Oracle app server knows where you are

Object FX Corp. on Tuesday said it has developed a version of its software for Oracle Corp.'s 9i Application Server, providing developers with a way to embed location-based services in applications deployed on Oracle's middleware platform.

Using geographical mapping technology, the company's SpatialFX software platform can be used to build applications that deliver information based on a user's physical location. Object FX, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, said applications built using its Java-based SpatialFX components can deliver information to users on a range of computing devices, from PCs to handheld computers.

For example, developers could build an application that uses GPS (Global Positioning System) to track the location of a fleet of trucks. In addition to displaying a map pinpointing a truck's location, the application could also deliver real-time information such as how fast the truck is moving and what it is hauling. In addition to transportation industries, similar location-based services can be developed to dispatch service technicians to customer locations.

It can also be used to build applications that manage telecommunication networks, allow users to monitor networking equipment based on its physical location. As well, applications designed with SpatialFX can be used to track and manage inventory in a supply chain, the company said.

In addition to its support for the most recent release of Oracle9i Application Server, Object FX has already developed versions of SpatialFX to run on competing application servers such as WebLogic from BEA Systems Inc, WebSphere from IBM Corp, and Netaction from Hewlett-Packard Co. The company has also previously developed its own application server for companies that don't use one from one of these vendors.

SpatialFX for Oracle9i was made available Tuesday to customers in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Licensing costs include a server component as well as per-user cost. Pricing for the server software ranges from US$12,000 to $50,000 depending on the number of features a user purchases with the server software. The per-user cost ranges from $4.95 per seat to $300 per seat, based on how many seats a customer buys.

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