German database developer Software AG will launch its next generation universal multimedia database (CI No 3,158) in 1998. The Darmstadt-based company says the product is fundamentally new technology, designed to handle the unstructured data types now more easily available on the web, such as graphics, speech, and live video. Software AG maintains existing relational database management systems are only geared up for handling simple tabular data and rely on a pseudo structure to organize multimedia data, an approach which can take up valuable memory space, bandwidth and time. While it stresses the code is new, the company says the DBMS is based on the technology built into the kernel of its existing Adabas product line which it claims is better at handling complex binary feeds in a multimedia content. An joint object technology agreement the company signed last year with French object database house O2 Technology SA, currently being acquired by Unidata Inc, appears to have come to naught (CI No 2,884). Sales of the new software are unlikely to take off until 1999 and Software AG is initially targeting leading edge users. Chief executive officer Dr Erwin Koenigs said the company is hoping to grab a share of what it sees as a whole new product area although he concedes there are certain similarities with the technology that rival Informix Software Inc purchased from Illustra Technologies Inc (CI No 3,211).
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