Novell Inc and Oracle Corp’s widely flagged announcement turned out to be an integrated package combining NetWare or UnixWare with the Oracle7 database and a new diary, scheduling and mail package called Oracle Office to create a combination dubbed OracleWare. Technically there is little new here, apart from the messaging and scheduling technology – instead the focus is on ease of installation and management and the seven day a week, 24 hour support that the companies will be offering. The idea is that the network, database and messaging components all have a common installer and the Oracle Office component will have a full gateway to Novell’s existing Global Message Handling System. Products will appear in three phases, starting in September with a version based on UnixWare and NetWare 3.X. Around six months later a version based on Netware 4.0 will be released, that will take full advantage of the operating system’s NetWare Directory Services to give transparent access to data irrespective of network location. Finally, in the middle of 1994 a new UnixWare-based version will be launched incorporating symmetric multiprocessing support, with technology courtesy of Unix System Laboratories Inc – finally the proud possession of Novell Inc as of Monday. Unfortunately, only the NetWare 4.0-based OracleWare gets Directory Service’s network transparency, but Graeme Allan, Novell UK marketing director, says that a version of Netware for UnixWare is expected later this year, which may incorporate the full Directory Services Prices will be announced when the products ship, but Novell says that they will be close to the combined price of the major components. The products will be sold primarily through the two company’s resellers, rather than Oracle’s direct sales-force. The much vaunted 24 hour, seven day a week technical support will be provided direct by Oracle. Fallon characterises the venture as a virtual company, giving the advantages of a merger without the messy aspects. And who is the boss in the partnership? – The customer is boss answered Fallon to groans from the audience. Both firms were at extreme pains to explain that the deal was in no way a response to the Windows/NT-Sybase tie-up, absolutely not.
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