Oracle Releases WebCenter Sites with Search, Video UpdatesOracle has released updates to its WebCenter suite including search and video enhancements to WebCenter Sites, and other minor tweaks to its Content and Portal offerings as well.

WebCenter for Content + Experience Management

Oracle's huge product set list can be daunting, so it's worth repeating exactly what WebCenter really is. It's a set of four products; WebCenter Sites, Content, Portal and Oracle Social Network. The latest release has updates for all but Social Network.

WebCenter Sites is the continuation of Oracle's FatWire buy, and is the home of tools for business users to build informational websites for highly targeted audiences. It doesn't require as much IT oversight, and is less of a framework for simply sharing documents to potential customers. For something like that, there is WebCenter 

Content, and it's more of an enterprise content management tool. Content is the foundation of information that supports WebCenter products, but also Oracle Applications. From that point of view, it's a bit easier to see how WebCenter Sites and Content compliment each other. WebCenter Portal, then, is just what it sounds like, an information infrastructure for building intranets and extranets.

Updated Release + Garnter MQ for WCM Findings

This release of WebCenter includes Portal updates like an integrated set of tools for Web and mobile, and templates for common use cases. Oracle's also added a WSIWYG editor. For WebCenter Sites, updates include enhanced mobile website management, and deeper integration of video and other media rich content from in house or cloud based repositories.

Additionally, search enhancements have also been added to help websites provide more relevant results. Oracle WebCenter Content updates include mobile features like document access and the ability to add content to process centric business applications.

WebCenter helped Oracle win recognition as a Leader in the 2013 Gartner MQ for Web Content Management, and since the FatWire acquisition especially, Oracle has invested heavily in WCM. Gartner praised WebCenter Sites for its ability to integrate with ecommerce, portals and other content systems, and its functions as the base of many highly complex, search driven experience and multi channel marketing systems.

As noted earlier, Oracle's huge product offering can be confusing, and Gartner also noted this. Some customers had been going down the online channel optimization route with WebCenter Content, for example, and Oracle has more recently been encouraging those customers to move to WebCenter Sites instead. That means those customers have to migrate, or perhaps see less WCM support over time as Content shifts to ECM and publishing to custom Web applications, Gartner noted.

Oracle also has not been coming up on many customers' short lists, Gartner found, and that means the company's visibility in the WCM market is low. Oracle may not be doing much marketing on that front, and instead simply focusing on its already huge client base. This represents a marked decline in market presence over the last year, analysts found, and it just goes to show how quickly things can change even for such a huge company as Oracle.

One big change during the last year has been Oracle's billion dollar buy of marketing automation vendor Eloqua, so it's possible that one of the main focuses could have been on integrating that system instead of marketing WebCenter more broadly.