Cynical software approach affects 8i

The second release of Oracle's internet database 8i is expected to generate more local usage than the original version made available earlier this year.

Brett Hannath, Oracle's regional marketing manager - database and servers, said around 600 copies of 8i had been shipped to Oracle's 2400 direct customers, but the adoption rate, in terms of customers actually putting the software into production, was unclear. Hannath was unsure of the uptake figures for customers that purchase their software through indirect channels.

"Thirty to 40 per cent of our customer base have wanted to touch Oracle8i," Hannath said.

Looming Y2K deadlines as well as a cynical approach to first release software has held back adoption of 8i, he said.

"A lot of people, unlike in the US, in Australia tend to be a bit cynical about first release software and even though Oracle8i is the fifth iteration of the product that went into production, they still see it as the first commercial release," he said.

"People who are doing the traditional OLTP and traditional-based applications are really just concentrating on getting over Y2K - which is disappointing from our perspective."

Customers involved in Java development have been more likely to adopt 8i, he said.

"The way we ship our product is that all features are on the CD, so people get it and they play with and we actually don't know [what they are doing]," Hannath said.

Hannath expects post-Y2K more customers move into production as well as more customers to adopt Oracle8i Release 2.

Hannath said Release 2 will feature additional Java and data warehousing features and improved performance and memory.

According to Hannath, with the release of Oracle8I, Oracle made its products avaiable free of charge for the first time.

"We are trying to reach the developer market," Hannath said.

"We're not there to chase up revenue, we're just trying to get 8i into more people's hands."

Oracle8i Release 2 is expected to be available from December.

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