Oracle 'transforms' development operation

Oracle Corp. (, Redwood Shores, Calif., says it has "transformed" the way it develops applications by utilizing third-party software designed to provide remote access to its centrally located app dev environment. Jerome Labat, Oracle's VP of application development, said last week that his company has officially deployed Tarantella Enterprise 3 from Tarantella Inc. ( as the gateway to its centralized development model.

"With Tarantella software, we have transformed the way we develop applications," Labat contends. He said the Tarantella software offers greater control over data and development tools, and provides developers with easy, secure access from anywhere that enables the cutting of development time and a significant reduction in development costs -- all while improving product quality.

Guy Churchward, chief evangelist at Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Tarantella, said the agreement followed longtime "teamwork and cooperation" between Oracle and Tarantella that involved about three years' worth of pilot projects, small-scale deployments and serious envelope pushing. "They put us through a world-class wringer," Churchward told eADT. "We had a number of big deployments in Fortune 500 accounts, but until we got involved with Jerome Labat and the global IT development group at Oracle, we hadn't really pushed the edges of the product.

"Both Jerome and Larry [Ellison, Oracle's CEO] wanted something that would support their vision of delivering an application as a service," continued Churchward. "That meant secure, remote access to the Oracle development environment and applications -- and that meant delivering big chunks of code over the Internet securely, running at LAN performance, no matter where they wanted their developers to be."

Observers said the Oracle deal is a major coup for Tarantella, founded as a division of Santa Cruz Operation (SCO). Its products evolved from the work of two British development companies, IXI and Visionware, which were acquired by SCO in the early 1990s. In 2000, SCO abandoned two of its three independent divisions -- and its name -- to focus on Tarantella's application access technologies. (The name resurfaced in Linden, Utah, following Caldera Systems Inc.'s acquisition of the SCO Unix business. Caldera has since changed its name to The SCO Group).

Oracle is using Tarantella's Enterprise 3 software to "eat its own dog food," Churchward said, by offering the database giant's central application development systems to some 6,000 developers worldwide, providing them with securely managed access to closely held applications code and data from anywhere in the world.

"One of the things [the product] allows Oracle to do is to keep in a single location, namely Redwood Shores, everything that has to do with their development tools," Churchward said. "A developer in India can literally dial-in on his own system from his house into an ISP and up into the system. And then, through the portal environment, the company can give him a role and responsibility. It can deliver the code, the access, the compilers and everything he needs to do his job."

"When someone logs into the system to edit code or test results, they know it's current, regardless of their location," Oracle's Labat said. "We've added logic that sits behind the Tarantella software so our people can get the tools they need, whenever and wherever they need them. The Tarantella single-point administration system gives us simple, centralized control over who gets what and where, depending on their user ID and system allocation."

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at


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