IAnywhere readies ‘Jasper’ database

IAnywhere Solutions Inc. plans to offer the first details on Monday about the next big upgrade to its SQL Anywhere mobile database software, and said developers can register now to try out the beta.

The Sybase Inc. subsidiary said it would discuss the software, code-named Jasper, at Sybase’s TechWave user conference in Las Vegas, which started over the weekend. The beta is due for release by the end of the year, and the finished product will follow next year.

“From an engineering perspective the goal is the first half of 2006,” Chris Kleisath, iAnywhere senior director of engineering, said on Friday. Improvements focus mainly on three areas, he said: performance, data protection and developer productivity.

With Jasper, developers will be able to define particular queries or data sets that are used frequently, often spanning many database tables, and keep a copy of that data already summarized, so that when users run complex reports against it they’ll get faster performance, he said.

“Previously, this was only available in some of the larger-scale enterprise databases, we’re now bringing it down into the front-line kinds of applications,” Kleisath said.

IAnywhere customers are storing more data at branch offices, making those systems more important and creating wider data protection needs, he said. The company plans to provide hot-failover capabilities for those systems using both mirroring and clustering techniques.

Jasper will make it “pretty easy” to set up a three-machine system in which the database server is mirrored on a second machine that stays up to date with transactions, and a third server acts as an arbiter.

“It understands when the primary server goes down and will fail over to the second server, so users see no interruption of service,” Kleisath said. “We’ve enabled this with no special hardware, no special software and no particular operating system requirements.”

The company won’t say yet if customers will need to buy a separate license for each of the three machines. Pricing details for Jasper will be announced closer to its release.

IAnywhere is also improving its tools to make it easier for developers to look inside applications and tune them better performance, Kleisath said.

Also at TechWave, iAnywhere will get developers to give it some feedback on a new graphical interface it developed for MobiLink, the database synchronization technology in SQL Anywhere. It’s adding a new administration and development tool that should make it easier to set parameters such as how frequently certain tables are synchronized.

Developers can preregister for the beta program Monday at this Web site, the company said.

IAnywhere’s corporate headquarters are in Dublin, California, but it does much of its development in Canada. Jasper was named after a Canadian ski resort in Alberta.

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