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Oracle Corporation

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Title: Oracle Corporation  
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Oracle Corporation

Oracle Corporation
Type Public
Traded as NYSE: ORCL
S&P 500 Component
Industry Enterprise software
Computer hardware
Founded June 16, 1977 (1977-06-16), Santa Clara, California, U.S.[1]
Founders Larry Ellison
Bob Miner
Ed Oates
Headquarters Redwood Shores, Redwood City, California, United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people Larry Ellison,
Chairman & CTO
Jeff Henley,
Vice Chairman
Safra Catz, Co-CEO
Mark Hurd, Co-CEO
Products Oracle Applications, Oracle Database, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Fusion Middleware, servers, workstations, storage
(See Oracle products)
Revenue Increase US$ 38.27 billion (2014)[2]
Operating income Increase US$ 14.75 billion (2014)[2]
Net income Increase US$ 10.95 billion (2014)[2]
Total assets Increase US$ 90.34 billion (2014)[2]
Total equity Increase US$ 46.87 billion (2014)[2]
Employees 122,458 (2014)[3]
Subsidiaries List of Oracle subsidiaries
Website .com.oraclewww

Oracle Corporation is an American multinational computer technology corporation headquartered in Redwood City, California, United States. The company specializes in developing and marketing computer hardware systems and enterprise software products – particularly its own brands of database management systems. As of 2011, Oracle is the second-largest software maker by revenue, after Microsoft.[4]

The company also builds tools for database development and systems of middle-tier software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, customer relationship management (CRM) software and supply chain management (SCM) software.

Larry Ellison, a co-founder of Oracle, had served as Oracle's CEO throughout its history. On September 18, 2014, it was announced that he would be stepping down (with Mark Hurd and Safra Catz to become co-CEOs). Ellison will become executive chairman and CTO.[5] He also served as the Chairman of the Board until his replacement by Jeffrey O. Henley in 2004. On August 22, 2008, the Associated Press ranked Ellison as the top-paid chief executive in the world.[6][7]


  • History 1
    • Overall timeline 1.1
    • Technology timeline 1.2
    • Manageability claim 1.3
  • Products and services 2
    • Software 2.1
      • Databases 2.1.1
      • Middleware 2.1.2
        • Oracle Secure Enterprise Search
        • Oracle Beehive
      • Applications 2.1.3
        • Third-party applications
      • Enterprise management 2.1.4
      • Development software 2.1.5
      • Operating systems 2.1.6
    • Hardware 2.2
    • Services 2.3
  • Marketing 3
    • Sales practices 3.1
    • Competition 3.2
      • Oracle and SAP 3.2.1
    • Slogans 3.3
    • Media 3.4
  • Controversies 4
    • Trashgate 4.1
    • "Can't break it, can't break in" 4.2
    • Relationship with John Ashcroft 4.3
    • Expeditionary Combat Support System 4.4
    • Cover Oregon Healthcare Exchange 4.5
  • Events 5
    • Acquisition of Sun Microsystems 5.1
    • Justice Department lawsuit 5.2
    • Lawsuit against Google 5.3
    • Discontinuation of OpenSolaris 5.4
    • Discontinuation of OpenSSO 5.5
    • Mark Hurd replaces Phillips as President 5.6
    • issue 5.7
    • HP & Oracle lawsuit 5.8
    • Foreign corrupt practices 5.9
    • Oracle banned from bidding for US General Services Administration business 5.10
  • People 6
  • Offices 7
  • Sponsorships 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12


Ellison co-founded Oracle Corporation in 1977 with Bob Miner and Ed Oates under the name Software Development Laboratories (SDL). Ellison took inspiration[8] from the 1970 paper written by Edgar F. Codd on relational database management systems (RDBMS) named "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data google Banks."[9] He heard about the IBM System R database from an article in the IBM Research Journal provided by Oates. Also derived from Codd's theories, Ellison wanted to make Oracle's product compatible with System R, but failed to do so as IBM kept the error codes for their DBMS a secret. SDL changed its name to Relational Software, Inc (RSI) in 1979,[10] then again to Oracle Systems Corporation in 1982,[11] to align itself more closely with its flagship product Oracle Database. At this stage Bob Miner served as the company's senior programmer. In 1995, Oracle Systems Corporation changed its name to Oracle Corporation,[12]officially named Oracle, but sometimes referred to as Oracle Corporation, the name of the holding company.[13] Part of Oracle Corporation's early success arose from using the C programming language to implement its products. This eased porting to different operating systems (most of which support C).

Overall timeline

Oracle Linux - A free Linux distribution supported by Oracle since 2006.


  • June 16, 1977: Software Development Laboratories (SDL) is incorporated in Santa Clara, California[1] by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates.
  • 1978: Oracle Version 1, written in assembly language, runs on PDP-11 under RSX-11, in 128K of memory. Implementation separates Oracle code from user code. Oracle V1 is never officially released.[14] The name Oracle comes from the code name of a CIA project which the founders had all worked on while at the Ampex Corporation.
  • June 1979: SDL is renamed to Relational Software Inc. (RSI)[10] and relocated to Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, California. Oracle 2, the first version of the Oracle database software, as purchased by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, runs on PDP-11 hardware. The company decides to name the first version of its flagship product "version 2" rather than "version 1" because it believes customers might hesitate to buy the initial release of its product.
  • October 1979: RSI actively promotes Oracle on the VAX platform (the software runs on the VAX in PDP-11 emulator mode).


