Oracle to announce remote management tool

Oracle Corp. will use its OracleWorld conference in San Francisco to introduce Enterprise Manager to Go, a remote management tool that alerts database administrators to problems with Oracle’s database when they’re out on the road, according to sources familiar with the plan.

EM to Go is an extension of Enterprise Manager, Oracle’s suite of database management tools. It runs on a PDA with wireless capabilities such as Hewlett-Packard Co.’s iPaq and provides a database administrator (DBA) with alerts when a problem arises with their database.

“If you’re at lunch or at home or out having pizza or something and there’s a problem, this will page you and let you know about it. Sometimes you’ll be able to fix it remotely, or at least it’ll tell you about it so you can go to your workstation and fix it,” said one source familiar with the product.

A version of EM to Go for release 9.2 of Oracle’s database was shown at OracleWorld in November last year, and the product was originally planned for release at about that time, according to information on Oracle’s Web site. Oracle decided to postpone the release of EM to Go and rebuild it for Oracle 10g, a major new release of its database that will be shown at next week’s show, the source said.

Ken Jacobs, a vice-president with Oracle’s server technologies division, is due to demonstrate EM to Go in his keynote speech at OracleWorld on Wednesday, other sources said. EM to Go will be available at the same time as the 10g database, which is expected to be released next year, the sources said.

Oracle declined to comment on specific plans for the product but confirmed that it would be showcased at next week’s event. The product has been in beta for the past year and customers are excited about its introduction, an Oracle spokesperson said.

Oracle 10g is designed to let customers take their first steps with the grid computing model, in which businesses harvest computing resources from distributed groups of servers to run applications. Oracle has said it will also show 10g versions of Enterprise Manager and its application server next week.

The version of EM to Go to be announced next week is also grid-enabled, meaning a DBA will be able to use it to monitor a grid environment without needing to reconfigure the product or add additional software. Pricing information wasn’t available. The version for Oracle9i was to be offered as a free utility with Oracle9iAS Wireless, the wireless version of Oracle’s application server software, according to Oracle’s Web site.

EM to Go will compete with various offerings including Expand Beyond Corp.’s Pocket DBA, which can be used to manage Microsoft Corp. and IBM Corp. databases as well as Oracle’s.

Oracle has said the various elements of its 10g software stack will interoperate with products from other vendors, but it has also tried to make it clear that customers will be able to build more secure, reliable grids if they stick to Oracle-only software. Management of the stack is key to an effective grid, and Enterprise Manager is set to play a bigger role in Oracle’s product line-up moving forward, the company has said.