On the Oracle Social Network

In yesterday’s afternoon keynote, the Oracle Social Network was officially announced. Check out friend of the ‘Lab Peter Reiser’s (@peterreiser) coverage for details.

A few of you who’ve been reading here for a while have asked if this new product is any part of the socials apps we built and operate internally, Oracle Connect and OraTweet.

The answer is no. Oracle Social Network is a completely new product, but I think it’s safe to say that Connect and OraTweet have influenced both the design and trajectory of this new product.

First for a quick history lesson.

Oracle has been a social enterprise for several years, well before the term took on its current meaning.

In July 2007, we launched IdeaFactory to share ideas internally. If you’re familiar with Digg, you’ll get the idea. In August 2007, we expanded beyond ideas into social networking, creating what would be called Oracle Connect. Uptake was very fast; we were tapping into unforeseen demand within the company.

Over the years, Connect evolved as we added new features and tweaked the interface. The last major release was in May 2009, and it’s still running today.

We’ve never promoted Connect much internally, relying on word of mouth and viral adoption. Even so, at its height right after the Sun acquisition, Connect saw several thousand uniques each day and served tens of thousands of pages. Usage has scaled back by about a factor of ten since then.

Still, people use Connect every day for work.

Noel’s (@noelportugal) OraTweet followed a similar path, launching in 2008 and evolving into an every day tool used by many employees to get work done.

So, social isn’t new to the people who work here.

Even though neither Connect nor OraTweet have made it to product, they have influenced product, and it’s gratifying to see this influence finally reach users. You’ll find it in the Oracle Social Network and the Fusion HCM and Talent products.

Congrats to the teams who launched these exciting, new products this week at OpenWorld.

Find the comments.




  1. I would add that heart of Oracle Social Network is Oracle OnTrack that we demoed last open world. OnTrack’s original interface was nothing related to oratweet or Connect but the current interface is getting closer to Connect though the core essence of conversations is different spin compared to others. Much more closer to g+ circles.

  2. Right, On Track’s original UI is much more like Google Wave, although the team that built On Track wasn’t influenced by Wave, just a coincidence.

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