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Managing the life cycle of a database

The buzz phrase of the moment in software development circles is 'life-cycle management.' The idea is to provide tools and technologies equipped to handle all aspects of application development, from the planning and requirements-gathering stages, through development and testing. Analysts like the idea, toolmakers are embracing it, and developers are inching up to it.

A San Francisco database solutions provider is applying it to the daunting task of managing the burgeoning data that threatens to bury the enterprise.

'Our life-cycle strategy is to provide a solution from inception through implementation, and from implementation through performance and administration,' Rob Young, Embarcadero's director of database management solutions, tells eADT.

The rapid growth of data in the enterprise (it's doubling every year, by some estimates) is putting increasing pressure on developers and database administrators, Young explains. Adding to that pressure is the growing number of data types developers and DBAs have to cope with in each new release of a database management system.

'In other words,' he says, 'the complexity of IT environments is growing fast. We recognize -- and hope that managers recognize -- that DBAs and developers alike have more data dumped on them every day.'

To combat this situation, Embarcadero has rolled out new versions of two editions of its flagship database administration platform line, DBArtisan and DBArtisan Workbench.

'We feel that we've been providing the right solution with our heterogeneous DBMS support,' Young says. 'Most of the data organizations are concerned with is encapsulated within databases. All those databases were either purchased from a third-party vendor or they were somebody's brainchild that grew into an application with an underlying database and somehow now has support and administration needs. This release hits the current sweet spot with the addition of performance and tuning capabilities for existing databases.'

DBArtisan 8.0 includes enhancements for each of the major database environments, Young says, extending storage, performance, capacity and backup management to the current versions of IBM DB2 UDB, Oracle Database 10g, Sybase ASE and Microsoft SQL Server. DBArtisan Workbench 8.0 extends its performance, space and capacity management functionality to DB2 UDB Open Systems and Sybase ASE with DBArtisan Space, Performance and Capacity Analysts.

The company also introduces Backup Analyst for Microsoft SQL Server in this release, a high-performance backup and recovery engine. It extends monitoring for Oracle RAC environments, and provides full performance metrics for Oracle Database 10g.

Embarcadero released the first version of DBArtisan nearly a decade ago. Free evaluation copies of the new versions of DBArtisan and DBArtisan Workbench 8.0 are available at http://www.embarcadero.com/downloads.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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