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September 24, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Object database company Object Design Inc says it realized last year the demand for embedded databases to run on the small footprint devices now coming to market was about to take off so it began working on new, smaller versions of its PSE personal system edition embedded databases and overhauled its pricing model. It previously used PSE primarily as a lead generator for its ObjectStore enterprise database. The result is PSE 3.0 in Java and C++ flavors targeted at embedded Java and Windows CE platforms with a $100 price ticket for run-times and a $245 developer tag. With an eye on the swarm of companies descending on the embedded market – Poet, Cloudscape, Oracle and Sybase to name but a few – ODI already has an impressive customer list under its belt including Sun (using PSE for JavaSpaces, and Jini too ODI reckons) and Ericsson. Moreover PSE’s database management system uses 150Kb (the Java version is 300Kb), the executable is 300Kb and the database itself is 300Kb, resulting in an application footprint of 750Kb. ODI contrasts this with Oracle Lite and Sybase Adaptive Server Anywhere (ODI says the latter doesn’t support Java on Windows CE) which have a footprint of 1.1Mb (350Kb DBMS, 400Kb executable and 400Kb database); and Cloudscape’s 1.8Mb footprint (1Mb DBMS, 400Kb executable and 400Kb database). Each additional 1Mb costs a manufacture an extra $5. It believes the market for embedded real-time operating system and tools will reach $1.2bn in 2001 from $600m this year. It says it will work with the PalmOS as soon as its gets a JVM; one is being written by WabaSoft. PSE 3.0 includes new graphical development tools common to both Java and C++ versions and a code generator for both. There are new connectivity mechanisms – XML for Java, DCOM/OLEDB for C++. ODI points to IDC studies giving it 35% of the object database market, ahead of Versant with 22%, Objectivity 6%, Gemstone 8%, Poet 6% and others 23%. It earned $1m on revenue of $22.8m in its most recent quarter and says that by the end of 1999 PSE will account for around 15% of revenue.

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