Sybase bolsters Apple's Panther

Sybase has unveiled the next version of Sybase ASE (Adaptive Server Enterprise) 12.5.1 at the MacWorld Conference & Expo in San...

Sybase has unveiled the next version of Sybase ASE (Adaptive Server Enterprise) 12.5.1 at the MacWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco.  

Version 12.5.1 of Sybase ASE offers significant support for Macintosh OS X Version 10.3, codenamed Panther, including support for asynchronous disc I/O. 

"Now that Panther supports asynchronous I/O an application can go about its business while one thread is issuing an I/O request," said Steve Olson, technical director of engineering at Sybase. 

Sybase is also taking advantage of Panther's ability to allow a single process to address as much as 4GByte of memory, allowing Sybase ASE to increase performance by putting more data in its buffer caches. 

A Sybase plug-in to Panther's Server Admin tool will allow users to administer the Sybase server along with the Apple-provided services, said Olsen. 

Version 12.5.1 for the Mac, as well as for other platforms, will also see a major upgrade to its XML capability. The release provides native XML support and will give users the ability to stream XML out of the database by converting it from a relational format to XML. Users will also be able to store XML documents and query them through X-Path and X-Query, W3C standard query language. 

To improve performance the latest version also creates multiple temporary databases as opposed to the older version that used only a single temporary database file. 

"This is a way of enhancing our concurrency in a heavily used system. It is a huge win for us," said Olsen.

Sybase ASE 12.5.1 is available now. Pricing starts at $1,495.

CryptoCard, a provider of one-time use passwords sent to either a smart card, hardware token, or software token, is also targeting the enterprise. The authentication system is aimed at corporate VPNs, networks, and portals. 

Its existing PC-based customers include Deutsche Bank, Rothschild Bank, Ciena, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Fujitsu, Telstra and Nasa. 

The hardware and software authentication system is available now and priced at $499 which includes the authentication server, a choice of 10 smart cards, hardware tokens or software tokens and one year of free support. 

CodeTek Studios also launched VirtualDesktop 3.0. VirtualDesktop will allow Mac users to create as many as 100 separate environments or windows for managing multiple projects simultaneously. 

The Panther compatible software will support Expose, Apple's windows management tool, and Apple X11 GUI. Other features include "focus follows mouse", which brings to the foreground any window where the mouse is placed and user-defined desktops and hotkeys. 

VirtualDesktop will be available by the end of the month. Pricing is $40 for new users and a $15 charge as an upgrade.

The question of whether these types of products will be enough to interest enterprise-level IT in the Macintosh platform has already been answered for Sybase. 

"We have gotten a very substantial amount of new business because of the Mac. There's no overlap between our traditional IT customer base, so all the Mac customers are brand new sources," said Darryl Salas, principal consultant at Sybase.

Ephraim Schwartz writes for Infoworld

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