Sybase Gets Back In The Race
ASE 15 database upgrade promises faster queries, greater data capacity, and new encryption capabilities at lower cost.
Don't count Sybase Inc. out of the database race. The new release of its Adaptive Server Enterprise database provides a faster query-processing engine and new data-encryption features, and it's capable of supporting extremely large databases in the multiterabyte and even petabyte range.
The query-processing engine in Sybase ASE 15 replaces technology that was as much as 20 years old. The new engine can process queries faster then the current version, according to the company, although the gain depends on the type of application. A complex query run by one customer with an ASE 15 database runs 90% faster than older versions of the database, Sybase says.
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ASE 15, which will be available this week, also offers the ability to encrypt specific columns of a database table, a feature offered by some competing relational database systems. But Sybase has given the database's security-manager system the capability of creating a key for specific columns and then performing data-management operations using the key, rather than constantly decrypting and re-encrypting data. Permission to decrypt the data can be granted to some users and denied to others to ensure privacy.
Michael Heaney, database manager for the Institute for Genomic Research, is beta testing ASE 15 and likes the new encryption capability. His facility does classified research on microorganisms that could be used as bioweapons. "We'll be able to add another layer of security by encrypting sensitive data sets on the server without having to modify any of our applications," he says.
The added query optimization will "generate analysis results with shorter turnaround time, making our scientists very happy," Heaney says.
ASE 15 also builds on the ability of earlier versions of the Sybase database to automatically send messages based on information extracted from the database log file rather than querying the running database itself. While older versions of ASE sent messages via Tibco Software Inc.'s Rendezvous messaging software and Java Messaging Service-based products, ASE also will support IBM's WebSphereMQ messaging middleware.
ASE 15 also can generate messages from extracts from other database log files, such as DB2's. Within 60 days, it will be able to generate messages out of Oracle database log files as well, says Kathleen Schaub, VP of Sybase products.
In addition, ASE 15 can expose stored procedures--data-processing instructions stored within a database--as Web services.