Ellison-‘Web services hype!’

Larry Ellison sees more and more information types migrating to the database. But he is skeptical as to the merits of web services.

Speaking at Oracle World in Denmark last month, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison spent a lot of time bashing the opposition. Ellison says IBM’s mainframes are in for stiff competition from clustered Intel machines running Red Hat Linux. Clusters are ‘inherently robust,’ making fault tolerant computers out of commodity components.


Ellison was particularly scathing about the Windows/Unix implementation of IBM’s DB2 database which ‘doesn’t share a single line of code, [with the flagship mainframe version] and was developed by different teams in different countries.’

Shell Oil

For Ellison, the next step is to “put everything inside the Oracle database - email, word documents, spreadsheets. So that when you search for say, ‘Shell Oil,’ you retrieve all the relevant documents”. According to Ellison, Microsoft is moving its email server into a database but, ‘This will take them several years - we have already done it’. The same goes for the Windows file system. You can already store .docs, Excel, Power Points and OLAP reports in Oracle. For Oracle (and seemingly Shell Oil ) data, all and any data, belongs in a database.

Web Services - hype

Ellison was skeptical about the importance of web services, which ‘as we know are supposed to solve all known IT problems’. Except, that is, for the ‘ludicrous notion that web services will let you connect applications’. Web services is ‘just a standard protocol, a modern version of IP – that’s all!’ Ellison offered an analogy. The notion that web services is the lingua franca of IT is like suggesting that a cell phone will help you call France. “Web services is a great tool but it won’t make you speak French.”

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