Oracle preparing Code Assist: AI coding “fine-tuned” for Java, SQL and its own cloud

Oracle preparing Code Assist: AI coding “fine-tuned” for Java, SQL and its own cloud

Oracle is planning to release its own AI coding assistant, Code Assist, with the claim that it is fine-tuned and optimised for Java, Oracle database coding, NetSuite scripting, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

The plugin for Visual Studio Code and the JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA family has features including code suggestions, generating documentation and comments, explaining code, generating code reviews and pull requests, and creating unit and functional tests. A Chat feature enables developers “to ask Code Assist anything coding related,” according to a demo given to DevClass.

Oracle Code Assist adds custom menus and a Chat feature to VS Code and JetBrains IDEs

Oracle’s post explains that the assistant “filters the code it generates to ensure it is not sourced form non-permissive licenses.” There is also a suggestion that it will generate code that is consistent with organization standards. No date for availability has been given, but there will be more information at a presentation in New York City later this week.

Why is Oracle entering this crowded market? “This particular AI code companion will be fine-tuned and optimized for scenarios were we have expertise … Java, databases, SQL … and then application development on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” Oracle VP of product marketing Vijay Kumar told DevClass. 

Product management VP Aanand Krishnan added that “We have targeted a number of use cases [where] customers say the existing tools aren’t quite cutting it.” In particular, according to Krishnan, they “struggle with Oracle SQL” in NetSuite SuiteScript and other scenarios.

If Code Assist is specialized for Java and SQL, does that mean it will be poor for other languages – such as JavaScript, TypeScript or Python? Krishnan sidestepped the question, noting that “the product is going to be polyglot, which means it can support any language … but there are certain use cases that are far more critical for us.”

Will Code Assist send confidential code to Oracle servers? “Without getting into specifics on architectural decisions … security of proprietary data and proprietary code is top of mind,” Krishnan asserted, also stating that Code Assist will do “real-time scanning to ensure that the suggestions we provide don’t have potential vulnerabilities [or] non-permissively licensed code.”

Although the initial release will be for VS Code and IntelliJ IDEs, Krishnan predicted that others environments are likely to follow. “Code Editor would be another obvious one,” he told us. Code Editor is an Oracle tool based on Eclipse Theia.

Oracle is not yet discussing the pricing or business model for Code Assist, but is using it internally, we were told. t’s also not giving details on the exact LLMs (Large Language Models) that will be used, nor the data on which it is trained.

In delivering Code Assist, Big Red is joining other tech giants – including Microsoft, Google and AWS – which provide their own AI coding assistants. It’s perhaps logical to conclude that not having such a tool, optimized for the vendor’s platform, has become a competitive disadvantage.