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5/24/2005
11:01 AM
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Oracle Launches Product Information Management Data Hub

The repository for both structured and unstructured information is designed to hold a consolidated view of all data on a company's products.



Oracle introduced a Product Information Management Data Hub on Monday that's designed to act as a repository for both structured and unstructured information on a company's products.

The data hub is designed to pull together information on a product, regardless of where it resides and keep one "true" version of the information stored in its own repository. A product-data hub can then serve a variety of applications and Web services as a reference point.

The firms Master Lock, Pella Windows, and 7-Eleven are current users of Oracle PIM data hub, says John Webb, VP of applications. Oracle already offers a customer-information data hub, which competes with customer-data hubs from CRM vendor Siebel Systems and ERP applications vendor SAP AG. Two more Oracle data hubs are scheduled to follow over the next 12 months, but Oracle spokesmen declined to specify what they will be.

The product-data hub is useful in situations where product information "is dispersed over a number of legacy and best-of-breed applications," making it hard to assemble without a lot of data retrievals, Webb says. Another case where it acts as a needed centralizing force is in a company that has grown through mergers and acquisitions, and has key data scattered across different systems, he says.

The Oracle PIM data hub will become part of what it now calls its Fusion brand middleware, which includes Oracle Application Server.

The data hub isn't focused on any particular set of industries and could be used where it's needed, Webb says. It includes support for UCCnet and Global Data Synchronization Network to help companies that are suppliers to large retailers such as Lowes Home Improvement or Home Depot to exchange product information with them.

The data model for Oracle PIM data hub, the core of such an offering, is part of the Oracle E-Business Suite of applications. For E-Business Suite users who wish to customize the data model, there will be a $9,995 charge for Oracle PIM Data Librarian, a product used to customized PIM data hub.

A non-E-Business Suite customer will pay $100,000 per processor for the product.

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