Oracle8's much vaunted companion toolset, Sedona, may never ship unless rival internal teams start working together, admitted Oracle chief Larry Ellison this week.
Internal divisions within the company mean that the Oracle8 database will ship on 24 June without Sedona, an object oriented development environment designed to exploit the new object-relational functionality of Oracle8. Ellison admitted the product did not have the support of the development teams working on Oracle applications. Oracle's existing Developer 2000 tool can be used with the new database, but only to develop traditional relational applications.
Ellison said he hoped Sedona might appear next year, but warned that tension between the tools division - run by Nimish Mehta - and the applications unit might well scupper this deadline. "The application development people and the Sedona people haven?t been working together," he said. "They?re going to have to or maybe Sedona won?t ship - ever!"
Oracle executives at a briefing at the company?s headquarters in Redwood City, California on Tuesday were notably reluctant to comment on the roll-out of Sedona, which was expected to ship approximately a month after the database.
But Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison let the cat out of the bag when he admitted Sedona had been put on hold because the company?s own application developers would not use the new tool. "Sedona has been postponed indefinitely," he said. "We were about to ship a product to which our own applications development people were not fully engaged. We decided - I decided - not to release a product that does not have the full support of our application development group."
According to an Oracle insider, Sedona was presented to the company?s applications unit - run by Ron Wohl - to be used to rewrite the apps portfolio for Oracle8. But Wohl?s team refused to use it. The insider claimed that the rejection owed less to technical issues and more to a reluctance on the part of the applications team to have to completely rewrite its product line.
Ellison added that since the Sedona project had begun, the requirements of the market had changed with the rise of ?thin client? network computing, making Sedona?s ?fat client? model less appropriate. He also admitted to concern about releasing a competitive product to Developer 2000.
Ellison?s revelations blew apart attempts by other executives to steer clear of the Sedona issue. Earlier in the day Jerry Held, senior vice president of server technologies, claimed: "There?s been a big misconception that Sedona was part of Oracle8. It?s no more so than Developer 2000 was part of Oracle7."
But the non-appearance of Sedona means that developers will be unable to produce applications that can make use of the highly promoted object-relational features of the new database. A number of third party tools suppliers, such as Rational and Forte, are working on Oracle8 support, but there are no confirmed delivery dates as yet.
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