oracle becomes one of the first[citation needed] large software companies to announce an Internet strategy when Ellison introduces the Network Computer concept at an IDC conference in Paris.
  • 1996: Oracle releases Web Browser of the Oracle PowerBrowser.
  • April 1997: Oracle releases the first version of Discoverer.
  • June 1997: Oracle 8 is released with SQL object technology, Internet technology and support for terabytes of data.
  • September 1997: Oracle Corporation announces a commitment to the Java platform, and introduces Oracle's Java integrated development environment, subsequently called Oracle JDeveloper.
  • January 1998: Oracle releases Oracle Applications 10.7 Network Computing Architecture (NCA). All the applications in the business software now run across the web in a standard web browser.
  • May 1998: Oracle Corporation releases Oracle Applications 11.
  • April 1998: Oracle announces that it will integrate a Java Virtual Machine with Oracle Database.
  • September 1998: Oracle 8i is released (the i stands for Internet).
  • October 1998: Oracle 8 and Oracle Application Server 4.0 are released on the Linux platform.
  • May 1999: Oracle releases JDeveloper 2.0, showcasing Business Components for Java (BC4J), a set of libraries and development tools for building database-aware applications.
  • 2000: OracleMobile subsidiary is founded. Oracle 9i and Application Server is released. In May, Oracle announces the Internet File System (iFS), later re-branded as Oracle Content Management SDK.[13]
  • 2001: Ellison announces that Oracle saved $1 billion by implementing and using its own business applications.
  • 2004: Oracle 10g is released (the g stands for Grid).
  • December 13, 2004: After a long battle over the control of PeopleSoft, Oracle announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire PeopleSoft for $26.50 per share (approximately $10.3 billion).
  • January 14, 2005: Oracle Corporation announces that it will reduce its combined workforce to 50,000, a reduction of approximately 5,000 following the take-over of PeopleSoft.
  • September 2005: Oracle Corporation announces that it has agreed to acquire the private company Global Logistics Technologies, Inc., a global provider of logistics and transportation management software (TMS) solutions, through a cash offer.
  • September 12, 2005: Oracle Corporation announces its purchase of Siebel Systems, a producer of CRM technologies and a provider of business intelligence software, for $5.8 billion.
  • October 18, 2005: A serious security vulnerability in Oracle database password management is published by Joshua Wright of the Sans Institute and Carlos Cid of the University of London.[14] Oracle Corporation replies that existing safeguards and following good industry practices were sufficient defenses.[15] Oracle didn't close the underlying security hole until its release of the 11g DBMS in 2007.[16]
  • April 12, 2006: Oracle Corporation announces its acquisition of Portal Software, Inc. (OTC BB: PRSF.PK), a global provider of billing- and revenue-management solutions for the communications and media industry, at $4.90 per share, or approximately $220 million.
  • October 25, 2006: Oracle Corporation announces Unbreakable Linux.
  • November 2, 2006: Oracle Corporation announces that it has agreed to acquire Stellent, Inc. (NASDAQ: STEL), a global provider of enterprise content management (ECM) software solutions, through a cash tender offer for $13.50 per share, or approximately $440 million.
  • December 15, 2006: A majority of MetaSolv stockholders approves Oracle's acquisition of MetaSolv Software, a provider of operations support systems (OSS) software for the communications industry.
  • 2007: Oracle 11g is released.
  • March 1, 2007: Oracle announces an agreement to buy Hyperion Solutions Corporation (Nasdaq: HYSL), a global provider of performance-management software solutions, through a cash tender offer for $52.00 per share, or approximately $3.3 billion. The acquisition officially took place on July 1, 2007.
  • March 22, 2007: Oracle files a court case against a major competitor, SAP AG, in the Californian courts for malpractice and unfair competition.[17]
  • October 16, 2007: Oracle confirms the impending departure of John Wookey, senior vice president for application development and head of its applications strategy, raising questions concerning the planned release and future of Oracle's Fusion Applications strategy.
  • January 16, 2008: Oracle announces it will buy BEA Systems for $19.375 per share in cash for a total of "$7.2 billion net of cash."[18]
  • September 24, 2008: Oracle announces it will market servers and storage in a co-developed and co-branded data warehouse appliance named the HP Oracle Database Machine.[19]
  • January 27, 2010: Oracle acquires Sun Microsystems.
  • March 17, 2010: Oracle launches Enterprise Manager Ops Center, a platform for managing physical and virtual Sun environments.[20]
  • April 16, 2010: Oracle agrees to acquire Phase Forward for approximately $685 million.[21]
  • July 5, 2010: Mexico Development Center begins to operate with offices in Guadalajara, Jalisco, known as the Mexican Sillicon Valley.[22]
  • July 29, 2010: Oracle is indicted for fraud by the US Department of Justice.[23]
  • November 23, 2010: Oracle wins $1.3 billion law suit against SAP – the largest software piracy judgment in history.[24] While acknowledging the wrongdoings of its unit TomorrowNow, which was accused of massive illegal downloads of Oracle software, SAP seeks reduction of the jury award.[25]
  • March 24, 2011: Oracle announced fiscal 2011 Q3 GAAP total revenues were up 37% to $8.8 billion, while non-GAAP total revenues were up 36% to $8.8 billion.[26]
  • October 2011: Oracle Corporation acquires RightNow Technologies Inc. for $1.5 billion, to strengthen cloud services.[27]

