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Oracle Corp is beta-testing its Object Database Designer ODD tool which enables developers to generate application and server code for use with the object and extended data type features of the company’s Oracle8 object-relational database. The ODD modeling tool also incorporates the first incarnation of a new shared multi-user repository that will eventually support all of the company’s developer tools. ODD also enables multi-vendor relational application and server designs to be reversed engineered so they can be migrated to Oracle8. Until ODD is made generally available next quarter, developers – apart from the 20 or so early users Oracle has been working with – have to hand code C++ applications and SQL DDL code to take advantage of Oracle8 features including Types and Methods, Object Views, and Object Cache. Object Cache provides objects and models with run- time access to Oracle8. ODD is a joint development of Oracle’s tools and server technology groups and was written by a 120- strong corporate development group based in Reading, UK. ODD includes a visual modeling component and Oracle8 server generators which create SQL DDL and C++ code, hiding the programming aspects of the database itself from the developer. It supports the Object Management Group’s Unified Modeling Language methodology. The company’s Designer/2000 tool provides similar functions to 4GL developers writing applications for relational Oracle 7.x environments. ODD’s repository is based upon the Designer/2000 repository and will be introduced when Java Business Objects and the Java IDE integrated development environment tools begin shipping next summer. Oracle says Java IDE 1.0 is a basic JavaScript environment for use with Oracle 7 and 8, and isn’t designed for writing enterprise applications. A Java code generator will be added to ODD in 1998; closer integration with the Oracle8 object request broker is also on the table. The shared repository won’t be integrated with the relational Developer/2000 and Designer/2000 tools until early 1999. Oracle’s creating a Java-based database query tool that supports SQL, and is integrating a Java virtual machine with the Oracle 8.1 release due late next year so that Java applets can be executed directly in the database. Oracle says ODD is targeted at relational database users who want to take advantage of object/relational functionality and C++ programmers who want to use Oracle 8 instead of a native object-oriented database. Its biggest users are expected to be companies reverse engineering existing applications for use with Oracle8.

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