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April 2, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Oracle Corp has released its Universal Server family (CI 2860) in an attempt to cover the fact that its true multimedia database – Oracle8 – has been delayed by a year . Oracle confirmed that it has had to delay by one year its Oracle8 definitive multimedia database (CI 2866) that reads all objects, whether video, audio or tabular, as objects. The intended result is that Oracle8 will be the database that sits at the other end from the $500 Network Computer promoted by Oracle’s chief, Larry Ellison. The intermediate result is Oracle7 release 7.3, which is the core relational component of the Universal Server. Dubbed by Oracle an ‘all-purpose server,’ the Universal Server has licensing options so it can be tuned to suit different types of data. The Oracle Video option is designed to enable business users simultaneously to access full-motion, real-time, full-screen video and audio from the same application over a standard switched Ethernet and FDDI networks. Potential applications include video help systems and internal multimedia training. The company is shipping a Web- enabled database with the Server and bundling a developer’s release of ConText, its text retrieval and management engine. These will enable companies to deploy Web-enabled applications, the company said. A Network Component option addresses issues of security by encrypting the information that goes across the network, whether internally or externally when it bridges the company’s firewalls. The Universal Server does not have an open application programming interface set so third parties will not be able to write additional components themselves to add value to the Server. We prefer to deliver integrated management of different styles of data ourselves, said an Oracle spokesperson. But this means if someone comes up with a new data-handling need that requires a new licensable component, Oracle will have to race to develop it itself. For the majority of applications demanded today, we can deliver all that is needed, the spokesperson concluded.

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