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Matisse user foregoes object-to-relational mapping

Fresher Information Corp. has made a number of moves in past months that position it to expand in a specialized segment of the database industry. San Francisco-based Fresher was founded in December 1998 when it acquired Matisse database technology and talent from ADB Inc. of France.

Fresher and a few other firms with roots in the object-oriented database field are riding the wave of object software commercialization that is often driven by Java success, but which is sometimes highly reliant on XML or other technologies instead.

CEO Robert Blumberg described Fresher's Matisse 5.0 as "designed for network infrastructure, Web services and other networked applications."

"Most of our customers have gone through the pain of object-to-relational mapping," Blumberg said, indicating Fresher had a remedy for such pain. His company's solution is to store objects natively as objects. Support for a form of SQL programming in Matisse cushions the impact for developers mostly versed in relational database methods.

In recent months, the company has broadened the IDEs it supports through moves that include Matisse Database and Sun's Forte for Java IDE.

As well, Fresher joined the Rational Unified Partner Program. Late last year, it added support for Eiffel. Eiffel developers can now use the same models and classes in their Eiffel applications and Matisse databases.

Such integration with Interactive Software Engineering's Eiffel allowed Standard Transactions, which facilitates transportation of funds around the world, to develop a real-time cash payment network.

Loryn Jenkins, CTO at Standard Transactions, said his firm's system relies on an infrastructure based on Microsoft Windows 2000, utilizing a COM runtime developed using Eiffel. Skipping an object-to-relational mapping step as well as the ability to react with quick updates were major factors in choosing Matisse.

"Matisse is the database underpinning the entire system," he explained. Alternatives considered were relational databases and in-memory databases.

"We decided the key competitive advantage we were trying to seek was to shorten our time-to-modification of an application. Our advantage was not the ultimate speed of the computer hardware. We wanted to make our software development very slick and our changes very rapid," said Jenkins. "Also, we wanted to cut down on object-relational mapping tasks." Automatic versioning support in Matisse was key as well.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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