Oracles Linux Push: Mozilla Browser to Front Oracle Apps

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-01-15

Oracles Linux Push: Mozilla Browser to Front Oracle Apps

Oracle Corp. is ready to extend its "Linux Everywhere" campaign to client systems. In the coming year, the company will enable the Mozilla open-source Web browser to run Oracle applications.

Dave Dargo, vice president of Oracles Linux Program Office and the Performance Engineering team within its Platform Technologies Division, told that Oracle will look to expand its 1.5-year-old Linux support program by supporting Linux not just as a server but as a client.

"Most of our support has been in the area of servers," Dargo said. "Well be looking to add enabling Linux as a client for Oracle applications via the Mozilla browser, so Oracle customers can use Mozilla to access Oracle applications. Were looking at not just supporting Linux as a server but looking at supporting Linux as a client."

Dargo will give a Wednesday keynote presentation at next weeks LinuxWorld trade show in New York.

Read Lisa Vaas pre-LinuxWorld Q&A with Oracles Dargo.

The Mozilla suite includes applications for Web browsing, e-mail, Web design and chat. A new version, Mozilla 1.6, was expected to be released today by The Mozilla Foundation, of Mountain View, Calif.

Mitchell Baker, president of The Mozilla Foundation, said that Oracles move is only the most recent manifestation of a "groundswell" of interest from commercial developers thats been growing since the foundation went independent in July. "One fundamental issue for enterprises is making sure this technology works well with their enterprise applications," she said. "Oracles support of Mozilla in Oracle products, such as Collaboration Suite, is an important element in enterprise adoption."

Other commercial outfits that have used Mozilla technology include IBM, which has plugged the Mozilla browser into its Web Services products, as well as Sun Microsystems Inc., which ships Mozilla browsers. "Oracles not the first or only," Baker said. "Making sure [Mozilla] applications and technologies work well with their existing enterprise applications is critical, so this step from Oracle is an important step."

A precise timetable for Mozilla enablement wasnt forthcoming, since the move is still in the early planning stages, an Oracle spokeswoman said.

Next page: Oracles Linux pledge.

Oracles Linux Pledge

This move is the latest in Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracles push to embrace the open-source Linux platform. At LinuxWorld San Francisco 2002, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison pledged to run the companys entire business on the Linux operating system. In August, Chuck Rozwat said that Oracle is committed to running basic development platforms on Linux for all products.

In embracing Linux, Oracles goal is to enable customers to retain the Unix skill sets theyve built over the past decade while enabling them to take advantage of low-cost, high-performance processors from Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Dargo said. Those low-cost, commodity processors in turn form the basis of the clustering technology Oracles pushing in its forthcoming Oracle Database 10g technology.

"Linux serves as a great base platform for grid," Dargo said. "Its inexpensive, and it enables the use of Intel servers that allow us to drive commoditization into these standard building blocks that can be configured together in a grid environment."

All of Oracles 5,000 internal application developers are now working off of Linux platforms, Dargo said. As soon as Oracle Database 10g is released as a production product—a move that is "imminent," Dargo said—the companys database developers will also be moved to Linux as a development platform. That will make a total of between 8,000 and 9,000 Oracle developers on Linux. The companys support and outsourcing business are already on Linux as well.

It is widely believed that another primary motivation behind Oracles embrace of Linux is to push archrival Microsoft Corp. out of its position of power. In pursuit of that goal, Oracle will enable its customers to opt for Mozilla over Microsofts Internet Explorer browser, just as they have enabled customers to opt out of Microsoft operating systems in favor of Linux.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft declined to comment.

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