  • 1981: Umang Gupta joins RSI, where he writes the first business plan for the company and serves as Vice President and General Manager.
  • February 1981: RSI begins developing tools for the Oracle Database, including the Interactive Application Facility (IAF), a predecessor to Oracle*Forms.
  • 1982: RSI renames itself Oracle Systems Corporation in order to align itself more closely with its primary product.
  • March 1983: Oracle Database is rewritten in C for portability and Oracle version 3 is released.
  • April 1984: Oracle receives additional funding from Sequoia Capital.
  • October 1984: Oracle version 4 is released, introducing read consistency.
  • November 1984: Oracle database software is ported to the PC platform. The MS-DOS version (4.1.4) of Oracle runs in only 512K of memory. (Oracle for MSDOS version 5, released in 1986, runs in Protected Mode on 286 machines using a technique invented by Mike Roberts, among the first products to do so.)
  • April 1985: Oracle version 5 is released – one of the first RDBMSs to operate in client-server mode.
  • 1986: Oracle version 5.1 is released with support for distributed queries. Investigations into clustering begin.
  • March 12, 1986: Oracle goes public with a revenue of $55 million.
  • August 1987: Oracle founds its Applications division, building business-management software closely integrated with its database software. Oracle acquires TCI for its project management software.
  • 1988: Oracle version 6 is released with support for row-level locking and hot backups. The developers embedded the PL/SQL procedural language engine into the database but made no provision to store program blocks such as procedures and triggers in the database – this capability came in version 7. Users could submit PL/SQL blocks for immediate execution in the server from an environment such as SQL*Plus, or via SQL statements embedded in a host program. Oracle included separate PL/SQL engines in various client tools (such as SQL*Forms and Reports).
  • 1989: Oracle moves its world headquarters to Redwood Shores, California. Revenues reach $584 million.


  • 1990: In the third quarter, Oracle reports its first ever loss;[15] it lays off hundreds of employees. Ellison hires Michael S. Fields as President of Oracle U.S.A., Jeffrey O. Henley as CFO and Raymond J. Lane as COO.
  • June 1992: Oracle 7 is released with performance enhancements, administrative utilities, application-development tools, security features, the ability to persist PL/SQL program units in the database as stored procedures and triggers, and support for declarative referential integrity.
  • 1993: Oracle releases its "Cooperative Development Environment" (CDE), which bundles Oracle Forms, Reports, Graphics, and Book.
  • 1994: Oracle acquires the database-product DEC Rdb (subsequently called Oracle Rdb) from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Oracle Rdb operates only on the OpenVMS platform (also a former product of DEC).
  • June 1, 1995: Oracle Systems Corporation announces the merger of Oracle Corporation into Oracle Systems Corporation. This transaction eliminates the holding company structure and streamlines the operating company, Oracle Corporation, with the public holding company, Oracle Systems Corporation. As part of the merger, Oracle Systems Corporation is renamed Oracle Corporation and is the surviving entity incorporated as a Delaware corporation.
  • June 21, 1995: Oracle Corporation announces new data-warehousing facilities, including parallel queries.
  • November 1995: Oracle becomes one of the first large software companies to announce an Internet strategy when Ellison introduces the Network Computer concept at an IDC conference in Paris.
  • 1996: Oracle releases Web Browser of the Oracle PowerBrowser.
  • April 1997: Oracle releases the first version of Discoverer.
  • June 1997: Oracle 8 is released with SQL object technology, Internet technology and support for terabytes of data.
  • September 1997: Oracle Corporation announces a commitment to the Java platform, and introduces Oracle's Java integrated development environment, subsequently called Oracle JDeveloper.
  • January 1998: Oracle releases Oracle Applications 10.7 Network Computing Architecture (NCA). All the applications in the business software now run across the web in a standard web browser.
  • May 1998: Oracle Corporation releases Oracle Applications 11.
  • April 1998: Oracle announces that it will integrate a Java Virtual Machine with Oracle Database.
  • September 1998: Oracle 8i is released (the i stands for Internet).
  • October 1998: Oracle 8 and Oracle Application Server 4.0 are released on the Linux platform.
  • May 1999: Oracle releases JDeveloper 2.0, showcasing Business Components for Java (BC4J), a set of libraries and development tools for building database-aware applications.