Technology timeline

  • 1979: offers the first commercial SQL RDBMS
  • 1983: offers a VAX-mode database
  • 1984: offers the first database with read-consistency
  • 1986: offers a client-server DBMS
  • 1987: introduces UNIX-based Oracle applications
  • 1988: introduces PL/SQL
  • 1992: offers full applications implementation methodology
  • 1995: offers the first 64-bit RDBMS
  • 1996: moves towards an open standards-based, web-enabled architecture
  • 1999: offers its first DBMS with XML support
  • 2001: becomes the first to complete 3 terabyte TPC-H world record
  • 2002: offers the first database to pass 15 industry standard security evaluations
  • 2003: introduces what it calls "Enterprise Grid Computing" with Oracle10g
  • 2005: releases its first free database, Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (XE)
  • 2008: smart scans in software improve query-response in HP Oracle Database Machine / Exadata storage

Products and services

Technology products

Various databases

  • Oracle Database

In 2004 Oracle Corporation shipped release 10g (g standing for "grid") as the then latest version of Oracle Database. (Oracle Application Server 10g using Java EE integrates with the server part of that version of the database, making it possible to deploy web-technology applications. The application server comprises the first middle-tier software designed for grid computing.[citation needed] The interrelationship between Oracle 10g and Java allows developers to set up stored procedures written in the Java language, as well as those written in the traditional Oracle database programming language, PL/SQL.) - Release 11g became the current Oracle Database version in 2007.

  • TimesTen features in-memory database operations.
  • Oracle NoSQL Database, a scalable, distributed key-value NoSQL database[28]

Oracle Fusion Middleware

Oracle Enterprise Manager

Some database administrators (DBAs) use Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) to manage the DBMS. With Oracle Database version 10g, Oracle Corporation introduced a web-based rewrite of OEM called Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Control. Oracle Corporation has dubbed the super Enterprise Manager used to manage a grid of multiple DBMS and Application Servers as Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control.

Oracle Secure Enterprise Search

Oracle Secure Enterprise Search (SES), Oracle's enterprise-search offering, gives users the ability to search for content across multiple locations, including websites, file servers, content management systems, enterprise resource planning systems, customer relationship management systems, business intelligence systems, and databases.

