Oracle chose Paris as the venue for a spate of announcements aimed at establishing a lead in the Internet market.
At the European Oracle Developer Conference, senior executives at the company claimed that its electronic commerce solution - consisting of a trio of products, Project Apollo, Payment Server and Security Server - will help companies feel safe to transact business on the Web.
The Project Apollo merchant server, now in beta, is intended to make it easier for companies to build 'virtual shopfronts' on the Internet. Beta sites for the product, based on the Network Computing Architecture (NCA), include Motorola and McGraw Hill Home Interactive.
Oracle's Payment Server is integrated with Project Apollo and gives a choice of electronic method payments with credit cards, including Verifone and Cybercash. Its Security Server offers authentication software to recognise and protect consumer identities. That level of security was required for both customers and companies to transact information on the Web, Oracle said.
The company also released three software applets under the codename Hat Trick, a project aimed at the network computer. The initial products are a word processor, a spreadsheet and presentation graphics. According to Oracle and its chief executive Larry Ellison, Hat Trick was developed in Java and publishes to HTML.
Oracle also said it will offer its developers support for the building of Data Cartridges, inhouse and third party extensions for adding support for new data types to the database. The Cartridge Solutions Network will give developers who join the programme an evaluation copy of Oracle?s Web SDK, a one year subscription to its Developer Programme technical resources, four quarterly shipments of the ODP reference library CD, access to a dedicated Web server and other benefits.
Mark Jarvis, vice president of server marketing at Oracle, said that Cartridges were superior to Informix' rival approach to object extensions, Datablades, because of the design of the Informix system. He claimed that big businesses using the Informix solution "could not bet on their data still being there".
Oracle also introduced Developer/2000 for the Web, aimed at reducing costs by allowing developers to link client/server systems to the Internet. Developer 2000 for the Web, claimed Oracle, separates presentation, application and database access logic, allowing them to run Java applets or Cartridges on the client and server.
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