  • 2000: OracleMobile subsidiary is founded. Oracle 9i and Application Server is released. In May, Oracle announces the Internet File System (iFS), later re-branded as Oracle Content Management SDK.[16]
  • 2001: Ellison announces that Oracle saved $1 billion by implementing and using its own business applications.
  • 2004: Oracle 10g is released (the g stands for Grid).
  • December 13, 2004: After a long battle over the control of PeopleSoft, Oracle announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire PeopleSoft for $26.50 per share (approximately $10.3 billion).
  • January 14, 2005: Oracle Corporation announces that it will reduce its combined workforce to 50,000, a reduction of approximately 5,000 following the take-over of PeopleSoft.
  • September 2005: Oracle Corporation announces that it has agreed to acquire the private company Global Logistics Technologies, Inc., a global provider of logistics and transportation management software (TMS) solutions, through a cash offer.
  • September 12, 2005: Oracle Corporation announces its purchase of Siebel Systems, a producer of CRM technologies and a provider of business intelligence software, for $5.8 billion.
  • October 18, 2005: A serious security vulnerability in Oracle database password management is published by Joshua Wright of the Sans Institute and Carlos Cid of the University of London.[17] Oracle Corporation replies that existing safeguards and following good industry practices were sufficient defenses.[18] Oracle didn't close the underlying security hole until its release of the 11g DBMS in 2007.[19]
  • April 12, 2006: Oracle Corporation announces its acquisition of Portal Software, Inc. (OTC BB: PRSF.PK), a global provider of billing- and revenue-management solutions for the communications and media industry, at $4.90 per share, or approximately $220 million.
  • October 25, 2006: Oracle Corporation announces Unbreakable Linux.
  • November 2, 2006: Oracle Corporation announces that it has agreed to acquire Stellent, Inc. (NASDAQ: STEL), a global provider of enterprise content management (ECM) software solutions, through a cash tender offer for $13.50 per share, or approximately $440 million.
  • December 15, 2006: A majority of MetaSolv stockholders approves Oracle's acquisition of MetaSolv Software, a provider of operations support systems (OSS) software for the communications industry.
  • 2007: Oracle 11g is released.
  • March 1, 2007: Oracle announces an agreement to buy Hyperion Solutions Corporation (Nasdaq: HYSL), a global provider of performance-management software solutions, through a cash tender offer for $52.00 per share, or approximately $3.3 billion. The acquisition officially took place on July 1, 2007.
  • March 22, 2007: Oracle files a court case against a major competitor, SAP AG, in the Californian courts for malpractice and unfair competition.[20]
  • May 15, 2007 Oracle buys Agile Software Corporation[21]
  • October 16, 2007: Oracle confirms the impending departure of John Wookey, senior vice president for application development and head of its applications strategy, raising questions concerning the planned release and future of Oracle's Fusion Applications strategy.
  • January 16, 2008: Oracle announces it will buy BEA Systems for $19.375 per share in cash for a total of "$7.2 billion net of cash."[22]
  • September 24, 2008: Oracle announces it will market servers and storage in a co-developed and co-branded data warehouse appliance named the HP Oracle Database Machine.[23]


  • January 27, 2010: Oracle acquires Sun Microsystems.
  • March 17, 2010: Oracle launches Enterprise Manager Ops Center, a platform for managing physical and virtual Sun environments.[24]
  • April 16, 2010: Oracle agrees to acquire Phase Forward for approximately $685 million.[25]
  • July 5, 2010: Mexico Development Center begins to operate with offices in Guadalajara, Jalisco, known as the Mexican Silicon Valley.[26]
  • July 29, 2010: Oracle is indicted for fraud by the US Department of Justice.[27]
  • November 23, 2010: Oracle wins $1.3 billion lawsuit against SAP – the largest software piracy judgment in history.[28] While acknowledging the wrongdoings of its unit TomorrowNow, which was accused of massive illegal downloads of Oracle software, SAP seeks reduction of the jury award.[29]
  • March 24, 2011: Oracle announced fiscal 2011 Q3 GAAP total revenues were up 37% to $8.8 billion, while non-GAAP total revenues were up 36% to $8.8 billion.[30]
  • October 2011: Oracle Corporation acquires RightNow Technologies Inc. for $1.5 billion, to strengthen cloud services.[31]
  • February 9, 2012: Oracle announces acquisition of Taleo for $1.9 billion to add Talent Management products and services.[32][33]
  • May 23, 2012: Oracle announces the acquisition of social marketing platform Vitrue, for $300 million.[34]
  • June 5, 2012: Oracle announces the acquisition of Collective Intellect, a market intelligence firm.[35]
  • July 10, 2012: Oracle announces the acquisition of social marketer Involver.[36]
  • January 31, 2013: Gartner, Inc. has named Oracle a Leader in its latest "Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management.[37]
  • February 4, 2013: Oracle announces that it had agreed to buy Acme Packet.[38]
  • March 25, 2013: Oracle announces that it had agreed to buy Tekelec.[39]
  • May 2, 2013: Oracle enters an agreement with Paradox Engineering to work on new solutions in the smart city market.[40]
  • May 9, 2013: Oracle announces new in-memory applications for Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, Oracle PeopleSoft, Oracle Siebel, Oracle E-Business Suite, and Oracle Hyperion[41]
  • October 23, 2013: Oracle enters agreement to acquire BigMachines.[42]

Technology timeline

  • 1979: offers the first commercial SQL RDBMS[43]
  • 1983: offers a VAX-mode database
  • 1984: offers the first database with read-consistency
  • 1986: offers a client-server DBMS
  • 1987: introduces UNIX-based Oracle applications
  • 1988: introduces PL/SQL
  • 1992: offers full applications implementation methodology
  • 1995: offers the first 64-bit RDBMS.
  • 1996: moves towards an open standards-based, web-enabled architecture
  • 1999: offers its first DBMS with XML support
  • 2001: becomes the first to complete 3 terabyte TPC-H world record
  • 2002: offers the first database to pass 15 industry standard security evaluations
  • 2003: introduces what it calls "Enterprise Grid Computing" with Oracle10g
  • 2005: releases its first free database, Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (XE)
  • 2008: Smart scans in software improve query-response in HP Oracle Database Machine / Exadata storage.
  • 2013: begins use of Oracle 12C which is capable of providing cloud services with Oracle Database.

