Although Oracle acknowledges the object functionality of its Oracle8 database is an optional feature, the company will not reveal how much users will have to pay for it.
Pricing for the Oracle8 Object Option will vary from one user site to another, according to an Oracle representative. The base Oracle8 product began shipping this week at US$1,475 per five-user license, but doesn't include object functions for building object-oriented applications or support for multimedia data types.
"If it is a separate option, it's going to be a pretty skimpy option, because there's not much there right now," says Sanjeev Varma, research director at the Gartner Group, in San Jose, California, noting Oracle8's lack of object functions, such as object inheritance, which is due in a later release.
The Oracle8 Object Option works with new data types via Data Cartridges, or plug-in modules. Software publisher Virage plans to release its image-management cartridge in two months at a cost of $895 per user.
Although Oracle's vice president of server marketing Mark Jarvis this week dismissed rivals Sybase and Informix as irrelevant, both vendors pledge to keep Oracle on its toes. Informix plans to unveil Windows NT- and Web-based initiatives at its annual user conference in San Francisco next month, one official said. Informix is expected to ship the Windows NT versions of its Informix-Universal Server object-relational database and its Online Extended Parallel Server parallel database later this year.
Sybase's Adaptive Server database, which extends SQL Server with multiple data-type support, is in its second beta release and set for availability in September.