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Oracle buys in to e-commerce

Oracle outlines its electronic commerce strategy, along with products and partnerships for building intranet applications.

Oracle today outlined its electronic commerce strategy, along with products and partnerships for building intranet applications.

Based on its Network Computing Architecture, Oracle's e-commerce offerings are designed to let consumers and corporations use any client over any network on any server for secure transactions.

The central element is Project Apollo, a Web cartridge or server plug-in that allows a business to set up an Internet storefront and handle transactions. The Apollo server manages product browsing, personalized marketing and promotions, order entry, inventories, payment processing, and order fulfillment. No pricing was announced. Project Apollo is expected to enter beta testing by year's end.

The announcements round out Oracle's commerce offerings to handle electronic cash, marketing, catalog shopping, secure transactions, and payment options.

The company also announced Oracle Payment Server, which delivers a choice of electronic payment methods. This software comes both integrated with Project Apollo and as a standalone product.

Oracle Security Server is authentication software designed to recognize a consumer's identity, protect his or her information, and authorize payments. Oracle is also working with vendors to enable secure database access through corporate firewalls.

The company announced strategic relationships with CyberCash, Hewlett-Packard, Quark, and VeriFone that are designed to move retailers to the Web quickly.

Oracle plans to Web-enable its entire application line and integrate those applications with Project Apollo by the end of 1997.

Online payment vendor CyberCash and credit-card payment processors First Data and VeriFone, announced Web cartridges that plug in to the Oracle Web Request Broker to link the various elements of payment systems.

Oracle and Quark also said they will integrate Quark authoring and multimedia products with Oracle server software.