Oracle Beehive

Released in 2008, the Oracle Beehive collaboration software provides team workspaces (including wikis, team calendaring and file sharing), email, calendar, instant messaging, and conferencing on a single platform. Customers can use Beehive as licensed software or as software as a service.[29]

Oracle Collaboration Suite

Oracle Collaboration Suite (OCS) contains messaging, groupware and collaboration applications. Oracle Beehive has superseded OCS.[30]

Development software

Oracle Corporation's tools for developing applications include (amongst others):

Many external and third-party tools make the Oracle database administrator's tasks easier.

Hardware

  • The Sun hardware range acquired by Oracle Corporation's purchase of Sun Microsystems
  • Exadata (hardware/software integrated storage)[31]
  • Exalogic
  • Big Data Appliance (integrated map-reduce/big data solution)[32]

Application products

Besides databases, Oracle also sells a suite of business applications. The Oracle E-Business Suite includes software to perform financial- (Oracle Financials), manufacturing-, enterprise resource planning and HR- (Human Resource Management Systems) -related functions (Oracle HR). Users can access these facilities through a browser interface over the Internet or via a corporate intranet.

Following a number of high-value acquisitions beginning in 2003, especially in the area of applications, Oracle Corporation currently maintains a number of product lines:

  • Oracle E-Business Suite
  • PeopleSoft Enterprise
  • Siebel
  • JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
  • JD Edwards World

Development of applications commonly takes place in Java (using Oracle JDeveloper) or through PL/SQL (using, for example, Oracle Forms and Oracle Reports). Oracle Corporation has started[citation needed] a drive toward "wizard"-driven environments with a view to enabling non-programmers to produce simple data-driven applications.

Third-party applications

Oracle Corporation works with "Oracle Certified Partners" to enhance its overall product-range.

The variety of applications from third-party vendors includes database applications for archiving, splitting and control, ERP and CRM systems, as well as more niche and focused products providing a range of commercial functions in the areas of human resources, financial control and governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC).

Vendors include:

  • Aquire
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • HighJump Software
  • Human Concepts
  • Q Software Global Ltd, security and compliance solutions developer[33]
  • Solix Technologies
  • UC4 Software

Services

  • Oracle Academy (training in computing and commerce in partnership with educational institutions)[34]
  • Oracle Consulting
  • Oracle University (training in Oracle products)[35]
  • Oracle On Demand (a SaaS offering)
  • Oracle Support
    • Product support: Oracle Corporation identifies its customers and their support entitlements using CSI (Customer Support Identifier) codes.[36] Registered customers can submit Service Requests (SRs)[37] – usually via the web-accessible MetaLink interface or (as from September 2008) from its super-set: My Oracle Support.[38]
    • Critical Patch Updates: since 2005, Oracle Corporation has grouped collections of patches and security fixes for its products each quarter into a "Critical Patch Update" (CPU), released each January, April, July and October.[39]
    • Oracle Configuration Manager (OCM, previously Customer Configuration repository or CCR) gathers and uploads details of the configuration of Oracle software.[40]
    • Oracle Auto Service Request (ASR) automatically creates Service Requests for specific hardware faults on qualified Oracle server, storage, Oracle Exadata, and Oracle Exalogic products.[41]
  • Oracle Financing

Marketing

Sales practices

In 1990 Oracle laid off 10% (about 400 people) of its work force because of accounting errors.[42] This crisis came about because of Oracle's "up-front" marketing strategy, in which sales people urged potential customers to buy the largest possible amount of software all at once. The sales people then booked the value of future license sales in the current quarter, thereby increasing their bonuses.[43] This became a problem when the future sales subsequently failed to materialize. Oracle eventually had to restate its earnings twice, and also settled (out of court) class-action lawsuits arising from its having overstated its earnings. Ellison stated in 1992 that Oracle had made "an incredible business mistake."[42]

Competition

Although IBM dominated the mainframe relational-database market with its DB2 and SQL/DS database products, it delayed[when?]entering the market for a relational database on UNIX and Windows operating systems. This left the door open for Sybase, Oracle, and Informix (and eventually Microsoft) to dominate mid-range and microcomputers.

