Proving once again that my enemy's enemy is my friend (for the time being!), Oracle and Google have tapped into their mutual dislike of Microsoft and announced a collaboration that makes it easier to shuttle data between Oracle and Google's applications.
Although Oracle CEO Larry Ellison still chokes over the term cloud computing, Oracle has produced a beta version of its Oracle Gadget Wizard for Google Apps and support for Google's Secure Data Connector (SDC), to go along with the debut of Siebel CRM support for Google Apps. The CRM applications can now work with a Google-based cloud more securely by using Google's SDC.
Mark Woollen, vice president of Social CRM for Oracle, said corporate developers can now take the code they built on middleware and port it directly to the Google Apps Engine. From there, they can run it in the cloud. It's a vision that suits Oracle nicely as it would enable the development of corporate cloud applications that are tightly integrated with on premise Siebel applications.
For Oracle, this may have the added bonus of convincing some corporate users to go with Siebel CRM instead of turning to Salesforce.com. But as Google and Salesforce.com are close allies, the main target of this alliance is clearly Microsoft. Allying with Oracle gives Google more credibility among enterprise accounts, where it needs to convince sceptics to switch from Microsoft Office to Google Apps.
Google's upgrade to its App Engine software is aimed at making the platform more powerful and more useful for enterprise customers. Rajen Sheth, senior product manager, said Google wants to make it easy for businesses to host software applications in Google's data centres, while letting the companies retain control of their data. "Businesses typically have thousands of little applications that each department uses and that need to be maintained," says Sheth. "It typically takes a lot of time and money."
To date, App Engine had been limited to web applications written in the Python programming language favoured internally at Google, but the new version offers Java support. About 150,000 developers have built 50,000 applications on App Engine so far, according to Google, and those apps draw about 100 million page views per day.