The world's No. 2 software maker announced on Apr. 16 that it is buying Phase Forward (PFWD) for about $685 million. The Waltham (Mass.) company markets software that helps drug companies conduct clinical trials. Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison has spent some $42 billion over the past five years on acquisitions aimed at boosting the company's profile in industries such as retail, telecom, and now health care.