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back to article Why Oracle must kiss goodbye to its database past

A few years back Apple opted to drop the "Computer" from its corporate name, and instead became "Apple Inc." Last week, Oracle made a similar move, quietly stopping its decades old practice of reporting database revenues. Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison was quick to point out on Oracle's earnings call that for its database …

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Silver badge

Not reporting numbers equals ...

Not wanting people to see them.

Is the cat fight with HP costing them too much?

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Devil

Oracle reporting just database earnings....

...is like the devil reporting just horrific floggings. Sure it's one service they provide, but not necessarily a large part of the total package of misery they inflict anymore.

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Facepalm

Cloud shmoud

If Oracle go all Cloud, how can they continue to levy extortionate rates for their horrible database that hates dealing with any product designed to, er, display or manipulate data?

No, Oracle will keep selling their horrible crap (it works, sure, it just hates actually being used) to exactly the kind of blue-chip play-it-safe-at-all-costs it's-taxpayers-money-anyway institutions as always. And those people don't put their data in "the Cloud".

Seriously Matt, you only gave us one buzzword this week. You've ruined the office bingo game.

Still, at least you're consistently wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cloud shmoud

That's by-design.

How on earth can you sell expensive accreditations if it does what it should in an intuitive manner?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And those people don't put their data in "the Cloud".

I work as a contractor at one of those never to be sufficiently damned agencies, and I hate to tell you, but they are as gaga over The Cloud as the marketers are.

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Big Brother

Oracle is just another CA. It buys software. It does not build software.

Oracle does not want to publish database revenue because the revenue would show there are few new customers. There is little that is new in relational databases so there are few new customers. Steve Jobs created lots of new interesting products. Larry Ellison does not want to look like an owner of old product. He wants an image of growth but Oracle does not create new products. It only buys new products. Oracle is just another CA.

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Bronze badge

Relational DBs

Relational DBs are alive, and will probably outlast newcomers.

YA, maybe these nosql DBs are fasta, etc, but at the end, relational, sql databases are what stays. That doesn't mean that Oracle will perdure.. there are many other nice databases.. and all less pricey .

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LDS
Silver badge

Re: Relational DBs

Most NoSQL databases have data models strongly tied to the applications using them. Relational DB have not. When data are much more importand than the applications using them - as most valuable data are - you want them to be accessible by multiple applications in very many different ways. And Oracle will be still here when most NoSQL databases will be forgotten. As usual Asay has no clue about real computer needs, and keeps on living in his own small world.

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Angel

Re: Relational DBs

Most NoSQL databases exist for a simple reason, the ability to blast the data across a very large number of nodes. It's a conscious trade-off, but at these kinds of scale (say 1 billion users) the relational model breaks down and the nice clean tables can't be efficiently joined, regardless. Doesn't mean that if you are writing the database for even a pretty large company you can't go relational.

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Anonymous Coward

Makes sense

Database has been Oracle's cash cow for decades. Splitting out its contribution allows to track exactly how well it is doing with all the expensive acquisitions it has carried out and how well it is executing on new products (looking at you, Fusion).

IMHO, it is rather like Microsoft hiding the "success" of divisions other than Windows and Office. Lots of $ spent, not that much gained.

Keep in mind, until the PeopleSoft purchase in 2005, Oracle had not bought much. Since then, it's been going to town trying to buy itself out of relying on databases. Muddying the waters a bit makes sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Makes sense

Exactly, this is the same situation. Microsoft is always pleased to have the cash cows ship a few dollars in the way of Dynamics or whatever their struggling unit is today (i.e. give away Dynamics for a song with a Windows license renewal, book Dynamics at full list price and take the margin out of the Windows renewal... even though the only reason they sold Dynamics was because it was essentially free with the licenses people want to buy). Microsoft prints money on Windows and Office, so they are pleased to make their struggling units look better at the expense of Windows. Likewise with Oracle DB and hardware or cloud.

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Silver badge

Pic from twitter says it all

Matt Asay knows nothing about a subject and announces to his fellow twats that he's going to write about it anyway and if they have any opinions he'd love to roll them into his bog-post. Someone send him a wank sock.

El Reg is turning into the regurgitation of the idiots: Matt Asay, Florian Müller, Tim Worstall, et al. Pity Mr Orlowski isn't pointing out it's because real journalists want to be paid real money which they can't do because we all have ad-blockers. Think it's going to SPB only for me in future with the odd dip into anything not related to climate that Mr Page may have written.