Manageability claim

Oracle stated in its product announcements that manageability for DBAs had improved from Oracle9i to 10g. Lungu & Vatuiu[44] assessed the relative manageability by performing common DBA tasks and measuring the time. They performed their tests on a single Pentium CPU (1.7 GHz) with 512 MB RAM,running Windows Server 2000.Summarizing the results from Oracle9i to 10g: Installation improved 36%,Administration 63%, Backup and Recovery 63%, and Performance Diagnostics and Tuning 74% for a weighted Total of 56%. The researcher’s conclusion is that “Oracle10g represents a giant step forward from Oracle9i in making the database easier to use and manage.”

Products and services

Oracle designs, manufactures, and sells both software and hardware products, as well as offers services complementing them (such as financing, training, consulting, and hosting services). Many of the products have been added to Oracle's portfolio through acquisitions.



  • Oracle Database

In 2004, Oracle Corporation shipped release 10g (g standing for "grid") as the then latest version of Oracle Database. (Oracle Application Server 10g using Java EE integrates with the server part of that version of the database, making it possible to deploy web-technology applications. The application server comprises the first middle-tier software designed for grid computing. The interrelationship between Oracle 10g and Java allows developers to set up stored procedures written in the Java language, as well as those written in the traditional Oracle database programming language, PL/SQL.) - Release 11g became the current Oracle Database version in 2007. Oracle Database 11g Release 2 was released in September 2009. This version is available in four commercial editions – Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition, Standard Edition One, Personal Edition – and one free edition – the Express Edition. The licensing of these editions shows various restrictions and obligations and is complex.[45] The Enterprise Edition (DB EE), as it is the most expensive of the Database Editions, has the least restrictions – but nevertheless has a complex licensing. The Standard Edition (DB SE) and Standard Edition One (SE1), are constrained by more licensing restrictions, which reflects their lower price. Release 12c has been made available on the first of July, 2013.[46]

The following are additional database technologies that have been acquired and developed by the Oracle Corporation:

  • TimesTen features in-memory database operations.
  • Oracle NoSQL Database, a scalable, distributed key-value NoSQL database[47]


Oracle Fusion Middleware is a family of middleware software products, including for instance application server, system integration, business process management (BPM), user interaction, content management, identity management and business intelligence (BI) products.

Oracle Secure Enterprise Search

Oracle Secure Enterprise Search (SES), Oracle's enterprise-search offering, gives users the ability to search for content across multiple locations, including websites, file servers, content management systems, enterprise resource planning systems, customer relationship management systems, business intelligence systems, and databases.

Oracle Beehive

Released in 2008, the Oracle Beehive collaboration software provides team workspaces (including wikis, team calendaring and file sharing), email, calendar, instant messaging, and conferencing on a single platform. Customers can use Beehive as licensed software or as software as a service ("SaaS").[48]


Oracle also sells a suite of business applications. The Oracle E-Business Suite includes software to perform various enterprise functions related to, for instance, financials, manufacturing, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and human resource management. The Oracle Retail Suite covers the retail industry vertical providing merchandise management, price management, invoice matching, allocations, store operations management, warehouse management, demand forecasting, merchandise financial planning, assortment planning and category management. Users can access these facilities through a browser interface over the Internet or via a corporate intranet.

Following a number of high-value acquisitions beginning in 2003, especially in the area of applications, Oracle Corporation currently maintains a number of product lines:

  • Oracle Fusion Applications
  • Oracle Social Engagement and Monitoring System

-Oracle has developed a Social Engagement and Monitoring Cloud service that allows businesses to capture relevant brand conversation from global web and social channels to understand what is being said about their product. The Social Engagement and Monitoring cloud provides the most effective and efficient responses across social and customer experience channels. SEM is able to route correct responses to the right team, member, or customer experience channel to ensure the best customer service. The analysis helps to understand what is important to a business’s customers. It identifies trends, spikes, and anomalies to make real time course corrections. It also can identify brand advocates. The SEM cloud identifies customer intention and interests by analyzing the common ways customers talk about a product or a service.[49]

  • Oracle E-Business Suite
  • PeopleSoft Enterprise
  • Siebel
  • JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
  • JD Edwards World
  • Merchandise Operations Management (Formerly Retek)
  • Planning & Optimisation
  • Store Operations (Formerly 360Commerce)

Development of applications commonly takes place in Java (using Oracle JDeveloper) or through PL/SQL (using, for example, Oracle Forms and Oracle Reports/BIPublisher). Oracle Corporation has started a drive toward "wizard"-driven environments with a view to enabling non-programmers to produce simple data-driven applications.

