Oracle Corp of Belmont, California, developer and marketer of the SQL-based relational database management system, applications gen-eration language tools and decision-support software, has entered into the Computer-Aided Software Engineering market with the release of the SQL*Design Dictionary development tools and the announcement its SQL*Development Method. The SQL* Design Dictionary is available on DEC VAX computers running VAX/VMS immediately and is to be next released on IBM Personals running MS-DOS. Over 200 sites in the UK have been using SQL* Design Dictionary in an early release program and Oracle’s UK subsidiary is currently completing an MVS/XA version of the product as well. Prices for VAX/VMS versions are dependent on processor size, and range from several hundred dollars to approximately $15,000 on the largest VAX processors but on IBM Personals, the Dictionary will be licensed for $2,000. SQL* Design Dictionary is described as a design, development and documentation tool aimed at Oracle users who are just starting on their system designs and by users who wish to document and control the maintenance of existing applications. It comprises a set of software tools and reports that are used as the automation aid for SDM as well as other supported methods. SDM is described a systematic approach to all phases of business system development and maintenance. By combining the SDM methodology and Design Dictionary tools for automated software engineering users can translate high-level designs into software terms. Oracle highlights the products principal benefits in the areas of design management, documentation, database generation and sizing, and change control. All critical data gathered concerning business’ processes and information usage can be entered into the dictionary which will then model the client’s business and databases. A set of over 50 reports are provided to document the design at varying levels of detail. In addition, the dictionary is fully accessible for designers to add their own reports on a regular or ad hoc basis, a feature which, it says, has be particularly popular among early users. The Design Dictionary can be used with any database manager, but Oracle users can use it to generate the entire database definition command set in SQL and so automate the manual coding of table and index creation statements in SQL. The software will look at the business model in the SQL* Design Dictionary and estimate the size of the databases which will be required in the eventual applications.
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