Oracle to spotlight Web services

Oracle Corp. this week will unwrap the latest version of the company’s Java application server and preview the next version of its flagship database.

The products will be released at Oracle OpenWorld – the annual Oracle users’ conference – which this year expects to see an estimated 40,000 attendees. Oracle is hoping for a record turnout as it promotes the combination of database and Java application server as a foundation for Web-based e-business transactions.

The company’s moves are critical as Oracle9i Application Server and Oracle9i Database will now support the standards that make up so-called Web services. Key Oracle competitors IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. have also jumped into the Web services pool.

In a nutshell, Web services provide chunks of reusable code that could be cobbled together on the fly using XML and its variants, the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), a system of service directories based on the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) specification and other standards.

Application Server

Version 2.0 of Oracle9i Application Server will be available this week in a developer’s edition on Oracle’s Web site. The new version, which will ship early next year, has more than 250 new features.

There are several key changes in the new version. One is expanded support for Web service standards, such as the UDDI 2.0 registry. Also new are: