Oracle to offer Java applet for deploying Internet apps

Oracle Corp. which is staking a large part of its future on the network computing market plans to provide its application development tool users with a Java applet for deploying applications on the Internet.

Slated for release in late fall Web Forms will allow users to take an application developed with Oracle's Developer/2000 display it with a World Wide Web browser interface and deploy it on the Internet without writing a lot of new code. Web Forms will play a critical role in the coming year or so as agencies extend their reliance on the Web said Tim Hoechst director of technology at Oracle Government Bethesda Md.

The deployment of Web-based applications will occur as a natural extension of the client/server architecture Hoechst said. "As the tools emerge I think [agencies] will be able to embrace [Web-based applications] quickly because they have been following the rules we have been suggesting for two years for putting as much functionality as possible up on the server " he said.

"Almost every application has some Web component to it now " particularly as a "reporting mechanism" for entering data into a system Hoechst noted and Web Forms will allow agencies to take applications another step.

Web Forms builds upon the architecture of Developer/2000. Because Oracle wanted to support the deployment of applications on multiple platforms Developer/2000 was designed to treat the user interface as a separate element from the rest of the application said Sohaib Abbasi senior vice president of tools and collaboration software at Oracle Redwood City Calif.

The newest platform is the network computer - a stripped-down computer designed for accessing the Internet. Web Forms is not designed specifically for the network computer but because Web Forms' footprint is less than 100K it makes a good fit Abbasi said.

However the concept of network computing is more important than any particular network computing device Oracle said. Whatever the client the network computing architecture concentrates resources on the server and "we have from the beginning been a server-centric company " Abbasi said.

Oracle's Internet strategy fits very well with the evolution of the Web as an application environment said Wayne Kernochan vice president of commercial systems research at The Aberdeen Group a Boston consulting firm.

Information systems organizations "are looking strongly at how in the short term to use the Internet to extend what they have " Kernochan said. A product such as Web Forms meets that need by helping customers take that first step and providing a browser interface on existing applications he said.

In addition Oracle has a strategy for the server environment in which users can address many performance issues with communications multiplexing and load balancing Kernochan said.

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