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Symonds was technology editor at the Economist when Ellison invited him to collaborate on a book about e-business, but the journalist decided he would rather write a profile of the software tycoon, one of Silicon Valley's most notorious figures. Oracle's database programs have become integral to the Internet and other networked computer systems, and Oracle's head is convinced that he can surpass Microsoft as the industry leader. But he's also developed a reputation for his aggressive corporate tactics and personal flamboyance. Ellison agreed to cooperate with the project, but as part of the deal, he reserved the right to respond, which he does in a series of running footnotes. Sometimes he only uses the opportunity to mouth business platitudes, but he also refutes stories, cracks jokes and even argues with other sources. Although the book deals extensively with Oracle's efforts to promote a new software package, it comes to life most when it follows Ellison outside the office-prepping his sailboat for a run at the America's Cup or overseeing the final touches on a Japanese garden complex. Symonds's near-total access to his subject leads to intimate observations that verge on personal advice, as when the writer suggests how best to handle a top Oracle executive or comments on the relationship between Ellison and his two children. But he remains objective enough to point out several mistakes in the past management of Oracle (many of which Ellison acknowledges or clarifies). Even without its unusual counterpoint, the book would stand as a compelling portrayal of one of the computer industry's most influential leaders.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
There has been a war brewing in the software industry that most computer users don't even know about. Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, wants to supplant the current Windows-based client-server network architecture with a totally Internet-based solution that would simplify computing and make Microsoft's server software obsolete. Even now, Oracle is the dominant software in business; every time you do a Google search or buy something on Amazon.com, you are using it. Anyone who craves a play-by-play account of Ellison and the evolution of the number-one relational database in the world can really sink their teeth into this. There is a slightly bizarre twist to this high-tech tale: Ellison himself gets to throw in running commentary at the bottom of many pages, augmenting and often contradicting the author's text in his own brash style. Beware if you 're not up on your geekspeak, though, as the casual reader will get lost in all the IT systems acronyms thrown around, such as CRM, ERP, HR and TPC-C. More entertaining than the technical jargon is the ruthless backstabbing that goes on between Ellison and big-name competitors such as Microsoft, Seibel Systems, PeopleSoft and i2 Technologies. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was an open secret that if you were what was called then "one of the freaks" and you had, perhaps, taken a few physics or math classes... Read morePublished on April 9 2004 by Edward G. Nilges
A fascinating book. I should note that I worked at Oracle for 12 years (1989-1991), though much too far down in the hierarchy to have had dealings with Larry Ellison himself. Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2004 by Timothy S. Smith
I was intersted in the history of relational. There is one lamentably brief chapter: System R, Sybase, Ingres, two-phased commit, stored procedures, etc. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2004 by Michael Sweeney
My first fear when I bought 'Softwar' was that Matthew Symonds would be overwhelmed by the aura of Larry Ellison, resulting in a glowing whitewash of the man and his empire. Read morePublished on Dec 29 2003 by Craig Wood
I particularly enjoyed the pictures in this book -- especially the one when Larry was little holding his good brother. Read morePublished on Dec 15 2003 by Queen of the Middle Kingdom
A pretty good book for Larry Ellison!! The book heaps praises on Ellison even when it is ridiculing his short sighted approach. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2003 by Avaksi