Sybase boosts database-management system

The vendor has enhanced its Adaptive Server Enterprise relational database-management system with improved data protection and manageability

Sybase on Tuesday announced enhancements to its enterprise-level relational database-management system Adaptive Server Enterprise, which will improve its manageability and encryption capabilities.

Using this latest upgrade, companies can now safeguard sensitive data from internal personnel such as database administrators (DBAs) and address regulatory requirements without altering applications or compromising system performance. This development comes at a crucial time with an increasing amount of sensitive data being accessed by mobile workers.

These enhancements mean that any column in a database can be encrypted with a single command, so a full table or the entire database does not have to be encrypted. This protects against insider fraud by using secure keys that even the DBAs do not have access to.

"As more companies work with mobile software solutions, the need for robust security provisioning and encryption has spiralled," said Duncan Chapple, director of Lighthouse Analyst Relations. "Sybase seems to have seen this coming and acquired Afaria to bring in mobile device management and mobile security some time ago now. These augmentations to Adaptive Server Enterprise [ASE] follow in the same vein. In real world deployments, this kind of technology must be secure, scalable and cross-platform if it is to be productive and profitable."

As with earlier versions, ASE encryption does not require changes to applications. Sybase ASE's optimiser takes into account column properties — whether a column is encrypted — when solving a query. This allows efficient storage retrieval and minimises unnecessary data decryption. "We have worked to give software developers the power to protect data without compromising performance and this is shown in the latest release of ASE," said Patrick Enright, director of developer relations for Sybase. "The new features allow for fast responses when using system-level commands irrespective of the number of users. They also enable faster performance for creating and loading databases, even with tables having triggers and indexes."

Other new features of ASE help to improve the productivity of application programmers. Since these functions are written in SQL, they can be readily incorporated within stored procedures without requiring developers to learn an additional programming language. Other enhancements include updatable views, four new statistical functions and an XML table function for better handling of unstructured text.

The new enhancements for encryption and security in ASE are available now on over 10 platforms including Windows.

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