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Sybase tests next-gen software

The company's latest mobile database software includes new support to manage Java components and applications.

Sybase (SYBS) is on track to deliver key pieces of its next-generation database architecture.

On Wednesday, the company will announce that its small-footprint mobile database, Adaptive Server Anywhere, is entering beta testing.

Adaptive Server Anywhere, which replaces the company's popular SQL Anywhere database, includes new support to manage Java components and applications.

Chuck Lownie, a product manager at Sybase, said the new database also supports the development of Java logic code, and includes both a JDBC driver and Java debugging capabilities. Another new feature is support of SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) servers, said Lownie.

Sybase has not determined pricing. SQL Anywhere currently sells for $499 per user.

The database, slated to ship in the first quarter of next year, is the second shipping piece of an ambitious product revamp announced by the company earlier this year.

Earlier this year, Sybase announced an entirely new database and tools framework, called the Adaptive Component Architecture. The architecture, which supports Java and ActiveX component development, includes the Adaptive Server database and the Jaguar CTS component transaction server, along with PowerBuilder 6.0 and PowerJ development tools.

Sybase has already shipped an initial version Adaptive Server Enterprise, its full-featured database. The company plans to ship a Java-enabled version in the first half of next year, along with the beta release of a new version of its Adaptive Server IQ decision support software, said Lownie.

The company earlier this month posted better-than-expected earnings results for its third quarter. Sybase reported earnings of $5.2 million, or 7 cents per share, for the quarter ended September 27, slightly better than Wall Street estimates and a far cry from the loss of 69 cents per share reported one year ago.

But some analysts question whether the company will remain a strong database player. Boston Equity Research Group, a service that tracks technology demand, has downgraded Sybase to sell. In a report last week the service concluded that Sybase continues to lose mindshare among corporate technology buyers.

Of Sybase users surveyed by the firm, 40 percent plan at least a partial transition away from Sybase software to database software from either Oracle, IBM, or Microsoft.