Can Oracle pull off Sun portals merger without a hitch?

The vendor plans to migrate some Sun sites to a new system on July 19

Oracle is preparing to launch a major migration of portals that serve customers and technologies gained through its acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Given the recent track record of both Oracle and its rival SAP with matters such as this, there's always the possibility users could face some difficulties before the company irons out all the kinks.

On July 18, Oracle plans to "complete migration of all non-obsolete content" from the Web sites developers.sun.com, java.sun.com, and BigAdmin to "a completely re-architected, re-designed Oracle Technology Network site," according to an official FAQ.

Users will enjoy the results, Oracle said.

"Whenever possible, we will preserve the familiar information architecture of Sun's sites, so that if you were a user of those sites, you will find what you're looking for," the FAQ states.

For one thing, users' bookmarks won't break, according to the FAQ.

"We will implement 1:1 redirects for the most popular and important content (such as Java APIs) that has moved," it states. "For other content, folder-level redirects will be available, so instances of 404s should be uncommon. Furthermore, domain-level URLs (e.g., java.sun.com) will continue to work."

Oracle is also planning to make sure users can navigate quickly to the content they are truly interested in, such as Java development.

But Oracle is not going so far as to guarantee the migration will be entirely smooth.

"There may be some rough edges for a while, but we are committed to an ongoing process of continuing improvement," the FAQ states.

It's probably wise for Oracle to set Sun users' expectations up front. Last year's launch of its next-generation My Oracle Support portal was wracked with performance and log-in problems.

In 2008, SAP angered Business Objects users after problems with a support site migration project left many temporarily unable to access the portal.

Meanwhile, Oracle isn't moving all Sun portals on July 19. The documentation site docs.sun.com will continue "for the foreseeable future," according to the FAQ. Forums, wikis and blog are also unaffected. Oracle will update customers on those integration projects as soon as it is appropriate.

An Oracle spokeswoman couldn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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