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App Configuration Management Added to Oracle Enterprise Manager

Oracle this week filled a gap in its management platform adding application configuration tools that the company said will help organizations improve app service levels and help apply frameworks for compliance.

The application configuration tools are based on technology Oracle acquired from mValent earlier this year and are being added to the Oracle Enterprise Manager, released in March.

OEM is targeted at application DBAs who manage the development lifecycle, including testing, deployment and change management. It supports the Oracle's core platforms including CRM 8.1.1, the Oracle 11g database, and the WebLogic Java-based-integration application server. OEM competes with suites from Hewlett Packard, CA, IBM, and BMC, though OEM is tuned for Oracle infrastructure.

With the addition of the mValent technology, Oracle said it is able to simplify configuration management using pre-defined templates that identify various different application models, such as a Siebel CRM implementation.

"It identifies the components in your IT environment that are related to your Siebel services and processes and components so you don't have to sit down and draw a line between them" said Moe Fardoost, Oracle's senior director of product marketing.

The configuration management suite includes 30 application templates that support among others, Siebel, Peoplesoft, and WebLogic Server, the company said. Developers can also develop their own customized templates.

Ronni Colville, a Gartner distinguished analyst said the mValent technology offered about 200 templates supporting a variety of environments. It remains to be seen whether Oracle roles them all out over time, Colville said.

"Whether they become broader than their typical play or whether they will let that stuff die a slow death is still up for grabs," she said. "I think they will leave it. While the foremost focus of Enterprise Manager is the Oracle stack by a long stretch, I think they realize that at some point they need to be able to walk in with credibility and support other stacks."

The configuration manager also provides detailed information on relationships and dependencies and supports real time change detection that will help support compliance models, Oracle's Fardoost said. "Once you deploy that that you know you are tracking the right assets and information in your IT environment but as soon as there are any changes, any kind of unauthorized modifications you will be alerted," he said.

The tool in effect replicates the configuration tested when put into deployment, protecting against any changes that others may have made, he explained. "It ensures what gets slapped on your production environment is the same configuration and not a different one that people are deciding on the fly," he said.

Perhaps the most noteworthy capability Oracle is adding is support for automation in the configuration management process, Gartner's Colville said.

"What made [mValent before it was acquired by Oracle] unique amongst the other vendors was they had these dependency maps or these application blue prints," she said.  "Not only could they discover them and track them, but they could actually make changes. And that's the piece that's new to Oracle, being able to parameterize, make unique little changes across an application without having to big payload pushes. That becomes very critical because otherwise there's a lot of scripting going on.

Pricing is based on configuration. A price list can be downloaded here

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is executive editor, features, for Redmond Developer News. You can contact him at [email protected].

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