A new release of Oracle9i Application Server works with SQL Server and IBM DB2, in addition to Oracle's line of database servers. Dubbed Oracle9iAS Release 2, the product has been updated to provide e-commerce capabilities and tighter links to the Oracle9i database. Oracle says its Application Server eliminates the need for enterprises to purchase and integrate costly middleware.

Oracle's application server product integrates a wide range of functionality, including Web caching features, Web application deployment and management, and wireless capabilities. Reporting and ad hoc query and analysis functionality is available, as well as a suite of e-commerce tools for processing business transactions.

Oracle unabashedly admits that by providing compatibility with SQL Server and DB2, the company intends to lure those users to Oracle solutions. And of course, the company says, a big part of its future growth depends on attracting new businesses, a segment of the market that SQL Server typically dominates. The new Oracle9iAS ships in Standard, Enterprise, and Wireless editions.