This is the second installment of a four-part review of mobile databases. (I've already examined Sybase SQL Anywhere Studio and will soon be looking at PointBase and Microsoft SQL Server CE.) In this article, we'll take an in-depth look at the Oracle9i Lite product. Oracle9i Lite is the flagship mobile computing product from Oracle and is not to be confused with two other comparably named products:
Oracle8i Personal Edition database is advertised as "a single-use license of the Oracle database for desktops that use Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 98, or 2000 operating systems." It's virtually identical in its feature set to Oracle8i Enterprise Edition and is anything but "Lite."
Oracle9iAS Wireless is an application server product designed to enable and distribute content to a wide variety of client devices.
As we'll see in this article, Oracle9i Lite is actually a complete solution for mobile or wireless applications that require the use of a relational database on the mobile client. It includes support for Win32, Windows CE, PalmOS, and EPOC database clients, integration with Oracle's Advanced Queuing (AQ) mechanism, and data and application synchronization software (to enterprise Oracle databases, of course). Users of older versions of Oracle's Lite database product (versions 8i and earlier) should note that some features have been removed from the 9i release. These include the Oracle Mobile Agents wireless middleware and iConnect synchronization components. Also replaced were the confusing amalgam of serversWeb-To-Go Server, Consolidator Server, Synchronization Server, and so onall replaced by a common Oracle9i Mobile Server product. Before diving into further specifics, let's step back and examine the heart of this product offering: the Oracle9i Lite database.