The head of Oracle's PeopleSoft division has sought to reassure users that the company will carry on supporting their software for at least the next couple of years.

"Our commitment to PeopleSoft within Oracle remains, despite any messages you may be hearing out there," said Doris Wong, vice president and general manager, PeopleSoft Enterprise, at Oracle's OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

Oracle is continuing to provide support and upgrades for PeopleSoft and other product lines it acquired - such as JD Edwards - through its Applications Unlimited program. This support will continue even after the release of Oracle's anticipated Fusion Applications line.

The company's gruelling battle to buy PeopleSoft caused customers to worry about the fate of the products. Similar concerns have been raised recently among BEA users, following Oracle's highly public interest in the middleware company.

Right now, the company is designing and coding PeopleSoft 9.1, set for release at the end of 2008, Wong said. Oracle will also produce a 9.2 version at some point, according to Wong.

Some customer concerns have now been allayed, according to three who spoke at the conference.

Hubert Winter, a director at PeopleSoft customer Deutsche Bank, said the company was initially uneasy about PeopleSoft's future following the Oracle sale, but no more. "At first, we were scared," he said at the forum. "Now we're seeing more and more of the advantages in this merger."

Sprint Nextel recently completed a major upgrade and integration project involving PeopleSoft products, said Mike Egan, an IT executive with the company. "Assuming Oracle's committed to the product line, Sprint is committed to PeopleSoft," he said.

Oracle has recently been better at communicating with PeopleSoft customers, said Charlotte Skawski, service delivery director at The Hartford during an interview. "Last year, it was more just nothing. You just didn't know what was going on," she said.

Wong said in an interview that this will no longer be the case.

"We really have been working on the messaging. We're very crisp in our messaging now," she said.