Computer Associates (CA) and Fujitsu have finally shipped Jasmine, their object oriented database and development solution, after a two-year delay.
The companies claimed hybrid products like those developed by Oracle and others - combining relational and object oriented technology - do not meet customers' needs. Launching Jasmine at Internet World, Charles Wang, chairman and chief executive of CA, said: "Hybrids don't work. Until now... object technology has been short on reality, forcing programmers to learn complex languages and cobble together non-integrated databases and tools."
Wang admitted Jasmine is two years late but claimed nobody else offers a directly competitive product. Jasmine also allows developers to use Java, C++, HTML, and Visual Basiclanguages or any other ActiveX tool, while it can access data from other databases such as Oracle, Informix, Microsoft SQL Server and IBM DB2, as well as CA's other databases, Open Ingres, CA-IDMS and CA-Datacom.
The demonstration of Jasmine showed the product using information and content from databases including text and video, but crashed. The company also admitted bandwidth shortages could be a "significant issue" for Jasmine, although it does include client software that makes the best use of the bandwidth available. The product's application development environment, Jade, has already been used to build multimedia Web sites with transaction capabilities, car development software and a rapid report generator.
Wang claimed CA learned how hard it is to link object technology with relational when working on its own Unicenter application - a lesson he said Informix had learnt an even harder way with the failed launch of its Universal Server hybrid database.
On Jasmine, Oracle's vice president of server marketing Mark Jarvis said pure object oriented technology has not succeeded because "you had to change everything you had. Customers want relational technology and to evolve to objects over time. Oracle 8 does all that and is shipping now."
Some analysts said CA was taking a risk by committing itself to object oriented technology so heavily but others insisted that Jasmine customers will get a headstart on competitors by adopting a superior technology before others.
Jasmine for Unix or Windows NT, which is already being used by Vars and beta customers including EDS Holland and Swedish telco Telia Data, costs $800 but the price falls for volume purchases.
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