Oracle to support applications hosting

Oracle to support applications hosting

Oracle on Tuesday announced a new product suite designed to enable Internet service providers (ISPs) to provide application-hosting services to businesses in the booming Internet commerce market.

Oracle, during its Internet Platform Day for service providers and vendors, said it will offer ISPs the Oracle Internet Platform Hosting Edition, a specially packaged product suite that includes software products for hosting Internet applications. The company is calling the release of the products its iHost initiative.

Application hosting refers to the outsourcing of business services, including financial, human resources and other services, over the Internet.

The Internet Platform Hosting Edition will include Oracle's 8i Enterprise Edition Database, Application Server, Internet Directory, Advanced Security, Enterprise Manager and other products.

The suite is being marketed for ISPs and software vendors to enable them to set up Internet services for businesses in what Mark Jarvis, Oracle's head of worldwide marketing, said is a "gold rush" of business activity over the Internet. "The Internet is like a gold rush, and we are providing the picks and shovels that will let the miners go to work."

ISPs, using Oracle databases, servers and related products in the Platform Hosting Edition, will develop services for businesses that go beyond simple Internet access, Jarvis said.

In a sales pitch to more than 300 people attending the event, Jarvis said ISPs, in conjunction with software vendors, will manage traditional business functions like human resources and financial accounting. Businesses moving to Internet activities will be able to save money by reducing their in-house information networks. "In hosted applications [by ISPs], servers are the network, not the personal computer," he said.

The Internet Platform Hosting Edition will be available within 60 days; pricing will be disclosed at a later date.

Oracle will also enhance its Partner Program and Technology Network developer portal, which includes new information and software for partners interested in hosting applications.

Oracle's Platform Hosting Edition will allow ISPs to attract companies interested in moving operations to the Internet and will take away business from firms that previously employed traditional IT outsourcing contracts with companies such as IBM and Electronic Data Services, said Anthony Bradley, vice president of the META Group in Stamford, Connecticut.

"Oracle is ahead of the curve with this idea," Bradley said.

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