Oracle has taken the wraps off version 4.0 of its Oracle Application Server, which the company hopes to make the central integration point for a range of enterprise software services.
Due by the end of September, Oracle's Application Server is intended to give users a central server from which they can deploy and manage all applications used within an organisation.
Applications that will be linked to the server include legacy mainframe programs as well as World Wide Web-based Internet applications, company officials said.
According to Oracle, the advantage of application servers - an evolving category of servers that still defies accurate definition - is in consolidating applications, database services and associated management functions that are now commonly run on a variety of servers and desktops, into one server platform. The platform is centrally administered and managed, and accessible to numerous users via Web browsers.
Version 4.0 of Oracle's Application Server, formerly named Web Application Server, now integrates two object models: the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) 2.0 and Enterprise Java Beans.
It also offers support of the Internet Inter-ORB Protocol (IIOP), enables monitoring of transactions between Web browsers and databases, leverages the security features of Oracle's flagship database Oracle 8, and now includes dynamic load balancing and fail over and recovery features.
The Application Server also functions as an applications development platform, supporting a number of operating systems and client devices, officials said.
In conjunction with the Application Server, Oracle also announced general availability of JDeveloper Suite 1.1, which includes the Oracle Application Server 4.0, as well as Oracle8 Database Server.
Users will be able to administer and maintain the Oracle Application Server from a central Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Java-based management console, according to Mark Jarvis, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Oracle.
Looking forward, Oracle officials promised to enhance the server platform by supporting Microsoft's COM object model, the Java Messaging services CORBA components, the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and public key infrastructures.
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