Oracle8i's Debut Hits Another Delay

Oracle8i's Debut Hits Another Delay

Oracle confirmed yesterday that its forthcoming Oracle8i database would be delayed at least another two months.

When the firm first began talking about the release it said the database would likely be available by the end of 1998. Now company officials say it won't be available until at least late February or early March. Company officials also said the delay won't have an effect on Oracle's Raw Iron database appliance project, which is scheduled for April.

"All of the code is finished," said Oracle spokeswoman Paige O'Neill. Oracle's developers are testing the final integration of Oracle8i with Oracle Application Server, Oracle Applications and the Java development tool JDeveloper 2.0, O'Neill said.

"Like almost every software company, Oracle's production schedule has slipped a little. At this point, it isn't that big a deal," said Mike Sun, an analyst at Giga Information Group.

"Oracle was trying to make a pre-emptive strike and take some wind out of Microsoft's sails" by making a large announcement before Microsoft Corp.'s SQL Server 7.0 database was released, Sun added.

Oracle won't include its much-demonstrated Internet File System (IFS) for storing applications, Web pages and multimedia data in the first Oracle8i release. IFS will be available in June.

Anthony Bradley, an analyst at Meta Group said he expected the delay because of the number of changes Oracle had to make for the release. "This just shows that they couldn't quickly fix everything that turned up in their beta tests," he said.

But Bradley said any further delay should raise a warning flag. "If they push it back again, it will indicate that there are significant problems that they can't fix," he said.

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