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Server opens up databases

Oracle will unveil a product allowing data to be analyzed on the Web more easily.

Oracle on Monday will unveil a product that allows consumers and businesses to analyze data on the Web, another sign of the Internet's growing clout.

The product, an upgraded Web-enabled server called Oracle Express Server 6.0, will be launched in September. It will allow consumers and businesses to analyze data from a Web browser, offering a cheaper and quicker way for more people to tap into databases, according to Jeffrey Stamen, senior vice president of Oracle's OLAP (for On-Line Analytical Processing) Division. The product also can be used with corporate intranets.

Oracle Express Server 6.0 is equipped with 64-bit addressing and multi-threaded architecture, allowing it to process more information with more simultaneous users. For example, it might allow Safeway managers to tap into Pepsi's database on the Web to determine how much of the soft drink to buy. Or it could allow consumers to sit at their home PCs and determine how much they would pay on a car loan from Bank of America.

OLAP is a $700 million annual market and is growing at more than 40 percent a year. Oracle faces stiff competition, however, from companies such as Arbor Software, Microstrategies and Information Advantage.