Oracle is planning a serious jaunt into the world of Web-based electronic commerce, joining Internet Service Providers and Netscape in the production of software that will enable organisations to sell goods on the Internet.
The company claims that it will deliver a complete electronic commerce solution incorporating electronic cash, marketing and promotional tracking, catalogue shopping and delivery of secure transactions and payment options, by the second half of next year.
Earlier this month Netscape joined up with Cybercash to let consumers make purchases of up to $10 through the Internet. But Jenny Edmondson, electronic commerce marketing manager for Oracle UK, said: ?We can differentiate from other solutions out there because we will offer an end to end solution.? She explained that, with Oracle?s open standard architecture for Intranet computing, merchants are assured of integration with back end systems already in place with suppliers, partners and financial institutions.
Oracle?s solution will be based on the company?s recently introduced Network Computing Architecture and its Universal Server central data repository. It will centre around Project Apollo, the first of a string of Web ?cartridges?, with a Java-enabled front end, that will plug into the Oracle Web Application Server.
The solution will consist of three servers or cartridges. First, the Apollo server, which allows small businesses to set up and manage electronic storefronts, offering functionality like order entry, payment processing and order fulfillment. Second,the Oracle Payment Server, which comes either integrated with Apollo or as a standalone product and delivers a choice of electronic payment methods (Cybercash, Verifone or First Data). Third, the Security Server, which offers authorisation services.
Oracle executives have also said that they plan to Java-enable or Web-enable all the company?s 30-plus client/server business applications by the middle of next year. The applications will be integrated with Apollo and the other cartriges in the second half of 1997.
Also from Oracle, the company has announced the general availability of its Smart Client modules and Web-designed business applications for IBM?s OS/390 platform.
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