Denver, Colorado-based Unidata Inc says its Falcon object- relational database should ship in late August. It’s already out at some customer sites in early-access form, it goes into beta test proper in July. Falcon is the object-relational database Unidata is creating by melding its own eponymous relational database with O2 Technology SA’s object database (CI No 3,079). Unidata says it will offer Falcon as well as its relational database, rather than instead of it. It’s looking more and more likely that Unidata will acquire O2 Technology – let’s just wait and see, it’s now saying. Unlike the competition in the shape of Informix Software Inc and Oracle Corp, Unidata claims it is putting relational technology onto object, rather than vice versa. [In Falcon] we’re taking the upper layers of O2, namely the programming language bindings and OQL, and the upper layers of its engine, and replacing the lower level of its engine with Unidata’s own, says Fernando Velez, Unidata’s director of object-relational database engineering. But application development for Falcon doesn’t exactly look like a bowl of peaches – initially you partition the application into two pieces, the part that runs on the client, and the part that runs on the server. Each piece requires a different tool: on the server the object schema must be written with development tools from O2. The client must be written with ODBC-compliant development environments like Visual Basic. The ability for the client and server to be written with the same tool will only be possible with an Autumn release of Unidata’s RedBack application development tool. Meanwhile RedBack v1.4 is scheduled for the end of the month. This adds support for Java applets on the client. It still won’t support the Informix or Oracle databases though – that capability will also be in the Autumn release, which will be a total rewrite in Java.