Organizations looking for a branch-office database and software developers who want to store data in custom applications will find iAnywhere Solutions Inc.s SQL Anywhere Studio 8.0 database an excellent choice. (iAnywhere Solutions is a subsidiary of Sybase Inc.)
SQL Anywhere is a mature, polished product and offers a lot of sophistication for a database that targets markets where its important to be good enough while staying as small as possible.
Developers writing applications for laptops or personal digital assistants will find SQL Anywhere a good fit because it runs on many platforms, has both synchronous (network-based) and asynchronous (e-mail-based) data replication options, and comes in several configurations so developers can match the softwares footprint to what it needs to do.
Mobile database offerings from IBM, Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. are adequate for connecting to these companies server databases. However, SQL Anywhere supports more platforms, offers more communication flexibility and can replicate data with all of these server databases—all at a comparable price.
SQL Anywhere Studio costs $399 for one user or $999 for 10 users. Client licenses are $119 per concurrent connection or named user, or $149 if the client also uses database replication. UltraLite is free to deploy to unlimited devices, but if users want database replication with UltraLite, that costs $119 per seat (this license is for named users only).
The update, which went gold Dec. 7, includes several performance enhancements for the database itself and for more efficient communication between client and server systems. Security is tighter, too: This release supports the National Institute of Standards and Technologys new Advanced Encryption Standard for database files and public key-based encryption for network traffic.
SQL Anywhere runs on Windows and Windows CE, NetWare, and several Unix operating systems. Support for Compaq Computer Corp.s Tru64 Unix is new in this release. UltraLite runs on Palm Inc.s Palm OS, Windows CE, Java 1.1.4 or higher, and Wind River Systems Inc.s VxWorks.
The software includes Sybases PowerDesigner 8 PhysicalArchitect database modeling and management tool and its InfoMaker 8 reporting tool.
Fully Equipped Database
The network server version of SQL Anywhere is competitive with the big players. Those considering Sybases higher-end Adaptive Server Enterprise could do fine with SQL Anywhere (as could Microsoft Corp. SQL Server users).
ASE and SQL Anywhere are particularly compatible: We ran all of the stored procedures we wrote as part of our ASE benchmark kit as is with SQL Anywhere because it supports the same Transact-SQL language ASE uses. SQL Anywhere also supports Java stored procedures (Java support is separately licensed but is free) and uses ASEs management console.
SQL Anywheres full-featured Java and T-SQL stored procedure debugger were a big help when we had to figure out why a stored procedure wasnt working. A new profiler allowed us to find slow spots in stored procedures, and a new ability to display graphical query plans made performance-tuning SQL queries simpler (see screen, Page 39).
The administration tools had some problems—we got a Java error in the Interactive SQL tool, and the administration tool lacked a central folder for managing indexes. We had to visit each affected table in a series to drop a set of indexes.
West Coast Technical Director Timothy Dyck can be reached at email@example.com.
SQL Anywhere Studio 8
SQL Anywhere Studio 8.0
iAnywhere Solutions SQL Anywhere is an all-around good performer for organizations that need to deploy databases to branch offices or to mobile workers using laptops or PDAs that only connect back to headquarters once or twice a day.
SHORT-TERM BUSINESS IMPACT // Priority-based replication lets users be connected for less time while still synchronizing key data, lowering communication costs.
LONG-TERM BUSINESS IMPACT // Deploying sophisticated database engines to mobile users enables them to do more complex analysis tasks without being connected, making them more mobile and better informed.
PROS: Supports many platforms; sophisticated database engine; very programmable; stronger encryption and more flexible replication; profiler and graphical query plan display.
CONS: Management tools lack simple ways to administer indexes; some interface bugs.
Sybase Inc., Emeryville, Calif.; (510) 922-3500; www.sybase.com/products/mobilewireless/anywhere