The new Oracle Internet Application Server is a brand new middleware product that is quietly replacing its failed predecessor, the fourth version of Oracle Application Server, which had many technical problems.
Based on Oracle 8i infrastructure and developed by Oracle 8i engineers, Internet Application Server completes Oracle's return to its roots: DBMS engineering and a data-centric architecture vision.
Compared with its Oracle Application Server (OAS) predecessor, Internet Application Server (iAS) should demonstrate better technical quality and will likely receive more internal support and commitment from Oracle. However, because iAS has not been tested in production, its technical quality is unknown.
There will be tight integration with Oracle 8i, as the company expects that companies that use iAS will also use Oracle 8i. Oracle sees iAS as a kind of remote agent of its DBMS. This premise makes iAS a near-niche technology?though for the Oracle 8i customers only. Although this represents a large niche with substantial market potential, a commitment to iAS will, in most cases, mean a commitment to Oracle's DBMS and development tools.
Oracle's technical vision is enhanced by the addition of its application integration technologies for iAS, though Oracle has not provided details about its support of service-oriented architecture and Internet e-services--the definitive parts of Microsoft's recently announced Microsoft.Net architecture vision.
Oracle's substantial installed base and excellent marketing and sales record will likely push Oracle into the leading pack of application server vendors, making it a formidable competitor to BEA Systems, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft and other vendors of application server technologies.
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