Couple of Thoughts on Oracle announcements on Microsoft and Salesforce Partnerships

Right upfront – this post is just a personal view and has nothing to do with my employer’s opinion . I am just typing this up on my phone while watching my daughter hitting tennis balls with her friends .

Oracle CEO said he was going to reshape cloud computing last week during their earnings call . That was a pretty big claim , and naturally I was interested in what he had to say this week . I have great respect for the guy – despite missing a few very critical turns (cloud, in-memory computing etc) recently, he has done admirably well for himself and the companies he founded and invested in . Plus it is always fun to speculate if there will be any attempt to revise history 🙂

Larry never loses an opportunity to snipe at his competitors – often in what looks like pretty silly ways to me. In recent years , he has made fun of the leaders of SFDC, SAP, IBM etc . And almost in all cases , it is interpreted by external world as an endorsement of what the competition is doing. Enterprise Software is a funny world to be in 🙂

So the first positive I saw in this week’s announcement is that with this partnership – there is a decent chance that Larry will reduce sniping at SFDC and MS a little .

Oracle is a big fan of engineered systems – controlling all (or most) layers of the “stack”. The partnership with MS to put Oracle DB on Azure and get MS to license java looks like a change in strategy (or is it philosophy?) to me . Looks like Oracle is slowly recognizing the importance of working with an ecosystem . My feeling is that MS gained more than Oracle in this deal – with java giving additional flexibility to developers who so far could only play with .Net . On the flip side, MS might be indirectly be admitting that SQL server can’t quite match Oracle in DB . Or maybe MS is taking a view that it is a good thing to give more DB choices to customers .

What also caught my eye was that Oracle is exposing not just DB but also the old BEA app server via Azure. I had a smile on my face when I read this – since unlike SAP Hana which has an inbuilt App server ( XS Engine) , Oracle needs a separate app server to make use of its DB server in an application . This is not innovation – just repackaging. At least customers have the consolation of license mobility .

What about the SFDC partnership ? From what I heard so far – the deal is a good tactical sales opportunity for Oracle After their horrible quarter end. 9 years of recurring revenue is awesome for any company. Plus if SFDC – as rumored – was planning to ditch Oracle as their DB, this is a good “PR save” as well by getting their long term commitment . I can’t imagine SFDC changing their application level multi tenancy to a database level multi tenancy on an unproven 12C platform. Too much risk and disruption – but would be great to see if they do. Maybe new extensions on or something might use 12C – and I will be keeping an eye out for that for technology curiosity sake.

Also interesting is the question whether this means Oracle treats SFDC CRM solutions as superior to products in their own catalog. Same is true for SFDC – would they stop working on HCM and take a view that Oracle is better at it ?

Is there a competitive angle to either announcement ? It can be argued in theory that Amazon, Workday, SAP etc need to take notice . In reality, I don’t see any short to medium term impact to any of these competitors .

Between the big $$ from SFDC and the chance to push exadata boxes to SFDC and maybe MS too – the deal probably makes good financial sense for Oracle . But from a tech perspective, I don’t think the world has changed much this week . But hey – if this means we see less public fights between Ellison and Benioff , that is still a good thing


Published by Vijay Vijayasankar

Son/Husband/Dad/Dog Lover/Engineer. Follow me on twitter @vijayasankarv. These blogs are all my personal views - and not in way related to my employer or past employers

8 thoughts on “Couple of Thoughts on Oracle announcements on Microsoft and Salesforce Partnerships

  1. Hi Vijay,

    I’m pretty much on the same page as you are. Seems like this was a classic Larry Ellison move! The fact that none of the official statements mention 12c explicitly makes the whole fuzz a bit hollow. However it seems that SFDC and MS are preparing their infrastructure for it, so it may just be a question of time.

    I’m not too deep into the technical foundation of 12c to judge their multi-tenancy implementation, so I’m wondering if there’s a solid article on the web that explains how they optimized it for cloud computing and shared usage. Do you know of such a document?

    One thing that completely confused me were the statements of Azure now supporting Java. AFAIK this has been there for a while ( and so I wonder what’s different now and how does it impact developers? Sadly, the short blog posted on the Oracle blogs didn’t go into details much. :/

    Anyway, I agree: ” But from a tech perspective, I don’t think the world has changed much this week.”


    PS: FYI – I also recapped on all the announcements and provided a list of references and related reading materials. Maybe it’s useful for some of the people who want to have a closer look at all this!


  2. Fun stuff, Vijay!

    Hard to say if any of this will yield any long term benefit for any of the participants.

    One point I did want to add is that it might be a bit premature declaring that an integrated data store and app server is “the right way”. The jury is still VERY much out on that one…



  3. Another thing that would be worth watching would be if sfdc moves from commodity based hardware to the engineered stack or would it be exa-washing I.e. use a single box and say we are using it inhouse..


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