Business for Sybase in Asia/Pacific regions suffering from the SARS outbreakHong Kong, China, Singapore and Taiwanwas down 20 percent for the quarter. However, because of healthy database sales in Japan, Asia/Pacific as a whole was up 6 percent, Chen said. In other database goings-on, during the just-completed quarter, Sybase announced the general availability of Adaptive Server IQ 12.5, a highly scalable analytical engine featuring greater ease-of-use, enhanced support, lower overall total cost of ownership, and easier integration and interoperability.That data-management-platform trend is whats behind, for example, Oracle Corp.s anticipated move to more tightly integrate its Collaboration Suite messaging platform into Oracle10G, the next update of its database. Could the next update of ASE be mated with a messaging platform in a like manner? "I would not be surprised," Chen said. "I think the database, with the traditional managing of bits and bytes, is going to be expanded. The ability to do messaging, do real-time, be more secure the database is really becoming a data management platform." And given the melodrama of Oracles ongoing takeover attempt of PeopleSoft Inc., Sybases database is one that Chen thinks is looking better and better to potential customers. "[The Oracle-PeopleSoft acquisition] will help us a lot with the PeopleSoft relationship," Chen said. "PeopleSoft customers would rather see a PeopleSoft-Sybase combination, rather than an Oracle-PeopleSoft combination. Why? Because its a dead end. If you have PeopleSoft on Oracle, you have to think about what your future strategy will be. Either way its not good news."
As far as what future ASE updates would contain, Chen pointed to trends in relational database management system technology that could provide insights, including a heightened attention to security, focus on federated or edge computing, and a trend toward treating the database as more of a data management platform.