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Oracle are killing themselves by killing small to medium-sized customers. Microsoft undercut Oracle by offering site licences including office and Windows licensing. Oracle site licenses are shrinking by the day. The move to VMWare exists in over 60% of firms. All these firms are asking software suppliers for solutions that run on Microsoft because of Oracle's arrogance in licencing the underlying hardware rather than the hardwares used in each particular VM.

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Anonymous Coward

MS SQL

Microsoft is able to gift MS SQL because it is all a side business, just for grins. Their real business is Windows and Office. As their client side business continues to unravel and people don't want the big CALs bundle, they are not going to be able to give it away any longer. I agree that MS SQL is getting closer to Oracle/DB2, although no where near them for the high end workload, but there is a shoe waiting to drop in there as well.

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I would assume they don't want to show just how badly new license sales for the Oracle RDBMS are doing due to flight to open-source competitors like PostgreSQL (much closer architecturally to Oracle than MySQL is). Sure, Oracle can ride revenues by jacking up prices on support contracts, as vendor lock-in is particularly acute for the database, and it has, but that only accelerates migrations away from their RDBMS for new deployments.

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Anonymous Coward

And now for something completely different

Um. Oracle is still kick ass an taking names in terms of margin. The difference between money taken in and money spent.

By changing the focus of the earnings call they can talk about all the other areas they derive revenue and alas margin.

Fastest way to take mindshare from a market is to stop talking about it. The second largest software vendor in the world just said the DB is not important. Not relational, not NoSQL, Database. Whether the rest of the market follows suit will be interesting.

Expect to hear more about Engineered Systems as a whole when talking about database technology. Watson is the target. You buy an Oracle Solution - it comes with the necessary software to run your business.

The faster Oracle Stops talking about components and moves into Business Solutions - the quicker they can drop the al a carte menu.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And now for something completely different

Agree that Oracle is trying to move to "engineered systems", but their customers, generally, do not want engineered systems. People forget that the reason Oracle became Oracle (and Cisco became Cisco for that matter) is because they argued, persuasively, that it was a better approach to use best of breed vendors for various components than one large vendor, called IBM, for an integrated system. They argued that the flexibility and cost benefits outweighed the integration benefits of the mainframe.... Now that these providers have taken over their niches, Cisco in networking and Oracle in DB, they are arguing exactly the opposite of their original argument. Turns out, as they have recently discovered, that having one provider do everything requires less integration... kind of like IBM has been saying for 30 years.

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Anonymous Coward

You have it backwards

IMO, Oracle doesn't want to report its database revenue not because DB is doing poorly but because they are going to use that revenue to subsidize other, less competitive, businesses' numbers. For instance, they will give away an Exadata with a DB license renewal, but instead of recording the Exadata sale at a low amount and DB at the full amount, they will record that the Exadata sold at full list price and the DB software was discounted by 90%. There is nothing illegal about it as it is all bundled together and the net financial results are the same. It is just a management decision on which division they want to make look good, or better than it otherwise would look.

They would rather report that software increased by 2 or 4% and hardware decreased by 20% than DB increased by 15%, applications decreased by 2% and hardware decreased by 50%. Everyone knows Oracle can sell DB software, no one is questioning it. They are questioning hardware on every analyst call.... If they are pursuing this strategy, they don't want to report DB revenues independently because they will not look great... even though DB is doing well, applications are stagnant and hardware is burning down. All of this, IMO, is to make hardware look less bad than it otherwise would look. They are borrowing from all their other divisions to prop up the Sun numbers... and Sun is still down 24% vs. last year. They are masking the reality that there has been an industry wide, wholesale migration away from Sun since Oracle bought Sun and it is a failed acquisition.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You have it backwards

per my previous post - IMHO, I think it is still about business. However you do mention some very good points and one indirectly.

I am still absolutely amazed that John Fowler is still there....But then again, HP still has Martin Fink and Dave Donatelli on their payroll as well....

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Childcatcher

To quote the author "Surely that team is being compensated for those sales, so figuring out total database sales must remain reasonably straightforward. If Oracle wanted to do so. But, apparently, it doesn't"

"apparently it doesn't"? As if we should expect the published balance sheet of any corporation to be that granular. I would be worried if they weren't trying to expand their boundaries and press into new domains, does anyone remember Kodak?

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