ANTs software is keeping an eye towards its competitors as it unveils technology aimed at easing the consolidation of disparate databases.
ANTs is in the process of developing a product it calls the Compatibility Server, middleware company officials said will help migrate applications to any of the major enterprise database offerings from Oracle, IBM or Microsoft. The company recently completed a concept demonstration at the Independent Oracle Users Group Collaborate 2007 conference in Las Vegas.
The Compatibility Server allows applications to connect to the new target database through the server without having to be recompiled or rewritten. All the stored procedures and queries from the legacy database run natively without change on the Compatibility Server, which also connects natively with the new target database, ANTs officials said.
"Application changes are minimal to none, significantly reducing the time and cost of the migration project," said Cesar Rojas, director of marketing at the Burlingame, Calif., company. "The [client-server] architecture can easily be expanded to enable migrations from SQL Server, Informix, DB2, MySQL or PostgreSQL."
Rojas added the Collaborate 07 show demonstrated to the company that customers are interested in the technology. Based on the current engineering schedule, Rojas said he expects a beta release of the product to be ready for the end of the third quarter. The product is slated to be generally available for release by the end of the year.
Noel Yuhanna, an analyst at Forrester Research, said database consolidation has become a top initiative for many organizations because of the increasing cost of data management.
"We recommend that enterprises perform a database consolidation initiative every year to control data management cost," he said.
In addition to cutting costs, database consolidation increases a companys leverage with database vendors and decreases the number of database products administrators need to get a handle on, Rojas said.
ANTs is not the only company taking an interest in technology dealing with the migration of data and schema. On Monday, EnterpriseDB announced plans for an upgraded version of its Advanced Server product that will feature automated database migration to EnterpriseDB from a number of other databases, as well as the ability to run applications written for Oracle databases that rely on the Oracle Call Interface.
Compatibility features are important, Yuhanna said. He explained all database management system products offer proprietary SQL extensions because SQL natively offers only the basic construct— which is not good enough to meet application and database requirements. For example, Oracle offers PL/SQL SQL extension, while Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server has T-SQL SQL extensions, he said.
"When enterprises write stored procedures and queries using such proprietary SQL extensions, migrations become difficult and usually require considerable time and efforts," Yuhanna said. "Having a compatibility feature overcomes this issue by allowing customers to migrate most of their stored procedures, triggers, views and queries written in proprietary extensions seamlessly to another DBMS."
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