Oracle has this week unveiled a set of "templates" that are fully configured systems distributed as virtual machines that can be used for testing purposes or for deployment.

The company is initially releasing four Oracle VM Templates, which can be downloaded for free and used for testing only. Users must get a license to run the templates in production. Oracle also will offer support.

Oracle is offering four templates: Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle's Siebel CRM 8, and Oracle Enterprise Linux.

The model of distributing pre-configured and pre-tested applications on virtual machines is not a new one, but it does offer a convenience for corporate users.

Oracle plans to offer an SDK so partners can create templates for their own applications.

"We are going to do [templates for] as many [products] that make sense," says Wim Coekaerts [stet], vice president of Linux engineering at Oracle. "We are going down our list of products."