October 18, 2011

Oracle is buying Endeca

Oracle is buying Endeca. The official talking points for the deal aren’t a perfect match for Endeca’s actual technology, but so be it.

In that post, I wrote:

… the Endeca paradigm is really to help you make your way through a structured database, where different portions of the database have different structures. Thus, at various points in your journey, it automagically provides you a list of choices as to where you could go next.

That kind of thing could help Oracle with apps like the wireless telco product catalog deal MongoDB got.

Going back to the Endeca-post quote well, Endeca itself said:

Inside the MDEX Engine there is no overarching schema; each data record carries its own metadata. This enables the rapid combination of a wide range of structured and unstructured content into Latitude’s unified data model. Once inside, the MDEX Engine derives common dimensions and metrics from the available metadata, instantly exposing each for high-performance refinement and analysis in the Discovery Framework. Have a new data source? Simply add it and the MDEX Engine will create new relationships where possible. Changes in source data schema? No problem, adjustments on the fly are easy.

And I pointed out that the MDEX engine was a columnar DBMS.

Meanwhile, Oracle’s own columnar DBMS efforts have been disappointing. Endeca could be an intended answer to that. However, while Oracle’s track record with standalone DBMS acquisitions is admirable (DEC RDB, MySQL, etc.), Oracle’s track record of integrating DBMS acquisitions into the Oracle product itself is not so good. (Express? Essbase? The text product line? None of that has gone particularly well.)

So while I would expect Endeca’s flagship e-commerce shopping engine products to flourish under Oracle’s ownership, I would be cautious about the integration of Endeca’s core technology into the Oracle product line.


7 Responses to “Oracle is buying Endeca”

  1. Oracle’s Organizational Structure | Robert Bunda : Business Revolution on October 18th, 2011 1:19 pm

    […] Oracle is buying Endeca (dbms2.com) […]

  2. barfo rama on October 18th, 2011 6:44 pm

    I disagree about integrating dbms aquisitions into the Oracle product itself in at least one of your examples. I think lots of rdb got into oracle db. It just took a number of major versions. So you might have to wait half a decade for mysql to show some substantial synchronistic gains.

    The bit about automatically deriving common dimensions just makes me laugh. I’ve seen fups with this going back 30 years in 4GL’s. I still see it every day with things as basic as customer definitions going from web storefronts or edi to more properly normalized ERP databases then back out to DSS. Automatically sending you down the super-slide to hell is more like it.

  3. Michelle Agul on February 22nd, 2012 6:34 pm

    Don’t know if you follow the UK-based Rittman Mead Consulting Blog, but Mark Rittman published an interesting blog today on where Endeca fits with Oracle BI, DW, EPM, and “Exa” product lines: http://www.rittmanmead.com/2012/02/oracle-endeca-week-where-does-endeca-fit-with-oracle-bi-dw-and-epm/

    Also, In a post earlier this week, Rittman indicates that Oracle paid over $1.6B for Endeca. I don’t recall an amount ever being made public. Regardless, a relative bargain compared to what HP paid for Autonomy.

  4. Curt Monash on February 23rd, 2012 9:06 am

    Thanks, Michelle.

    If we say that the Endeca MDEX engine is:

    • A reasonably fast analytic DBMS …
    • … with the property that each record carries its own metadata,

    then Mark’s recitation of possibilities make sense.

    I offer no opinion as to whether Oracle will keep MDEX as is — it is after all the only columnar DBMS I know of that Oracle has working — or swap it out for something else.

  5. Kelly Stirman on February 23rd, 2012 10:43 am

    I wouldn’t consider Endeca and Autonomy as equivalent acquisitions, either from a technology perspective or revenue/maintenance stream perspective.

    As Curt says, it remains to be seen what happens, but right now the e-commerce part of Endeca seems to have a natural and promising future within Oracle.

  6. Michelle Agul on February 23rd, 2012 7:52 pm


    I concur that Endeca and Autonomy aren’t equivalent acquisitions from either a technology or revenue perspective. However, Endeca is arguably in much hotter segments of the information management market — business analytics and analytical systems (i.e. columnar and in-memory).

    Oracle has clearly committed to marrying Endeca Infront web commerce with it’s acquired ATG web commerce assets and Endeca Latitude with OBIEE. But the far more interesting integrations would be between MDEX and Oracle Exadata (think MDEX columnar + Exadata parallelism) and Exalytics (MDEX performing in-memory indexing).

    No doubt, this would be a huge strategic move for Oracle since all roads have historically led to “one database to rule the world”. And for Oracle those roads have been paved in gold.

    But times are a-changin’. Interesting times we live in!

  7. DBMS acquisitions | Software Memories on April 29th, 2013 7:49 am

    […] of vehemence — and his sources are better than mine. Rather, I now believe as I wrote in 2011: … while Oracle’s track record with standalone DBMS acquisitions is admirable (DEC RDB, […]

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