Informix has shifted its tools strategy up a gear in an attempt to establish its Universal Server database in the market before the arrival of Oracle8.
Last week the company announced Informix Data Director, a family of database modules which extends Universal Server to popular PC development tools such as Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual J , Visual Cafe Pro, Forte and PowerBuilder. The strategy won endorsements from six major tools vendors: Microsoft; Forte; Symantec; JavaSoft; Powersoft and Seagate.
The Data Director modules are designed to give Informix a significant advantage over Oracle by enabling developers to use front-end tools to easily create multimedia applications for Informix Universal Server.
Oracle8, with which Universal Server will compete, is not due out until June. And with the current version of Oracle, Oracle7, multimedia developers have to use the complicated SQL language.
Gail Baglow, technology marketing manager at Informix, said: "We see a unique opening in the database environment and we are leading the way.
No one else has done this type of strategy before."
Previously, the Informix tools family comprised Informix 4GL, an application development tool, and NewEra, an object-oriented client-server development tool. However, these were limited in their support for Universal Server.
Data Director integrates with Universal Server's DataBlade modules to allow developers to build applications that access images, video and sound.
Baglow believes Data Director will reduce data access development time by up to 70%, an attractive proposition to developers. "On average 80% of development time is spent writing data access code," explained Baglow.
As well as Data Director, Informix announced NewEra 3.0 which includes a new repository and Crystal Reports. NewEra 3.1 is due for release in the third quarter. The upgrade will be Web-enabled and offer support for Universal Server.
- Informix has warned it will post a loss for its quarter ended 30 March 1997 and is expecting revenues to drop from last year's $204 million (#124 million) to between $130 million and $145 million.
The results are due out by the end of the month.
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