SQL Anywhere, the popular mobile database and synchronization platform from Sybase iAnywhere, is coming to BlackBerry in its next iteration, the company has announced.
The announcement comes as BlackBerry maker RIM encourages broader third-party development, including a US$150 million BlackBerry development fund.
Tom Slee, senior product manager for Sybase iAnywhere, said that RIM's previous focus on email perfection meant there was little room on the devices to run third-party applications. But that mindset has been changing with recent devices, he said.
"It's a reflection of BlackBerry taking off as an application platform," Slee said. To date, SQL Anywhere has been deployed on more than 10 million PalmOS, Windows Mobile and Symbian devices.
"Technologically, we think it's the right time," he said. "Also, RIM has put increased emphasis on the applications capability, and we hear from our partners' increasing questions: 'What can you do on the BlackBerry?' "
Slee said the BlackBerry product had been in development for about 18 months and would be part of the SQL Anywhere offering going to market in the second half of this year.
While SQL Anywhere isn't a full development environment, many ISVs and OEMs utilize it to handle database synchronization for their products, which can then tap into a variety of sources, from Microsoft's SQL Server to IBM's DB2. The platform also handles caching and syncing data as phones roam in and out of service coverage.