Around this time[when?], Oracle technology started to lag technically behind that of Sybase.[citation needed] In 1990–1993 Sybase became the fastest-growing database company and the database industry's darling vendor[citation needed], but soon fell victim to its merger mania and to technical issues with System X.[citation needed] Sybase's 1993 merger with PowerSoft resulted in its losing its focus on its core database technology. In 1993, Sybase sold the rights to its database software running under the Windows operating system to Microsoft Corporation, which now markets it under the name "SQL Server."

In 1994, Informix Software overtook Sybase and became Oracle's most important rival. The intense war between Informix CEO Phil White and Ellison made front-page news in Silicon Valley for three years. Informix claimed that Oracle had hired away Informix engineers to disclose important trade secrets about an upcoming product. Informix finally dropped its lawsuit against Oracle in 1997.[44] In November 2005 a book detailing the war between Oracle and Informix appeared,[45] providing a detailed chronology of the battle of Informix against Oracle, and how Informix Software's CEO Phil White landed in jail because of his obsession with overtaking Ellison.

Once it had overcome Informix and Sybase, Oracle Corporation enjoyed years of dominance in the database market until use of Microsoft SQL Server became widespread in the late 1990s and IBM acquired Informix Software in 2000 (to complement its DB2 database). Today Oracle competes for new database licenses on UNIX, Linux, and Windows operating systems primarily against IBM's DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server (which only runs on Windows). IBM's DB2 still dominates the mainframe database market.

In 2004 Oracle's sales grew at a rate of 14.5% to $6.2 billion, giving it 41.3% and the top share of the relational-database market (InformationWeek – March, 2005), with market share estimated at up to 44.6% in 2005 by some sources.[46][dead link] Oracle Corporation's main competitors in the database arena remain IBM DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server, and to a lesser extent Sybase and Teradata[46][dead link], with open-source databases such as PostgreSQL and MySQL also having a significant[citation needed] share of the market. EnterpriseDB, based on PostgreSQL, has recently made inroads[47] by proclaiming that its product delivers Oracle compatibility features[clarification needed] at a much lower price-point.

In the software-applications market, Oracle Corporation primarily[citation needed] competes against SAP. On March 22, 2007 Oracle sued SAP, accusing them of fraud and unfair competition.[48]

In the market for business intelligence software, many other software companies – small and large – have successfully competed in quality with Oracle and SAP products. Business intelligence vendors can be categorized into the "big four" consolidated BI firms such as Oracle, who has entered BI market through a recent trend of acquisitions (including Hyperion Solutions), and the independent "pure play" vendors such as MicroStrategy, Actuate, and SAS.[49]

Oracle and SAP

From 1988 Oracle Corporation and the German company SAP AG had a decade-long history of cooperation, beginning with the integration of SAP's R/3 enterprise application suite with Oracle's relational database products. The marketplace[who?] regarded the two firms' products as complementing one another, rather than as substitutes. Despite the current SAP partnership with Microsoft, and the increasing integration of SAP applications with Microsoft products (such as Microsoft SQL Server, a competitor to Oracle Database), Oracle and SAP continue their cooperation. According to Oracle Corporation, the majority of SAP's customers use Oracle databases.[50]

In recent years, however, competition between Oracle and SAP has increased, and as a result, the rivalry between the two companies has grown, even developing into a feud between the co-founders of the two companies, where one party would frequently voice strong negative comments about the other company.

In 2004 Oracle began to increase its interest in the enterprise-applications market (in 1989, Oracle had already released Oracle Financials). A series of acquisitions by Oracle Corporation began, most notably those of PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems and Hyperion.

SAP recognized that Oracle had started to become a competitor in a market where SAP had the leadership, and saw an opportunity to lure in customers from those companies that Oracle Corporation had acquired. SAP would offer those customers special discounts on the licenses for its enterprise applications.

