Sybase will launch its UltraLite database for handheld appliances next month for the Palm and CE operating systems.
As the only database vendor with a product in the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) marketplace, Sybase has found itself with many friends. Brian Vink, vice president of marketing at Sybase's mobile and embedded computing division, claimed to have signed up 400 OEMs, including Microsoft, 3Com, Symbian, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, IBM and Sharp.
A version of the 50Kb database is also planned for the Psion Epoc-32 operating system. It will go into beta in July. Sybase also announced last week a partnership with Sun to provide a database for Java-based PDAs and embedded systems.
The UltraLite database and its bigger brother, SQL Anywhere for mobile computers, will integrate with any ODBC, Oracle, Informix, DB2, Sybase or Java-based database. Through a partnership with Abaco, the UltraLite can synchronise data with SAP, and Sybase developing versions for other ERP applications.
Rival database vendors IBM, Oracle and Microsoft are developing similar so-called small-fingerprint databases, but have given no details of if or when products will be ready for market.
"Sybase has a window of opportunity, because it is first to market," said Arthur Hochberg, principle analyst at Dataquest. "If Microsoft releases a database it will focus on the CE platform."
Research released by Dataquest has found that Progress holds 19% of the embedded database market, while Sybase has 15% and Ardent 14%.
In the mobile embedded database market, Sybase takes a 55% share, Oracle 20% and Progress 7%. Sybase's market leadership was attributed to the success of the SQL Anywhere database.
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