Oracle has done a U-turn on its much-delayed Oracle 8 database, repositioning the product to take advantage of the intranet, data warehousing and online transaction processing markets. The database will now be a component in an overall network computing architecture, with an emphasis on user access from network computers or thin clients.
Shipping in the first half of next year, Oracle 8 will process all types of requests for object data, but only support for in-house developed data types will reside in the database engine itself. Third-party extensions will be supported in an outside layer of NCA cartridges stored on the Internet or intranet.
NCA application servers will communicate with the database through Java calls. To support this approach, Oracle is developing an extension to Java - JavaDB - which enables SQL statements to be more easily embedded in the Sun language.
The approach contrasts with that of Informix, whose Universal Server will support complex data types through home-grown or third-party components called Datablades. But these will plug directly into the engine, something Jerry Held, Oracle senior VP for server technologies, described as 'lunacy'.
He said embedding third-party plug-ins in the kernel of the engine raised too many risks of malfunctions that could crash the database.
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