The best thing about Collaborate 2007 was how little dramatic news there was for JD Edwards customers – and how wonderful that was. Our community has seen more than its share of excitement over the past ten years, so the period of relative peace and tranquility we have now entered is very welcome. Oracle is not ignoring us; instead, it has made the pragmatic (and appropriate) decision to leave us largely alone for the time being.

The JD Edwards faithful have survived Y2K, the PeopleSoft merger, years of ominous warnings about an Oracle takeover, and then the reality of it happening. Worrying about what Oracle might put us through has consumed too much of our energy since the acquisition. The news that there is no big news is thus soothing and welcome.

JD Edwards customers do want to know that a steady stream of enhancements and new capabilities are in the works. Applications Unlimited promised us that and more a year ago. We were also told that Oracle was going to entice and not force us to move forward over time, and that we could proceed at whatever pace suited us.

It is nice to know that Oracle is working on Fusion Applications – its dream for the ultimate next-generation ERP suite. More importantly, it is fine with us that others will shake Fusion Applications down before Oracle makes a push to get us to convert. Realistically, it will be 2012 before Oracle is ready to make a serious run at the JD Edwards customer base with Fusion Applications. Since almost none of us are holding our breath waiting for it, that is no problem. So little is currently known about Fusion that it is fine if Oracle’s E-Business Suite customers have the privilege of shaking it down before our turn comes.

The things JD Edwards customers really care about are being addressed. New releases that include useful functionality are now coming every year or so. JD Edwards World has finally been updated. Oracle is not trying to force us to abandon either the System i or our IBM middleware. A growing number of new applications, such as Oracle Transportation Manager (the result of the G-Log acquisition), are being offered to JD Edwards customers as well.

Oracle has a number of other major initiatives in the works including Fusion Middleware, a growing body of Business Intelligence offerings, and the newly announced Application Integration Architecture. Eventually they will have a profound and positive impact on JD Edwards customers. Don’t feel guilty, however, if you have not paid much attention to them so far.

The first wave of customers to take advantage of these sophisticated offerings will largely come from those that have historically used Oracle’s database and middleware. Our turn will come later. This is just what most of us want – continuation of the current period of relative tranquility. The vast majority of JD Edwards customers only use a small fraction of the capability within the software already installed. Catching up to newer releases and making better use of what is already installed provides plenty of room for improvement.

An important goal of The JD Edwards Advisor is to keep you apprised of new developments from Oracle and what they mean to you. A steady stream of postings will provide you with insight and understanding about the exciting new developments coming out of Oracle. For now, however, most of you can relax and enjoy the current period where relatively little is happening that requires an immediate response.