New Sybase product manages multiple data types

Sybase Inc. last week introduced a new version of its database management system that enables users to manage different types of data such as audio video text and geospatial information.

Adaptive Server Enterprise 11.5 which is an enhancement to Sybase SQL Server 11 also incorporates object-oriented technology Java programming language support and other features to enhance overall system performance. The new software scheduled to ship this week will be available without cost to SQL Server 11 customers with maintenance contracts according to Sybase.

The Adaptive Server employs separate "data stores" optimized for each type of data but they are linked by middleware into "a single logical database " said Rick Uhrig principal systems consultant for the Sybase Public Sector Bethesda Md. The optimized data stores are based on technology developed by third parties such as OneView Object by Network Imaging Corp.

The same middleware - called Omni-connect - also makes it possible to access data from distributed databases such as Sybase's mobile database product or from other vendors' databases Uhrig said. "We recognize that customers have a lot of legacy [data] out there...and they are going to have to live with it for a while. We have an infrastructure that allows you to incorporate and use it " Uhrig said.

The Adaptive Server features more extensive parallel query-processing capability than SQL Server 11. This capability can improve performance on large or complex data sets according to Sybase. The new system features a logical processor manager that allows database administrators to set aside a swath of processing bandwidth for specific applications or users ensuring that mission-critical operations are not weighed down by large workloads Uhrig said.

In the future the Adaptive Server will support the use of the Java programming language to enable customers to run object-oriented applications. Object technology allows database programmers to define program components once and deploy them across multiple servers.

According to Sybase an object-oriented approach makes it easier to enforce business logic - an organization's rules of engagement for particular applications - in a distributed environment. The Java support will be available first with Adaptive Server Anywhere Sybase's database for mobile users during the fourth quarter of 1997.

The database user community still needs to see how the object-oriented approach performs with high-volume applications said Doug Barton director of advanced systems and technology at Lockheed Martin Command and Control Information Systems Manassas Va.

In terms of its architecture the Adaptive Server gives engineers "somewhat more flexibility" in picking out the pieces they need to address a specific problem Barton said.

Mitch Kramer an analyst with Patricia Seybold Group Boston Mass. said that assuming Sybase delivers on the new object-oriented technology the Adaptive Server "is fascinating and it really gets them far ahead of where they are today."

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