While it was conspicuously quiet on Tuesday when major players were aligning their armies for the Java Jihad, Oracle Corp was indeed present at the Java Internet Business Expo. It would seem that while the company came to New York to prove its support for Java, it is not quite as religious as many of the other camps here. Oracle’s posture as somewhat of a wallflower was illustrated best by the fact that chief Larry Ellison, who was scheduled to deliver a keynote address, canceled because he was tired after returning from Europe a few days ago. Oracle spent its time in the limelight rehashing its vision of network computing and pledging support for Java as more of an afterthought. Keynote pinch-hitter Beatriz Infante, senior vice president of the Application Server Division, didn’t really mention Java until about 15 minutes into her speech. Infante spent most of her time explaining the benefit of removing application logic from the desktop and how Oracle’s Application Server would make the evolution from client/server computing a smooth one. However, Oracle still maintains that Java will run the network computing environment and commits itself to full Java support in its development tools, application server and applications, data access (J/SQL and JDBC) and data server. When asked about how Oracle’s Java strategy compares with database competitors Informix and Sybase, Infante dismissed the question by saying that Sybase hasn’t been viewed as a competitor in more than a year and Informix is probably spending too much time in court to think about strategy. As far as Oracle’s own future Java plans, Infante added mysteriously that the company will remain very focused, but very light on our feet, ready to dump products at a moment’s notice depending on market forces.
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