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Sybase bags a Jaguar

Sybase joins a growing list of software vendors building specialized server software for managing Internet transactions.

Sybase (SYBS) is joining a growing list of software vendors building specialized server software for managing Internet transactions.

The company is set to beta-test server software code-named Jaguar that combines the features of transaction-processing monitors, which keep track of individual transactions, and object request brokers (ORBs), which handle communications between software objects across the network. In their place, Jaguar is a single piece of software that can handle large Web-based applications such as order entry, reservation, and electronic commerce systems that process thousands of transactions per minute.

Jaguar will also support two competing object architectures: Microsoft's DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model) and CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture). This means that developers can build applications using any tool that supports either DCOM or CORBA, said David Hsieh, vice president of marketing for middleware and data warehousing software at Sybase.

Jaguar is the latest in what is sure to be a long line of similar products for facilitating real-time transaction processing over the Web.

Last week, both Microsoft and Oracle introduced Web transaction software. Microsoft unveiled Microsoft Transaction Server 1.0, a transaction server for Windows NT, while Oracle debuted Oracle Web Application Server, a combination Web server and transaction server.

This new breed of transaction software is intended to make possible the next generation of intranet applications. While many current intranet applications offer little more than a static Web interface to existing client-server and mainframe applications, new intranet applications built using tools like Jaguar can be made rugged enough to replace older systems, doing all the work between the actual user and the database where the corporate and customer data are stored.

Like competing tools, Jaguar is promised to process thousands of transactions against back-end databases. While similar tools such as transaction processing monitors have existed for years on mainframe and Unix systems, they required specialized client software, cost thousands of dollars, and required highly trained programmers to use and maintain.

Jaguar and tools like it are being designed to be easily used and programmed. While Sybase officials will not yet disclose pricing, Jaguar will surely be priced competitively with Microsoft Transaction Server, which costs $2,000 per server, with no client software or license fees required.

Jaguar will work with Sybase's SQL Server database, all major databases, as well as competing transaction processing software and ORBs, Hsieh said.

Hsieh would not specify a time frame for Jaguar delivery, but said a beta program will begin soon. The final version is expected to ship next year.

Separately today, Sybase shipped SQL Server Professional for Windows NT, a bundle aimed at making SQL Server more Web friendly. The package includes the SQL Server database, NetImpact Dynamo for building and managing Web sites, SQL Modeler for database design and construction, SQL Central for graphical administration, and InfoMaker for query and reporting. Pricing for the bundle starts at $995 per user.