Oracle Launches Development Tools For Microsoft's .Net - InformationWeek

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Oracle Launches Development Tools For Microsoft's .Net

New plug-in component allows .Net developers to build applications that will run on Oracle's database.

Oracle made available for free download Wednesday a database-development component that plugs into the Microsoft .Net development platform. It's a first move toward increased cooperation between the two bitter database competitors.

Oracle Senior VP Andy Mendelsohn, giving a keynote address in the second day of the VSLive conference aimed at Microsoft developers, conceded that many in the audience used Microsoft's SQL Server database. "We want people to know they have a choice. It's not just SQL Server now," he said.

"We don't use either one yet," said Lonnie Hansen, product architect for Spillman Technologies Inc. of Logan, Utah, a maker software systems for fire and police departments. But his firm is moving toward products that require database services, he said, "and Oracle is on the list."

"The perception is that Oracle runs on expensive platforms," such as high-end, symmetrical multiprocessing Unix servers, acknowledged Mendelsohn. Oracle is striving to become a low-cost alternative by running on clusters of low-cost Intel servers, a major spark behind its grid-computing initiative, he said.

The plug-in component is called Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio .Net. Developers must be users of Microsoft's Visual Studio .Net 2003 for the plug-in to work. It allows developers using Visual Basic .Net, C#, and Visual C++ .Net to create applications that will work with Oracle database. The applications may include the use of stored procedures. Stored procedures are optimized database operations for an application that are stored inside the Oracle database server. The move results in improved execution speed.

The .Net languages are pre-compiled to an intermediate code that looks the same, regardless of which language is the source. Oracle's plug-in supports creation of applications that can be pre-compiled to this intermediate code, which is executed in the .Net Common Language Runtime. As a sign of the fresh ground on which Oracle is treading, a draft Oracle release, later corrected, erroneously referred to it as the "Common Runtime Language."

This summer, Oracle will release a point upgrade to its database system, Oracle 10g.2, and it will include the capability to use stored procedures that have been written in any of the three .Net languages.

Microsoft, known as a tough, unrelenting competitor, got a little of the same from its guest speaker. Mendelsohn chose his keynote to boost Oracle's administrative efficiency. The 10g version, he said, "takes 30% less database administrator time than Microsoft's SQL Server."

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