San Francisco Ð Users of the Oracle database management system are taking an increasing interest in NeXTSTEP following a surprise appearance by NeXT CEO Steve Jobs at a meeting of the International Oracle Users Group here in September.
Though many of the 1500 Oracle users at a last-minute NeXTSTEP demonstration came only to catch a glimpse of Jobs, attendees left with an enthusiastic interest in NeXTSTEP. Mark E. Mullison, a software engineer at telecommunications giant Sprint, was impressed with what he saw. "NeXTSTEP blows your mind. People will see a computer as more than a way to run word processing or spreadsheets Ð instead it can be integral to their business activities, a way to automate business."
Mullison said he'd like to use NeXTSTEP, but couldn't buy it unless he knew "there was major management support" at Sprint.
Commodity futures trader Christopher M. Funk, president of a Lafayette, Indiana, firm, returned from the conference with an intent to call a NeXT dealer in Indianapolis. Funk's firm has standardized on Macintosh and an SCO UNIX Oracle server, and at first he had little interest in NeXT computers, thinking they were merely alternatives to the Macintosh.
"In terms of custom applications, the NeXT merits looking at," said Funk. "Oracle is great for the data part of my business, but there's a need to interact with the data, and for that, Oracle hasn't provided much yet, except clerical stuff. I've bought every development tool for the Mac. I've looked and looked and I recognize something interesting when I see it. We have to get NeXTSTEP in and test it. Sometimes it takes hearing a good presentation to get something started."