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Objects for critical business applications


The goal of the project is to provide object-oriented DBMS technology for mission critical business applications. There is an increasing number of business applications which are advancing towards more complex data like picture, text, graphics and/or object oriented design and development tools. Nevertheless they retain the requirements of mission critical applications like large scale multi-user capabilities, search capabilities, performance, robustness, etc.

The benefits of object data management for commercial applications are:

- the reduction of application design, development, maintenance and evolution costs and
- the improvement of the performance of the resulting application when dealing with complex objects.

Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) now dominate the mainstream market for business applications. After a decade of tuning and optimisation they now deliver the level of performance, robustness and availability required by many business applications. However, RDBMS offer only very simple data structures and no data behaviour. They are badly suited for applications dealing with complex objects and integration with object tools and languages is difficult. Both the need for a richer data model and the emergence of object technology (OT) in the commercial market has resulted a strong demand for DBMS to manage objects directly.

On the other hand OT, previously a niche technology for departmental technical application domains, has begun to enter the mainstream commercial market. Indicators for this are: major investments of large software vendors, spreading out of OT into most end user areas and rapid development of standardisation bodies (OMG, ODMG). However, Object-Oriented DBMS must satisfy the requirements of large scale commercial applications in terms of performance and availability.

Leading European RDBMS and ODBMS vendors are now working together on this subject. This presents a unique opportunity The approach is to further develop each of the DBMSs, that represents proven technology in its area, with the complementary technology of the partner. Approaching the final goal of a mission critical OODBMS in those different ways will support rapid progress in the subject.

Technical implementation is structured into two phases. In the first phase pieces of technology available from Software AG and O2 Technology will be integrated. In the second the project will concentrate on developing and improving technology that addresses the necessary performance, robustness and availability for mission-critical applications.

The results of this project will be two DBMS prototypes - an object-oriented RDBMS from Software AG and a "pure" OODBMS from O2 Technology - as well as the implementation of two large scale commercial applications using these DBMS prototypes - OMINIDIAL, the Electronic Directory (ED) product line of CAP SESA TELECOM and Object Distributed Billing Engine (ODBE) from Mannesmann Datenverarbeitung GmbH.

The results of the project will be a European object-relational DBMS for commercial applications marketed by Software AG and based on O2's technology and a European OODBMS marketed by O2 Technology enhanced with performance and reliability attributes based on Software AG's technology.

By joining their technical excellence and market expertise, Software AG and O2 Technology plan to be in a situation of world-wide technological leadership and to turn the partnership into world-wide market successes. Joint information dissemination will be done through international database conferences and industrial object conferences. For exploitation the partners will use their existing marketing and sales channels.

The results are targeted at the emerging market for DBMSs which combine object capabilities with relational functionality. Software AG will first address the traditional MIS market (the current Software AG core business), such as banks and insurance etc.; O2 Technology will strengthen its position in the technical application world (telecommunication, nuclear, defence, industry, etc.).

Call for proposal

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O2 Technology
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7 rue du Parc de Clagny
78035 Versailles

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Participants (4)