Oracle announces content, e-mail archiving products

Oracle announced new content and e-mail archiving products at the start of the Collaborate user group meeting Monday.

Oracle on Monday announced a pair of products aimed at securely archiving enterprise content and e-mail.

The Universal Online Archive application sits on top of Oracle's database, said Andy MacMillan, vice president of product marketing in Oracle's enterprise content management division. That means the content can leverage features like SecureFiles, a file encryption and compression system native to Oracle's 11g database release.

Oracle developed the core of the software organically, but it also employs some technology from its acquisition of Stellent, according to MacMillan.

Despite its name, the initial release of Universal Online Archive will first be available as an on-premises install, according to MacMillan. However, he added, "We are looking very aggressively at what it would take to make this an on-demand product."

An accompanying offering also announced Monday, Oracle E-Mail Archive Service, provides a means for storing content from Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Notes and SMTP-based mail systems, Oracle said.

"The e-mail archiving market is a growing market for a lot of compliance reasons," MacMillan noted. "This product really grew from a lot of market demand we got from our own customers."

The announcements garnered a nod of approval from one observer.

"I think what Oracle is trying to do with [Universal Online Archive] is develop an infrastructure application that will sit behind all of the other systems and allow retention and retention policies to occur and be managed centrally," wrote David Roe, a technical lead/architect in the enterprise content management group at Ironworks Consulting, on his blog.

"Where I think they are doing it right is by not trying to force companies into replacing their current applications," he added. "I don't think anyone would be interested in another Exchange or another SharePoint just to implement better compliance software."

Oracle did not name a firm date for the products' release, saying only that they are expected to be available in 2008. Universal Online Archive is expected to cost US$20 per named user plus or US$75,000 per CPU (central processing unit), and the E-Mail Archive Service will be priced at US$50 per named user plus or US$40,000 per CPU.

It made the announcements at the start of Collaborate 08, an Oracle user conference going on this week in Denver.

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