Oracle to detail XML strategy, unveil App servers

Oracle will announce its plans to be the instrument for XML-based Internet commerce, as well as several new application servers, at the Internet World show in Los Angeles next week.

Oracle will reveal its framework for storing, publish, routing, and processing XML information with Oracle's Internet Platform, which includes the Oracle 8i database, Oracle Application Server, and a new message broker application code-named Messenger.

"What's happening is that people are rapidly standardising on XML as a way to publish out of one system and into another," said Jeremy Burton, vice president of server marketing for Oracle. "[But] when you have millions of XML documents floating around, that tends to get out of control."

"It's easier to find things in a database than it is to find them in a (Microsoft) Word file," Burton said. "Using the database to store XML documents is going to happen more and more over time."

XML support is now available in Oracle8i in the form of an XML Parser, and Messenger will be available by summer to provide content routing, formatting, and management.

"What the message broker is, essentially, is the central post office," Burton said. "As IT managers move more and more business to the Web, they need to standardise their infrastructure on something that works for the next four years, when the number of people on the Internet will grow exponentially."

Oracle will also use Internet World to announce the latest version of it Oracle Application Server, as well as a "Lite" version of the server.

Oracle Application Server 4.0.8, which is now in beta and will be available for download next month from the Oracle Technology Network, will now feature enhanced component hosting support for Enterprise JaveBeans, C++, and Java CORBA interoperability.

"The big thing about that is we are bringing it up to date with all of the current Java standards," Burton said. "Java really represents a great language to program on the application server."

The new server will also provide integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager to enable administration of the database, applications, and applications server from a single console, including other databases. Server 4.0.8 also provides integration with Oracle Internet Directory, a unifying system for security that enables single network sign-on.

"Now we can allow you to manage not only an Oracle database but other databases as well," Burton said. "We're also allowing the application server to take advantage of the Internet directory. Single sign on is the key thing there."

In addition, Oracle will announce a OAS Lite version of the server, which will contain a streamlined configuration targeted at Internet developers and mid-market customers that includes an HTTP listener, Java Virtual Machine, and CORBA 2.0-compliant object request broker.

"Its essentially a cooked-down version of the application server," Burton said.

The OAS Lite is slated to be delivered by the end of the year.

Messenger is slated for release this summer, with pricing to be determined. Pricing on Oracle Application Server 4.0.8 will be $195 per concurrent user, with the release expected by summer. OAS Lite pricing is yet to be determined.

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