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Oracle updates application server, Java tool

Application Server 10g and Java development tool add support for server standards, AJAX Web development.

Oracle said on Friday that a new version of its Java application server and development tool are available with enhancements designed to ease back-end and AJAX-style Web development.

Oracle Application Server 10g release 3, server software for running Java applications, is the foundation of the company's Fusion Middleware product line, which will eventually underpin Oracle's different packaged applications.

In the new version, Oracle has sought to make it easier to build modular applications with a service-oriented architecture, said Ted Farrell, chief architect and vice president. The application server is better integrated with a business process server Oracle acquired when it bought Collaxa, and it adds software called a rules engine for automating complex multistep applications, he said.

For front-end development, Oracle has built components to ease the process of writing AJAX-style Web applications to its Java development tool, JDeveloper 10g release 3. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript plus XML) lets developers create interactive Web pages that can automatically refresh data from a Web server.

Farrell said Oracle already uses AJAX in its Collaboration Suite of applications, and its corporate customers are increasingly considering AJAX to enhance their business applications.

Oracle has designed its Java development tool to work closely with its application server. Like many other infrastructure software providers, Oracle gives its development tool away for free in hope of selling licenses of its server software, or "runtimes."

"The job for us in the tools group is to sell the runtime. That is end goal," Farrell said. "We finally have an IDE (integrated development environment) that can compete with the IntelliJs and Eclipses of the world."

Farrell reiterated that Oracle's development strategy is focused on JDeveloper and some involvement with Eclipse. He said the company has no plans at this time to support the .

Other features of the Application Server include support for standards, including Enterprise Java Beans 3.0 and certification with open-source development tools, such as Struts.

The pricing for the Oracle Application Server 10g starts at $5,000 per processor.

Separately, Hewlett-Packard is expected to announce next week that it will provide consulting services around Oracle's middleware.