Salesforce takes on Oracle with is targeting Oracle’s users with a new cloud-based database system,

Salesforce takes on Oracle with is built on the same cloud computing model as’s existing products. The fee covers software costs, hosting and data storage. It will be free to get started, and then start from $10 a month for additional capacity or users. will be available next year, and works with a variety of languages and platforms, including Java, .NET, PHP, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Flex, and the Google App Engine.

“It’s an alternative delivery method,” said Gartner analyst Donald Feinberg, who estimates the value of the database market at about $21 billion a year. “They could very possibly be on to something.” is only the second major fully cloud-compatible database management software system on the market, following Microsoft’s launch earlier this year of SQL Azure, Feinberg said.

Feinberg said that it would likely take at least several years for cloud databases to present a serious challenge to old-style versions of the technology as many businesses are uneasy about handing sensitive data over to a third party.

Yet he added that’s entrance in the market ought to spur adoption because the company has a reputation for providing reliable service and good data security.

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