24 July 2002 Software giant Microsoft has unveiled a new software tool to help Windows developers build Microsoft .Net-based web services applications around Oracle databases.
Web services is the new programming approach to locating, composing and delivering software as services over the Internet, using standard protocols. Microsoft’s tool will provide a faster access mechanism for developers to build .Net applications using data stored in an Oracle database.
The latest software is called .Net Framework Data Provider for Oracle. It supports Oracle’s 9i database and is available as a free download from Microsoft’s developer web site. The software dramatically improves data access speeds between .Net applications and non-Microsoft databases, compared to ADO.NET, Microsoft’s general data access technology.
The development may not be welcomed at Oracle because of the increased competition that Microsoft is posing in the relational database market. By adopting a so-called ‘surround strategy’, Microsoft aims to get as much of its software as possible into IT environments that use products such as Oracle’s database.
Eventually, this could give Microsoft the leverage to sell more licences of its SQL Server database to organisations. Microsoft is expected to announce similar software connectors for IBM’s DB2 database.
Microsoft also plans to unveil new .Net products for developers using the open-source Apache web server. In an agreement with San Francisco, California-based application developer Covalent Technologies, Microsoft is expected to reveal new software to help .Net developers build applications that can use the Apache web server. Apache competes against Microsoft’s Internet Information Server (IIS) product.