March 20, 1997 1:45 PM ET

Oracle preps Java clients for 'cheap' Network computers
By Jim Kerstetter

  Oracle Corp. is readying Java clients that will provide a Web front end to the company's client/server enterprise applications.

Oracle will publish the Java client with Release 2.0 of Oracle Web Applications by the end of the second quarter. It will tie into the company's Network Computing Architecture, said Ronald Wohl, senior vice president for Applications Development at the Redwood Shores, Calif., company.

The Oracle Java application release will allow corporations to roll out cheap network computers to end-users without losing the functionality-including security and workflow-traditionally found in the client/server environment.

Oracle is moving from a two-tiered to a three-tiered architecture, taking all SQL language off the client and relying upon a Java-enabled application server and a Java-enabled tool kit. Company officials also point to recent or impending Java improvements, such as increased caching capabilities, in browsers from Netscape Communications Corp. and Microsoft Corp.

Users will be able to create the Oracle Java client with a new Java cartridge in the Developer 2000 tool kit, which is now in beta and slated for release in two more months, Wohl said.

The Oracle Web Application server will act as a middle layer, generating HTML forms on the fly, gathering PL/SQL data from the Oracle database, and feeding client data to a browser residing on a thin client, Windows desktop or other operating system. All of Oracle's 30-plus application modules, including financials, human resources and manufacturing, should run on the Java client, Wohl said.

Also in two months, Oracle will release a Career Management intranet module. Career Management will integrate with Oracle Human Resources applications, providing Web-based appraisal, skills matching and job assessment capabilities, said Jackie Penticost, Oracle HR product manager.

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