Oracle will increase its online sales and look for more opportunities in the set-top box market, the company's chief executive officer Larry Ellison said at Oracle's iDevelop '99 conference, held here this week.
Within a year, the company will sell built-to-order software online, Ellison said during a press question and answer session. By expanding its Web-based sales operation, Oracle will save $US500 million in distribution costs and expand its marketing reach, he added.
"We plan to become an e-business ourselves," Ellison said.
For the future, Ellison thinks that Oracle has expanding opportunities in the set-top box market.
"The recent Microsoft-AT&T alliance is a great deal for AT&T and for us," he said, in response to a reporter's question. Oracle will pitch its technology to AT&T and will make numerous announcements regarding set-top boxes in the near future, he added.
"We are pretty confident that we'll beat Microsoft in set-top box offerings," said Ellison.
Oracle and Microsoft have completely different ideas about where the computing industry is headed, he said. "Microsoft's [client/server] vision is flawed," Ellison said, adding that "decentralised complexity is a bad idea."
The whole concept of client/server hinders executives' ability to do their job, Ellison said. "We have been seduced by little servers because they are inexpensive and easy to run, but they do not work effectively to allow people to communicate with each other," he said.
Ellison restated Oracle's commitment to offer vendors "centralised complexity" and consolidated data globally, through the Internet or intranets.
He also talked about the importance Java technology plays and will continue to play in Internet-based computing.
"The good news is that Java is a great new technology and the bad news is that Java is a great new technology," said Ellison. Since the technology is relatively new, Java development tools still need perfecting, he added.
The database and applications company will continue to perfect its Java offerings, Ellison said, adding: "Our version of Java is different, because it supports more users, is more reliable and is more secure."
Also at iDevelop '99, Oracle announced:
Oracle JDeveloper 2.0, a tool that supports server-side Java standards. JDeveloper features a series of wizards that aid developers in building and deploying user interfaces, business logic and data access components on Oracle's Internet Platform. The software includes a "servlet" that enables users to preview Java code prior to launching it. JDeveloper 2.0 was demonstrated during this week's keynote address, when Jeremy Burton, Oracle's vice president of marketing, used the tool to build a book-selling electronic commerce site. The software is available for download at http://technet.oracle.com/.
Oracle Business Components for Java, software that enables developers to build business components and customise applications. With Business Components for Java, applications can be written once and deployed across multiple platforms. Developers will save time by building code separate from the application itself, said Mark Jarvis, Oracle's senior vice president of worldwide marketing. The software began beta shipment yesterday.
Oracle Technology Network (OTN) for Partners, an area of the OTN Web site created for ISVs (independent software vendors) building Oracle applications for resale. OTN for Partners provides proactive notification of product releases and enrolment in early access programs; access to specific ISV software tools; subscription to the Oracle ISV newsletter; and easy access to the Oracle Partner Program and Oracle Venture Fund.
Oracle WebDB 2.0, Oracle Developer 6.0 and Oracle Designer 6.0, which are upgrades to Oracle's Internet development tools that allow users to build applications for the Internet. WebDB 2.0 is now easier to use for publishing Web content, the company said. Oracle Developer 6.0 now includes a new Java user interface. Oracle Designer 6.0 offers enhanced support for Developer 6.0, according to the company.
Oracle can be reached at http://www.oracle.com/.