Oracle has unveiled a new online service that lets business customers create a business home page, or portal, using a web browser and an array of graphical tools.
By using Portal.Oracle.com, business customers don't have to buy and maintain their own servers and software. Instead, these customers create their portal on the Oracle hosted service, and can add their own content and applications, as well as services, called portlets, from some 80 application vendors and Internet content vendors that are partnering with Oracle.
The basic Portal.Oracle.com service is free for the first three months. Then, customers pay a monthly fee of $US100 per gigabyte of disk storage. Customers also will pay for a mix of other services that they select to appear on the portal they create, such as Oracle's online sales application, called OracleSalesOnline, or some or all of the Oracle application suite through OracleBusinessOnline, which is the hosted service for the applications.
The new service, available now, is based on the current 9i release of the Oracle Applications Server, and the 8i release of the Oracle database. Customers work with a browser and a new set of graphical wizards created for Oracle's development tool products; Portal Online Studio is for building the home pages, and OracleMobile Online Studio, now generally available, is for building mobile applications for various handheld devices.
In a related announcement, Oracle said it is converting it's Oracle Technology Network, an online community of over a million application developers (4500 in New Zealand, the company claims) using Oracle products, into a free hosted service. Application developers will be able to access the service and work together to build, test and deploy Internet applications for corporate portals and for handheld devices, using the same development tools previously mentioned.