Ants Software Seeks To Migrate Sybase Users To Oracle

Ants Software previously billed itself as a high-performance relational system; it's now emphasizing its ability to migrate database users away from Sybase to Oracle.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

July 17, 2007

3 Min Read

A small database vendor, Ants Software, is aligning its new database product, the Ants Compatibility Server, with Oracle. It plans to assist Sybase users in migrating their database applications and database systems to Oracle.

IBM's Informix customers are likely to be its next target to move to Oracle, said Joe Kozak, president and CEO of Ants, in an interview.

Burlingame, Calif., startup Ants previously billed itself as a high-performance relational system with the $20,000 to $25,000 Ants Data Server. It's now emphasizing its ability to migrate database users away from Sybase to Oracle through its Compatibility Server. Pricing on the new product will be announced later this year.

Ants will continue to offers its core system, Ants Data Server, as a relational database product. But "we see Compatibility Server as a real growth engine," said Kozak.

The growth comes from large customers who often have a mix of databases and want to organize their software infrastructure around a commonly used system. Although migrations take place in several directions, "more often than not, they're replacing Sybase with Oracle," said Kozak.

Sybase continues to offer its core Adaptive Server Enterprise relational system, which competes with Oracle. And Sybase maintains a steady 3.2% of the market, unchanged from the year before, compared with Oracle's 44.4%, according to figures for 2006 released by IDC, a market research firm. Sybase also offers an iAnywhere mobile database product, which leads in market share in the mobile database segment.

Sybase will soon announce version 15.0.2 of Adaptive Server Enterprise "that builds on our patented encryption/security and data integration technologies," a Sybase spokesman said. He added that Sybase customers renew their maintenance contracts at rates that match or exceed the industry as a whole. Ants believes the time is right to encourage the users of minority databases to migrate to Oracle, although it has nothing against its Compatibility Server being used to migrate from Oracle to other systems. "We're database agnostic," said Kozak. But he added that the scenario he expects to see initially is more database users moving toward Oracle than away from it.

Ants has also added Ari Kaplan, president of the Independent Oracle Users Group, to its board of directors and hired him as a consultant. Kaplan helped identify 10 members of the user group that were interested in migrating from other systems to Oracle. None was named, but most are Sybase customers who've decided to shift to Oracle, said Kozak.

Kaplan has been named to run what Kozak calls the Ants Compatibility Consortium. Its initial 10 members, which all represent large companies, Kozak said, will each supply an application to the consortium as a pilot project. Each company will also supply a database application programmer to help with the migration. The Compatibility Server can translate Sybase native access libraries, such as Java Database Connect or Open Database Connect for Sybase applications, and convert them into Oracle database access. Under the scheme, the Sybase database goes away and its future work is handled by Oracle.

Oracle itself offers a migration workbench that helps with about half of a migration, but Ants strategy is to weigh in and help with the second half, which was previously left to manual programming. As each member of the consortium succeeds in converting another application, successive efforts will become increasingly automated and easier, Kozak said.

This story was modified on July 18 to indicate that pricing for Ants Compatibility Server will be announced later this year.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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