Apple's assault on corporate markets was boosted by news that Oracle plans to release its next-generation database technology Oracle9i to Mac OS X.

"In the first half of 2003 alone more than 5,000 copies of Oracle9i database Developer Release for OS X were downloaded from the Oracle Technology network," Oracle said.

The production release gives customers enterprise-class applications that can run on Xserves, making use of Oracle's database-clustering technology.

Oracle Platform Technologies vice president Mark Milani said: "Oracle is working closely with Apple to bring enterprise-class reliability and scaleability to Apple's customer base.

"Oracle's database clustering technology on Mac OS X will allow for dramatically lower-entry cost, and enable customers to take advantage of the pay-as-you-grow model."

Apple worldwide developer relations vice president Ron Okamoto said: "The incredible number of downloads that Oracle9i Database Developer Release for OS X has received is a great indicator of the enthusiasm that both developers and customers have for the Mac in the enterprise."