Double up on databases

For those techies out there who are also film buffs, you'll know thatDante's Peak came out at around the same time as Volcano – and thatDeep Impact hit the screens at just about the same time as Armageddon.So would you believe it (my guess is that you will) if I highlight the fact that both Sybase and Embarcadero last week announced free versions of their Eclipse-based database tools?

For those techies out there who are also film buffs, you'll know that Dante's Peak came out at around the same time as Volcano – and that Deep Impact hit the screens at just about the same time as Armageddon.

So would you believe it (my guess is that you will) if I highlight the fact that both Sybase and Embarcadero last week announced free versions of their Eclipse-based database tools?

In the red corner: free until the end of the year we have the graphical Sybase WorkSpace Database Development tool which (it says here) enables visual SQL building, query analysis and sophisticated editing and debugging. Hmm, sophisticated debugging – that's a new one on me. Is that debugging with extra layers of reporting to ensure there's feedback into the application development lifecycle to improve total project design? Or is it standard debugging carried out in a smoking jacket with a brandy? OK, I'm being deliberately stupid – it is of course the ability to visually debug stored procedures, triggers, SQL Anywhere events and UDFs.

In the blue corner: also available free (in its community edition) is the EA/Studio Community Edition business process modeling (BPM) tool. This product, we’re told, is said to help database architects with documenting business processes and supports XML and the business process modeling notation (BPMN). It also includes standard process modeling elements and offers the ability to import Visio diagrams.

All good stuff I’m sure, but I wonder how these companies interplay their open approach to Eclipse-based development with their innate desire to say, “Hey, our product is the cream of the crop!” OK, I know these tools are at different levels, but I’ve attended one Eclipsecon in Burlingame California and it’s quite a bun fight. All the “partners” are visibly slapping each other on the back – yet desperate to get their various case studies, news, t-shirts etc. to the top of the pile.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not deliberately suggesting that there is infighting within the Eclipse community (evidence of which on the Internet only seems have to have surfaced in blogs such as this one)… but it must be tough at times for all these vendors to work together.

Especially when they have to both put out product announcements on the same day.

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