Oracle continues to firm up the midsection of its multitiered client/server architecture with the confirmation that Web Application Server 3.1 will add a series of object, security, and transactional capabilities.
Slated for beta release next quarter, the upgrade will also extend the product's Java support with an enhanced Java development cartridge.
Although Web Application Server has supported Java since last year's Version 2.1 hit the market, Version 3.1's Java cartridge will actually "appear as a Java object," according to an Oracle official.
"The JavaBean cartridge is key for server-side Java development," says Andy Wall, head of product reviews at Stocksmart, in Dallas. Wall is deploying Web Application Server with Oracle8 for his company's Web-based sales and marketing.
In addition to its tighter embrace of Java, Version 3.1 will borrow Visigenic's object request broker (ORB) technology and will adopt the Internet Inter-ORB Protocol for sharing CORBA-based objects over the Internet.
Questions arose recently about the health of the Oracle/Visigenic licensing, but Oracle officials say there are no problems.
"We're not in the ORB business, and we don't plan to be," says Beatriz Infante, Oracle senior vice president of 'net and media products.
Version 3.1 will also get beefed up in the directory services, security, and transaction-processing areas. Oracle will use the Object Management Group's CORBA object transaction services specification to define the server's transaction integrity, reliability, and recovery.
Finally, Oracle has also confirmed that it is spinning out the product's Proxy server function into a separate product and is preparing a version specifically for the Internet service provider market. The Proxy server is expected to be announced within 30 days.
Web Application Server 3.1 will ship late this year.
Oracle Corp., in Redwood Shores, California, can be reached at http://www.oracle.com/.