Third-party applications

Oracle Corporation works with "Oracle Certified Partners" to enhance its overall product-range. The variety of applications from third-party vendors includes database applications for archiving, splitting and control, ERP and CRM systems, as well as more niche and focused products providing a range of commercial functions in the areas of human resources, financial control and governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC). Vendors include Hewlett-Packard, UC4 Software and Knoa Software.[50]

Enterprise management

Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) provides web-based monitoring and management tools for Oracle products (and some third-party software), including database management, middleware management, application management, hardware and virtualization management and cloud management.[51]

Development software

Oracle Corporation's tools for developing applications include (amongst others):

Many external and third-party tools make the Oracle database administrator's tasks easier.

Operating systems

Oracle develops two operating systems: Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux.


Oracle Exadata and Exalogic


  • Oracle Academy (training in computing and commerce in partnership with educational institutions)[57]
  • Oracle Cloud Services
  • Oracle Consulting – technical and business expert services
  • Oracle Financing
  • Oracle Support
    • Product support: Oracle Corporation identifies its customers and their support entitlements using CSI (Customer Support Identifier) codes.[60] Registered customers can submit Service Requests (SRs)[61] – usually via the web-accessible My Oracle Support[62] (MOS).[63]
    • Critical Patch Updates: since 2005, Oracle Corporation has grouped collections of patches and security fixes for its products each quarter into a "Critical Patch Update" (CPU), released each January, April, July and October.[64]
    • Oracle Configuration Manager (OCM, previously Customer Configuration repository or CCR) gathers and uploads details of the configuration of Oracle software.[65]
    • Oracle Auto Service Request (ASR) automatically creates Service Requests for specific hardware faults on qualified Oracle server, storage, Oracle Exadata, and Oracle Exalogic products.[66]
    • My Oracle Support Community (MOSC)[67][68]
  • Oracle University (training in Oracle products)[69]


Sales practices

In 1990, Oracle laid off 10% (about 400 people) of its work force because of accounting errors.[70] This crisis came about because of Oracle's "up-front" marketing strategy, in which sales people urged potential customers to buy the largest possible amount of software all at once. The sales people then booked the value of future license sales in the current quarter, thereby increasing their bonuses.[71] This became a problem when the future sales subsequently failed to materialize. Oracle eventually had to restate its earnings twice, and also settled (out of court) class-action lawsuits arising from its having overstated its earnings. Ellison stated in 1992 that Oracle had made "an incredible business mistake."[70]


Although IBM dominated the mainframe relational-database market with its DB2 and SQL/DS database products, it delayedentering the market for a relational database on UNIX and Windows operating systems. This left the door open for Sybase, Oracle and Informix (and eventually Microsoft) to dominate mid-range and microcomputers.

Around this time, Oracle technology started to lag technically behind that of Sybase. In 1990–1993 Sybase became the fastest-growing database company and the database industry's darling vendor, but soon fell victim to its merger mania and to technical issues with System X. Sybase's 1993 merger with Powersoft resulted in its losing its focus on its core database technology. In 1993, Sybase sold the rights to its database software running under the Windows operating system to Microsoft Corporation, which now markets it under the name "SQL Server."

In 1994, Informix overtook Sybase and became Oracle's most important rival. The intense war between Informix CEO Phil White and Ellison made front-page news in Silicon Valley for three years. Informix claimed that Oracle had hired away Informix engineers to disclose important trade secrets about an upcoming product. Informix finally dropped its lawsuit against Oracle in 1997.[72] In November 2005, a book detailing the war between Oracle and Informix was published, titled The Real Story of Informix Software and Phil White. It gave a detailed chronology of the battle of Informix against Oracle, and how Informix Software's CEO Phil White landed in jail because of his obsession with overtaking Ellison.

Once it had overcome Informix and Sybase, Oracle Corporation enjoyed years of dominance in the database market until use of Microsoft SQL Server became widespread in the late 1990s and IBM acquired Informix Software in 2001 (to complement its DB2 database). Today Oracle competes for new database licenses on UNIX, Linux, and Windows operating systems primarily against IBM's DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server (which only runs on Windows). IBM's DB2 still dominates the mainframe database market.

In 2004, Oracle's sales grew at a rate of 14.5% to $6.2 billion, giving it 41.3% and the top share of the relational-database market (InformationWeek – March 2005), with market share estimated at up to 44.6% in 2005 by some sources.[73] Oracle Corporation's main competitors in the database arena remain IBM DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server, and to a lesser extent Sybase and Teradata[73], with open-source databases such as PostgreSQL and MySQL also having a significant[74] share of the market. EnterpriseDB, based on PostgreSQL, has recently made inroads[75] by proclaiming that its product delivers Oracle compatibility features at a much lower price-point.

