When Oracle opens its vault to buy Sun Microsystems, the firm will also add operational bulk for a war with tech giants like IBM and Microsoft to capture the minds and wallets of bank execs hot for cost and functional flexibilities provided by emerging Web-enabled architectures.

  “Sun Microsystems has fantastic assets in anything that has to do with open systems architectures,” says Guillermo Kopp, an executive director for TowerGroup. “The challenge for Oracle will be to compete effectively in the middleware space, which becomes particularly important when you get into the new world of Web 2.0 or SaaS (software as a service) applications.”

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