Oracle, in collaboration with SpringSource, has proposed a new Eclipse project called "Enterprise Modules," or "Project Gemini" if going by the platform's codename. The project is intended to provide a home for subprojects integrating existing Java enterprise technologies into mobile-based platforms, according to the proposal.
"The primary goal of the Gemini project is to provide access to standard enterprise technology implementations within a modular framework," the proposal states. "The OSGi [Open Services Gateway Initiative] Alliance has developed specifications for the application and usage of many of the enterprise technologies within OSGi. These specifications describe how vendors should implement and interoperate with existing services, and how the OSGi modularity, life cycle, and service models should be applied with respect to those technologies. Gemini will provide implementations of many of these specifications."
The Project Gemini proposal went on to claim that OSGi has been gaining in popularity among enterprise developers, and that the natural evolution is to now start creating standards for integrating popular enterprise technologies in module-based systems before serving up implementations for the general public.
The troubles just keep piling on for Oracle as of late. Earlier this week, the European Union formally objected to the company's takeover bid of Sun, and if that wasn't enough to deal with, a bunch of existing Oracle users are voicing complaints with the vendor's new My Oracle Support portal.
"We've been having severe problems with the new My Oracle Support all day. Sometimes we can't log in. When we can log in, we can't get an SR [service request] logged - it errors out at various points in the process," one user complained in a post Monday to an official Oracle forum.
The disgruntled user said tech support wasn't much help, and he wasn't alone in his complaints. Other users said similar things about the Support portal, with one noting "it looks like a total disaster today."
The worst part is Oracle doesn't appear to have a grip on the situation, or at least the vendor's not communicating that with its customers.
Coming as a surprise to absolutely no one, the European Union on Monday formally objected to Oracle's proposed takeover of Sun. The EU's hard stance could throw a wrench in the $7.4 billion deal that had already been approved by U.S. officials.
The sole sticking point for the EU is that the deal would give Oracle control over Sun's free MySQL database software. Because Oracle sells its own database software, the EU fears the company would purposely hamstring MySQL in order to boost its own sales.
"The Commission's Statement of Objections reveals a profound misunderstanding of both database competition and open source dynamics," Oracle said in response to the objection. "It is well understood by those knowledgeable about open source software that because MykSQL is open source, it cannot be controlled by anyone. That is the whole point of open source."
Oracle will have an opportunity to respond to the EU's objections before it makes its final ruling on the deal by January 19. Even then, should the EU outright reject the deal, Oracle could file an appeal. The alternative is to back out of the acquisitionl, which would cost Oracle a $260 million breakup fee, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Oracle knows it's in for a fight with the European Union over the U.S. company's planned $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, but appears ready to go the rounds, according to a Financial Times report.
The EU is mainly concerned about whay Oracle might end up doing with Sun's MySQL code base, such as killing it off or dropping support in order to push its own non-free database package. And according to FT.com, one person close to the process says the EU is ever-so-close to issuing an official statement of objection, which is step one in blocking the deal.
It's unlikely Oracle will back down, choosing instead to wait and see what the EU decides. Should the Commission object, Oracle could choose to offer concessions or take its fight to court.
The Sun acquisition has already been given the green light by the U.S. Department of Justice.
While Oracle struggles to convince the European Union that acquiring the copyrights to the MySQL code base is in the best interest of all involved, Red Hat isn't waiting around to see if the deal gets sanctioned or not. Instead, the open-source outfit went and invested an unspecified amount in database vendor EnterpriseDB, InfoWorld.com reports.
"EnterpriseDB has clearly established itself as a leading enterprise Postgres company, which is why Red Hat has chosen to partner with and invest in the company. EnterpriseDB is also working to create customer value through a subscription support model. Clearly, this is a model we see as beneficial," said Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat.
The move is also a clear indication that Red Hat is worried about what would become of MySQL once under the reigns of Oracle. Red Hat owes much of its popularity as a server platform to users looking to run the free MySQL piggybacked on top of Red Hat. And no matter what Oracle is saying to the EU, there's a lingering fear that should the takeover go through, Oracle may end up weakening MySQL to prevent it from cutting into the sales of Oracle Database.
