RealTime IT News

The Lite Side of Oracle 10g

Oracle has released new 10g database software to extend grid computing to corporate workers on the go.

Database Lite 10g allows employees to tap into the master 10g database through mobile devices, such as PDAs, laptops and handheld computers.

Jacob Christfort, vice president of server technologies and CTO for mobility at Oracle, said Lite has been quietly used in standalone form by customers for years. Database Lite 10g is a coming out party of sorts, because it represents the first time Lite has been tightly integrated with the core database server.

"With grid computing it starts becoming more interesting because now what we can do with Oracle Lite is we can distribute parts of the data and application to a mobile device and make it appear as part of one computer on one network," Christfort said.

The software comes at a time when remote workers are increasingly relying on computer gadgets to access corporate information. One of the persistent bugbears, however, has been frequent disconnect of the software synchronization between the device and the back-end system.

This could translate to a huge problem when thousands of workers are trying to use applications powered by one system on the backend. To make the centralized server work, users need a central database extension, or "satellite," dedicated to one system.

That is what the Redwood Shores, Calif., company is offering, Christfort said. Moreover, Database Lite 10g also works in areas where network coverage is barely tenable because it uses a synchronization server that works on the front end and back end. This allows mobile users to synchronize data between their corporate database and mobile device.

Oracle rivals IBM and Sybase offer similar solutions -- DB2 Anywhere and SQL Anywhere, respectively. But Christfort said Lite will only support Oracle databases while the others will let their mobile databases connect to just about any other database.

Christfort said this differentiation is the result of an inflection point in the industry: Customers who used to use disparate mobile databases and hire consultants to make them work are looking to key in on one vendor, he said.

"We don't think people will want to buy separate systems and have the integration hassle," Christfort said. "We believe people will just want to buy an Oracle database system and have that data move seamlessly between devices and applications. We believe the [Lite] mobile database will follow ... [its elder database]"

Database Lite 10g is available on all major operating systems, including Linux, Unix and Windows, and is available now for $100 per named user license.