At first glance, California-based Oracle and SAP, with its German lineage, don't seem to have much in common.\n MORE on CIO.com\n \n India Vs. China Offshoring\n \n Bar Code Vs. RFID\n \n East Vs. West Coast\n But look a little closer, and there are more similarities than meet the eye: Both have flamboyant leaders in CEO Larry Ellison \n\nand Chairman Hasso Plattner, both offer a wide range of critical (and costly) business technologies and both are fierce competitors \n\nfor the same corporate customers. So to add just a little more fuel to the fire, we stacked the two up against each other to \n\nsee which one has more influence in the corporate IT universe.\n \n \n \n What's in a Name?\n \n \n \n Oracle \n\n\n EDGE\n SAP\n \n \n Original name: Software Development Laboratories; changed to Relational Software, Inc. \nin 1979; changed to \n Oracle Systems in 1982. Ahh, much better.\n \n \n \n \n Before it was shortened to SAP, the company's original name was SAP Aktiengesellschaft Systeme, Anwendungen, Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung. (SAP Systems, Applications and Products in Data \n\nProcessing\u2014rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?)\n\n\n \n\t \n \n\t \n \n \n Visionary Leader\n \n \n \n Oracle \n\n\n EDGE\n SAP\n \n \n CEO Lawrence J. Ellison cofounded Oracle in 1977 and created the wildly successful Oracle relational database management system.\n \n Chairman Hasso Plattner cofounded SAP in 1972 because IBM wouldn't listen to him about \n\nthe next generation of business software.\n \n\t \n \n\t \n\t \n\n \n Visionary Leader's Signature Quote\n \n \n \n Oracle \n\n\n EDGE\n SAP\n \n \n The red-tailed hawk best exemplifies Oracle "because it has incredible vision and the \n\nability to see things from great heights. It [only] kills to feed itself." -Ellison, CIO magazine, 1997.\n \n "Larry Ellison said SAP faces a nuclear winter. But Larry might have to face the nuclear \n\nfallout\u2014because we have a vision.'' -Plattner, to SAP customers in 1999, quoted by BusinessWeek.\n \n\t \n \n\t \n\t \n \n Headquarters\n \n \n \n Oracle \n\n\n EDGE\n SAP\n \n \n Redwood City, Calif., population 75,402\u2014famous for its San Francisco-area \n\nwaterfront and sky-high real estate prices.\n \n Walldorf, Germany, population 14,000\u2014famous for its white asparagus and Astoria \n\nWalldorf soccer team.\n \n\t \n \n\n \n\t \n \n Language Spoken at HQ\n \n \n \n Oracle \n\n\n EDGE\n SAP\n \n \n English\n \n English (first) and German (second)\n \n\t \n \n\n \n\t \n \n How Big a Software Player?\n \n \n \n Oracle \n\n\n EDGE\n SAP\n \n \n The second-largest enterprise software company in the world ($18 billion in \n\nrevenue).\n \n The third-largest enterprise software company in the world ($12 billion in revenue).\n \n\t \n \n\n \n\t \n \n Noteworthy 2007 Announcement\n \n \n \n Oracle \n\n\n EDGE\n SAP\n \n \n Fusion\u2014first announced in 2005, the so-far secret systems integration sauce got a \n\nnew release date (late 2008) and a new boss. Still waiting...\n \n Business ByDesign\u2014on-demand enterprise applications for small and mid-market \n\ncompanies. What took them so long?\n \n\t \n \n\n \n\t \n \n Oops!\n \n \n \n Oracle \n\n\n EDGE\n SAP\n \n \n Releases allegedly bogus financial statements and overstates revenue in late 1980s \n\nand into 1990. Class-action lawsuits and a near bankruptcy soon follow, as the The New York Times \n\nnotes. The company eventually recovers.\n \n Buys TomorrowNow in 2005, a half-priced third-party maintenance provider for ERP \n\napplications (such as J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft, both owned by Oracle). TomorrowNow gets caught with its hands in Oracle's \n\ndocumentation in 2007; Oracle files an as-yet-settled lawsuit, and \nSAP cleans house in management soon after.\n \n\t \n \n\n \n\t \n \n Acquisition Style\n \n \n \n Oracle \n\n\n EDGE\n SAP\n \n \n Heated and Hostile (see: PeopleSoft takeover)\n \n Calculated and Congenial (see: Business Objects deal)\n \n\t \n \n\n\n \n \n Well-Known Corporate Sponsor of...\n \n \n \n Oracle \n\n\n EDGE\n SAP\n \n \n BMW Oracle sailboat team\n \n Professional golfer Ernie Els\n \n\t \n\n\n \n\n \n \n Famous "International Incident"\n \n \n \n Oracle \n\n\n EDGE\n SAP\n \n \n Larry Ellison's sailing crew reportedly ignores Hasso Plasso's wounded sailing yacht off \n\nHawaii in 1996.\n \n Plasso moons Ellison's crew (but \n\nnot Ellison) for not helping with his injured crew member and battered yacht.\n \n\t \n \n\n \n \n WINNER: SAP!