While the summer doldrums may be upon us, there has been no reduction in the flow of JD Edwards news coming across my desk. In this article, I’ll discuss important changes on the middleware and tools fronts, promising developments for JD Edwards World, and a way that almost any company can get a fat check from Oracle.

Next Stop…WebLogic?

Last week, I posted a review of Oracle’s plans to integrate BEA products into its Fusion Middleware portfolio. As the review stated, Oracle’s middleware roadmap raises many questions about the role that BEA products will play in the Oracle Technology Foundation for EnterpriseOne. While we are still working to get definitive answers to those questions, sources inside Oracle have confirmed that there are no plans to force EnterpriseOne customers to use BEA WebLogic Server. If you are running Oracle Application Server or IBM WebSphere Application Server, you will continue to receive support.

That said, sources close to the JD Edwards team are saying that the team intends to follow Oracle’s lead when it comes to adopting those BEA products that have been designated as “strategic”. As such, EnterpriseOne users should expect that selected BEA products will become part of the Oracle Technology Foundation. Rest assured that we will be on the lookout for further developments on this front and will post new articles as information becomes available.

JD Edwards World Picks Up the Pace

Now that Oracle is past its quarterly “quiet period” for discussing financial results, we’re learning that the company’s fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year 2008 were quite good for JD Edwards World. In a recent briefing for its business partners, JD Edwards executives revealed several significant wins for World in new accounts. They also unveiled a new “Green sales initiative” that will promote both World and EnterpriseOne during fiscal year 2009. At the same time, JD Edwards World General Manager John Schiff wrote an open letter to the World community. In the letter, Schiff states that the World community has never been as vibrant and active as in recent years.

It is gratifying to see confirming evidence of the growth trend for World that we discussed back in May. It will be interesting to see how the Green sales initiative plays out in the coming months.

A Better WebSphere?

If you are running your EnterpriseOne web tier on an IBM System i using WebSphere, check out the latest paper from the IBM Oracle International Competency Center that we just posted to our white papers section. The paper compares the performance of the latest WebSphere Application Server 6.1 release to that of WebSphere 6.0 when running EnterpriseOne 8.12. Unlike WAS 6.0, which runs on a 64-bit JVM, WAS 6.1 uses a streamlined 32-bit JVM. This is one reason why WAS 6.1 delivered faster EnterpriseOne response times than WAS 6.0 while using less memory and fewer CPU cycles.

New EnterpriseOne Tools Update on Tap

Last week, Oracle announced the availability of EnterpriseOne Tools 8.96 Update 4. The update, which is the final maintenance release for Tools 8.96 contains all of the fixes in maintenance packs 8.96.0.1 through 8.96.3.3 along with new fixes of its own. With the release of Update 4, EnterpriseOne Tools 8.96 now moves into “sustaining support” mode in which no further updates are released. To learn more, log into the EnterpriseOne Update Center on the Oracle Customer Connection web site.

Oracle UCM Goes Midsize

If you ever took a look at Oracle Universal Content Management (formerly known as Stellent UCM) but flinched at the high price, I have news for you. Last month, Oracle announced UCM Standard Edition, a version of the product that strips out some of the advanced features in exchange for a considerably lower price. While Oracle UCM carries a list price of $115,000 per processor, UCM SE weighs in at $57,500, a 50 percent reduction. Considering Oracle’s reputation for deep discounting, street prices for the product will be considerably lower. One nice feature of UCM SE is that it can be easily upgraded to the full version without uninstalls or reinstalls. To learn more, check out Oracle’s latest Midsize Business Newsletter.

Don’t Thank Me…Just Send Money!

The next time that you get someone from another company interested in Oracle products, your good deed could earn your company some cold, hard cash. Oracle has unveiled an initiative under which companies can receive 5 percent of net software license deals — up to $50,000 — when they refer other firms to Oracle. To learn more about the program and to sign up, visit the Referral Initiative portal.