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Informix Data Director 3.5

Recently, Informix began shipping version 3.5 of Data Director for Visual Basic. This powerful model-driven data access and data management platform delivers substantial gains in productivity by enabling application developers to prototype and build efficient, database-aware workgroup and enterprise applications using a "drag-and-drop" approach.

Data Director 3.5 for Visual Basic adds functionality designed to optimise database application development for Informix Dynamic Server configured with Universal Data Option. Version 3.5 also provides tight integration with Visual Basic, enabling Data Director developers to take advantage of gains in performance, productivity, and Web and Windows deployment.

Formerly, Universal Data Option was only accessible to C++ programmers with expert database knowledge. Version 3.5 enables the more than 3.5 million Visual Basic developers worldwide to develop applications that take advantage of the object-oriented extensible Universal Data Option.

In addition, new Data Director Web deployment features include a Web client, which can run securely through firewalls. Developers can create applications that use a Web server with VBScript or JavaScript, and add connection pooling to share scarce database connections. There is also the option of a "thin navigation" tool to speed up Web performance. Pricing is not yet available.

Sybase Enterprise Data Studio

Sybase has announced Enterprise Data Studio, an integrated product set of database, data access and data replication technologies for distributed enterprises. Sybase Enterprise Data Studio can integrate with existing data sources from multi-vendor databases and packaged applications on multiple platforms.

Features of Enterprise Data Studio include:

Scalable Database: the foundation of Enterprise Data Studio is the new Adaptive Server Enterprise 11.9.2, which delivers high-performance data management for online transaction processing and mixed-workload environments. It includes new locking capabilities that improve performance, scalability and availability for packaged applications. Recovery enhancements maximise database availability.

Replication: makes the most up-to-date information available to an increased number of users and applications across the enterprise.

Data Integration: enables access to information wherever it resides and provides a unified view of disparate data sources in the enterprise. Distributed query support is optimised for performance and integration. Includes support for multiple platforms, and integration with more than 25 multi-vendor data sources and packaged applications.

Enterprise Data Studio also offers seamless access to legacy applications with its MainframeConnect option. MainframeConnect supports access to any mainframe data store, as well as dynamic SQL and procedural access to mainframe databases.

Sybase's Enterprise Data Studio is expected to be generally available before the end of 1998. The company has yet to announce pricing.

Oracle8i

Last month, Oracle previewed its new Oracle8i database and unveiled four new Internet features designed to simplify development, deployment and content management for Internet-based applications. Oracle8i, currently in beta testing, is a major new release of Oracle's industry-leading server software scheduled for general availa- bility at the end of 1998.

Integrating Java programs, Web sites and Internet content, Oracle8i builds on the established foundation of Oracle8 to manage Internet applications accessed by thousands of users over corporate and public networks. The new features help companies and developers build Internet-savvy applications that lower costs, and provide global information access across platforms and across the enterprise.

At the launch of the product in the US, Oracle chairman and CEO Larry Ellison claimed that Oracle databases were already the foundation of most popular Web sites, which would prove advantageous in deploying Oracle8i. He pointed to the product's inclusion not only of a Web server product, but also a Java application server, as key features.

Oracle8i includes what the company claims is the world's first database-resident Java Virtual Machine (VM) for storing and executing Java code on the server. Oracle8i's Java VM allows developers to write, store and execute Java code within the database, as well as create stored procedures, database functions and event triggers in Java.

Oracle8i also introduces SQLJ, a programming syntax that provides a powerful and easy-to-use interface between Java and relational databases. SQLJ, an open standard being developed by Oracle, IBM and Sun, embeds SQL database statements into client or server Java code for automatic execution. In addition, Oracle8i provides support for Enterprise Java Beans, CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) and IIOP (Internet InterOrb Protocol) interfaces.

Oracle WebDB, included with Oracle8i, is a complete Web development environment that allows software developers to build Web sites with a standard Web browser and the Oracle8i database.

Oracle still has not announced pricing for the Oracle8i.

FileMaker Pro 4.1

FileMaker, formerly Claris, has invested heavily in promoting its new identity with the first update to its flagship product since the change of name. While its emphasis is still on ease of use for desktop users, the new version offers features specifically for corporate and enterprise customers.

Long established as a popular stand-alone database solution, FileMaker Pro 4.1 moves towards the enterprise space with ODBC query and import function-ality. This key new feature allows developers to import data from data sources such as Oracle 7, Microsoft SQL Server, Access 97 or Microsoft Excel with a simple and intuitive interface. Alternatively, developers can convert these data sources into entirely new FileMaker solutions simply by running an SQL query. The simplified ODBC SQL query dialogue means that non-expert users are able to construct SQL statements without needing to know any code.

FileMaker Pro also includes simple features for publishing databases on the Web or a corporate intranet. With a few mouse clicks and pull-down menus, developers can Web-enable their databases or incorporate FMP databases into existing Web pages without hand-coding any HTML. It includes embedded Web server software and CGI scripting.

FileMaker Pro 4.1 is widely available now for Windows (NT, 95/98) and Mac OS (7.1 or later) at an RRP of $399. Upgrade and crossgrade pricing is available.

Contacts

FileMaker

Tel (02) 9513 8805

Informix

Tel (02) 9928 1600

Oracle

Tel 1800 025 855

Sybase

Tel 1800 805 349


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