Versant tools drive object-only Java trading system
- By Jack Vaughan
[FEBRUARY 1, 2002] -- Although object-to-relational mapping is a common developer's task these days,
some development managers have decided that it's still best to stay in the domain
of pure objects -- to forgo a relational store. This can be especially true
in applications where high performance counts.
Case in point: A financial analysis system built by London-based BITA Plus
Consultants. The investment management and securities trading software concern,
which counts as clients Salomon Brothers, Acqua Wellington, Quaestor Investment
and others, recently turned to Versant Corp. to help create a Java-based portfolio
Well-known as an object-oriented database supplier, Versant also bills itself
as a middleware maker. A pressing system requirement for the BITA development
team was to quickly calculate complex transaction costs and support hedge-fund
optimization. The company selected Versant's object database management system,
said Simon Tizard, BITA commercial director, because it supported multithreading
and multisession capabilities, as well as the direct object-to-object navigation
of persistent objects.
Skipping the object-to-relational mapping stage, added Sean Storey, BITA project
manager, improved performance and reduced development time. Yes, there is some
additional work required to manage the relationships between objects, he indicated.
However the saving is greater than the loss. For example, if an object is removed
or deleted from the database, all objects referencing it need to be modified
accordingly, said Storey.
The advent of EJB application servers has had a significant effect on software
development, said Versant's Kas Subhan, general manager of North European operations.
"As developers work in EJB and J2EE, they experience the challenge of working
with relational database technology in this environment." They must work both
with legacy data and provide for the persistence of intermediate data that is
part of the transactions. Using an RDB to persist data classes works on a reasonably
small project, maintained Subhan, but programming is simplified, he continued,
when objects can be treated as objects.
Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.