Oracle Corporation would resort to a similar strategy, by advising SAP customers to get "OFF SAP" (a play on the words of the acronym for its middleware platform "Oracle Fusion for SAP"),[51] and also by providing special discounts on licenses and services to SAP customers who chose Oracle Corporation products.

Currently Oracle and SAP (the latter through its recently acquired subsidiary TomorrowNow) compete in the third-party enterprise software maintenance and support market. On March 22, 2007, Oracle filed a lawsuit against SAP. In Oracle Corporation v. SAP AG Oracle alleged that TomorrowNow, which provides discount support for legacy Oracle product lines, used the accounts of former Oracle customers to systematically download patches and support documents from Oracle's website and to appropriate them for SAP's use.[52] Some analysts have suggested the suit could form part of a strategy by Oracle Corporation to decrease competition with SAP in the market for third-party enterprise software maintenance and support.[53][54]

On July 3, 2007, SAP admitted that TomorrowNow employees had made "inappropriate downloads" from the Oracle support web site. However, it claims that SAP personnel and SAP customers had no access to Oracle intellectual property via TomorrowNow. SAP's CEO Henning Kagermann stated that "Even a single inappropriate download is unacceptable from my perspective. We regret very much that this occurred." Additionally, SAP announced that it had "instituted changes" in TomorrowNow's operational oversight.[55]

On November 23, 2010 a U.S. district court jury in Oakland California found that SAP AG must pay Oracle Corp $1.3 billion for copyright infringement, awarding damages that could be the largest-ever for copyright infringement. While admitting liability, SAP estimated the damages at no more than $40 million, while Oracle claimed that they are at least $1.65 billion. The awarded amount is one of the 10 or 20 largest jury verdicts in U.S. legal history. SAP said they were disappointed by the verdict and might appeal.[56] On September 1, 2011, a federal judge overturned the judgment and granted SAP a new trial, calling Oracle's original award "grossly" excessive.[57]

Slogans

  • "Information driven"[citation needed]
  • For the Oracle Database: "Can't break it, can't break in"[58] and "Unbreakable"[59]
  • As of 2008: "The Information Company"[citation needed]
  • As of 2010: "Software. Hardware. Complete."
  • As of late 2010: "Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together"

Media

Oracle Corporation produces and distributes the "Oracle ClearView" series of videos as part of its marketing mix.[60]

Controversies

Trashgate

In 2000 Oracle gained attention from the computer industry and the press after hiring private investigators to dig through the trash of organizations involved in an antitrust trial involving Microsoft.[61] The Chairman of Oracle Corporation, Larry Ellison, staunchly defended his company's hiring of an East Coast detective agency to investigate groups that supported rival Microsoft Corporation during its antitrust trial, calling the snooping a "public service." The investigation reportedly included a $1,200 offer to janitors at the Association for Competitive Technology to look through Microsoft's trash. Asked how he'd feel if others were looking into Oracle's business activities, Ellison said: "We will ship our garbage to Redmond, and they can go through it. We believe in full disclosure."[62]

"Can't break it, can't break in"

At one point, Oracle Corporation marketed many of its products using the slogan "Can't break it, can't break in," or "Unbreakable."[63] This signifies a demand on information security. Oracle Corporation also stresses the reliability of networked databases and network access to databases as major selling points.

However, two weeks after its introduction in 2002, David Litchfield, Alexander Kornbrust, Cesar Cerrudo and others demonstrated a whole suite of successful attacks against Oracle products.[64][65] Commentators[who?] criticized the slogan as unrealistic and as an invitation to crackers, but Oracle Corporation's chief security officer Mary Ann Davidson portrayed the criticism as unfair. Rather than representing a literal claim of Oracle's products' impregnability, she saw the campaign in the context of fourteen independent security evaluations[66] that Oracle Corporation's database server had passed.

