The big news out of Oracle OpenWorld this year is that Oracle is now the most comprehensive cloud provider on the planet with the most enterprise-grade applications, the most complete platform and the most modern socially enabled technology and applications.

And, yes, that is the company’s marketing jargon. Digest it as such.

Head honcho Larry Ellison says that Oracle has spent the past seven years and billions of dollars in engineering, innovation and strategic acquisitions to transition from the leading on-premises software provider to an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider that will host customer data on Oracle’s 12C (“C” stands for cloud) multi-tenancy database.

A Commitment to Oracle

“It is the first multitenant database in the world," Ellison said. (Salesforce might argue.)

Ellison explained that it provides “one dedicated set of memory, one set of operating system processes and then plug multiple separate private databases into that single container."

More simply stated, Oracle 12C provides the ability to securely keep separate sets of data in one place -- at the database level where it belongs, writes Barb Darrow at GigaOm. “The rough concept,” she explains, “is that 12C is a database container that can run separate “pluggable” databases (brought to you by Oracle, of course) -- one for ERP, another for CRM and so on.”

Most vendors approach multi-tenancy at the application layer: so by doing it at the database layer Oracle really is doing things differently.

Very nice, Mr. Ellison, say the critics; at least if you’re willing to go Oracle all the way and disregard every other vendor at every other layer of the stack, even if their products meet your requirements better.

Industry analyst Dave Vallente’s retweets summed up the sentiment among IT vendors quite well:

@chuckhollis: I'm OK with Oracle as an infra vendor. I'm OK with Oracle as an app vendor. I'm not OK with using one to force the other. #oow12

 

RT @dvellante: Jeremy Burton "flexibility and choice...haven't heard much about that this week" - ha! I'll say #oracle_closed_world

If You Don't Have Something Nice to Say ...

Oracle isn’t known for playing nice with other vendors. When Ellison felt that Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who was scheduled to keynote at Oracle OpenWorld last year, might pose a threat, he canceled his presentation (Oracle slammed Salesforce again at this year’s conference, story to come).

And, he’s gone after SAP’s HANA like a rabid dog: so much so that Oracle and SAP’s relationship has been called “the fight club”. He’s also gone after Google and HP. All Things D wrote an article about Ellison, its headline, Dog Fight in the Cloud.

That being said, to many conference attendees, Ellison seems highly likeable, and Oracle’s strategy isn’t about dominance, it’s all about doing what’s best for its customers. And in this case, it’s about Oracle moving their infrastructure, their databases, their applications, their Big Data processing and Analytics to Oracle’s cloud and locking them in when they get there.

The idea is that it’s supposed to be pain free for Oracle’s customers, but it will come at a price that some, no doubt, will pay without flinching. And, who knows, they could be on the road to wedded bliss.

Editor's Note: Virginia has some interesting takes on this year's OpenWorld. Interested in reading more? Will Benioff's 'Presence' Cast a Shadow on Oracle's OpenWorld? #oow