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Oracle, Novell talk up Java

The two key players in the developing anti-Microsoft camp will show off new wares next week at Fall Internet World 97 in New York City.

Two key players in the developing anti-Microsoft camp will show off new wares next week at Fall Internet World 97 in New York City.

Networking software player Novell (NOVL) and database giant Oracle (ORCL) plan to espouse the benefits of the Java programming language and further their strategies to embrace every corner of the market for Internet-related products, with both topics aimed straight at counteracting the Redmond, Washington-based software giant.

Novell, fresh off a promising quarterly earnings announcement last week, will roll out details of a initiative for Java that aims to bring the popular programming language to network and server-based software applications. The strategy, reported in October, aspires to distribute application components across a network layout to take advantage of the overall power of the various computer systems in use.

The company will also officially ship a component of the company's BorderManager software suite called FastCache that essentially acts as a proxy server by storing widely used Web pages locally so that users receive faster response times. The tool was originally announced in September.

The software also updates the content of the pages as needed without redundant downloads of information and includes cache acceleration features. Additionally, a network manager can build a cache hierarchy using the software.

Novell has previously said it will also use the FastCache software as a means to partner with third-party server hardware vendors in bundling arrangements. One advantage of FastCache is that it enables Web server farms to be reduced because of the performance gains of cache technology, according to the company.

Novell and Oracle will also jointly announce further details on an agreement to integrate the database company's software with Novell's IntranetWare operating system and NDS, the acronym for the company's directory services software. The two also plan to deliver Java-based development tools to speed adoption of server-side Java applications.

Oracle, for its part, will detail upgrades to its Oracle 8 database server and Oracle Lite single-user database along with a new Java development tool and a Java-enabled business application suite.

Oracle Lite 3.0, which ships next week, supports development of Java stored procedures and includes a native ODBC driver, Java access classes, and full concurrent transaction support, Denise Lahey, senior director of marketing for the product, said. Oracle Lite costs $295 per developer seat and is available as the Oracle Lite Mobile Option for the Oracle 8, priced at $95 per seat.

Other new features for Oracle Lite 3.0 include the ability to replicate data through the MAPI (mail application programming interface) email protocol and over the Web using HTTP. The database also provides a glimpse of Oracle's future direction in Java support. It supports stored procedures and triggers written in Java, a feature planned for Oracle 8.1. That feature is an update to the company's full-featured database server, slated to debut in the second half of 1998, according to Mark Jarvis, vice president of system products marketing at Oracle.

Next week, Oracle will detail a minor upgrade to Oracle 8. Oracle 8.04 is a maintenance release that includes the JSQL tool for accessing Oracle databases through Java tools, JDBC support, and includes image and time series cartridges for supporting additional data types, Jarvis said.

Oracle also plans to debut next week a Java development toolset built atop Borland International's JBuilder technology, which Oracle has licensed. The tool, formerly code-named Valhalla, will be positioned as a Java-based rapid application development tool for Oracle's user base building Java and CORBA (common object request broker architecture) applications.

Finally, Oracle will disclose that its Oracle Applications 11.0 business application package will ship in a Java-only version early next year. No further details were available.