Tools Give Insights Into Databases

Versant and Embarcadero readying utilities for DBAs.

Versant Corp. and Embarcadero Technologies Inc. are each rolling out new and enhanced tools to better manage and monitor databases.

Versant, of Fremont, Calif., last week introduced VMC (Versant Monitoring Console), a systems management software tool that enables visual, real-time monitoring of operational parameters and status of Versant object databases.

Versants Object Database Management System is used in applications for the telecommunications, financial services, transportation and defense industries. The real-time view into these applications will enable database administrators to observe when the database is about to run out of disk space or memory, officials said.

VMC is shipping now.

Separately, San Francisco-based Embarcadero last week announced it will extend its DBArtisan database administration tool to offer advanced support for IBMs DB2 on OS/390 through a partnership with Rocket Software Inc.

Also on tap is an OS/390 version of RapidSQL, a tool for writing, debugging and tuning databases.

DBArtisan handles security, schema object management and storage of Oracle Corp., Sybase Inc., Microsoft Corp. and IBM databases. Embarcadero Vice President of Product Management Robin Schumacher said DB2 support on the mainframe has been shallow to date, consisting of simple capabilities such as basic table creation.

The result of the Rocket partnership will be a new version of DBArtisan, 7.1, that enables deeper support for DB2 on mainframes. That will allow DBAs to perform operations such as binds and rebinds of DB2 plans and packages. Other features to be added, perhaps by years end, include the ability to run utilities such as runstats or quiesce, a utility that allows DBAs to pause a database without kicking users off their machines.

David Beulke, president-elect of the International DB2 Users Group and an independent consultant for Pragmatic Solutions Inc., thought that some DBAs would be impressed with the additions to DBArtisan.

"Managing multiple platforms is enough work, but using multiple tool sets makes it a hassle," said Beulke, in Alexandria, Va. "A guy who works on midrange all day long and supports the z/OS platform is going to be pleased because he can just use DBArtisan. But its more of a midrange [solution] upreaching to the mainframe z/OS type of scenario" as opposed to something that would appeal to a pure mainframe shop.

DBArtisan for OS/390 7.1 and RapidSQL for OS/390 both will ship in mid-February.