Major Oracle E-business suite upgrade coming in 2019. Or maybe 2020

If you can’t wait, Big Red says its new SaaS apps will behave just like software modules

Oracle is working on a big upgrade to its e-business suite in 2019. Or maybe 2020.

That’s what senior veep for application development Cliff Godwin told the Red Rock Oracle Leadership Forum* in Sydney, Australia, today.

The suite is currently on version 12.2.6 and Godwin said Oracle plans just-about-annual double-point releases for the next couple of years to bring it to to version 12.2.7 and 12.2.8. The release after that will be 12.3 and while Godwin couldn’t say what would be in it, he did say that Oracle has already guaranteed support for it until the year 2030 and beyond.

Big Red’s made that pledge to ensure users don’t feel their on-premises applications are in peril, or that they’re being herded to the cloud. Godwin said Oracle knows it has plenty of customers, many of them in military or other sensitive government fields, that are likely years or decades away from being comfortable in the public cloud.

The roadmap to version 12.3 and long support plan are designed to give them comfort that the suite has a future and that “if you are contemplating moving to cloud, do it for merits of the business not because you are afraid the suite is going to expire out from under you.”

Oracle’s double-point updates, however, don’t add a lot of functionality to the suite and the company’s current plans see most of its innovation focused on software-as-a-service (SaaS). Godwin said on-premises users will be able to access new functions by piping in those new SaaS offerings.

“They will work as if we built them as new modules,” he said.

Among the new SaaS offerings Oracle is working on is predictive analytics it will bake into its asset management modules. A new in-memory cost management cloud service replaces an on-premises product that Godwin said was “very computationally intensive” and required users to acquire an Oracle Engineered system. The new SaaS version does away with the need for the tin, but gives you access to an evolving piece of software.

Godwin said that ongoing work on the suite will include more emphasis on mobile, so that core functions can be poured into apps from Oracle or cooked up by customers. He added that the company wants to build more migration tools to help users of the suite move into the cloud, but not as a lift-and-shift. Instead he said Oracle hopes users can move test and development or disaster recovery rigs into the cloud, while retaining integration with on-premises production systems