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8/1/2005
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Oracle To Buy Assets Of Context Media

Oracle is breaking out its checkbook again, this time to acquire technology and staff from Context Media, a Providence, R.I.-based content integration company, industry sources said.

Oracle is breaking out its checkbook again, this time to acquire technology and staff from Context Media, a Providence, R.I.-based content integration company, industry sources said.

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based database kingpin, which also is building up its collaboration and content management businesses, declined to comment. Industry observers, however, said the Context Media purchase would fit in nicely with Oracle's attempt to broaden its reach to repositories beyond the Oracle database-centric world.

"What they get is a very good content-integration product and some expertise in rich media," said Connie Moore, an analyst at Forrester Research.

Content integration ties together document management and works with repositories from different vendors, Moore said. “So not only can you search all the repositories at one time, but also update the documents and put them back in."

Oracle isn’t the only company on a content management-related acquisition binge. Rival IBM has been snapping up document- and records-management and related companies for several years. Over the past two years, in the wake of its billion-dollar acquisition of Informix, IBM has added Venetica to bolster content repositories, Green Pastures for document management, Tarian for records management, Ascential for data integration and Trigo for product information management.

For its part, Oracle wrapped up its drawn-out, $10.3 billion acquisition of PeopleSoft in January. Since then, Oracle has bought Oblix, TimesTen and ProfitLogic for pricing optimization software, and it acquired retail application specialist Retek after winning a battle with SAP. In addition, Oracle's recent hire of former Microsoft CFO Greg Maffei to serve as CFO and co-president signaled to many that the database company's thirst for acquisitions isn’t over, although no observers said they expect a deal as large as the PeopleSoft acquisition.

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