Oracle will give away an application server bundle to software makers that choose to embed it with their applications to increase its share of the application server market.
It will also sell the new Oracle 9i Application Server Java Edition for $5,000 per processor, much less than the $10,000 and $20,000 per processor it charges for the standard and enterprise edition application server bundles, respectively.
"This offer is designed to seed the market with our fully complete Java application server," said Tim Payne, Oracle marketing director.
The new bundle includes Oracle's J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application server with clustering support, five licences for Oracle's 9i JDeveloper development tools, Oracle HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) Server, Oracle 9iAS TopLink and the Oracle Enterprise Manager system management tool, Oracle said.
"It has everything a company will need to develop and deploy enterprise-scale Java-based Web services as opposed to the crippled versions that you can get from other companies," Payne said, referring to the entry-level application servers offered by market leaders BEA Systems and IBM.
Missing from the new Oracle application server bundle, when compared with the Oracle 9i Application Server Standard Edition, are the Oracle9iAS Portal application and the Oracle Content Management SDK (software developer's kit).
Oracle will not charge customers of ISVs that embed the software, Payne said. Embedding means that the Oracle application server is installed automatically with an ISV's application
BEA and IBM led the 2001 worldwide application server market in revenue, followed at a distance by Oracle and Sun Microsystems. Analyst companies have yet to release 2002 numbers. However, even with its new marketing tack, Oracle will not beat BEA or IBM, said IDC research director Rob Hailstone.
"My expectation is that IBM and BEA will continue to have a very large lead over everybody else and Oracle will want to close that gap. What Oracle is doing is probably going to hurt Sun."