Oracle has added 482 features to the beta 11g version of its database. It's a reflection of that enduring Oracle philosophy that its database is the center of the universe and everything revolves around it.It's almost as if Oracle is trying to match the practices of its most successful software compatriots. Like Microsoft Windows, the Oracle database is an empire that keeps expanding and absorbing its nearest neighbors. Need to encrypt your data? Oracle does it. Need to manage your content? Oracle does that, too. Need workflow features to help you manage content the way a content management system would? You can get them from Oracle 11g.
If you use Google to search the Web, well, that's understandable. But Oracle will handle your internal search issues. It will index all documents; just store them in the Oracle database. It will also take over content management and add workflow to it, just like a content management system.
And don't forget the Oracle version of Google Maps. "Oracle Maps?" Oracle 10g and 11g users now have access to Navteq geographic data, which allows Oracle applications to superimpose their data on a specific geographic setting. Oracle already has the capability to store and retrieve spatial data. Now a customer relationship application can display markers on a map of a territory, indicating promising prospects and nearby reference customers who might know the prospect. Or maybe it just gives the sales representative a map to get to the customer's place of business on time. At Oracle, the database, like the universe, is constantly expanding. If you see your central business problem as data management, then there's some justification to that view. If you just want your database to retain crucial data and make it readily available to you, then Oracle may come with too many options and complications.
Is 482 features just right, a logical outcome of where your business is headed? Is it another case of software bloat at the expense of your business' efficiency? Let us know what you think.