Emeryville, California-based relational database and on-line application developer Sybase Inc sent three of its US team over to Paris this week for a series of announcements, the theme of which was openness. New products, platforms and partnerships are at the heart of this database glasnost, with Sybase putting its money on open (as opposed to […]
Emeryville, California-based relational database and on-line application developer Sybase Inc sent three of its US team over to Paris this week for a series of announcements, the theme of which was openness. New products, platforms and partnerships are at the heart of this database glasnost, with Sybase putting its money on open (as opposed to proprietry), networked, on-line systems: the result, says Sybase, is that the Sybase SQL Server Release 4.0 is the first open relational database, with hardware independence, multiple server-to-server communication, and the ability to integrate non-Sybase data, sources and applications (CI No 1,277). Sybase is pushing to get support for its client and server interfaces to be accepted as industry standards for client-server communication, and has also added Macintosh and Bull, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T and IBM Unix computers to the existing systems supported. Server-to-server communication is made through database remote procedure calls, which are an extension of the set of SQL commands, called stored procedures, already used by Sybase in the server to invoke transactions and enforce business rules. The advantage of these stored procedures, which can be used for such as things as customer credit checks, is that they can be executed with only one call from the application programme: with Series 4.0, these sets of SQL commands can now be executed from another Sybase server, so giving the advantages Sybase claims for stored procedures – higher performance, server integrity, since business rules are automatically enforced, and no need to change application programs – in a network environment. Sybase’s existing Open Client interface is also to be complemented by the new Open Server application programme interface, which enables data stored in non-Sybase databases, such as DB2, Oracle and RMS, to be accessed as if it were coming from a Sybase source, thus avoiding the expense of gateways. Similarly, data held in other applications, and sourced from services such as electronic mail and Electronic Data Interchange, can be transparently integrated into Sybase Series 4.0 – a facility which Sybase says will enable customers to put together a database system more accurately reflecting their needs, and one which incidently does not need to include the Sybase SQL Server. To promote the Open Client and Open Server interfaces, Sybase has submitted them to various standards groups, such as the Open Software Foundation Unix club, and more importantly has licensed them to be remarketed in conjunction with the products of Microsoft Corp, Lotus Development Corp – which took a 15% share in Sybase three weeks ago – Novell Inc, Ashton-Tate Corp and Tandem Computers Inc, among others.
DB Library for Mac
Meanwhile, it was announced that the Open Client interface, or DB Library as it is also known, is now available on the Apple Macintosh, enabling communication with the Sybase SQL Server running on either TCP/IP or DECNet protocols. Two versions of the Open Client are provided for the Macintosh, one for Macintosh Programmer’s Workshop C-compatible applications, and one for HyperCard or SuperCard applications, both giving access to the SQL Server on a host computer. Sybase Version 4.0, including the Open Server interface, is now supported on the Hewlett-Packard 9000 300 and 800 series, AT&T’s 3B2 and 6386, and the IBM RT; in addition, Bull SA simultaneously announced that Sybase products will be implemented on the Bull DPX 2000 and 2200 Unix systems. Availability of the Series 4.0 and Open Server is, confirms Sybase, immediate, although there was some confusion over Sybase’ use of the term beta, particularly in reference to the IBM platform: when Sybase says the SQL Server Series 4.0 is in beta, this should be taken to mean that the product is in fact available, but will be backed up with increased technical support, on the assumption that by necessity certain problems will arise – in this period, the systems can be run in parallel with another so that no risk is incurred. Series 4.0 comes as a free u
pgrade to existing Sybase users, with new customers paying anything from $2,500 to $250,000; the Open Server starts at about $800.