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PointBase: J2EE Development with PointBase Embedded
The only database to use when you're programming in Java

Click here for more information on PointBase


Steve Jones is the managing director for engineering and support at PointBase. He is responsible for PointBase product development, which includes an innovative family of 100% Java, SQL Relational Database Management (RDBMS), and Synchronization products that are ideal for embedding in a wide range of applications. Because they are all Java, they are highly portable.

Here, he talks about the need for embedded products and what they can do.

Can you briefly describe the reason PointBase exists in the market today? Where did DataMirror see a need for this type of offering?
PointBase Embedded provides full SQL functionality for the Java developer. By being implemented in Java itself, it can be deployed along with your application, retaining all the benefits of a 100% Java solution, such as complete platform portability.

What is an embedded Java database?
It is an RDBMS that not only provides full SQL functionality, but can be embedded within, and deployed with, the application. For a Java application, the RDBMS must itself be implemented 100% in Java. Additionally, it must be designed to run without requiring a DBA. All functionality must be accessible to the program through API calls, not requiring separate utilities to be run. And it must be small enough to make it feasible to include within the application.

A few years back, object-oriented databases had also come up with an alternative to RDBMS-based data storage. That didn't last long. Why are embedded databases such a good thing?
PointBase is ANSI standard SQL so you don't have to learn a new paradigm like OODBMS. And the storage is still relational; therefore, the transformation to and from standard relational databases is straightforward.

What issues in traditional RDBMS databases do embedded Java databases address?
Complexity, difficulty in installation, overhead in administration. PointBase can, for example, quickly and painlessly create a database without all the hassles of tablespaces, etc. associated with an enterprise system.

What are the main benefits of using embedded databases?
A big one is simplifying testing, packaging, and deployment of software. Java gives you portability across a variety of OS and hardware platforms. By bundling or embedding your Java database, you can have a single offering, which can be tested, packaged and deployed. You lose that if you have a native DBMS that has different binaries for each platform.

What is the overall feature set that PointBase provides?
PointBase Embedded has a very rich SQL implementation, including views, triggers, stored procedures, integrity constraints, hash joins, SQL security and more. PointBase UniSync and DataMirror Transformation Server provide powerful capabilities to exchange data with your corporate database, enabling web services and data marts, for example.

In what way is PointBase Embedded a better option as compared to similar products?
Often times the Java database contains a cached subset from a corporate database. PointBase has the superior ability to extract this subset and remain synchronized with the database of record. PointBase Embedded is more mature. It has a more complete feature set and is much faster.

How does the product scale for enterprise applications in terms of transaction volumes, robustness, and security?
Very well. Our architects previously worked on major enterprise systems (Oracle, IBM, Sybase, Informix), so under the hood we're very advanced in locking, logging, and recovery. One of our customers does 12,000 queries a second.

Has PointBase Embedded been applied in the real world?
Can you give us some success stories?

Both BEA and Sun bundle PointBase Embedded with their application servers to demonstrate their products. They, of course, need a fully functional DBMS of the highest quality. NetNumber has developed an ENUM system, which essentially maps IP addresses to cell phones. Their application performs many thousands of address translations per second using PointBase Embedded. Leadscope switched from Oracle to PointBase for their data mining software for the drug discovery industry, achieving performance and usability benefits.

At what stage in development should Java application teams consider PointBase Embedded?
Most architects like to make the choice early in the project.

How can our readers familiarize themselves with your product?
Are there any sample/blueprint applications available?

Visit our site at www.pointbase.com. There you can read more about our products and download evaluation versions with sample applications.

If you had one message to send to the Java community that sums up why PointBase Embedded is invaluable for Java applications, what would that be?
If you are programming in Java, PointBase should be your database. To achieve all the benefits available through implementing in Java, use a Java database.

*The Standish Group CHAOS Chronicles, 2000. www.standishgroup.com


Click here for more information on PointBase

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IT Solutions Guide (ITSG), aimed at development and corporate managers, is a free quarterly supplement focusing on the most competitive tools, solutions, and services available in the IT and infrastructure technology world today.

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