Oracle is set to sell databases that run on personal digital assistants (PDAs) when it begins selling Oracle Lite 3.0, its cut-down Java database which can run as small as 150Kbytes and will be a Navigator plug-in within weeks.
Oracle made a raft of announcements at Internet World covering Application Server 4.0, Oracle Lite 3.0, Payment Server 1.0 beta, Internet Commerce Server 1.1 and the beta release of Project Valhalla, a development environment for building and debugging Java software.
Mark Jarvis, vice president of server marketing at Oracle, told 'VNU Newswire' that Oracle is negotiating to put Oracle Lite on to network computers, appliances, Web phones and even PDAs, as it runs at well below 1Mbyte.
Jarvis said Oracle Lite 3.0 - an upgraded version of Personal Oracle Lite - runs on appliance clients in a mobile mode and replicates information when it is re-connected to its network. It offers relational and object oriented capabilities and will soon be offered as a plug-in to Netscape Navigator.
Denise Lahey, senior director of embedded database technology, revealed that versions which can only manipulate existing databases rather than build new ones can be as small as 150Kbytes - but they are fully featured and offer replication.
The appliances can connect to networks via browsers, directly or through mobile agents such as wireless modems, Lahey said. "We see uses in vending machines, hospitals, salesforces - anywhere that the client needs to be updated regularly."
Vending machine maintenance could be simplified, for example, by putting Oracle technology in machines, allowing queries of inventory and making refilling many machines much more efficient.
Although it has the advantage of a smaller footprint, Oracle Lite's competitors include Sybase's SQL Anywhere and Java database products, including Cloudscape.
Worldwide marketing head Karen White claimed corporates can save 40 per cent of their costs by moving from client/server architecture to a network computing architecture. "We are also answering the question about where applications for NCs will come from - you can move your existing applications," she said. The company argued that it can help businesses to add Web capabilities and network computing to any OS and any hardware, by running Oracle applications, Developer/2000, Application Server and Oracle 8 Data Server.
Oracle also promised to ship Applications Release 10.7 NCA, the first application suite based on Java, in early January.
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