Oracle software generally available on Microsoft Azure starting March 12

Pricing for use of Oracle's database, WebLogic application server, and Java programming language will also kick in upon GA launch

Oracle's database, WebLogic application server and Java programming language will soon be generally available on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud service, marking a major milestone in the high-profile partnership the vendors announced in June 2013.

A general availability date of March 12 has been set for Windows-based software images of the products, which have been in preview, Microsoft said on the Azure website.

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While there have been no additional fees for the preview versions, this will change starting March 12. Customers who want to avoid Oracle-related charges for these "license included" virtual images must shut them down before that date, Microsoft said. Windows Server VMs the images run in are charged for separately.

Purely pay-as-you-go customers won't see much discounting for higher usage of Oracle's software on Azure.

For example, for a single virtual core running the enterprise edition of Oracle's database, Microsoft will charge customers $1.18 per hour, while an eight virtual core instance is priced at $9.41 per hour.

However, through June 30, Oracle's software will be available through Microsoft's six- and 12-month commitment plans, which offer discounts.

It's also possible for Oracle customers to bring licenses they already have to Azure and pay Microsoft only for the underlying infrastructure costs.

Meanwhile, Oracle has been rolling out its own PaaS (platform as a service) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service) offerings, which prompted some observers to call the Azure partnership a classic case of strange bedfellows.

The reality is somewhat different, Oracle co-president Mark Hurd said at the time of the announcement. Customers simply "are committed to a lot of Microsoft technology," he said. "It just makes sense for us to continue to improve our own capabilities but also allow customers the ability to leverage both of our capabilities together."

Moreover, Oracle's PaaS and IaaS products seem geared toward the heaviest users of its database and middleware. Customers have self-service options but Oracle is also rolling out higher-end managed service levels as well.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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