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The Internet According to Oracle IT 영문자료

The Internet According to Oracle
by Jay Greenspan 20 Nov 1998
Page 1

During the past few days, I spent a good deal of time poking around Oracle's big annual conference here in San Francisco. Called OpenWorld, it was billed with the theme "The Internet Changes Everything." I'm guessing that your immediate response to this statement is something along the lines of, "No kidding, Sherlock." But much to my surprise, the Oracle folks did manage to articulate a view of the Internet's future that can't be dismissed easily. If implemented over the next few years, their plan could, indeed, change everything.
We don't usually talk about corporate-type issues here at Webmonkey. We're all Linux/Apache/MySQL folks, who are drawn to quality open-source and largely free software. But to some extent, we'll all have to take into account issues in the corporate and small-business arenas. Whether designing sites as the in-house, multitasking computer dude or as a contractor, we'll have to follow the flow of money. If the infrastructure of the Web changes, we'll need to change with it.
Right now there's a prevailing opinion in corporate IS departments and small- and medium-sized businesses that huge quantities of money are being sucked directly into LANs and WANs before disappearing quickly down the toilet. Windows NT Server and Novell Netware, the major networking systems, and their client-side partners are expensive to implement and horrible to maintain. It has been my belief (one shared by quite a few other people) that companies and individuals are eventually going to get sick of upgrading their machines. The coming release of the Windows 2000 Workstation (i.e., NT 5.0), which is said to recommend a Pentium II 450 with 128 MB of RAM, does nothing to calm these fears. This cost escalation is the problem Oracle wants to tackle. It believes that by providing enough cost-saving features and abilities with its Internet computing model, it can, in part, control the future of medium.
Page 2 — A Database with Everything on It

It doesn't take, um, an oracle to figure out what technology sits at the center of Oracle's strategy. The company makes the most expensive, most advanced databases on the market. In a world where databases get really, really big and need to be really, really fast, Oracle is almost always going to be the best option. And shockingly, it doesn't see the Microsoft desktop playing much of a role. Go figure.
Here are the basics of how Oracle sees the future of the corporate computing world. Users will essentially have one tool available to them: a Web browser. Whether users are in-house using high-speed connections or on the road with modems, all information would be stored on a massive backend database. Everything - every document, email, and video clip - would be stored within the database. The now-ubiquitous system of having individual file servers that store different portions of a company's files would die. Everything would be centralized.
There are two basic advantages to this system. The first is cost savings. When dozens of NT servers are replaced by one humongous database, not only do those individual servers disappear but so does the staff needed to maintain them. This system would also simplify the desktop. Having only a browser, users would require hardly any help desk support.
The second advantage is pretty fascinating. With files stored in a database, everything - let me emphasize everything - can be the subject of queries.
Have you ever tried to help people find files when they couldn't remember their name nor their locations on the network? It's not fun. But if every document could be the subject of queries, you could simply search through the database for a specific word or phrase that appears somewhere in the missing document.
Moreover, if every word processing file and spreadsheet within an organization could be integrated into a working relational structure, access to diffuse information would be much simpler, which is a huge benefit.
This integration becomes a theoretical possibility because of two major features added to Oracle's newest product, called Oracle 8i. The first is the Internet File System (IFS). IFS provides a way to give the database a familiar interface to users. Basically, a network drive is mapped on a workstation for the database. Within that drive are folders that look identical to folders seen on any local or network drive. By dragging and dropping items into these folders, they are actually added to the database. Once there, these items can be opened and worked on in ways familiar to everyone.
The other major change is the deep integration of Java into the database. According to the products' makers, the integration is so deep that Oracle 8i can become pretty much whatever a Java developer wants to make of it.
Case in point is the built-in HTTP server. Programmed in Java, it allows the database to deal with HTTP requests directly without futzing around with Apache, IIS, or anything else. I have no idea whether or not these features are high quality, but I imagine (or hope) that they are good tools for analyzing pageview information.
At this point, you may be getting a feeling of déjà vu. This sounds a lot like the Network Computer (NC) model that we heard so much about over the past couple of years - a model that has pretty much been a dismal failure. Though there was no mention of the NC at the conference (and all demonstrations were done on Windows 95 machines), some other buzzwords of this model were thrown around in a big way. The "Java appliance" was lauded by Scott McNealy (of course) and Larry Ellison.
Now, strictly for argument's sake, let's say that all of the Fortune 500 companies pick up the Oracle theory and move their operations to the Internet. Somehow all client-side Java problems are solved, and Netscape 5.0 turns out to be all the browser they'll ever need for all their applications. In addition, let's say that the thousands of modem connections to the database prove to be robust enough for even the most demanding users.
What a wonderful world it will be. Right?
If this vision comes to pass in the corporate world, there will be one huge upside: Those king-of-the-mountain network administrators will be brought back down to earth. But there's still a question of how this new world order will affect those of us not working for some monstrous multinational company. How will it filter down to the smaller businesses where many of us make our livings?
Page 3 — The Small-Business Model

Oracle hopes to get to smaller businesses by using the same cost-saving pitch.
Consider a business with about 40 employees. If you're working with the rest of the world, you're going to need a file server - let's say NT 4.0. You're also going to need a mail server, probably running Exchange Server. Throw in client administration, hand-holding, upgrades, and specialty software, and before long you've got a full-time, reasonably well-paid employee dedicated to keeping things together.
I've been that guy. Every day my boss walked by my office, curled his lip, and made some comparison between my salary and his daughter's tuition.
Obviously, my boss couldn't implement Oracle 8i. Even if it were a one-time expense, the US$150,000 for the server, $40,000 for the software, plus a good $100,000 for a professional setup would kill his business.
In Oracle's view, smaller businesses would save money by using simple Internet connectivity to access the same sort of power on remote, "professionally managed" systems.
The other major advantage is that sharing good information with outside resources would be much easier since everything is stored remotely. Take accounting as an example. If a company's books were stored properly in a location where an accountant had real-time access to the most current information, everyone involved could save money.
Stay with me for another moment: The logic may not be that easy to follow. This is Oracle's line of reasoning, not mine.
With all of this great information stored in usable ways on perfectly managed machines, Oracle foresees a time when all but a company's "core competency" is outsourced to firms that have specific skills in various disciplines. Using the Internet, a small firm could easily outsource all of its human resources, purchasing, and other departments. Oracle has decided that the method of data exchange within its systems is going to be XML. There is a Java parser built into 8i which can automatically process files brought into the system.
Still unsure? Do you still see too many gaping holes and leaps in logic in the plan? Well, I do, too. But I have absolutely no doubt that many of the technological problems will be solved relatively quickly - within the next three to five years. Even if Oracle's plan does come to pass, what does it mean for you and me? It seems Web building skills would be in even greater demand. I'm also guessing that in addition to design, a greater amount of coding would be needed as well as some skills in working with relational and object databases.
So I'm not giving up on the future of the Internet. Instead of selling the store and moving to a farm in the hinterlands, I'm brushing up on my SQL and buying a book on Java.


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