EnterpriseDB isn't as widely used as MySQL, though many consider it a better fit for larger enterprise workloads, and it has already been able to win over customers from Oracle. But it's also important to keep in mind that this is an investment, and not an acquisition.
One of the challenges facing Oracle in its $7.4 billion takeover bid of Sun Microsystems is in convincing the European Commission that it plans to devote just as much attention to the free, open-source MySQL database as it will on any of its own costlier parallel database products. So far Oracle has a hard time convincing the EC of that, so should Oracle drop MySQL altogether? Former MYSQL business adviser Florian Mueller seems to think so.
Mueller isn't alone, either. Members of the EC feel that owning MySQL through the acquisition of Sun presents a huge conflict of interest for Oracle, who is poised to become the owner of its biggest open-source competitor.
"Oracle is a high-priced cash cow in the parallel database business," Mueller said during a press conference on Monday. "Why then should it be the one entity that controls development, determines revenues, and controls an R&D budget of a competing product that it sells against directly in the database market?"
Naturally, Oracle has a different perspective. According to Oracle CEO and founder Larry Ellison, MySQL isn't a competitor at all, and he points out MySQL has its own market and following. Instead, Ellison says Microsoft SQL Server is Oracle's competition.
But no matter how Ellison feels, it's the EC who has the final word, at least in Europe. Without the EC's stamp of approval, Oracle won't be able to do business in Europe. As it stands, the EC has set a deadline of January 19, 2010 to make a final decision to sanction the deal or not, although it could decide even sooner.
CEOs have drawn a lot of flak in recent times for their fat paychecks, forcing some CEOs to accept pay cuts. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is the latest tech honcho to have his base salary trimmed down dramatically to $1. According to a regulatory document filed by his company on Friday, Larry Ellison will receive only $1 as his base salary during fiscal 2010, which began on June 1. The erstwhile richest man in the world is currently fourth on Forbes’ list of world’s most affluent people. Last year, he received a base salary $1 million, which only amounted to 1.2 percent of his total annual income. Ellison, who founded Oracle in 1977, owns a 22.7 stake in Oracle.
Oracle, which makes databases and other software, said the U.S. Department of Jusice has approved its plans to acquire Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion.
The bid to acquire Sun was first announced in April and Sun shareholders approved the acquisition on July 16, but the deal has been in limbo following the DOJ's extended antitrust review. According to a lawyer for Oracle, the DOJ needed more time to review an issue about the way rights to Java are licensed, the Wall Street Journal reports.
With the DOJ no longer a roadblock, Oracle still faces a few more hurdles before the deal can go through. The acquisition is subject to certain conditions and also needs approval from European regulators, which said it will weigh in with an initial opinion in September.
Sun spent the past five years touting its Rock chip project. The Rock project has only yielded delays till now and the much vaunted UltraSparc server chip with multiple cores is still nowhere to be seen. But according to an unconfirmed report, which quotes sources privy to the sensitive details of the project, Sun has finally decided to cancel the Rock chip project. Sun had time and again claimed that the 16-core UltraSparc chip would turn the tide in its favor in the high-end server chip segment. One popular belief is that Oracle, which will soon acquire Sun, may have ordered the cancellation. The cancellation will help Sun trim its R&D budget.
Takeover talks between IBM and Sun appear to have come to an end for good, assuming stockholder approval for a $7.4 billion acquisition deal. But it's Oracle, and not IBM, who made the winning bid, and according to CNet, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share.
"We expect this acquisition to be accretive to Oracle's earnings by at least 15 cents on a non-GAAP basis in the first full year after closing," said Safra Catz, Oracle President. "We estimate that the acquired business will contribute over $1.5 billion to Oracle's non-GAAP operating profit in the first year, increasing to over $2 billion in the second year."
IBM had previously entered into negotiations with Sun, offering up a deal worth about $7 billion. But Sun refused the offer, in part because it felt the bid wasn't enough, but mostly the company was concerned IBM would bail if the potential deal resulted in an antitrust review.
The deal between Oracle and Sun is expected to close this summer, pending stockholder and regulatory approvals.