New Oracle app server bundle out, free to some ISVs

Oracle Corp. will give away a new application server bundle to software makers that choose to embed it with their applications in a bid to increase its share of the application server market, the company said Monday.

The Redwood Shores, Calif., vendor will also sell the new Oracle 9i Application Server Java Edition for US$5,000 per processor, much less than the US$10,000 and US$20,000 per processor it charges for the standard and enterprise edition application server bundles, respectively, the company said.

“This offer is designed to seed the market with our fully complete Java application server,” said Tim Payne, Oracle marketing director.

The new bundle includes Oracle’s J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application server with clustering support, five licenses for Oracle’s 9i JDeveloper development tools, Oracle HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) Server, Oracle 9iAS TopLink and the Oracle Enterprise Manager system management tool, Oracle said.

“It has everything a company will need to develop and deploy enterprise-scale Java-based Web services as opposed to the crippled versions that you can get from other companies,” Payne said, referring to the entry-level application servers offered by market leaders BEA Systems Inc. and IBM Corp.

Missing from the new Oracle application server bundle, when compared with the Oracle 9i Application Server Standard Edition, are the Oracle9iAS Portal application and the Oracle Content Management SDK (software developer’s kit).

Any ISV (independent software vendor) that embeds the new Oracle 9i Application Server Java Edition can get it for free. Oracle also won’t charge customers of ISVs that embed the software, Payne said. Embedding means that the Oracle application server is installed automatically with an ISV’s application, he said.

“Over 800 ISVs already run their application on the Oracle application server. When they embed it, they can get it for free,” Payne said. Oracle’s current ISV partners include CheckPoint Software Technologies Ltd., BMC Software Inc. and Borland Software Corp., according to Oracle’s Web site.

BEA and IBM led the 2001 worldwide application server market in revenue, followed at a distance by Oracle and Sun Microsystems Inc. Analyst companies have yet to release 2002 numbers. However, even with its new marketing tack, Oracle won’t beat BEA or IBM, said Rob Hailstone, a research director with International Data Corp.

“I can’t see Oracle challenging IBM or BEA for leadership in terms of revenue soon,” Hailstone said. “My expectation is that IBM and BEA will continue to have a very large lead over everybody else and Oracle will want to close that gap. What Oracle is doing is probably going to hurt Sun.”