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Oracle targets Web-based building

At Internet World, Oracle unveils key pieces of technology for building Web-based e-commerce and other business applications.

LOS ANGELES--Oracle (ORCL) today unveiled key pieces of technology for building Web-based e-commerce and other business applications.

At spring Internet World '98 here, Oracle debuted new releases of its Application Server, Payment Server, and Oracle Lite database.

As previously reported by CNET's NEWS.COM, much of the new software is intended to make it easier for corporate developers to use Java for building client, middle tier, and database portions of business applications.

Oracle detailed Oracle Lite 3.0, a new version of its 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.

Oracle also announced the shipment of the Oracle Payment Server 1.0, for supporting a range of electronic payment methods for e-commerce applications. The server is bundled with several electronic payment systems for supporting credit cards and electronic cash.

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

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 priced from $9,995.