March 24, 1997 10:00 AM ET
Oracle prepares data mart bundles
By Juan Carlos Perez

  Oracle Corp. is preparing an integrated set of database, development and Web tools designed for companies looking to quickly implement a data mart.

The Oracle Data Mart Suite, which is due in May for Windows NT, combines the Oracle7 database, data movement and transformation technology, a version of Designer 2000 and Oracle Web Application Server 3.0 for Web access, among other features, said sources close to the Redwood Shores, Calif., company.

Support for Unix platforms is slated for the second half of the year, along with a beefed-up option called the Oracle Data Mart Suite/Sales and Marketing for both NT and Unix, the sources said.

The bundles are good news for Oracle shops, which will be able to mesh the integrated suite with their infrastructure.

"If it's one-stop shopping and priced right, I think it will catch on like fire, because users are always interested in products that are brought out by their vendors," said Michael Abbey, president of Michael Abbey Systems International Inc., in Ottawa, and vice president of communications for the International Oracle Users Group-Americas.

The suites come with data movement and transformation technology called Data Mart Builder, licensed from Sagent Technology Inc., which lets users populate the target database and manage the mart's metadata.

Also included is a version of Designer 2000, called Data Mart Designer, tailored for data mart modeling. For Web access, the suites have Oracle Web Application Server 3.0 and the Oracle Web Request Broker. Although the Oracle Discoverer decision support tool also comes with it, any third-party tool can be used.

Oracle's suite deal

Oracle Data Mart Suite components:

  • Oracle7
  • Data Mart Builder
  • Data Mart Designer
  • Web Application Server
  • Web Request Broker
  • Discoverer query and reporting tool

Oracle Data Mart Suite/Sales and Marketing components:

  • All of the above applications
  • Oracle Express calculation engine (OLAP option)
  • Sales Analyzer
  • Excel add-in
  • Oracle Express Web Agent

"I'm reasonably impressed by the completeness of the Oracle solution," said Steve Hendrick, an analyst at International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass. "It provides a lot of functionality in a reasonably well-integrated package. It's head and shoulders above competing products."

Vendors offering comparable bundles include IBM with Visual Warehouse, Sybase Inc. with QuickStart Data Mart and Informix Software Inc. with FastStart options.

Oracle's Sales and Marketing suite adds OLAP (online analytical processing) functionality to the basic offering, including the Oracle Express calculation engine to analyze data stored in Oracle7, the Sales Analyzer OLAP application for analyzing sales and marketing data, an Excel add-in and the Oracle Express Web Agent.

"It looks like a complete package, but it remains to be seen how well-integrated it is, in particular the Sagent technology," said Shaku Atre, president of Atre Associates Inc., in Port Chester, N.Y.

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