In previous articles in this series, I introduced two popular mobile databases: Oracle 9i Lite and Sybase SQL Anywhere Studio 8.0. The third part of this four-part series introduces a different breed of the same cat: the PointBase relational database management system from PointBase, Inc.
Founded in 1998, PointBase is a relatively young company that has already established several claims to fame. Out of the gate, the company was instantly notable due to its founder: Bruce Scott, cofounder of Oracle (with Larry Ellison) and founder of Gupta Software. PointBase quickly drew media attention away from their founder and to their products by becoming the first company to aggressively pursue the concept of a pure Java database. By pure Java database, they mean a database in which every bit of code on both the database client and database server is Sun-certified 100% Pure Java. At the time, one couldn't be faulted for questioning the logic of an all-Java RDBMS, based on Java's performance and scalability. Four years later, however, PointBase's logic appears perfectly clear. Their products have managed to grow alongside the Java platform to the point where the company now offers three database products designed for a wide range of platforms, including the only Java RDBMS currently on the market that will run on Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME). The following list describes these products in greater detail:
PointBase Server. True multithreaded server RDBMS with advanced features such as row-level locking, security and encryption, and transaction management.
PointBase Embedded. A separate license from PointBase Server designed to be deployed with a client Java application. Shares the same feature set as PointBase Server; however, the Embedded product only supports multiple connections from a single JVM. (PointBase Server supports multiple connections from multiple JVM instances.)
PointBase Micro. Extremely small (less than 45 KB) relational database designed for J2ME devices. Contains a subset of the features included with the Embedded and Server products.
In this article, we'll take a look at both PointBase Embedded/Server and PointBase Micro, spending time on the feature sets of both products. I'll then discuss application development and deployment scenarios common to PointBase developers building mobile applications.