Red Stack Vs. Blue Stack, Purple Stack, Green Stack?

March 8, 2010

Are you using the right Java platform for the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne environment in your company?  Should you use Red stack or Blue Stack? What are your risks if you don’t use Oracle’s Red stack?For Enterprise One customers, it may not be as difficult a decision as you may imagined.  


The terms red stack and blue stack are used to indicate the java application platform which is used to support your Oracle JDE EnterpriseOne deployment.   With the Release of EnterpriseOne 8.9 Oracle provided JDE clients a choice of application stack.  Customers could continue to use IBM’s products, or adopt Oracle’s products.   For JDE customers, this started a debate over the application stack which should be used.  The choices are as follows:

Blue Stack – IBM’s product suite including the WebSphere Application Server and the DB2 Database.

Red Stack – Oracle’s product suite including the Oracle Application Server and the Oracle Database.

Due to the fact that these product suites were designed & developed to industry standards, the ability to mix and match applications are supported.  As a result some slight variations on the Red & Blue them were derived.

Purple Stack – This is an application stack that mixes products from both IBM and Oracle.  The two variations on this stack includes:  1) A WebSphere Application Server with an Oracle Database, and 2) An Oracle Application Server with IBM’s DB2 Database.

Green Stack – With the standard ODBC Drivers, the option to use Microsoft’s SQL Server DBMS as the stack’s database platform is supported.  Therefore, either the WebSphere Application Server or the Oracle Application Server may be paired with the Microsoft SQL Server DBMS for a green stack option.

Possible Stack Configurations

Stack Components

The components of the application stack are licensed differently.  Therefore, when making a comparison between a functional stack between IBM and Oracle, one must know that it is not an “apples-to-apples” comparison.  The following table is an itemization of the license components within the red and blue stack:

Red Stack Blue Stack
Oracle Database Standard Edition IBM DB2 Universal Database Enterprise Edition
JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Tools JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Tools
Oracle Application Server Java Edition IBM WebSphere Application Server
Oracle Application Server Portal IBM WebSphere Portal Server
Oracle Application Server Single Sign-On Tivoli Directory Server
Oracle Application Server WebCache IBM WebSphere DynaCache
Crystal Reports Crystal Reports
Oracle JDeveloper Rational Application Developer
Oracle BPEL Process Manager
Oracle Business Activity Manager
Oracle Application Server Integration B2B
Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer
Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher

Oracle uses the more granular way of packaging products to make an argument that the customer receives more with the red application stack.  However IBM offers an alternate description that illustrates that the stack is truly comparable with regard to the number and depth of capabilities.  The following functional breakdown illustrates IBM’s position (the items listed in colored font are base level license configurations that are received with JDE):

Red Stack Blue Stack
EnterpriseOne Tools EnterpriseOne Tools
Oracle Portal WebSphere Portal Server (includes: Integrated Single Sign-on, Collaboration Software – Lotus Sametime And QuickPlace)
Oracle Application Server Single Sign-On/ Oracle Identity Management/Single Sign-One
Oracle Application Server Java Edition WebSphere Application Server (includes WebSphere DynaCache, WebSphere Plugins for multiple HTTPServer support (IIS, IHS etc), WebSphere Edge components, Web Services Gateway Tivoli Directory Server
Oracle Application Server Web Cache
Oracle Internet Directory
Oracle Enterprise Manager
Oracle WebServices Manager
Oracle BPEL Process Manager WebSphere Process Server (includes BPEL Engine Process Choreographer, Rule engine etc.)
Oracle Business Rules
Oracle Enterprise Service Bus WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus
Oracle Application Server Integration B2B WebSphere Partner Gateway
Oracle Integration BAM/Oracle BAM WebSphere BAM Solution (Monitor)
Oracle BI Discoverer Information Management (DB2 BI)
Oracle BI Publisher (XML Publisher) Oracle BI Publisher (XML Publisher)
Oracle DB Server Information Manager (DB2)
Crystal Reporting Crystal Reporting
Oracle JDeveloper Rational Application Developer

Decision Variables

Given the long history that IBM has had with the JDE platform and the dedication that Oracle has publicly announced concerning the support for JDE and Fusion running on WebSphere, the stack you may be considering does not have an immediate compatibility risk to factor into your decision-making process.  Therefore, Oracle suggested that the remaining parameters are relevant when making the selection:

  • License & maintenance fees
  • Value of included products
  • Platform support
  • Matches your IT strategy
  • Application performance/scalability
  • Ease of installation and configuration
  • Industry accolades
  • Path to fusion
  • Single-source vendor

In each of these parameters, the organization’s perspective may make the choice more apparent.  However, from a pure technical perspective, there is not a clear winner.  One may make the decision based upon the internal skill sets within their organization, internal technology standards, and other maintenance and support cost factors.


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