The Apache::OWA Project started because more than a few Oracle developers and systems administrators have been frustrated by Oracle's Application Server product, variously named the Oracle Web Server, Oracle Application Server, and Oracle Web Application Server. This product promises some utility for web developers; it hosts Java servlets, perl scripts (a la mod_perl), provides hooks for C, and promises scalability, transaction support, and all the other bells and whistles you'd come to expect from an application server product. It also has unique support for PL/SQL -- a developer can produce web pages from stored procedures in the database. A number of Oracle's early web products made use of this, and as a consequence the products were tied to the Oracle Web Server.
Unfortunately, the Oracle Web Server has had severe scalability and performance problems. Many of these were addressed in the later releases, especially the 4.x series. It is still, however, no match for the Apache Project's Apache server. The Apache server has benefitted from an open-source development process and extremely broad adoption.
Our goal with the Apache::OWA project was to bring that PL/SQL functionality to the Apache server. Users can benefit from Apache and mod_perl's performance and familiarity, and retain support for their Oracle products.