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5/3/2012
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Oracle WebCenter Sites Builds On FatWire Foundation

Oracle expands the social customer engagement features in WebCenter Sites, based on last year's purchase of FatWire.

Facebook Apps In Action
Facebook Apps In Action
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Oracle is amping up the social and mobile capabilities of WebCenter Sites, the website management product it picked up with the acquisition of FatWire last June.

This week's release is the first major update since the acquisition. Oracle WebCenter Sites is the component of the WebCenter suite focused on managing public websites and consumer experiences.

Companies are increasingly finding they need to engage effectively with customers "where, when, and with whatever device they want," Loren Weinberg, VP product development at Oracle, said in an interview. Weinberg, who joined Oracle from FatWire, said her old company had already spent years developing website management technologies for very large organizations with requirements like the need to offer content in multiple languages. With WebCenter Sites, the development team is now tackling reaching devices of all shapes and sizes from the same content platform, she said. The authoring environment includes a device emulator for simulating how content will be displayed on a smartphone or tablet, instead of a PC.

[ Where are your customers? See Which Social Network Makes The Most Business Sense? ]

The authoring environment has also been designed to be business-user friendly, with a modern interface featuring drag-and-drop adding of components to a page and rich search functionality to make it easier to find content and add it to a page, according to Oracle.

Another WebCenter Sites strength is providing user engagement features like ratings and reviews modules. To garner more use, Oracle has partnered with social media integration specialist Janrain for social login and cross-posting functionality across 20 leading social networks. That means a user can authenticate through Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google before posting a comment, rather than creating an account specific to the company website.

"That lets us collect information from them, but more importantly it lets them disseminate content from the site" by enabling social sharing at the same time, Weinberg said. WebCenter Sites also adds simple features for generating user content, such as polls and thumbs up/thumbs down voting and "liking" of content.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

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