In the software-applications market, Oracle Corporation primarily competes against SAP. On March 22, 2007 Oracle sued SAP, accusing them of fraud and unfair competition.[76]

In the market for business intelligence software, many other software companies – small and large – have successfully competed in quality with Oracle and SAP products. Business intelligence vendors can be categorized into the "big four" consolidated BI firms such as Oracle, who has entered BI market through a recent trend of acquisitions (including Hyperion Solutions), and the independent "pure play" vendors such as MicroStrategy, Actuate, and SAS.[77]

Oracle Financials was ranked in the Top 20 Most Popular Accounting Software Infographic by Capterra in 2014, beating out SAP and a number of their other competitors.[78]

Oracle and SAP

From 1988, Oracle Corporation and the German company SAP AG had a decade-long history of cooperation, beginning with the integration of SAP's R/3 enterprise application suite with Oracle's relational database products. The marketplace regarded the two firms' products as complementing one another, rather than as substitutes. Despite the current SAP partnership with Microsoft, and the increasing integration of SAP applications with Microsoft products (such as Microsoft SQL Server, a competitor to Oracle Database), Oracle and SAP continue their cooperation. According to Oracle Corporation, the majority of SAP's customers use Oracle databases.[79]

In recent years, however, competition between Oracle and SAP has increased, and as a result, the rivalry between the two companies has grown, even developing into a feud between the co-founders of the two companies, where one party would frequently voice strong negative comments about the other company.

In 2004, Oracle began to increase its interest in the enterprise-applications market (in 1989, Oracle had already released Oracle Financials). A series of acquisitions by Oracle Corporation began, most notably those of PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems and Hyperion.

SAP recognized that Oracle had started to become a competitor in a market where SAP had the leadership, and saw an opportunity to lure in customers from those companies that Oracle Corporation had acquired. SAP would offer those customers special discounts on the licenses for its enterprise applications.

Oracle Corporation would resort to a similar strategy, by advising SAP customers to get "OFF SAP" (a play on the words of the acronym for its middleware platform "Oracle Fusion for SAP"),[80] and also by providing special discounts on licenses and services to SAP customers who chose Oracle Corporation products.

Currently Oracle and SAP (the latter through its recently acquired subsidiary TomorrowNow) compete in the third-party enterprise software maintenance and support market. On March 22, 2007, Oracle filed a lawsuit against SAP. In Oracle Corporation v. SAP AG Oracle alleged that TomorrowNow, which provides discount support for legacy Oracle product lines, used the accounts of former Oracle customers to systematically download patches and support documents from Oracle's website and to appropriate them for SAP's use.[81] Some analysts have suggested the suit could form part of a strategy by Oracle Corporation to decrease competition with SAP in the market for third-party enterprise software maintenance and support.[82]

On July 3, 2007, SAP admitted that TomorrowNow employees had made "inappropriate downloads" from the Oracle support web site. However, it claims that SAP personnel and SAP customers had no access to Oracle intellectual property via TomorrowNow. SAP's CEO Henning Kagermann stated that "Even a single inappropriate download is unacceptable from my perspective. We regret very much that this occurred." Additionally, SAP announced that it had "instituted changes" in TomorrowNow's operational oversight.[83]

On November 23, 2010, a U.S. district court jury in Oakland California found that SAP AG must pay Oracle Corp $1.3 billion for copyright infringement, awarding damages that could be the largest-ever for copyright infringement. While admitting liability, SAP estimated the damages at no more than $40 million, while Oracle claimed that they are at least $1.65 billion. The awarded amount is one of the 10 or 20 largest jury verdicts in U.S. legal history. SAP said they were disappointed by the verdict and might appeal.[84] On September 1, 2011, a federal judge overturned the judgment and offered a reduced amount or a new trial, calling Oracle's original award "grossly" excessive.[85] Oracle chose a new trial.

On August 3, 2012, SAP and Oracle agreed on a judgment for $306 million in damages, pending approval from the U.S. district court judge, “to save time and expense of [a] new trial". After the accord has been approved, Oracle can ask a federal appeals court to reinstate the earlier jury verdict. In addition to the damages payment, SAP has already paid Oracle $120 million for its legal fees.[86]


  • "Information driven"
  • For the Oracle Database: "Can't break it, can't break in"[87] and "Unbreakable"[88]
  • Enabling the Information Age
  • Enabling the Information Age Through Network Computing"
  • As of 2008: "The Information Company"[89]
  • As of 2010: "Software. Hardware. Complete."
  • As of late 2010: "Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together"


Oracle Corporation produces and distributes the "Oracle ClearView" series of videos as part of its marketing mix.[90]



In 2000, Oracle attracted attention from the antitrust trial involving Microsoft.[91] The Chairman of Oracle Corporation, Larry Ellison, staunchly defended his company's hiring of an East Coast detective agency to investigate groups that supported rival Microsoft Corporation during its antitrust trial, calling the snooping a "public service." The investigation reportedly included a $1,200 offer to janitors at the Association for Competitive Technology to look through Microsoft's trash. Asked how he'd feel if others were looking into Oracle's business activities, Ellison said: "We will ship our garbage to Redmond, and they can go through it. We believe in full disclosure."[92]

"Can't break it, can't break in"

In 2002, Oracle Corporation marketed many of its products using the slogan "Can't break it, can't break in," or "Unbreakable."[93] This signified a demand on information security. Oracle Corporation also stressed the reliability of networked databases and network access to databases as major selling points.

