Oracle's PowerBrowser 'good as finished'

Oracle's partnership with Netscape, announced last week, spells the end of the road for Oracle's PowerBrowser.

Despite claims to the contrary, Oracle’s partnership with Netscape, announced last week, spells the end of the road for Oracle’s PowerBrowser.

Though the company has said PowerBrowser will be evolved as a component, Australian product manager Peter Thomas confirms that the product is basically finished. Under the deal, Netscape’s Navigator will be bundled with Oracle databases.

Thomas was in New Zealand to roll out Oracle’s network computing architecture strategy (NCA).

NCA is a common set of technologies that will allow all PCs, network computers and other client devices to work with all Web servers, database servers and application servers over any network. It will allow developers to create object-based business applications in client-server and Internet environments.

Thomas says NCA transcends the Internet object standards battle so customers and developers can make object standards ActiveX/COM, CORBA and other software programs work together without getting locked into dead-end solutions.

That said, however, Thomas feels Java is the favoured option. “Java is the one language people in the US see as universal and platform-independent.”

And, he says, JavaScript may become the validation routine.

A key component of NCA is Oracle’s data cartridge technology--similar to Informix’s DataBlades.

Version 7.33 of Oracle--available at the end of the year--will support the cartridges, which allow third parties to extend the database server with user-defined, plug-in data types. “We’ll strip from the kernel anything that is currently sold as an option and sell it as a cartridge,” Thomas says.

Though Oracle is proposing an open standards route, Thomas says CORBA is the underpinning of NCA. “That’s the best way to do distributed objects.”

And, like the deal with Netscape, it’s also the non-Microsoft route.

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