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Oracle Corp has formed a consumer and collaboration software division under former Sedona tools boss Joe Duncan to house the company’s InterOffice groupware applications. The applications are not to be confused with the InterOffice suite Oracle was touting back in 1995 as a Microsoft Corp BackOffice and which never made it to market. Instead, and somewhat confusingly, it admits, what Oracle is currently shipping as InterOffice 4.0.5 are C-based back-end messaging and document management technologies (formerly known as Pegasus) for use in conjunction with Oracle 8 and Developer/2000 products in the format of the new-fangled cartridges which it’s using extend the database’s functionality. The Battlestar technology also associated with InterOffice became the company’s enterprise systems management application. In a new 4.1 release due in the fall Oracle will add says it will add the front-end Java applications it has been developing under the code name Hat Trick, including a word processor, calendar and spreadsheet. InterOffice will be supplied as part of Oracle’s Network-In-A-Box network computer and server offering, including the NC Server and Desktop software. It says InterOffice can be used in conjunction with other groupware products such as Lotus Notes, but ideally see it being used in their place. It says the document management component competes with the Documentums of the world while it has stripped out the proprietary gear in the messaging technology which now encompasses email-to-asynchronous store and forward features. InterOffice is designed for creating a web-based application environment which can link an organization with its customers over intranets and the internet. Almost all of it now runs within a browser as well as from windows Oracle says, claiming it’s ideal for e-commerce. It’ll follow 4.1 with new vertical and horizontal applications. The stuff may go up on third party platforms; there’s are still rumors about Oracle putting its system software up on IBM Corp DB2. Now focused exclusively on Java and OMG Corba IIOP, the company currently ships the Visigenic Software Inc object request broker until its own Oracle ORB is built. The division reports directly to chief executive Larry Ellison and starts life with several hundred employees.

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