What Oracle multi-tenancy means for PLM providers?

by Oleg on October 9, 2012 · 7 comments

In the world of cloud applications, there is a magic term “multi-tenancy” that usually raises many debates. A couple of months ago, I blogged about multi-tenancy. Navigate to the following link to read Cloud PLM: What do you need to know about multitenancy? One of the topics, I covered, was related to multitenancy and databases. There are three options – separate databases, shared databases with separate schemas, shared databases with shared schemas. I found the following article in IBM Developers Work about multitenant architecture interesting –   Design a database for multi-tenancy on the cloud. I recommend you to have a read. The following picture outlines the overall multi-tenant application environment how it presented by IBM:

One of the biggest database outfits, Oracle, didn’t show much interest in the cloud option. However, nowadays even dinosaurs like Oracle are making some maneuvering  around the cloud. Oracle RAC (real application cluster) is a database that for a long time was powering a large amount of largest database implementations in the world. Few days ago, during Oracle Open World in San-Francisco, Oracle’s Larry Ellison announced about their intent to deliver Oracle 12c (c- stands for the cloud), which includes much anticipated “multi-tenancy database” option. Peoplesofttipster artcile quote Ellison in the following way:

Larry christened it the 1st multi-tenant database in the world. It was described as a single database comprised of many container databases that you can plug in, each allocated separate memory and processes. 

Much was made of the fact that other vendors normally implement multi-tenancy in the application layer which is clearly more problematic. He named NetSuite (started in 1998) and Salesforce (1999) as having to run MT in the application layer as back then they didn’t have any other options…; which rather amusingly made them sound like outdated legacy ERP vendors and Oracle sound like the bright, new tech.

What is my conclusion? The vast majority of PLM tech products today is running on Oracle. Will Oracle multi-tenant database option provide a back cloud-door to existing PDM/PLM applications? We need to wait until the next year when  Oracle 12c becomes available. However, it sounds interesting. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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