Currently available at $100 per user, the revamped product signifies a major upgrade by the giant database maker, enabling the mobile work force to reap the benefits of an easily accessible distributed environment affecting device management cycles without requiring continuous connectivity to back-end enterprise systems, said Jacob Christfort, chief technology officer and vice president of mobile and wireless products for the Redwood Shores, Calif., company.
According to Christfort, previous versions of Oracles mobile database lacked "significant" device management capabilities. Oracle Database Lite 10g has been architected to allow a server to proactively reach out and place data on an embedded device, he said, as well as allow users to check memory conditions or usage information on scores of mobile devices.
"[Oracle Database Lite 10g] ties in completely with our overall efforts on the grid side, in that grid computing in general is about creating redundancy and highly available systems by distributing in a transparent fashion data and applications across systems—[today] that also involves mobile," said Christfort. "With 10g Lite, we distribute subsets of data or applications to devices in a grid fashion. Even if the server is virtually down, [customers] can still continue to use this."
Users set up the mobile database by going into the database server and choosing which specific tables or subsets of data are to be distributed to a mobile grid. Once connectivity is established to the device, downloads and synchronization occur from the Web-based console. If the connection is dropped or interrupted, users can still modify data or applications on the device or retrieve data within appointed subsets until reconnection is established and data once again is shared.
Oracle Database Lite 10g features a new Ado.Net interface for Microsoft Corp. developer tools. The product supports development environments for Java and Microsoft .Net tools including Oracle JDeveloper 10g and Microsoft Visual Studio.Net.
Current Oracle mobile database user Pat Holmes, vice president of technology for North Hollywood, Calif.-based IPC—The Hospitalist Co., said he is looking forward to bolstering his existing Oracle Lite 5.0.1 deployments management capabilities once the new Oracle Database Lite 10g version is adopted.
"What is impressive about [Oracle Database Lite] 10g is the ease of management. Some of the stuff I do is through little Java programs or scripts Ive built to add users to the database or configure [data] for a doctor. Thats a bit tedious to use and to train someone else on," said Holmes. "10g has a whole management console that will make it easier to do that from an administration point of view."
As for the future of Oracles mobile database, Christfort said the software maker is at work examining ways to embed the technology into OEM equipment for widespread adoption within manufactured equipment such as ATMs, vending machines and automobiles.