Monday, June 27, 2005

Oracle to set SOA techs free at JavaOne

From ZDNet. . .
For several years now, Oracle, with its own Java-based J2EE application server and integrated development environment (JDeveloper), has been trying to play in the same league as Java application server heavyweights IBM and BEA. But despite having traditionally positioned itself as the low cost provider of world class tools, the software vendor known mostly for it's database solutions hasn’t gotten the respect or traction that IBM, BEA, and now, the open source entry JBoss have (Oracle disputes this, citing Gartner's positioning of the company in the "leader quadrant" of one of the researcher's Magic Quadrants). Based on what Oracle's vice president Rick Shultz told me, Oracle will be looking to turn up the heat at JavaOne 2005 by lowering the cost of ownership even further while also hoping to advance its standards agenda by open sourcing certain technologies – a technique perfected by IBM that can sometimes lead to establishing de facto standards.

Although it's hard to say which of the JavaOne announcements is the most signficant one, the fact that Oracle is now giving away JDeveloper for free is both noteworthy and a sign of the times. Almost invariably, with any software company, the question is no longer "how much?" Rather, the new question is what do you give away for free or what part of what you make is open sourced?

Increasingly, the answer from application server vendors is "the developer tools." Oracle has long touted the combination of its server and developer tools as a full bodied Java development platform that, for its technical prowess, simply could not be matched in terms of value. In a story that's now more than two years old, Oracle responded to assertions by Cape Clear that application servers can be overkill by highlighting the value that one got at the time for $5,000. Said then Oracle 9iAS product marketing vice president John Magee, "Instead of spending $10,000 per CPU for Cape Clear, you can spend $5,000 per CPU with us and get Oracle 9iAS, which includes full J2EE 1.3 support, support for clustering, the TopLink object relational persistence framework, and five licenses for our Oracle 9i Jdeveloper integrated development environment."

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