SAP aims to become major database software maker

March 15 Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:35pm EDT

March 15 (Reuters) - German software maker SAP says it intends to become a major provider of database software in a move that would heat up its long-running rivalry with Oracle Corp, the technology giant led by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison.

SAP said it will disclose its plans at an April 10 press conference in downtown San Francisco, not far from Oracle's headquarters in Redwood City, California.

The German company is the world's biggest maker of business management software, which includes programs that manage tasks such as accounting, manufacturing and payroll. While Oracle is the No. 2 player in that market, it sells more software, thanks to its leadership in the multibillion-dollar market for databases.

"SAP will unveil its unified data management portfolio and demonstrate how we will become a leading database vendor," the company said in a press advisory.

SAP acquired Sybase, the world's No. 4 maker of database software, in July 2010.

Last year the company launched a specialized database dubbed Hana that pulled in 160 million euros ($208 million) in sales in its first two quarters on the market, ahead of SAP's target of 100 million euros.

So far SAP has sold the technology to handle a series of niche applications, helping companies analyze large quantities of data. But the company has said it plans to make it available as a database for business management applications by the end of the year.

Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined comment on the matter.

SAP and Oracle are entrenched in a bitter legal dispute over allegations that a unit of SAP illegally downloaded millions of Oracle files.

A second trial is scheduled to begin in June after a judge threw out a jury's decision that SAP should pay Oracle $1.3 billion.

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