Java database maker Cloudscape this month begins testing on the next version of its embeddable database designed for distributed and mobile applications.
Falling in the same month of the general availability release of Cloudscape 1.5, Cloudscape 2.0, like its predecessor, is a pure Java SQL database management system, built to be embedded within applications as a local data manager.
As earlier reported, the company, led by former executives from Sybase, Informix Software, and Oracle, is hoping to capitalize on demand for small, downloadable, platform-independent software. Companies are seeking such software for use in a new generation of mobile computing hardware--from laptops and personal digital assistants to network computers and smart phones.
Cloudscape 2.0, unlike 1.5, now features LUCID (Logic Up Consistent Information Down), a synchronization technology to help ease deploying and managing mobile applications. LUCID provides conflict resolution, without requiring custom coding at remote sites. Additionally, this ensures the user that there is application consistency between operational applications and deployed applications.
"This is a database for the occasionally connected user," said Malcolm Colton, vice president of marketing at Cloudscape. "The database can sit inside the client or the server."
Both versions of the Cloudscape database include VTI technology, a data management technology that provides a way for Java programmers to integrate data from varied sources, giving the appearance to an application that all the data sources are tables in a Cloudscape database.
Both databases cover a 1.5 MB footprint, which ensures Cloudscape is small enough to embed in applications deployed through the corporate intranet or downloaded from the Internet, Colton said.
JDBC 2.0 and ODBC 3.0 are supported by both versions of the Cloudscape database. The product is actually an object-relational data management system. This means it can handle images and text, as well as standard relational data.
Since the databases are written in Java, JBMS-based application can run on any system with a Java virtual machine, including Web browsers and specialized hardware.
"As far as I know they are the only ones using Java in this way," said Sandy Taylor, an analyst with the Software Productivity Group .
The focus on the mobile user also interested Taylor, who said she often works from home. "There are some real naturals for this product. Sales people out in the field, for instance, can use Cloudscape to access information right out on the customer site."
Cloudscape said the database includes built-in replication, making it ideal for use in mobile systems. Laptop users can, for instance, download a copy of a corporate database, complete with business logic, to their systems.
Cloudscape 2.0 is expected to ship in spring of 1999, with pricing to be announced at that time. Cloudscape 1.5, which ships this month, is priced at $895 for a developer's license.
In related news, one of Cloudscape's competitors in the ultralight, or mini databases, Pervasive Software, today announced Pervasive.SQL for Windows CE, a multithreaded embedded database engine for palm PCs and other "smart" devices.