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Oracle Wants To Be Less Outspoken, More Like A Wallflower

Oracle makes four databases that it wants developers to embed into other products, a fast growing segment of the database market.
Oracle wants to be less outspoken and more like a good wallflower company.

It wants to be more like Progress Software. Progress who?

Progress Software isn't a brand that usually gets bandied about the breakfast table. It sells software that's embedded in other companies' products, which may be why many people haven't heard of it. The Progress relational database is a leading example of an embedded product.

Oracle is a company that never wanted anonymous. Back when Oracle was known as Relational Technology, it decided that its No. 1 product, the Oracle relational database system, would be better known if the company was renamed for the product.

Now it wants its Oracle 10g and its Oracle Lite Edition databases to be embedded in a larger number of other companies' products. It wants its Times Ten in-memory database to be used for embedded purposes. For that matter, it wants Berkeley DB, which was designed as an embedded database, to be embedded in more products as well.

"Embedded products disappear inside another product," says Rex Wang, Oracle's new VP of embedded systems. "This is a new focus. This is our coming-out party for Oracle technology in another vendor's products," he says.

Wang is the former VP of marketing for Sleepycat, which Oracle acquired last February. Sleepycat produced Berkeley DB as open-source code, and it has remained open-source code since the acquisition.

Oracle makes all four database systems available for free download to developers registered with its Oracle Technology Network. "Developers always try before they buy," says Wang, and Oracle wants more programmers to try its four databases in hopes they will disappear inside a promising new product.

Sales of Oracle databases for embedded purposes is one of the highest growth areas within Oracle, notes Wang, as a sign of how much has changed for the software maker, now promoting enterprise applications more vigorously than its core product.