However, two weeks after its introduction, David Litchfield, Alexander Kornbrust, Cesar Cerrudo and others demonstrated a whole suite of successful attacks against Oracle products.[94][95] Commentators criticized the slogan as unrealistic and as an invitation to crackers, but Oracle Corporation's chief security officer Mary Ann Davidson portrayed the criticism as unfair. Rather than representing a literal claim of Oracle's products' impregnability, she saw the campaign in the context of fourteen independent security evaluations[96] that Oracle Corporation's database server had passed.

Relationship with John Ashcroft

In 2004, then-United States Attorney General John Ashcroft sued Oracle Corporation to prevent it from acquiring a multi-billion dollar intelligence contract. After Ashcroft's resignation from government, he founded a lobbying firm, The Ashcroft Group, which Oracle hired in 2005. With the group's help, Oracle went on to acquire the contract.[97]

Expeditionary Combat Support System

Computer Sciences Corporation reportedly spent a billion dollars developing a computer system for the United States Air Force that yielded no significant capability, because, according to an Air Force source, the Oracle software on which the system was based could not be adapted to meet the specialized performance criteria.[98]

Cover Oregon Healthcare Exchange

Oracle Corporation was given a contract by the State of Oregon's Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to develop Cover Oregon, the state's healthcare exchange website, as part of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. When the site tried to go live on October 1, 2013, it failed, and registrations had to be taken using paper applications until the site could be fixed.

On April 25, 2014, the State of Oregon voted to discontinue Cover Oregon and instead use the federal exchange to enroll Oregon residents.[99] The cost of switching to the federal portal was estimated at $5 million, whereas fixing Cover Oregon would have required another $78 million.

Oracle president Safra Catz responded to Cover Oregon and the OHA in a letter claiming that the site's problems were due to OHA mismanagement, specifically that a third-party systems integrator was not hired to manage the complex project.[100][101]

In August 2014, Oracle Corporation sued Cover Oregon for breach of contract,[102] and then later that month the state of Oregon sued Oracle Corporation, in a civil complaint for breach of contract and "racketeering".[103]


Acquisition of Sun Microsystems

On January 27, 2010, Oracle announced it had completed its acquisition of Sun Microsystems – valued at more than $7 billion – a move that transformed Oracle from solely a software company to a manufacturer of both software and hardware. The acquisition was delayed for several months by the EU Commission because of concerns about MySQL, but was unconditionally approved in the end.[104] This acquisition was important to some in the open source community and also to some other companies, as they feared Oracle might end Sun's traditional support of open source projects.[105][106][107][108] Since the acquisition, Oracle has discontinued OpenSolaris and StarOffice, and sued Google over their newly acquired Java patents from Sun.[109][110] In September 2011, U.S. State Department Embassy cables were leaked[111] to Wikileaks. One cable revealed that the U.S. pressured the E.U. to allow Oracle to acquire Sun.[112]

Justice Department lawsuit

On July 29, 2010, the United States Department of Justice filed suit against Oracle Corporation alleging fraud. The lawsuit argues that the government received deals inferior to those Oracle gave to its commercial clients. The DoJ added its heft to an already existing whistleblower lawsuit filed by Paul Frascella, who was once senior director of contract services at Oracle.[113] It was settled in May 2012[114]

Lawsuit against Google

On August 12, 2010, Oracle announced a lawsuit against Google concerning patent and copyright infringement of Java in Google's development of Android. Oracle claimed that "Google’s Android competes with Oracle America’s Java" and that "Google has been aware of Sun’s patent portfolio ... since Google hired certain former Sun Java engineers."[115][116] Oracle acquired the Java patents when it bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010.[117] Google's reimplementation of the Java platform supports most Java functionality, apart from AWT and Swing, instead supplying a native widget toolkit.[118]

Oracle originally sought damages up to $6.1 billion,[119] but this valuation was rejected by a federal judge who asked Oracle to revise the estimate.[120] In May 2012, the jury in this case found that Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents, and the trial judge ruled that the structure of the Java APIs used by Google was not copyrightable.[121][122]

On September 5, 2012, Oracle was ordered by a federal judge to pay Google's legal fees, which were over $1 million.[123]

Google has accused Apple, Oracle and Microsoft of trying to take down Android through patent litigation, rather than innovating and competing with better products and services.[124] In August 2011, Google started the process of purchasing Motorola Mobility for US$12.5 billion, which was viewed in part as a defensive measure to protect Android, since Motorola Mobility holds more than 17,000 patents.[125] In late May 2012, it successfully completed acquisition of the company, thus adding its patents portfolio virtually unto its own, as a potential defensive measure. Google has also acquired thousands of patents from IBM.[126]

Discontinuation of OpenSolaris

On August 13, 2010, an internal Oracle memo leaked to the Internet cited plans for ending the OpenSolaris operating system project and community.[127] With Oracle planning to develop Solaris only in a closed source fashion, OpenSolaris developers moved to the Illumos and OpenIndiana project, among others.[128]

Discontinuation of OpenSSO

As Oracle completed their acquisition of Sun Microsystems in February 2010, they announced that OpenSSO would no longer be their strategic product.[129] Shortly after, OpenSSO was forked to ForgeRock.

