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Sybase seeks profitable niche

A new toolset and "fingerprint" mobile database are part of a plan to target data warehousing, mobile computing, and Net application development.

True to their stated goals, Sybase executives are busy looking for greener pastures to prop up the company's sagging revenues.

Today, at its annual user meeting, Sybase announced a new set of tools for building data warehouses and new small "fingerprint" mobile database software for 3Com's PalmPilot handheld PC.

Faced with slumping revenues and a shrinking market for its database software and tools for building online transaction processing applications, Sybase has embarked on a new plan to target data warehousing, mobile computing, and Internet application development.

Sybase is under the gun to find a profitable niche after a string of losing quarters. In its latest quarter, the company posted a net loss of $29.6 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $66.2 million, or 8 cents a share, for the same period a year ago.

The data warehousing toolset, called Warehouse Studio, is an attempt to sell customers an all-in-one package for building, deploying, and managing data warehouses.

The Warehouse Studio bundle includes design, transformation, database, meta data management, and administration features, which are intended to provide companies with better access to crucial data, lower cost, and greater flexibility, Sybase said.

Warehouse Studio will be available in the second quarter of 1998 on Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, HP HP/UX, Digital Unix, and Windows NT platforms, according to the company. No pricing was announced.

Sybase also announced a "fingerprint" version of Adaptive Server Anywhere that will support handheld PCs, such as the PalmPilot, Palm III, IBM's WorkPad PC companion, and future products from Symbol Technologies.

No pricing was announced. The software will enter beta testing in the second half of 1998, Sybase said.