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Sybase picks up Java habit

Sybase wants to give developers who love Java a more palatable way to get data.

Sybase wants to give developers who love Java a more palatable way to get data.

The company will this month release jdbcConnect, a software driver that introduces a simple, fast, and standardized way for Java applets to request data from server-based databases. Sybase is also hoping to beat competitors, such as Oracle, Microsoft, and Informix Software to market with Java-based data access software for thin-client systems, such as network computers.

Sun Microsystems, Java's inventor, introduced the JDBC specification last spring. It was designed specifically to give Java applets direct connectivity to databases. The JDBC spec defines an application programming interface similar to a more general specification called Open Database Connectivity but specifically designed for Java developers.

Standardized--and compact--data access software such as jdbcConnect is becoming more important as developers flock in droves to Java as a development language for Internet and intranet applications. The software will also make it easier to get server data from network computers from Sun and other companies.

The jdbcConnect software eliminates the need for additional drivers and software to be installed on client systems. The software can be installed and maintained on network servers, and because it is only 165KB in size, it can be easily downloaded on the fly to client systems, said Keith Hoang, senior product marketing manager at Sybase.

jdbcConnect, now in beta test at 15 sites, works with Sybase's SQL Server database, as well as with databases from Oracle, Informix Software, Microsoft, and other makers through Sybase's OmniConnect gateway software.

Sybase has not determined pricing or final packaging, Hoang said, but jdbcConnect will be priced per server, not per user. Versions of jdbcConnect will be available for Windows 95, Windows NT, and Unix operating systems. The company will also bundle jdbcConnect with its upcoming Java development tool, code-named Starbuck.