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Oracle has applications for Web

Oracle plans to accelerate its move onto the Web with a set of new Java applications slated to debut next month.

Oracle (ORCL) plans to accelerate its move onto the Web with a set of new Java applications slated to debut next month.

Within two weeks, the company will unveil Oracle Applications for the Web 2.0, a series of more than 30 client modules written in Java and intended to work with the company's server-based business applications, according to sources.

Oracle introduced version 1.0 of Applications for the Web last April. But that first release only provided an HTML interface to the company's client-server applications.

The new release includes client modules written in Java for financial, manufacturing, supply chain management, human resources, and payroll applications.

The applications differ from Oracle's only other Java application, code-named Hat Trick, which works with the company's InterOffice groupware. That application is due in May as part of InterOffice 4.1.

One new module in the Applications 2.0 package, Web Expense, will allow employees to compete expense reports though a Web interface.

The Java modules are accessible with any Java Web browser. Users of Oracle's existing client-server applications can move over to the new Java client without recoding, the company said.

Oracle claims that it is several months ahead of competitors, including SAP and Peoplesoft, in the drive to move corporate applications onto the Web.

The new Java applications are also designed to work with Oracle's e-commerce merchant server, code-named Project Apollo, due later this spring. By integrating with Project Apollo, the applications will allow Net-based business-to-consumer transactions that transfer data automatically into order entry, inventory, and accounting databases.

Project Apollo is intended to allow companies to set up online storefronts. It includes payment processing software that supports electronic payments from CyberCash, VeriFone, and other vendors.

Oracle and other proponents of Java-based applications claim that a major benefit is the ability to deploy applications on thousands of client PCs from a central server. The Java applications can be installed on client systems using a corporate intranet.

Pricing for Oracle Applications for the Web 2.0 has not been announced. Version 1.0 is priced at $25,000 per server. Pricing for Project Apollo has also not been announced.