Oracle has launched a hosting program for independent software vendors (ISVs) that build Oracle-based applications. It aims to support those companies that want to get into the application hosting and management business but lack the resources to do so.

Oracle On Demand for ISVs, announced today, offers ISVs a chance to host their applications at an Oracle data center, where Oracle takes care of the underlying hardware and software infrastructure tied to the ISV application, handling all necessary technical support and maintenance.

"ISVs can take their applications and run them on top of our On Demand platform, becoming then hosting vendors," said Paige O'Neill, senior director of Oracle On Demand. To qualify, the ISV must have built its application to run on Oracle technology, namely the database and application server, O'Neill said.

By hosting their applications with Oracle, ISVs can free themselves from having to struggle to provide support to their clients, she said. With the program, ISVs offer support related only to their applications, while Oracle takes care of all other support, troubleshooting Oracle software and tapping partners when a third-party component to the ISV application, such as software from a non-Oracle vendor, needs to be fixed.

"In the non on-demand world, the way support works is the ISV sells its software to a customer, shipping the application on a CD or in a box, and says 'good luck'," O'Neill said. "The customer can call a support number, or log on to a website or allow remote diagnostics or pay for an on-site person there for support. But in the on-demand world, the vendor is managing all: implementation through ongoing support for the end user."

The program will cost $2,000 per processor per month for Oracle's Database On Demand, which includes the Oracle database, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Internet Developer Suite, hardware and other management tools. For $1,000 per processor per month you can have Oracle's Application Server, Configuration Management Pack, hardware and other application server management tools. And for $10 per user per month, you get Oracle's Collaboration Suite On Demand.