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Oracle Shares Plans for OAS, XML

Moving ahead with initiatives in Java and XML, Oracle Corp. used Spring Internet World in Los Angeles as a platform to announce the beta version of Oracle Application Server 4.0.8 (OAS) and new plans for its XML-enabled infrastructure.

The latest version of OAS (beta available in May at http://technet.oracle.com) aims to be a comprehensive Java platform by adding support for Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), Java Server Pages (JSP) and Java Servlets.

"Java is very key to the way people want to deploy applications as dynamic Web pages coming out of a Web server and business applications coming out of the middle tier," says Dom Lindars, Oracle director of server marketing. "Were very excited about the market as whole and it's a very crowded market space. We've seen our app server profits doubling over the last few fiscal quarters."

OAS will also include support for legacy applications written in languages such as C++, COBOL and Perl. By providing this diverse language support, Oracle wants OAS to be the glue between database applications written in multiple languages. This way developers can deploy enterprise scale, Internet-based applications that run on OAS, Oracle 8i as well as other vendor platforms.

The company also announced its product road map for future OAS features through the current year. Oracle will be introducing a "lite" version of OAS with a streamlined configuration that includes an HTTP listener, JVM and a CORBA 2.0 compliant ORB. OAS will integrate with Oracle Enterprise Manager, enabling administration of the database, applications and application server from one console. Oracle will also add enhanced support for component hosting for EJBs, C++ and Java-CORBA interoperability.

Late last February, Oracle and Novell Inc. announced integration features that allow single sign-ons for environments using both Novell Directory Services and Oracle's new Oracle Internet Directory (OID). At the time, Novell said there would be benefits upcoming from that announcement and one benefit could be its integration with OAS. Since Oracle plans to unify system security and enable single network sign-on for OAS and OID, it should mean that NDS will be part of that as well, strengthening the companies' dam against the flood that is Microsoft Corp.'s Active Directory when it's released with Windows 2000, expected later this year.

Also at Internet World, the company announced it would be engineering XML infrastructures into Oracle 8i, OAS and Oracle Tools as part of a plan to have a complete e-business infrastructure for companies to take advantage of the fastest growing development language. While smaller companies such as Bluestone Software Inc. (www.bluestone.com) have been pioneering the XML language, Oracle's Lindars says larger companies such as Oracle, Microsoft and IBM Corp. will step in now and make XML part of each company's overall offering. Lindars says this continuous trend in the market is required for technology such as XML to move forward. "We're already working on the standards for XML querying and others," say Lindars. "It's going mainstream and we can provide it mainstream because we have the components to support it."

Oracle's announcement states it will use an XML-enabled message broker capability for a scalable, reliable infrastructure that will allow businesses to intelligently process, transform and route XML-based information. Lindars says there is already XML support in Oracle 8i in the form of an XML parser so it can parse and store data so it's ready to be queried. Oracle also says OAS will become a central component of Oracle's XML-enabled Internet platform. -- Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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