San Diego, CA — Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports that when Larry Ellison made it clear last month, by forcing out longtime president and COO Ray Lane, that he wanted Oracle Corp. to pursue a much more aggressive tack toward IBM and Microsoft Corp., no one knew that Linux would play a major part of his new strategy. Now we know.
Oracle is crowing that it is the first to release an enterprise-level application server for Linux, Oracle Internet Application Server 8I, or iAS.
IBM, with WebSphere and DB2 having long been available on Linux, begs to differ. IBM and Oracle, along with Informix Onc. and Sybase Inc., had previously released their workgroup sized database management systems, such as Oracle 8i, on Linux. Regardless of who was first, the day of enterprise DBMS on Linux is dawning.
If you doubt that this is anything save Oracle making a public relations point, think again. The Linux version of Oracle iAS is available for order today. Its Windows NT/2000 brother won’t be out until September. Oracle is dead serious about supporting Linux as an enterprise platform.
Oracle iAS comes in both standard and enterprise editions. Whether you’re designing for a workgroup or a Fortune 500 company, Oracle iAS provides a wide variety of middleware services that are best suited for Web applications.
The wireless edition of Oracle iAS with Oracle Portal-to-Go enables developers to create applications that users can access with any data-enabled wireless devices, such as a Palm VII or a browser-equipped mobile phone.
With more than one-third of developers already targeting wireless for their applications and more than half interested in wireless DBMS middleware (according to Evans Data Corp.’s recent survey of DBMS developers), this added functionality will be an added incentive for DBMS administrators to look to Oracle iAS and Linux.
Oracle will be selling its software through its usual channels. In addition, it will be making Oracle iAS available from Caldera Systems, SuSE, TurboLinux and VA Linux Systems. These companies will offer trial versions and databases of Oracle iAS. Users can then upgrade to the full version.
Notably absent from the list was Red Hat Inc. Paul McNamara, vice president of products and platforms, explained: “We’re currently evaluating the effectiveness of the program and the benefit to Red Hat customers, and we’ll base our level of involvement on that. We have a significant relationship with Oracle, as one of our investors, and we’ll continue to spend our energy on Red Hat/Oracle programs that benefit our customers.”
Other companies, including Linux hardware power VA Linux, have already made their decisions and they’re in favor of the Oracle iAS program. One can argue that that is premature because Linux might not be ready for the enterprise. Oracle, however, has already cast its vote on the question.