Oracle Adds Google Maps to Field Service

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Oracle Corp. is integrating one of its applications with Google Inc.'s mapping service to help service providers locate customers more quickly.

On Tuesday, Oracle said it had integrated the API (application programming interface) for Google Maps for Enterprise with the Field Service piece of Oracle E-Business Suite 12. Field Service helps companies manage the process of sending staff on service calls and predict when those employees will arrive at the customer sites.

Using the Google Maps API, dispatchers should now also be able to find routes for their field service personnel to reach customers more quickly. At the same time, technicians can get a better sense of the location of their jobs by viewing those destinations on Google's map or its satellite images

Bringing together content from a number of sources in an application or a Web site is proving very popular among software vendors and is often referred to as a mashup. Google Maps is one of the most frequently used APIs in mashups since it adds a useful visual element to applications.

Oracle began the rollout of E-Business Suite 12 in January. Other new features in Field Service 12 include support for tasks lasting multiple days and the ability to track customers confirming their service appointments. There's also an administrator's portal to assist schedulers in handling jobs assigned to in-house or to third parties across time zones and geographies.

The Google Maps integration is also available for Oracle Field Service 11.5.10.

In other Oracle news, the vendor announced Symantec Corp. is an enterprise storage management partner for its Unbreakable Linux support program. The program provides support for users of Red Hat Inc.'s Enterprise Linux distribution, regardless of whether they are Oracle software users, at aggressive pricepoints.

Oracle and Symantec have certified Symantec's Veritas data center software with Oracle Enterprise Linux and guaranteed to provide enterprise-level support for both the storage and the Linux offerings. The agreement covers six Veritas products -- Storage Foundation 5.0, Storage Foundation for Oracle 5.0, Storage Foundation Cluster File System 5.0, Cluster Server 5.0, NetBackup 6.0 Client and i3.

While Oracle claims demand is growing for its support program, the vendor has yet to provide precise figures on user uptake. In March, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said publicly that Unbreakable Linux had got off to a "very strong start" and committed his company to building a Linux business, while cautioning that such a process would take time.

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