New features in Oracle server upgrade

Continuing to push its application server, Oracle Corp. on Tuesday announced new features in the upcoming version of its 9i Application Server, due out by the end of this month.

Continuing to push its application server, Oracle Corp. on Tuesday announced new features in the upcoming version of its 9i Application Server, due out by the end of this month.

Among the new features is an embedded workflow engine - called Applications InterConnect, which allows approvals and other business processes with visual development tools to model the workflow -- and Java APIs to build applications that interact with the workflow engine.

Applications InterConnect, based on the Extensible Markup Language, provides message-based integration between applications. Oracle is including three "adapters" for common integration needs - for example, between the app server and the database - and third parties are expected to sell other adapters. A developers kit will help customers build their own adapters to integrate various applications.

A new embedded e-mail server, meanwhile, allows developers to build applications designed to send out automated alerts. Also new is an integrated LDAP directory.

In addition, Oracle is enhancing the analytics capabilities in conjunction with its database, providing access to query reports via a browser without needing a special set-up of the database. In another two months, Oracle expects to deliver click-stream analysis as an add-on, officials said.

The company has also boosted its wireless capabilities by adding support for location-based services.

"We're continuing this tack we're taking of adding functionality to the application server without having to install [the new features] as separate products," said John Magee, senior director of product marketing for the 9i Application Server.

Most of the new features are included in the Enterprise Edition, which costs US$30 per universal power unit. The Standard Edition costs US$5 per universal power unit, and the Wireless Edition costs US$150 per universal power unit.