Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-02-23

  • Test Center review: Thumbs-up to FileMaker upgrade
    A wonderfully easy-to-use desktop database product that runs on Windows and the Mac, FileMaker Pro is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as departments of large and enterprise-sized businesses. FileMaker is simple enough for the office technologist to set up, and for almost anyone in the office to use.
  • Why Do Enterprise Applications Suck?
    We’ve got a time-tracking system that has a feature where an employee can enter in a vacation request. There’s a little workflow triggered to have the supervisor approve the vacation request. I’ve seen it used inside two groups. In both cases, the employee negotiates the leave request via email then enters it into the time tracking system. I know several people who use Travelocity to find their flights before they log in to our corporate travel system. And you wouldn’t even believe how hard our sales force automation system [is] compared to Salesforce.com.
  • SAP revs up college recruiting effort with new site
    SAP is augmenting its University Alliances program with a new Web portal aimed at bringing more college students into the fold. The site is organized into sections like “faculty club,” “student union” and “library,” which contain content like message boards, case studies, lectures and career resources.
  • ‘Full’ SQL Server planned for Microsoft’s Azure cloud
    Microsoft plans to make a full version of its popular SQL Server database available in the cloud in response to pressure from partners. The company told The Reg it’s working to add as many features as possible from SQL Server to its fledgling Azure Services Platform cloud as quickly as possible, following feedback. General manager developer and platform evangelism Mark Hindsbro said Microsoft hoped to complete this work with the first release of Azure, currently available as a Community Technology Preview (CTP). But he added that some features might be rolled into subsequent updates to Azure. Microsoft has not yet given a date for the first version of Azure, which was released as a CTP last October.
  • Quick Take on Microsoft SQL Server Fast Track
    Stuart Frost of Microsoft (nee’ DATAllegro) checked in, with Microsoft’s TDWI-timed announcements. The news part was something called “SQL Server Fast Track,” which is the Microsoft SQL Server equivalent to Oracle’s “recommended configurations” or IBM’s “BCUs.” SQL Server Fast Track is further being portrayed as an incremental step toward Madison, Microsoft’s future high-end data warehousing offering.
  • Microsoft Looks to Push SQL Server Deeper into the Data Warehousing Space
    The offering is meant to increase Microsoft SQL Server 2008’s scalability up to 32TB and to slash the time and effort required to deploy mission-critical projects. Through balanced configurations, the new reference architectures are designed to optimize all hardware components, delivering up to 200MB per second per central processing unit core, according to Microsoft. The hardware and reference architectures are available from Bull, Dell and HP starting at $13,000 per terabyte.
  • Salesforce.com Named #3 on Forbes “25 Fastest Growing Tech Companies” List
    Salesforce.com [NYSE:CRM], the enterprise cloud computing company, today announced it has been named to Forbes “25Fastest Growing Tech Companies” List for the third consecutive year. Preceded by Google andbiotechnology company Illumina, salesforce.com was ranked as the third fastest growing technologycompany with 40 percent earnings per share (EPS) growth and five-year sales growth of 72 percent.
  • Microsoft U-turn over redundancy pay gaffe
    In the end, though, Microsoft executives decided that swallowing the $125,000 slip-up would be easier than suffering from bad public relations.
  • SAP APJ posts 23% software revenue growth
    SAP Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) posted 23 percent Software revenue growth, to €594 million. Software and related services grew at 24 percent for the year, to €1.192 billion. All revenue figures in this release are expressed in non-GAAP constant currency terms and all growth is measured against the previous comparable period. While SAP APJ experienced difficult market conditions in the fourth quarter, growing software and software related Services at 5 percent, total revenue for the full year grew at 20 percent, to €1.532 billion.
  • Oracle apps: an innovation free zone since 2006?
    This last point is a good one because the way I read Oracle’s definition of innovation – at least according to the timeline on their own website – is as a series of ‘firsts.’ What is shocking is that list stopped being updated in 2006. You can argue as Vinnie has that Oracle has been innovating by scooping up large chunks of the enterprise apps market. The numbers bear that argument out.
  • Oracle and the art of development and support
    I am sure these new features deliver some utility, but you expect big, bold stuff like Fusion announced 5 years ago. We don’t even hear that word any more from Oracle. Oracle, in my opinion, has forgotten how to develop code. Its top executives are deal makers, not technology visionaries. Worse, when it comes to their acquisitions, they cannot retain or easily replace the entrepreneurial talent. Every person who departs Oracle comments about the mass confusion that comes with such a rapid accumulation of software IP – and Ben touches on that also in his article. The rapid pace of acquisitions has also had a significant impact on Oracle support. Customers report frequent and confusing changes to Oracle’s support policies as so many products go in and out of stages of “lifetime support”. Little has been done to rationalize support across products – other than of course, raise maintenance to 22% The questions every CIO needs to ask as they write maintenance checks to Oracle are: Can m
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