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Oracle pumps in Java abilities

Oracle finally readies long-promised technology to make its client, middleware, and server software fully Java aware.

Oracle (ORCL) is finally readying long-promised technology to make its client, middleware, and server software fully Java aware.

At Internet World next week, and later this month at the Java One conference, Oracle will show off pieces of its software lineup intended to make it easier for corporate developers to use Java for building client, middle tier, and database portions of business applications.

Oracle will rely primarily on Sun Microsystems' Enterprise JavaBeans specification as the component framework for supporting Java on all tiers, said John Fomook, a director of marketing at Oracle. "By mid-1999, I'm sure we'll see environments [from Oracle] with JavaBeans on all tiers," he said.

The 1.0 specification of Enterprise JavaBeans is expected to be unveiled at JavaOne, Fomook said.

At Internet World, Oracle will detail a new version of its Oracle Lite small-profile database intended to run on Microsoft's Windows CE operating system. The database, intended for use in embedded applications and handheld systems, already supports development of Java stored procedures, a feature planned for Oracle 8.1, the next release of the company's database server, due later this year.

Also at Internet World, Oracle will announce the shipment of the Oracle Payment Server, for supporting a range of electronic payment methods for e-commerce applications.

To support Java middle tier development, Oracle plans to debut a new version of its Application Server software at JavaOne. Application Server 4.0, which entered beta testing last month, will support Enterprise JavaBeans, and will support Java/CORBA cartridges, allowing developers to build plug-in, CORBA-compliant applications.

CORBA, or the common object request broker architecture, is a cross-platform component model supported by Oracle and other vendors including Sun, IBM, and Netscape Communications.

Application Server 4.0 will also include a Java just-in-time compiler, to speed up Java application performance, and a CORBA 2.0 compliant object request broker.

Finally, Oracle will deliver this month version 1.6 of its Web Development Suite, a bundle consisting of the company's development tools. The bundle includes Developer/2000, Designer/2000, and a beta release of AppBuilder, a Java development tool, formerly code-named Valhalla. The package is expected to cost less than $10,000.