Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-02-28

  • Enslin takes over as SAP North America president
    SAP America Inc. said Wednesday it has named Rob Enslin president of SAP North America. He replaces Gregory Tomb, SAP North America’s president and CEO, who is on a leave of absence for personal reasons.
  • The PaaS Era, Part 2: Who’s In It All the Way?
    The PaaS trend is still in its infancy, but it has gained so much popularity already that vendors are scrambling to let developers experiment with their applications. Not all PaaS vendors are alike, though. Some offer limited mashup-creating capabilities, while others — NetSuite, Oracle, SugarCRM and SalesLogix, for example — really let devs get their hands dirty.
  • Oracle Professional: Oracle prepping broad-based social-networking suite
    The technology, titled Oracle Social Suite, has apparently not been formally announced by Oracle. It combines a wide range of social-networking features… They range from the basics — such as a blog system that uses Movable Type as a front end; bookmarking; tagging; and aggregated information feeds — to more conceptual ideas, like Oracle Social Graph, which provides a visual map of the connections between users and content. The suite also includes OpenSocial Container, which enables users to plug in applets that meet Google’s OpenSocial standard. … The effort eventually became a beta project code-named “Shiji.” Over time, the technology was pushed out to other Oracle business units, the documents state. It is not clear when or if the Social Suite will become a commercially available product. Neither document provides a release date, although one states that Oracle is “actively recruiting” proof-of-concept customers in Japan.
  • Managing IT in a downturn: Beyond cost cutting
    Creating impact with technology Such an effort begins with a survey of operations for areas likely to produce near-term revenue and efficiency gains. In our work across a variety of industries, we have identified a number ways technology investments can have a substantial impact (Exhibit 2). * Manage sales and pricing. Develop insights into customer segments and improve pricing discipline to increase revenues without increasing prices. * Optimize sourcing and production. Rethink supply chains and logistics to improve the scheduling of deliveries and inventory management. * Enhance support processes. Improve the management and use of field forces (such as installers and field technicians) and of customer support centers. * Optimize overhead and performance management. Sharpen awareness of risk exposure and improve decision-making and performance-management processes.
  • Celebrating Black History in Technology
    Oracle President Chuck Phillips Oracle President Charles Phillips is also a member of the company’s board. Phillips joined Oracle in 2003. Before joining Oracle, Phillips worked at Morgan Stanley. Prior to Wall Street, Phillips served as a captain in the United States Marine Corps. Phillips holds a degree in Computer Science from the United States Air Force Academy, a law degree from New York Law School and an MBA from Hampton University.
  • Microsoft’s glimpse of the future
    A new video from Microsoft shows in an elegant, if utopian way, what it might look like if all of those gadgets came together several years hence. Earlier on Friday, Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop showed the video in a speech at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
  • Microsoft Readying Low-cost Windows Server OS
    Microsoft is readying a new low-cost version of Windows Server to give customers a server OS similar to client OSes that run on low-cost PCs. Microsoft plans to release “something akin to” a netbook version of Windows, but for servers, not PCs, over the next month or two, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said on a call with members of the financial community on Tuesday. … He described the software as a “low-cost, low-price, low-functionality Windows Server SKU” called “Foundation Edition,” but did not offer more details.
  • Few Oracle Customers Have Official Database Patching Policies
    Oracle shops are having trouble keeping up with the patch cycles, too. More than half (55 percent) said they are one or two patch cycles behind. Around 30 percent said they install updates before the next CPU is released; 25 percent are one CPU behind (three to six months), while 10 percent are two CPUs behind (six to nine months), 8 percent are three CPUs behind (nine to 12 months), and another 8 percent are more than 12 months behind in their patching. Another 11 percent said they never apply CPU patches. Even so, the respondents said they were mostly satisfied with the CPU as a way to protect their databases. Around 42 percent said the process was effective or extremely effective in securing their database environments, and 45 percent said it was “somewhat” effective. Around 13 percent said the CPU process was ineffective.
  • Oracle to Release Major Enterprise Manager Upgrade
    Oracle is set to unveil Enterprise Manager 10g Release 5 on Tuesday, framing the upgrade as a major step forward for the company’s wide-ranging application management platform. “This is a pretty important release,” said Moe Fardoost, director of product marketing. “There’s something in each tier.” On the application level, the update adds support for Siebel CRM 8.1.1, as well as additional management tools for the Beehive collaboration platform and Oracle’s billing and revenue management software. Moving down the stack to middleware, Oracle has brought in deep management capabilities for WebLogic Server and Oracle Service Bus, he said.
  • How FriendFeed uses MySQL to store schema-less data
    In particular, making schema changes or adding indexes to a database with more than 10 – 20 million rows completely locks the database for hours at a time…There are complex operational procedures you can do to circumvent these problems (like setting up the new index on a slave, and then swapping the slave and the master), but those procedures are so error prone and heavyweight, they implicitly discouraged our adding features that would require schema/index changes. Since our databases are all heavily sharded, the relational features of MySQL like JOIN have never been useful to us, so we decided to look outside of the realm of RDBMS. … After some deliberation, we decided to implement a “schema-less” storage system on top of MySQL rather than use a completely new storage system. This post attempts to describe the high-level details of the system. We are curious how other large sites have tackled these problems, and we thought some of the design work we have done might be useful to ot


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