Relationship with John Ashcroft

In 2004, then-United States Attorney General John Ashcroft sued Oracle Corporation to prevent them acquiring a multi-billion dollar intelligence contract. After Ashcroft's resignation from government, he founded a lobbying firm, The Ashcroft Group, which Oracle hired in 2005. With the group's help, Oracle went on to acquire the contract.[67]

Events

Acquisition of Sun Microsystems

On January 27, 2010, Oracle announced it had completed its acquisition of Sun Microsystems – valued at more than $7 billion – a move that transformed Oracle from solely a software company to a manufacturer of both software and hardware. The acquisition was delayed for several months by the EU Commission because of concerns about MySQL, however was unconditionally approved in the end.[68] This acquisition was important to some in the open source community and also to some other companies, as they feared Oracle might end Sun's traditional support of open source projects.[69][70][71][72] Since the acquisition, Oracle has discontinued OpenSolaris and sued Google over their newly acquired Java patents from Sun.[73][74] In September 2011 a Wikileaks cable was published revealing that the U.S. pressured the E.U. to allow Oracle to acquire Sun.[75]

Justice Department lawsuit

On July 29, 2010, the United States Department of Justice filed suit against Oracle Corporation alleging fraud. The lawsuit argues that the government received deals inferior to those Oracle gave to its commercial clients. The DoJ added its heft to an already existing whistleblower lawsuit filed by Paul Frascella, who was once senior director of contract services at Oracle.[76]

Acquisition of Phase Forward

On August 11, 2010, Phase Forward, a company that developed data management systems for the pharmaceutical industry, became a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle Corporation.[77] Some analysts believe this acquisition has a huge impact on the healthcare and life sciences software market. For example Loraine Lawson writes that "health care isn't just another vertical. It's the vertical to watch, an area where spending has stayed strong despite economic turmoil in other sectors. It's also primed for growth in the United States, where it's the focus of major government reform efforts."[78][79]

Lawsuit against Google

On August 12, 2010, Oracle announced a lawsuit against Google concerning patent and copyright infringement of Java in Google's development of Android. Oracle claims that "Google’s Android competes with Oracle America’s Java" and that "Google has been aware of Sun’s patent portfolio ... since Google hired certain former Sun Java engineers."[80][81] Oracle acquired the Java patents when it bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010.[82] Google's reimplementation of the Java platform supports most Java functionality, apart from AWT and Swing, instead supplying a native widget toolkit.[83] This may have been a violation of conditions under which Sun granted OpenJDK patents to use open source Java.[84] Oracle originally sought damages up to $6.1 billion,[85] but this valuation was rejected by a federal judge who asked Oracle to revise the estimate.[86] The lawsuit is said to potentially have "far-reaching ramifications"[87] and the trial is currently scheduled to start on October 31, 2011.[88]

The trial for this case has been delayed indefinitely, pending on the schedule of District Court Judge William Alsup or the shift of the case to another judge. [89]

Discontinuation of OpenSolaris

On August 13, 2010, an internal Oracle memo leaked to the Internet cited plans for ending the OpenSolaris operating system project and community.[90] With Oracle planning to develop Solaris only in a closed source fashion, OpenSolaris developers moved to the Illumos and OpenIndiana project, among others.[91]

Discontinuation of OpenSSO

As Oracle completed their acquisition of Sun Microsystems in February 2010, they announced that OpenSSO would no longer be their strategic product.[92] Shortly after, OpenSSO was forked to OpenAM.[92] and will continue to be developed and supported by ForgeRock.

