UPDATE: DataDirect Releases ADO.NET Drivers

DataDirect Technologies this week upgraded its ADO.NET database drivers, which provide connectivity between .NET-based applications and DBMSes from Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and Sybase.

While critics question the need for third-party database connectivity tools when free options are available from DBMS providers, DataDirect says its connectors offer higher performance and are easier to develop against and administer.

"People are more circumspect on their spend, we all are," said Jonathan Bruce, ADO.NET technologies program manager at Bedford, Mass.-based DataDirect, a subsidiary of Progress Software Corp. He singled out the performance benefits of the lower memory footprint and CPU utilization of the DataDirect solution, which is based entirely on managed code.

DataDirect has an established presence via OEM relationships, as well as with large enterprises, and the company is always competing against free alternatives, explained Gartner analyst Mark Driver.

"The hard part is competing against free, which will always limit your buying audience," Driver said. "They do well with those who want to bundle their technology into another solution and they want a contract in place; they want that one throat to choke."

The new DataDirect Connect for ADO.NET drivers has a starting price of $4,000 for a single core server (Ed note: revised from $1,500). It offers new .NET-based APIs for bulk data transfer, improved performance using statement caching and a component that provides connection statistics. The latter feature is a wizard that developers can plug into Microsoft's Visual Studio, Bruce said.

"We give specific guidance on how to configure our providers and our drivers so you can use them more effectively with all the levers and connection options we give you according to how you answer a given question in the wizard," Bruce said. It also takes into account the general semantics of an application, he added.

The upgrades should appeal to database developers and DBAs alike, Bruce said. Developers partial to Microsoft's Common Programming Model can also leverage the bulk copy features.

"When you take a database pattern and extended it to our bulk APIs, now not only can you program a generic stance across multiple data sources -- which is an extremely difficult thing to do in ADO.NET if you don't have the right providers -- we now also allow you to do all of the bulk operations you would expect with ADO.NET," he said.

DBAs will probably be interested in the statement caching and the bulk semantics feature as well, Bruce said, "because they hold ultimate responsibility of ensuring both features work effectively."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of and news editor of Visual Studio Magazine.