Oracle is planning a major entrance in the content management market with an addition to its Collaboration Suite, called Tsunami.

Tsunami will manage unstructured data, says Alan Pelz-Sharpe, research director at analyst Ovum. Its first appearance will be as an upgrade to Oracle's Collaboration Suite at the end of the year and as modules for its E-Business Suite.

It will offer document management, e-mail and records management, check-in and check-out capabilities, version control, and content life cycle management. It will also cover the basics of ECM (enterprise content management), but not be competitively directed at the big boys such as EMC's Documentum, FileNet or Open Text..

It will not be like "the highly complex products from ECM players. It is sort of content management lite, along the [Microsoft] SharePoint model. The difference is Tsunami is designed to scale to the tens of thousands, which SharePoint clearly isn't," said Pelz-Sharpe. As such, Oracle is trying to define a new market, he said. Tsunami is also expected to cost roughly half a typical FileNet or Documentum installation.

Oracle officials declined to comment on Tsunami or the Ovum report but did issue this management nonsense from Greg Doherty, vice president of Oracle Collaboration Suite. "We have leveraged our expertise in the management of unstructured data to deliver a significant upgrade to our content management capabilities. This offering will be made available in future releases of Oracle Collaboration Suite and illustrates our commitment to being a market leader in all areas of information management."

In addition to tapping a potentially lucrative vein in enterprise-scale unstructured data management, Tsunami will bring a nice short-term boost to Collaboration Suite, Pelz-Sharpe said. "This brings a layer of practicality to Collaboration Suite. It makes it usable.

"The trouble with lots of these collaboration or knowledge management products is that unless you genuinely have hold of a large percentage of corporate data, they don't really work very well. Tsunami provides the potential to do that."