Hurd replaces Phillips as President

On September 6, 2010, Oracle announced that former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd is replacing Charles Phillips as Oracle Co-President. Apparently Phillips had wanted to leave Oracle since December 2009. "Oracle is clearly capitalizing on this opportunity to get someone strong from a top hardware company," said Forrester analyst James Staten. "In terms of how this helps Oracle against IBM, there is reason to be optimistic."[93]

On September 7, 2010, HP announced a civil lawsuit against Hurd "to protect HP's trade secrets."[94] On September 20, Oracle and HP published a joint press release announcing the resolution of the lawsuit on confidential terms and reaffirming commitment to long-term strategic partnership between the companies.[95]

OpenOffice issue

A number of OpenOffice developers had formed The Document Foundation and had received backing by Google, Novell, Red Hat, and Canonical, as well as some others, but were unable to get Oracle to donate the brand OpenOffice.org, causing a fork in the development of OpenOffice with the foundation now developing and promoting LibreOffice. Oracle has expressed no interest in sponsoring the new project and has asked the OpenOffice developers that have started the project to resign from the company due to "conflicts of interest." On November 1, 2010, 33 of the OpenOffice developers gave their letters of resignation.[96] On June 1, 2011, Oracle donated OpenOffice to Apache Software Foundation.[97]

HP & Oracle lawsuit

On Jun 15, 2011, HP filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court in Santa Clara, claiming that Oracle had breached an agreement to support the Itanium microprocessor used in HP's high-end enterprise servers.[98] A week before, HP had sent a "formal legal demand" letter to Oracle to force the world's No. 3 software maker to reverse its decision to discontinue software development on Intel Itanium microprocessor.[99] Oracle has responded calling HP's lawsuit "an abuse of the judicial process"[100] and saying that had it known SAP's Leo Apotheker was about to be hired as HP's new CEO, any support for HP's Itanium servers would not have been implied.[101]

People

  • Larry Ellison: CEO since he co-founded the company in 1977, and Chairman from 1990 to 2004.
  • Bob Miner: Co-founder of the company and co-architect of Oracle Database. Led product design and development for Oracle Database from 1977 to 1992. Spun off a technology group within Oracle in 1992. Oracle board member until 1993.
  • Ed Oates: Co-founder of the company. Retired from Oracle in 1996.
  • Bruce Scott: One of the first employees (number 4) at Oracle (then Software Development Laboratories), Scott served as the co-author and co-architect of Oracle V1, V2 and V3.
  • Umang Gupta: Former Vice President and General Manager (joined in 1981). Wrote the first business plan for the company. Current Chairman and CEO of Keynote Systems, Inc.
  • Jeff Henley: Current Chairman (since 2004). Previously CFO of Oracle (1991–2004).
  • Safra Catz: Co-President (since 2004). In 2009 she was ranked by Fortune as the 12th most powerful woman in business.
  • Charles Phillips: Past Co-President, replaced by Mark Hurd.
  • Mark Hurd: Co-President (since 2010).

Offices

Oracle Corporation has its world headquarters on the San Francisco Peninsula in the Redwood Shores area of Redwood City, adjacent to Belmont, near San Carlos Airport (IATA airport code: SQL).

Oracle HQ stands on the former site of Marine World Africa USA, which moved from Redwood Shores to Vallejo in 1986. Oracle Corporation originally leased two buildings on the site, moving its finance and administration departments from the corporation's former headquarters on Davis Drive, Belmont, California. Eventually, Oracle purchased the complex and constructed a further four main buildings.

The distinctive Oracle Parkway buildings, nicknamed the Emerald City,[102] were used as the futuristic headquarters of the fictional company "NorthAm Robotics" in the Robin Williams film Bicentennial Man (1999).[103]

Sponsorships

BMW Oracle Racing USA-71, at the German Sailing Grand Prix Kiel 2006. It is currently moored at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.

On October 20, 2006, the Golden State Warriors and the Oracle Corporation announced a 10-year agreement in which the Oakland Arena would become known as the Oracle Arena.[104]

Larry Ellison's sailing team competes as Oracle Racing.[105]

Sean Tucker's "Challenger II" stunt biplane performs frequently at air shows around the US.[106]

See also

References

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  5. ^ NY Daily News: Oracle's Larry Ellison grabs top spot on best-paid list
  6. ^ CEOWorld Magazine:University of Illinois drop out Lawrence J. Ellison of Oracle: highest paid Technology CEO
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