Gupta, Xcelerix Rev Databases

Embeddable updates said to boost performance over relational systems.

Gupta Technologies LLC and Xcelerix Corp. are launching new versions of their respective embeddable database products, which officials from both companies said offer better performance for application development than traditional relational databases.

Gupta this week is launching SQLBase 8.0, which includes deeper enterprise integration with its support for Microsoft Corp.s Microsoft Transaction Server, a simplified management console, and new ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) and OLE DB drivers for enhanced support for third-party development tools, company officials said.

Separately, Xcelerix, which launched its first product in late May, this week will announce support for Linux in its namesake in-memory database. The Indianapolis-based company said its in-memory approach allows faster transactions than relational databases and more real-time processing.

Typical users of embeddable databases are application vendors, VARs and systems integrators. But IT development shops at large enterprises also use embeddable databases in custom software projects.

Ken Musselman, supply chain evangelist for application developer Frontstep Inc., said Xcelerix fit well with his companys advanced planning and scheduling software for manufacturers. The in-memory database enabled the Frontstep software to provide an immediate response to questions about orders.

"Really, the in-memory [capability] is the key," said Musselman, in West Lafayette, Ind. "We were looking for speed. The whole product line in this area is predicated on speed, and we talk about real-time planning, and Xcelerix mapped well with the vision of what we wanted."

Xcelerixs embeddable database can reach high performance levels because it can pre-join database tables based on known queries, company officials said. Along with the Linux version, the database is available for Windows 2000 and Windows NT and for Unix platforms such as HP-UX, Stratus, Solaris, and AIX in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Pricing starts at $6,000 for a single processor.

In the latest version of Guptas embeddable database, the new support for Microsoft Transaction Server lets customers run transactions that span multiple vendors databases—such as SQLBase, Oracle Corp.s namesake relational database and Microsofts SQL Server—while keeping the data synchronized among them.

SQLBase 8.0 will be available Aug. 1, priced starting at $495. It runs on versions of Windows and NetWare, according to Gupta officials in Redwood Shores, Calif.

Software maker Westbrook Technologies Inc., which has embedded SQLBase into one version of its Fortis document management software, doesnt have immediate plans to use the new features in Version 8.0. But Joe Acunzo, Westbrooks vice president of product development, said he is pleased with what he saw from beta testing the new version. Acunzo focused on the new ODBC driver since that is how the Fortis software accesses the embedded database.

"The biggest thing for us was compatibility," said Acunzo, in Branford, Conn. "Theyve introduced new features and functions in terms of performance and scalability without compromising compatibility."