Customers will still be unable to run SAP?s market dominating R/3 applications against Sybase databases until well in to 1998 at the earliest.
Sybase products will not support the row level locking data integrity facility needed to implement R/3 until at least the first half of 1998. There has historically been tension between SAP and Sybase, which has always backed page-level locking as a better option than row level.
R/3 already runs against Oracle databases and some Informix products - although not its flagship Universal Server object relational database and SAP executives have said Sybase is not a priority platform for them. Sybase plans to begin work on implementing row level locking in the first half of 1998, making it unlikely to be delivered in product before the end of next year.
At the Sybase International User Group in Orlando whis week, Sybase chief executive Mitchell Kertzman said the company had modified its position, but was quick to play down the absence of R/3. ?We used to be religious about [page level locking], but we?re less so these days,? he said. ?I have been over to talk to SAP in Walldorf and we are still talking. I suspect the issue is not really a technology one, but more a market [ranking] one.? Sybase has slipped from the number two slot in the database market in recent years, replaced by Informix.
Kertzman emphasised Sybase?s relationship with other application software providers, most notably US firm PeopleSoft and Dutch company Baan. He admitted that the company had missed the chance to generate ?millions of dollars? from pull-through revenue on the back of SAP sales, but felt that it was not sensible to try to muscle in on that market at this stage. ?We?ve been so long without [SAP],? he commented. ?Given the strength of our relationship with Baan, I think we?ll go with that route.?
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