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Commentary: Oracle's positive step

Beefed-up XML support capabilities in the company's new release of its 9i database software is a good thing--but it's not the only thing.

By Ted Friedman, Gartner Analyst

Beefed-up XML support capabilities in Oracle's new release of its 9i database software is a good thing--but it's not the only thing.

See news story:
Built-in XML: Oracle's sales salvation?
The market demand for XML (Extensible Markup Language) support within the database management system is only now starting to build, but to date, most relational database vendors have been slow to include this resource. With this release of 9i, Oracle has taken a solid step toward addressing this issue and making its product competitive with the offerings of XML-grounded database vendors that have generated considerable market interest over their XML database features.

Furthermore, Oracle seeks to move ahead of its two chief competitors in this market, Microsoft and IBM, which are also expected to introduce stronger XML support.

However, although improved XML capabilities in 9i is a logical step for Oracle to take, it won't guarantee future success. Improved XML support alone isn't going to cause a sudden, massive adoption of 9i--the number of enterprises looking to immediately adopt XML database functionality is still small.

In addition, Oracle still has a host of challenges to contend with, among them licensing and pricing issues, manageability issues and a need to prove 9i's scalability.

Although Gartner believes that Oracle is moving in the right direction with the introduction of deeper XML support in the 9i database, this is only one component of the overall puzzle in ensuring future success.

(For a related commentary on Oracle, see gartner.com.)

Entire contents, Copyright © 2002 Gartner, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein represents Gartner's initial commentary and analysis and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Positions taken are subject to change as more information becomes available and further analysis is undertaken. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof.