Sybase Enhances Mobile Database

Its iAnywhere subsidiary's latest update of SQL Anywhere Studio will bring sophisticated technologies to the small devices that run the mobile database.

Sybase Inc. subsidiary iAnywhere Solutions Inc.s latest update of SQL Anywhere Studio will bring sophisticated technologies to the small devices that run the mobile database.

SQL Anywhere Studio 9, unveiled on Monday, includes XML import and export capabilities, SQLx functionality, and HTTP server and SOAP support that enable the creation of database-powered Web services. It is also picking up support for Mac OS X and 64-bit Itanium platforms, officials said.

Performance has been polished, with a new Index Consultant feature that guides administrators through index selection and thereby eases performance optimization. New query processing algorithms also enable many complex queries to run quicker. Other performance upgrades include an advanced cache management system that improves concurrency and scalability for environments that have hundreds of simultaneous users.

iAnywhere, of Dublin, Calif., also targeted developer productivity with SQL Anywhere Studio 9. Some features aimed at that group include server-initiated synchronization, faster synchronization speeds and other new synchronization features that are designed to give developers greater flexibility in designing enterprise applications for deployment in wired, public wireless and Wi-Fi environments.

Another goodie meant for developers is the introduction of UltraLite Dynamic SQL for mobile devices, a feature designed to ease the work of SQL programmers who are developing for that arena. Support for advanced SQL functionality includes OLAP features such as ROLLUP and RECURSIVE UNION queries. Enhancements to graphical administration tools include a query editor, integrated stored procedure debugger, profiler and synchronization monitoring tool.

Larry Trainer, vice president of engineering at Shelflink Inc. and a beta tester, found quite a few features of the update appealing. One such feature is support for Microsoft Corp.s .Net Framework and .Net Compact Framework. The .Net Compact Framework application enables access to iAnywheres Adaptive Server Enterprise—a process that, prior to this release, required developers to write their own interface.

That will save Trainer and his company a good four or five weeks, the time it took to build Shelflinks original access layer. "It will certainly be a piece of software we can take advantage of out of the box rather than having to design our own [interface]," said Trainer, in Cambridge, Mass.

The updates new language support for SQL also carries great weight with Shelflink. The enhanced support will enable dynamic queries, an important feature to have when input is unknown ahead of when Shelflinks engineers write queries. "We allow flexibility into the application where we can call into a database stored procedures and change that value on the fly," Trainer said. When sorting on a grid, for example, a sort value can be passed and a query built and executed on the fly, without the need to prewrite, he said.

Another "huge" element of the update is improved performance, Trainer said. His company develops for Pocket-PC-based devices, where cramming information in is always a problem. The Index Consultant in SQL Anywhere Studio 9 is a key benefit in this regard, as it allows users to tune database queries so they use the appropriate indexes. "If you design a database, its hit or miss whether you hit indexes or have the right ones," he said. "This will help you figure out whether you have the right ones on the database. Thats an extremely helpful tool to have, and its built right into the product."

SQL Anywhere Studio 9 will be available on Windows this fall and on Mac OS X and Unix by years end, priced at $399. It ships with a single deployment license for another $119.