Seattle-based PageAhead Software Corp is plugging ahead with an ambitious series of product launches and strategic announcements, centred on Open Database Connectivity, despite the doubts over the Microsoft Corp standard’s future. The company can claim to have more expertise than most in this crowded part of the middleware market since, according to PageAhead vice-president and co-founder Russ Aldridge, it was his company that first developed Open Database Connectivity for Microsoft, and he says it also developed Apple Computer Inc’s Direct Access Language. The company’s principal product is the Simba Engine – a server product that attaches to different types of databases – including flat files – and enables Windows-based client applications to access the data. Simba C/S, which was launched in May, extended this concept to client-server systems. It can be used to build drivers that enable personal computer users to access data held in remote files. Like the Simba engine, it supports any kind of data source, and is not restricted to relational information. With it, SQL queries can be packaged to interrogate non-SQL data. Primary support is for Santa Cruz Operation Inc and AIX Unix systems, but as of the first quarter next year, Simba products will support Solaris, HP-UX and Windows NT servers too.
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