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11/16/2005
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Oracle Buys Thor Technologies and OctetString

Acquisitions strengthen identity management and access management product lineup.

Oracle strengthened its identity-management and access-management software portfolio Wednesday with the acquisition of Thor Technologies Inc., a developer of cross-platform provisioning tools, and OctetString Inc., a supplier of virtual-directory software.

Earlier this year Oracle acquired Oblix Inc., another identity-management software vendor. Oracle, in a statement, said the acquisitions provide a security backbone for its Fusion line of middleware and allow the company to offer a complete line of access control, identity administration, identity federation, user provisioning, directory services, and Web services management tools.

Prior to this year's acquisitions, Oracle offered ID management tools that worked only with its own software. The acquisitions allow Oracle to offer ID management capabilities that extend to other vendor's systems.

The value of the new acquisitions was not disclosed. Oracle has renamed Thor's Xellerate product "Oracle Xellerate" and the OctetString Virtual Directory Engine "Oracle Virtual Directory." Those products will be available from Oracle by the end of the year, the company said.

Oracle's acquisitions are a good sign for the market if they help integrate identity management capabilities into larger enterprise application suites. "I think the play that [Oracle] is making is on the PeopleSoft side of their business," says Jay White, global information protection architect for Chevron Corp., who adds that identity management will be a priority for Chevron in the coming year. "One of the key aspects of any identity management system is who maintains the data in that system, and most organizations have looked back to the HR group to do that. In the long run, if vendors integrate identity management into their core systems, I don't have to do that."

Oracle has been on a buying spree this year. After completing its $10 billion buyout of PeopleSoft in January, the company also has bought retail management application vendors Retek Inc. and ProfitLogic Inc., and in-memory database developer TimesTen, among other acquisitions. It's planned $5.8 billion acquisition of customer relationship management application vendor Siebel Systems Inc. is pending.

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