Tool is one for the road

Oracle releases its latest version of its Mobile Agents client-agent-server software that allows employees it communicate and securely obtain company data even while out of the office.

3 min read
Oracle (ORCL) today announced the latest version of its Mobile Agents client-agent-server software that allows employees it communicate and securely obtain company data even while on the road.

The Oracle Mobile Agents 2.0 will ship within 30 days and cost $199 per named user, the company said. The tools can be used for relational databases, flat files, electronic mail servers, fax services, and other corporate and public services via wireless packet data networks, local area networks and regular telephone lines. Oracle has also been working with handheld computer manufacturers, including Psion, to increase the options for mobile users interacting with enterprise systems, the company said.

Improved security features offer message encryption using a variety of algorithms, mutual or one-way authentication across clients, agents, and gateways. Password length has been increased to 64 characters for more secure phrases, and messages come equipped with replay protection and digital fingerprints, the company said.

The tool also includes a software developer kit with a mobile Web browser, file transfer utility, expense reporting front end for Oracle's client-server Payables module, a standalone mobile fax, and client-agent source code for customizing the mobile tools.

The Mobile Agents application adds network support for Motorola's DataTAC 4000 and 5000 networks. It had already supported Mobitex, Cellular Digital Packet Data, LAN, and Winsock-compliant Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP). The Oracle Mobile Agents Message Gateway and Agent Event Manager will initially be available on Sun Microsystems' Solaris, OS, and Microsoft Windows NT operating systems. Ports to other platforms are scheduled for the coming months. The client software is available for Windows 3.11, Windows 95, and Windows NT.

The company also said that beginning today it is giving hardware and software makers the open specifications for the Oracle Parallel Server processing database on clustered Windows NT systems. Oracle hopes to encourage the vendors to integrate the parallel processing database with a variety of hardware and software platforms. The company said it has signed up more than 30 companies--including Compaq Computer, Digital Equipment, Hewlett-Packard, and Tandem Computer to integrate the server. The two-node clustered version of the database is expected to ship by year's end. Support for four-node clusters will come in early 1997.

In other news, Oracle also said it is preparing to send to beta testing its Developer 2000 version 2.0. Part of Oracle's open tools initiative, the product includes an open API to help participating developers link the tool with independent software products and extend applications built with the earlier version of Developer 2000 and Oracle's Designer 2000, Power Objects and InterOffice, the company said.

The Redwood Shores, California-based company also announced a licensing agreement that gives Hewlett-Packard the right to resell the Oracle7 database for the HP OpenView network and systems management framework. Oracle7 for HP OpenView allows customers to realize the benefits of a relational database for storing, managing, and obtaining systems management data.

The tool allows users to perform advanced queries and reports while maintaining transaction control throughout the network. The agreement is Oracle's first with HP and indicates both companies' interest in the rapidly expanding market for database technology used as a foundation for network computing and managing.

The company also said it has established a separate Windows NT sales force to provide more support to companies looking to combine Oracle7 database with the popular Microsoft operating system.