Sybase has finally admitted that it has pulled out of its Highgate online analytical processing (OLAP) development project, preferring to back two favoured third party suppliers.
It had up until recently funded California-based White Light to develop a second generation version of its OLAP offering, codenamed Highgate. Sybase intended to sell Highgate on an exclusive basis as its own product.
But the deal foundered last year when Sybase hit financial trouble and White Light began looking outside for secondary funding.
Sybase will now recommend Information Advantage (IA) for its customers in the Unix market and Microstrategy for those in the Windows NT sector.
Nigel Pendse, analyst at consultants Business Intelligence, said: ?Neither of them recommend any particular database vendor because they want to be seen to have as broad a coverage as possible. Sybase may have a story to give to their customers now, but it wouldn?t be a reason for new ones to go to it. It?s a non-creative, minimal defensive measure, but Sybase?s story is not as good as its rivals let alone giving it any strength.?
Andy Bellinger, Sybase?s database marketing manager defended the firm?s strategy.
?We?re not putting any more R&D money into Highgate and we don?t expect to sell it in future. We believe that our IQ-based strategy gives us an advantage over the rest of the market because customers can plug in either a relational database or have a choice of other OLAP solutions. It means they can plug in an optimised product at the back-end rather than being tied in to a proprietary solution like our rivals,? he said.
He added that Sybase had altered the caching mechanism in version 1.1 of its IQ Accelerator product, released at the end of last year, to optimise it for use with OLAP solutions.
While the deal with IA has been in place since March 1995, Microstrategy was only signed up last month and does not expect to ship its products fully optimised for IQ until the second quarter. Although the companies will undertake joint marketing, they will not resell each others offerings.
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