Crunched by the economy and squeezed by competition, businesses and consumers alike are turning to mobile computing. This report wraps up our overview of the top contenders in the mobile database market with a look at Sybase SQL Anywhere and SQLite.
Sybase, makers of SQL Anywhere, just
announced version 12 of their mobile database. Some of the new features and
improvements with this version are support for spatial data, language
extensions, performance improvements, support for the iPhone, read-only
scale-out (read-only query isolation), central administration of remote
databases, and much more. See a complete list here.
This sophisticated embedded database
can support thousands of users. The database can hold hundreds of gigabytes of
data and process up to 20,000 transactions per minute. It has robust
capabilities including xml support, more advanced data types such as spatial
(as previously mentioned), OLAP, and materialized views to name a few. Support
for stored procedures and triggers is also included as is transaction support
and full-text search. ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, OLE DB, and other connection
protocols are supported. Special drivers are available for PERL and PHP.
Developers can take advantage of SQL
Anywhere support for the most popular languages and development tools including
Visual Studio (and the .NET languages), Eclipse, PowerBuilder, Java, PHP, and
PERL. SQL Anywhere also comes with its own graphical tools to facilitate design,
development, testing, debugging and monitoring of the database and
synchronization. Similarly, administrators can use the tools to help them
remotely support databases including auditing, trace logging, and database
A deployment of SQL Anywhere requires 10MB
of hard drive space and the engine will need 4MB of memory. A lighter engine,
UltraLite, is available for small footprint devices. This engine only requires
75KB of memory. The UltraLite database runs in-memory (also an option for SQL
Anywhere). UltraLiteJ is a version of the in-memory database for use on
Blackberry devices and with J2SE.
Bi-directional replication is
accomplished using MobiLink with support for both relational and non-relational
data stores (such as JMS-based messaging systems and application servers).
MobiLink has support for server-based synchronization, conflict detection and
customizable resolution, row and column subsets for synchronization,
push-notification, file transfer, and prioritization. RSA and ECC encryption protocols
for data encryption are provided as optional purchases.
Operating systems supported for an
installation of SQL Anywhere are Windows, Windows Mobile, Linux, embedded
Linux, Mac OS X on Intel, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, and HP-UX. The MobiLink
synchronization server can be installed on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Sun
Solaris, IBM AIX, and HP-UX. Database mirroring is available for fail-over
support and SQL Anywhere has a Veritas Cluster Server (VCS) agent to allow for
SQL Anywhere management within a Veritas Cluster.
SQL Anywhere comes with a Deployment
Wizard to handle packaging and deployment. Either a Windows Installer Package
or Windows Merge Module file can be created from the wizard. Additionally,
database files can be pre-configured prior to deployment to reduce or eliminate
install time configuration.
There are multiple editions of SQL
Anywhere with different included and optional features. The following table was
taken from Sybase’s SQL Anywhere 11.0.1 Editions page. A
similar comparison is not yet available for SQL Anywhere 12 that I could find.
SQL Anywhere 11.0.1 Editions
*** This option is free for
Licensing for SQL Anywhere is highly
SQLite is an embedded database engine,
In its current revision, 126.96.36.199,
A fully transactional database engine,
SQLite does not provide for
SQLite deployment is also simplified.
An interesting aspect of SQLite is
Sqlite3 is an interface for creating
Documentation for the database engine
Whereas SQLite is free to develop with
SQLite is by far the simplest and
Microsoft SQL Server is another free
DB2 Everyplace has one definite
The most robust and therefore most
As always, the devil is in the
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