Ellison Takes on Exchange

Oracle Corp. is trying to use its Oracle9i database to muscle into Microsoft Corp.'s e-mail business.

Oracle Corp. is trying to use its Oracle9i database to muscle into Microsoft Corp.s e-mail business.

Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., last week announced here at Comdex its E-mail Migration Service, a program that enables businesses to move their Microsoft Outlook e-mail data repository from Microsofts Exchange server onto Oracles 9i database.

Such a move would give companies a more robust, reliable and secure platform for messaging at a much lower cost, according to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

"Its easily, easily crippled by viruses, it breaks all the time and its expensive," Ellison said of the Exchange server in his keynote address here. "Users would see no change at all [in their Outlook programs], except they will wonder why their e-mail is up all the time."

Ellison claims Exchange servers can handle up to 500 Outlook users each; conversely, one Oracle9i database can handle 10,000 users. Because of its clustering capability, if one server goes down, there are others to keep the system up, he said.

"Im more likely to cut off my head than make a move like that [to Oracle]," said Greg Scott, IS manager at Oregon State Universitys College of Business, in Corvallis, which runs 11 Exchange servers. Scott also has Oracle databases in his IT environment.

Calling Ellisons claims "naive at best," Scott said Oracle did not have development tools to support such a switch. "Exchange is one of the most reliable servers we run," Scott said. "It costs us the least problems, and that includes performance."