Oracle updates application server

Looking to increase its market share in the red-hot application server fray, Oracle Corp. on Tuesday released the first update to its 9i Application Server.

Due later this month, the application server includes new features for business intelligence, business-to-business, and enterprise integration and directory integration.

Oracle's senior director of 9i marketing, John Magee, said that the updated version eliminates the need for middleware.

"We've integrated into a single installation middleware that was once pieced together," Magee added.

Market research firm International Data Corp., in Framingham, Massachusetts., predicted that by 2004 the application server market will be valued at US$11 billion.

Although recent Giga Information Group Inc. reports put Redwood, Shores, California-based Oracle's share of the market at somewhere between 1 percent and 2 percent, the database giant began a push into the market since the October release of 9i at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco.

The Giga report predicts that in 2001 BEA Systems Inc. and IBM Corp. will duel for top ranking in the market, with iPlanet (the Sun Microsystems Inc. - Netscape Communications Corp. alliance) ranking third in market share.

"The market is still in early stages," said Oracle's Magee. "There is a long way to go in the app server race."

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