Sleepycat Upgrades Berkeley DB

The open-source embedded database is geared to serve as a sturdy base for Berkeley DB XML, the company's first native XML data store.

Sleepycat Software is rolling out an update of its Berkeley DB open-source embedded database thats geared to serve as a sturdy base for Berkeley DB XML, the companys first native XML data store.

Both Berkeley DB 4.2 and the general-availability release of Berkeley DB XML will be out in June, said officials of the Lincoln, Mass., company. The XML product was released to alpha late last year and has been in beta with about 400 people for the past two months.

Berkeley DB 4.2 rolls up recent bug and scalability fixes and also provides better performance on multiprocessor boxes, officials said. The software features a new collections-based Java API. It also includes documentation and support for a smaller compiled version of the products library, for use in constricted deployments such as cell phones.

Indeed, cell phones and set-top boxes are two typical settings for Sleepycats database, since they dont need to support SQL querying—a back-and-forth process thats a significant processing drain. Berkeley DB, being SQL-free, conducts transactions without that burden of relational processing.

Customers using the SQL-less database are those that need speed, reliability and scalability, not the ability to query data. Such customers include Cisco Systems Inc., which uses the database in devices and software that keep track of network state, and EMC Corp., which uses the database to keep track of user files in its storage technology.

For one user, licensing costs were the deciding factor in opting for Berkeley DB XML. Telos is a company that builds boxes for network operators—such as AT&T Corp. and Cingular Wireless—that sit under cell antennas for wireless networks. The company is beta testing Berkeley DB XML to gauge its ability to manage data in boxes that support up to 10,000 cell phone users.