Oracle Corp. announced it is building Oracle Public Cloud, a cloud service to host many of its key software products, including Java, database, middleware, and customer-relationship-management applications.

The Oracle Public Cloud is a broad mix of platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service approaches. As such, it is a potential competitor to the offerings of Salesforce.com Inc., the Microsoft Corp., and others. The Oracle Public Cloud, in mixing PaaS and SaaS capabilities, will allow customers to run Fusion apps, extensions, and customized apps.

Company co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison announced the Oracle Public Cloud while delivering the Oracle OpenWorld Conference keynote speech in San Francisco this week. Oracle’s announcement indicates the technology giant is finally ready to fully embrace cloud technology. Ellison mentioned that the Oracle Public Cloud will allow businesses to easily transfer programs and data from Oracle’s cloud to the customer’s own data center or to a rival cloud product, such as that offered by Amazon.com Inc.

Salesforce.com, SAP AG, and the International Business Machines Corp. all offer similar business-oriented social networks, but do not necessarily offer the breadth of applications, connectivity, or infrastructure provisions available with the Oracle version, Ellison claimed.

Ellison referred particularly to Salesforce.com’s platform. Beware of false clouds! Salesforce is a false cloud. It's good for Salesforce, but not for you, he said.

However, Ellison did not say when the Oracle Public Cloud will become available.