IDC NEWS FLASH: Oracle 10g Extends Oracle Spatial Capabilities, ‘Move May be Disruptive to SIM Vendors’

By Joe Francica

"I think that this announcement rates as a pretty big deal." says Dave Sonnen, IDC analyst.Speaking by phone with Editor Joe Francica, Mr.Sonnen elaborated on the impact of these latest enhancements regarding Oracle Spatial functionality."Oracle's network data model, geocoding, topology, georeferenced raster, and advanced spatial analysis will make geospatial technology available to a much wider range of customers. It will be interesting to see how the geospatial vendors react."

According to an IDC News Flash, written by Mr.Sonnen and Mr.Henry Morris, "Oracle 10g's spatial features have, in the past, been the domain of specialized geospatial software.By placing these features in their database environment, Oracle has extended the addressable SIM market to include business intelligence, data warehousing, operational analytics, and many other areas.This new market space is potentially many times larger than the current SIM market." Oracle will be discussing the enhancements at Oracle OpenWorld this week in San Francisco.The Oracle 10g spatial features include:

  • Network Data Model - This model explicitly stores and maintains connectivity within networks and provides network analysis capability such as shortest path and connectivity analysis.The network data model also enables Oracle's new Java-based geocoding engine.
  • Topology Data Model - This data model and schema persistently store topology in the Oracle database.Persistent topology is a strong requirement for maintaining data integrity across maps and layers.Persistent topology also speeds queries involving relationships among features like adjacency, connectivity, and containment.
  • GeoRaster - This new data type manages georeferenced raster imagery (satellite imagery, remotely sensed data).The GeoRaster feature includes an XML schema for managing metadata and for basic operations like pyramiding, tiling and interleaving.
  • Spatial Analytic Functions - New spatial analysis capabilities include classification, binning, association and spatial correlation.These capabilities are essential for business intelligence applications and are the foundation of spatially-enabled data mining.
  • Geocoder - Geocoding is the process of associating geographic references like address and postal codes with latitude and longitude coordinates. Oracle's geocoding engine is used with 3rd party data for functions like international address standardization and point of interest matching.
Oracle works closely with nearly all spatial information management vendors such as Autodesk, ESRI, Intergraph, and MapInfo.The IDC News Flash goes on to warn, "Established SIM software vendors may see Oracle's spatial capabilities as disruptive and may retreat to defensive positions.This would be a strategic mistake.While established vendors will have to adopt new business models, they will over time find significant new opportunities within the market that Oracle can open." The ability of Oracle to cross many market opportunities in which spatial information could benefit businesses would span Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), and Field Service Management (FSM).How SIM vendors react to this new challenge will be the subject of much debate and positioning in the coming months and years.

For additional details on Oracle Spatial functionality, click here.

Published Tuesday, September 9th, 2003

Written by Joe Francica

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