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No strings with Oracle database

A new wireless version of Oracle's Personal Lite database software could make it easier for mobile users.

Oracle's (ORCL) database software now comes in a new less filling version.

The database giant is set to deliver an update to its Personal Oracle Lite database that could make connecting to corporate database servers easier for mobile users.

The company will on Monday debut Personal Lite 2.4, a reworked version of Oracle's single-user desktop database integrated with Oracle's Mobile Agents software for radio and cellular network wireless communications.

Using the combo, Oracle said mobile workers will be able to send and receive database updates to corporate headquarters without phone lines. For example, mobile sales personnel can, from the front seat of their car, check inventory, place an order, and see the updated inventory database on laptops equipped with the software.

Version 2.4 adds the mobile technology which allows store-and-forward data replication. That means database updates can be messaged to a corporate site running Oracle's database software, which queues the update, makes the changes, and sends an updated version of the data back to user, either immediately or whenever he or she next logs onto the network.

The database is being targeted at Oracle's own installed base for use in mobile systems, and at independent software vendors building applications. The company is also talking to hardware manufacturers building so-called thin-client systems, about possibilities for embedding Personal Oracle Lite in PDA and network computer hardware, said Denise Lahey, senior director of marketing for the product.

Oracle has rewritten Personal Oracle Lite's Navigator, a database browser included with the software, and its replication technology as OLE custom controls, or OCXs. That means developers using OLE-enabled tools, such as Microsoft's Visual Basic and Powersoft's Powerbuilder, can embed Navigator and replication functions into custom applications.

Personal Oracle Lite 2.4 costs $195 per user and will ship in May, said Lahey.

A version 3.0 release, slated to debut this summer, shortly after the company's Oracle 8 object-relational database debuts, will include the ability to replicate objects, said Lahey. That release will also include the ability to store Java applets and components, she said.