SAP Winning the Middleware War vs Oracle? discusses a recent Forrester report that claims SAP NetWeaver is winning the middleware battle against Oracle Fusion. The logic isn't fully revealed in the story, but the key seems to be more about the strength of those companies' enterprise applications and solution partners than the technical merits of the middleware itself. Forrester's Ray Wang, co-author of the report, explains SAP's advantage this way:

"A head start, a partner ecosystem and a customer base are pretty much key ingredients for success."
In addition to the core apps themselves, BPM is one of three fronts where SAP and Oracle will be duking it out over middleware, the others being business intelligence and master data management. But the report also says, as reported by SearchOracle, that
Oracle's strong middleware platform and better support of open standards make it the right choice for customers who rely heavily on custom development in conjunction with packaged applications...
Hey, isn't that what BPM is all about? Go figure.

What struck me most was the implication that BPM at both companies is ultimately just an embellishment of their application story, just like workflow was in the 1990s. In that context, Edwin K's re-framing of BPM concepts as Oracle application extenders makes a lot more sense.