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Sybase Under SAP, So What's New?

Sybase has used its appearance at the SAP TechEd conference to cohost its own TechWave developer/DBA symposium. During this week's event in Las Vegas, Sybase announced PowerBuilder 12.5, the second .NET release of its rapid application development tool.

Built for creating "visually appealing" business applications on Windows 32 and .NET Frameworks, PowerBuilder 12.5 is now said to include WCF Services to create web services using the WCF model. There is also support for CVUOs in .NET assemblies, an enhancement designed to enable PowerBuilder users to share the productivity of the DataWindow with .NET developer peers. There is also PowerBuilder .NET assembly — used to create a PowerBuilder .NET target, then reference it in another PowerBuilder .NET project, without exposing the source code behind it.

According to Sybase, the new iteration of PowerBuilder 12.5 comes with multithreading support implemented through Shared Objects in PowerBuilder .NET. There is Batch Command Processing, which enables customers to run a batch file to build applications without any user intervention. Also present here is REST Client in PowerBuilder .NET, so that targets can be clients that consume RESTful (Representational State Transfer) web services.

Sybase PowerDesigner 16 has also been launched this week. This collaborative enterprise-modeling tool is, according to Sybase, "Enabling forward-thinking companies to achieve a clear and consistent Information Architecture throughout their enterprise." In more detail perhaps, we learn that PowerDesigner 16 now includes support for over 80 RDBMSs, more than any other modeling tool in the industry; a modernized, role-based user interface based on Windows 7 standards for improved usability and management; and an enterprise glossary to ensure business terms and definitions are established and consistently managed throughout all models to ensure everyone is speaking the same language. There is also improved Link & Sync technology with impact analysis in the repository to ensure users are gathering all the connections throughout the entire enterprise to provide mission-critical decision support.

Last but not least in this batch of news updates is SQL Anywhere OnDemand Edition — a new product launched to fulfill the demand from Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) for easier data management and deployment of multi-tenant, hosted applications. It provides cloud-specific tooling and features that allow ISVs to manage data for cloud applications that meet both their business needs and those of their customers.

The features of SQL Anywhere OnDemand Edition include:

  • Elastic Database Provisioning — scale up and scale down computing resources on demand; ability to share computing resources among tenants to achieve economies of scale; tenant data is isolated from all other tenants at the file level
  • Tenant Scalability — designed to power "web scale" applications that grow to thousands of tenants
  • Atomic Tenant Databases — each database treated individually, allowing for customer-specific customizations, backup solutions, and direct customer access; databases stored in known locations and can be restricted from moving to another
  • Cloud Management Tools — designed to meet the needs of ISVs who are managing thousands of databases, hundreds of servers, and multiple versions of software and schemas.

Sybase products will continue to evolve on all levels under SAP, insisted SAP CTO Vishal Sikka during his September 13 keynote speech this week. Although Sybase board executives did not make an appearance on stage, the post-acquisition joint entities of both vendors appear to be sitting very comfortably together. Although criticized on some levels by industry analysts and commentators over the last 18 months, the greater weight of comment over this time has arguably been on the positive side of the spectrum. How SAP now invests in and helps further support the development of the technologies discussed here and others throughout the Sybase stack still remains to be seen.

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