Sybase wares target E-Comm World

Sybase has announced several new, upgraded products and outlined a plan to sell software to customers who want to link new Web applications with existing enterprise network systems.

Sybase is betting that big customers want software vendors to help them bridge the gap between relatively simple Web documents and forms and existing back-end transaction systems.

Sybase CEO John Chen says the company's products -- databases, application servers and development tools -- will supply the elements to create and connect both ends of these systems.

Focusing on an emerging, high-growth market makes sense for Sybase, which has traditionally been a player in the now-mature database market, says Tom Koulopoulos, president of Delphi Group, a consultancy in Boston.

The Sybase products announced last week include:

-- Adaptive Server Enterprise 12.0. New features in this database upgrade include Java support, in the form of an integrated Java Virtual Machine; more XML support for tasks such as storage and querying; and server failover support, Sybase says.

-- Enterprise Event Broker. This new middleware product is part of the company's EnterpriseConnect family and is designed to capture, transform and deliver database events and information across applications. The product supports messaging products from Tibco and IBM, and is available now.

-- A beta version of PowerDesigner 7.0. The new version of this database modelling tool supports object-oriented analysis and design, which enables database administrators to create object-relational models. PowerDesigner 7.0 will be available for download from Sybase's Web site this week.

-- Three new Industry Warehouse Studios, which are packages of five data analysis customer relationship management applications. The new offerings are the Sybase Capital Markets Industry Warehouse Studio, the Sybase Life Insurance Industry Warehouse Studio and the Sybase Credit Card Industry Warehouse Studio.

A new middleware product code-named Open Door, which is slated to be in beta testing by December.

Finally, Sybase also outlined a plan to make it easy for users to build and deploy electronic commerce applications for mobile devices. Called e-Anywhere, the plan will centre on the synchronisation and distribution of data, the local data store of mobile devices and the customisation of applications. The first product to be part of this strategy will be the new release of the company's SQL Anywhere Studio, due in the fourth quarter.

Merrill Lynch, in a November 1998 report, dubbed the sector Sybase is going after the Enterprise Infor-mation Portal (EIP) market and said it would reach $US14.8 billion by 2002, up from $4.4 billion in 1998.

Merrill Lynch defines EIPs as "applications that enable companies to unlock internally and externally stored information, and provide users with a single gateway to personalised information needed to make informed business decisions."

The Delphi Group agrees that the EIP market is poised for big growth. "Sybase is making a very important and strategic bet that the portal market will be an area for differentiation," says Koulopoulos.

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