It's human nature to be impressed by things claimed to be the biggest and the baddest. That's why tech journalists have always fixated on speeds and feeds. For databases, that meant the ones that claimed to store zettabytes of data, crunched zillions of transactions per hour, or scaled to hundreds of thousands of clustered servers.
As a result, SQL Anywhere has never gotten the attention it's deserved, despite being a high-performance middle-weight database used by more than 20,000 developers and 10 million users.
SQL Anywhere has always had a rock-solid, low-maintenance platform that can scale from tiny handheld device to multi-core server, offers full SQL capabilities, and a plethora of easy-to-use design and management tools.
The new SQL Anywhere 12 improves upon that by adding support for spatial data, scale-out clusters, iPhones (to enable apps run faster and more powerfully), more self-management and central administration features, and tools to help test and plan large-scale data synchronization setups, to better avoid bottlenecks in production.
There was a good amount of press coverage of SQL Anywhere 12:
While SQL Anywhere 12's new features are great, honestly it seems to me that journalists finally woke up to SQL Anywhere in strong part due to SAP's vote of confidence in our long-standing enterprise mobility story when they announced they would plunk down nearly $6 billion for us (which reminds me of that old commercial, "I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company.").
Even if that's the case, the fact that SQL Anywhere's story is finally getting told will help raise awareness in how developers using it can make their apps for smartphones or tablets even faster and more capable. And that can't be a bad thing.