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August 15, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

The browser environment will find many more applications once three-dimensional graphics libraries become more widely available for it. The problem is they usually require large amounts of time and money to develop and then often use so much memory that performance is a dog. One of the companies that is already jumped through that hoop and is trying to build a business on the back of the 3D libraries it is developed is San Mateo, California-based Java developer and data warehouse consultant Infospace Inc. It has already written its own 3D graphics libraries to fit in 200Kb and as well as incorporating them into its Java-based browser products is also looking to OEM them. Infospace is offering a reporting and charting tool for access and analysis of databases over the web called WebSeQuel. The company claims the Java mechanism will provide access to any relational database and allows users to run queries and perform analysis from any browser. WebSeQuel supposedly allows users to select databases tables and rows by pointing and clicking or to create advanced query designs using table join logic and ‘where’ clauses. The standard product generates all underlying SQL statements whilst a WebSeQuel Gold edition includes an SQL editor for direct entry of queries. Various types of reports can be generated and stored in multiple formats. WebSeQuel works in conjunction with the company’s WebCharts product for generating three-dimensional graphics in a browser, home of the 3D graph ics libraries. Infospace says WebCharts provides real-time visualization of information in line, bar, pie, area, contour and XY charts. WebSeQuel caches query results so that data can be sliced and diced on the server without having to reissue requests to the database. Once downloaded WebSeQuel applets can run independently of the server. Queries designed with the software are sent to the server which executes the query and sends information back to the applet which produces the desired reports and generates graphics within the browser. Reports and graphics can be saved to the server or emailed elsewhere; the applet is trashed. When needed again it is downloaded from the server. WebSeQuel supports Oracle now, with Sybase and Informix con nectivity to follow. It works in conjunction with most browsers and web servers and costs $400 for each WebSeQuel Gold seat – $50 for WebSeQuel.

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