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Oracle has announced an updated version of its embedded open-source database for Google's Android, during a three-way wrestling match for the affections of Eclipse developers.

On Tuesday, the database giant used the annual EclipseCon in Santa Clara, California to unveil Berkeley DB 11g Release 2, which introduces support for Android. Oracle is a member of Eclipse, and Berkley DB 11g Release 2 is due on March 31.

Oracle is promising some performance gains in this release. Berkeley DB 11g Release 2 will run directly in the application, so the application should run fast and provide improved performance and response times for the end user punching away at the screen with a finger or making a call.

The update accompanies a list of changes to the database Oracle acquired with Sleepycat Software in 2006. These include greater flexibility on configuration, improved SQL concurrence, performance and reliability, and simplified data synchronization using Oracle's Database Lite Mobile Server.

Oracle gave no reason for support for Android beyond some statements about giving developers the option to deploy on a broader range of devices.

Android developers use SQLite for their database, and it looks like Oracle is now keen to offer users something that comes with the comfort of being supported by a named vendor - in this case, Oracle. Oracle has also offered a SQL API based on SQLite that it said offers SQLite programmers familiarity and would help simplify the task of application development.

Berkeley DB potentially opens the Android door for a huge swath of developers familiar with the database. At the time of the acquisition, Oracle claimed Berkeley DB was the most widely used open-source database in the world with 200 million deployments. It's used in Linux, BSD Unix, Apache web server, and the OpenOffice productivity suite.

Interestingly, the update comes a week after Microsoft took the wraps off a Windows 7 Phone Series, which will see applications running on phones offering limited onboard SQL support. Whereas Oracle can potentially bring Linux, Apache, and OpenOffice programmers to Android, offering them familiarity and application performance, Microsoft is hoping to bring Windows developers to its phone.

Bootnote

On Tuesday, Red Hat and Microsoft were also trying to woo the open-source, Eclipse crowd.

Red Hat, a member of Eclipse like Oracle, announced its JBoss Enterprise Web Platform 5.0, apparently designed to fit between the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform for highly transactional Java Enterprise Edition applications and the Enterprise Web Server for simplified Java workloads that only use something like enterprise Apache Tomcat.

JBoss Enterprise Web Platform 5.0 supports REST and offers Red-Hat's support for the Google Web Toolkit, RichFaces, Apache Struts, and Spring Framework. You can see what else it offers here. The Web Platform is part of Red Hat's so-called Open-Choice Strategy, which aims to deliver a choice of Java application servers.

Microsoft tried to suck up some of the ElipseCon air by demonstrating results from a joint project with Tasktop Technologies meant to improve the way Eclipse works with the Windows 7 interface.

Microsoft also released an updated version of Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse that features bug fixes and compatibly with the latest Windows Azure SDK - version 1.1. The next release of Eclipse Tools for Silverlight with partner Soyatec is planned for this Spring. ®

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