Sybase Unveils Feature-Packed Beta of Embedded Database

Sybase builds upon the parallel querying capabilities of SQL Anywhere to improve performance-just one of more than 200 new features of the product.

Sybase has launched a beta program for the latest version of its SQL Anywhere embedded database and packed the product with more than 200 new features.

Code-named Panorama, SQL Anywhere 11 is slated to be released in the third quarter of 2008. According to Sybase, the current incarnation of SQL Anywhere powers thousands of embedded and mobile database applications with more than 10 million deployed licenses. Sybase officials have no plans to slow down, and have focused on enhancing performance and adding embedded full-text search capabilities and new data synchronization options.

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The beta version also builds on the parallel query capabilities of Version 10 with new support for parallel index scans, sorting and index-only retrieval. Parallel sorting not only improves the performance of queries that require sorting-such as a list of customer invoices in alphabetical order-but also queries in general, because the optimizer can consider new strategies that may have previously been ignored, said Chris Kleisath, senior director of engineering in the SQL Anywhere Group.

"The optimizer also will use parallel index scans to improve performance of queries on multicore CPU hardware, which is becoming commonplace even with entry-level laptops deployed in these frontline environments," Kleisath continued. "The optimizer also now supports index-only retrievals, which means a query can be satisfied using data directly from the indexes, without having to access the corresponding rows in the tables."

For developers, the company has added support for Perl and .Net for stored procedures. The addition of Perl and .Net gives developers more options when it comes to implementing business logic inside the database, Kleisath said.

"For the .Net or Perl guru who's much more familiar with those languages than they are with SQL or Java, they can leverage their existing knowledge, improving their productivity ... [Developers] may choose to use .Net or Perl procedures to perform extensive calculations that are difficult and time-consuming in a SQL context," he said.

According to IDC's "Worldwide Embedded DBMS 2007-2011 Forecast and 2006 Vendor Shares" report, Sybase accounted for about 10.3 percent of revenues in the embedded database market in 2006. The IDC's analysts predicted that the market will continue to grow, and Kleisath said Sybase will look to separate itself from other vendors by focusing on self-management capabilities.

"Self-management is a constant design criteria when our engineering team develops additional features in SQL Anywhere," he said. "SQL Anywhere 11 provides powerful enterprise-caliber features demanded for embedded applications, yet at the same time it is very self-managing and can deliver excellent performance right out of the box."