Oracle formally launched Oracle8i last week at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, unveiling pricing and packaging information on the next generation of the company's flagship database and "Internet computing" platform.
The company also announced a new version of its JDeveloper Java development tool and continued to evangelise the Linux platform as an alternative to Windows NT.
Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison showed off Oracle8i's Internet extensions to a packed house of attendees.
"It's not just a database," Ellison said. "It's a complete unified extensible platform for running applications and distributing applications worldwide. The only things you need are Oracle8iand a browser -- nothing else."
In addition to adding new features to handle the performance, business intelligence, and continuous access needs of Internet users, the company extended Oracle8i's transaction processing, data warehousing, mobile computing, and high-availability features.
Oracle8i will be available in four versions: Oracle8i, the basic database, which includes core features for most NT and Unix applications; Oracle8i Enterprise Edition, which adds several features and options for mission-critical online transaction processing and data warehousing applications; Personal Oracle8i, a single-user development database for NT, Windows 95, or Windows 98; and Oracle8i Lite, a lightweight mobile Java database that synchronises data on laptops and handheld devices with corporate databases.
The company also announced customised bundles for customers, partners, and developers called Internet Platform suites. The packages -- "On Oracle" Deployment Suite, Enterprise Developer Suite, and JDeveloper Suite -- feature offerings such as Oracle's Application Server, Developer Server, and JDeveloper 2.0.
Oracle8i and Oracle's Internet Platform suites are due to ship by December. Oracle8i pricing starts at $US1475 for a five-user licence.
Oracle also showed off its Internet File System and Oracle interMedia, and announced support for the Extensible Markup Language, or XML, standard. These technologies allow Oracle8i to manage multimedia and other Internet content.
JDeveloper 2.0 is available now in beta form, company officials said. This version will offer tight integration with Oracle8i and Oracle Application Server, and support Java Database Connectivity, JavaBeans, Enterprise JavaBeans, and CORBA.
One attendee said JDeveloper might be a breakthrough tool.
"I haven't been a fan of Oracle's tools, but JDeveloper is looking a lot better," Gary Friday, a developer at Paulo Product, said.
He claims the product's interface and debugger are much improved, and that bundling JDeveloper with Oracle8i and Oracle WebDB will make it an easy sell.
OpenWorld also played host to a panel on Linux. The company plans to ship Oracle8.5 for Linux early in 1999.