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Sybase Updates SQL Anywhere Database

The beta release of Version 10 promises better performance, new backup features

By Eric Lai
April 17, 2006 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - The iAnywhere Solutions Inc. unit of Sybase Inc. today starts shipping a beta release of Version 10 of its SQL Anywhere embeddable database, which promises improved performance and new backup features.

The SQL Anywhere beta comes nearly three years after SQL Anywhere 9 became available, said Breck Carter, a database consultant at Rising-Road Professional Services in Toronto and author of a SQL Anywhere manual.

The typical gap between releases of the database has been 18 months, he said.

Uno Money Transfers runs SQL Anywhere as its corporate database on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Server 2003 operating system. SQL Anywhere manages the Miami-based financial services firm's 40GB database, which handles all of its international money transfers, according to Luiz Paulo, vice president of technology at the company.

Paulo said he plans to upgrade to the new version to use its new data-mirroring capabilities for safe backups and for its intraquery parallel-computing feature, which will speed transactions on Uno's four-way Xeon server.

New Features

The new version of the data-base also adds encryption capabilities, support for materialized views for faster access, new performance-analysis tools for developers and the ability to split up large queries among multiple proc-essors, said Chris Kleiseth, iAnywhere's senior director of engineering. Version 10 also adds integration with Microsoft's Visual Studio .Net 2.0 environment and support for the Symbian operating system, Kleiseth said.

SQL Anywhere has so far been deployed 10 million times, according to Dublin, Calif.-based Sybase.

Intuit Inc., which embeds SQL Anywhere 8 in its QuickBooks 2006 accounting software, expects to use the revised database in a future version of its software, said Tim Child, director of engineering at Intuit.

Child said he is impressed with Version 10's database- encryption feature and its snapshot-isolation feature, which he says allows for high-speed reporting.

The beta of SQL Anywhere 10 runs on Windows and Linux. Sybase plans to ship a final version for those two operating systems in the third quarter. Final versions for Solaris and the Macintosh will ship in the following quarter, said Kleiseth.

Wayne Kernochan, an analyst with Lexington, Mass.-based Infostructure Associates, called the new features in the beta release "quite sophisticated, many of them worthy of the major enterprise databases.... I would view this as a sign that Sybase has figured out how versions of those features can aid mobile workers, and the Sybase iAnywhere folks continue to be innovative -- as they have many times before."

In the mobile database arena, SQL Anywhere remains ahead of its equivalents from the big database vendors such as Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and even IBM, Kernochan said, because Sybase "has been able to show that 'one database vendor per organization' costs more in these markets, and because these markets care less about standardization than cost."

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