Mark Hurd replaces Phillips as President

On September 6, 2010, Oracle announced that former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd is replacing Charles Phillips as Oracle Co-President. Apparently Phillips had wanted to leave Oracle since December 2009. "Oracle is clearly capitalizing on this opportunity to get someone strong from a top hardware company," said Forrester analyst James Staten. "In terms of how this helps Oracle against IBM, there is reason to be optimistic."[130]

Mark Hurd had been fired from HP for fiddling his expenses and using corporate funds to subsidize his relationship with a former porn actress.[131]

On September 7, 2010, HP announced a civil lawsuit against Mark Hurd "to protect HP's trade secrets."[132] On September 20, Oracle and HP published a joint press release announcing the resolution of the lawsuit on confidential terms and reaffirming commitment to long-term strategic partnership between the companies.[133] issue

A number of Apache Software Foundation.[135]

HP & Oracle lawsuit

On Jun 15, 2011, HP filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court in Santa Clara, claiming that Oracle had breached an agreement to support the Itanium microprocessor used in HP's high-end enterprise servers.[136] Oracle called the lawsuit "an abuse of the judicial process"[137] and said that had it known SAP's Leo Apotheker was about to be hired as HP's new CEO, any support for HP's Itanium servers would not have been implied.[138]

On August 1, 2012, a California judge said in a tentative ruling that Oracle must continue porting its software to Itanium at no cost until HP discontinues manufacturing the microprocessor. Oracle plans to appeal the court's ruling. The trial is to enter its next phase later in August when a jury will decide whether Oracle has breached its contract with HP and if it should pay any damages for doing so.[139]

Foreign corrupt practices

On August 31, 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported that Oracle was being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for paying bribes to government officials in order to win business in Africa, in contravention of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).[140]

Oracle banned from bidding for US General Services Administration business

On April 20, 2012 the US General Services Administration banned Oracle from the most popular portal for bidding on GSA contracts for undisclosed reasons. Oracle has previously used this portal for around four hundred million dollars a year in revenue.[141] Oracle previously settled a lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act, which accused the company of overbilling the US government between 1998 and 2006. The 2011 settlement forced Oracle to pay $199.5 million to the General Services Administration.[142]


  • Larry Ellison: CEO since he co-founded the company in 1977 until stepping down in 2014, and Chairman from 1990 to 2004. From September 2014 executive chairman and CTO.[143]
  • Safra Catz: Co-CEO since September 2014,[143] previously co-President (since 2004) and CFO.[144] In 2009 she was ranked by Fortune as the 12th most powerful woman in business.
  • Mark Hurd: Co-CEO since September 2014,[143] previously co-President (since 2010). In 2007, Mark Hurd was ranked #16 on Fortune's list of the 25 Most Powerful People in Business.[145]
  • Bob Miner: Co-founder of the company and co-architect of Oracle Database. Led product design and development for Oracle Database from 1977 to 1992. Spun off a technology group within Oracle in 1992. Oracle board member until 1993.
  • Ed Oates: Co-founder of the company. Retired from Oracle in 1996.
  • Bruce Scott: One of the first employees (number 4) at Oracle (then Software Development Laboratories), Scott served as the co-author and co-architect of Oracle V1, V2 and V3.
  • Umang Gupta: Former Vice President and General Manager (joined in 1981). Wrote the first business plan for the company. Current Chairman and CEO of Keynote Systems, Inc.
  • Jeff Henley: Current Chairman (since 2004). Previously CFO of Oracle (1991–2004).
  • Charles Phillips: Past Co-President, replaced by Mark Hurd.
  • Thomas Kurian: Executive Vice President, Product Development


Oracle Corporation has its world headquarters on the San Francisco Peninsula in the Redwood Shores area of Redwood City, adjacent to Belmont, near San Carlos Airport (IATA airport code: SQL).

Oracle HQ stands on the former site of Marine World Africa USA, which moved from Redwood Shores to Vallejo in 1986. Oracle Corporation originally leased two buildings on the site, moving its finance and administration departments from the corporation's former headquarters on Davis Drive, Belmont, California. Eventually, Oracle purchased the complex and constructed a further four main buildings.

The distinctive Oracle Parkway buildings, nicknamed the Emerald City,[146] were used as the futuristic headquarters of the fictional company "NorthAm Robotics" in the Robin Williams film Bicentennial Man (1999).[147]


BMW Oracle Racing USA-71, at the German Sailing Grand Prix Kiel 2006. It is currently moored at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.

On October 20, 2006, the Golden State Warriors and the Oracle Corporation announced a 10-year agreement in which the Oakland Arena would become known as the Oracle Arena.[148]

Larry Ellison's sailing team competes as Oracle Team USA. The team has won the America's Cup twice, in 2010 (as BMW Oracle Racing)[149] and in 2013.[150]

Sean Tucker's "Challenger II" stunt biplane performs frequently at air shows around the US.[151]

See also


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Further reading

  • Mendelsohn, Andrew. "The Oracle Story: 1984-2001". IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 35 (2): 10–23.  

External links

  • The Oracle Corporation website
  • Oracle Technology Network
    • Business data for Oracle Corporation:
  • Hoover's
  • Reuters
  • SEC filings
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