Computer Associates (CA)
thinks the time is right--and the market is ready--for its Jasmine object database software.
After more than a year of promotion, CA next week will ship Jasmine, a
database server and development tool package tuned to handle multimedia data
on corporate intranets and the Internet.
The announcement, replete with big-name clients and high-level CA
executives, will take place at next week's Fall Internet World '97 show in
New York City, according to sources. CA executives declined to comment.
Despite the Fortune 500's so-far lukewarm reception to object technology, CA
executives believe the market for software such as Jasmine is just beginning to
gel. CA positions Jasmine as a tool for managing the information--such as
video, audio, and animation--that cannot be stored in standard relational
The company sees Jasmine meshing with a growing need for tools to create a
new generation of multimedia applications for deployment over intranets and
The authoring environment works as an add-on to existing browsers. Jasmine
is made up of three components: a multimedia execution module; a Web-enabled
object-oriented database; and a multimedia authoring tool.
A software development kit is available now from CA. The final version will be priced around $1,000 per copy, CA has
But CA won't be the first company to stride confidently down the object
database path. Several database software companies have pitched similar
packages to corporate users in recent years with only marginal success. Most
notably, Informix Software stumbled
badly by overestimating demand for its Universal Server object-relational
database. The company has since reworked its plan and Universal Server is
now an add-on to its Dynamic Server database.
Sybase also has worked to hone its
object strategy after canceling an earlier object-only database server.
Even database giant Oracle scaled back
ambitious plans for object support as part of its recently delivered Oracle
8 database. The company opted for a more evolutionary approach that allows
corporate developers to incrementally add support for images, video, and
text to new and existing applications.
But by waiting on the sidelines, CA may benefit from a growing understanding
among users on what object technology is and can do, said analysts. "CA
realized the market wasn't right with Jasmine [originally]," said
Merv Adrian, an analyst at the Meta
Group. "You need critical mass in enterprise software. We may reach a
point in time soon where the object database business comes together."
Adrian said CA made the right call by positioning Jasmine--instead of
pursuing an object/relational strategy with its Ingres database.
"They have figured out how to hook up Jasmine to existing systems and to
surround it with technology," he said.