Oracle will release version 2 of its Oracle Application Server 10g later this week, touting it as a significant upgrade with improvements in Java, Web services, and identity management. It will also include RFID backing.

The application server and JDeveloper 10g Release 2 development tool will be available in three weeks, said Thomas Kurian, Oracle VP of development.

The upgrades were the subjects of a session at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco yesterday, although they will be formally announced on Wednesday, along with Oracle Application Server Standard Edition 1, a version of the application server intended for small business customers. SE 1 focuses on building websites and portals.

"Release 2 is a major update release for us. There are 432 features in the new release," Kurian said. It is looking to help users build business applications in accordance with SOAs (service-oriented architectures).

New additions are: support of the J2EE 1.4 specification, including support for enhanced reliable messaging via Java Message Service and Web services enhancements. J2EE 1.4 provides APIs for building Web services in Java, such as JAX RPC. The Web Services Interoperability Organisation (WS-I) Basic Profile is supported, as is interoperability with .Net.

A SOAP stack and UDDI Web services registry are included. A Web services management gateway provides a central point to log, trace, and enforce policies across application servers. And support for the Web Services Reliable Messaging specification is also included.

Also: distributed configuration management; an improved transaction manager; improved Oracle Interconnect ESB, which provides messaging capabilities for systems integration; a "business event monitoring dashboard"; and new "Instant Portal" software.

Oracle has also added "RFID edge" capabilities, providing support for the radio-based tagging standard. Identity management allows synchronisation between Oracle’s directory and products such as Microsoft Active Directory or the iPlanet directory. "You can build Web services in .Net and invoke them from our application server," Kurian said. "You can create users and take the Windows sign-on."

Dynamic resource management allows for workload adjustments between systems. "It’s a feature of the application server which, when you’re running multiple applications on the application server, it knows how to adjust workloads and give capacity on the fly to those applications that need it, and take resources away from those that don’t," Kurian said.