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by: Naresh Ahuja
It is a well known fact that Java as a programming language set off a new paradigm in the software industry. Suddenly, every software programmer worth his salt was amidst software jargons like 'Platform-Independence', 'Cross-Platform-Deployment' and 'The Java Virtual Machine'. In fact, it did not take long for Java to usurp the 'most sought after status' from many software languages, and become the most preferred tool for creating software; especially software for the web. As the recent trends in the industry show, Java is set to achieve an undeniable position as the most preferred software programming language for a long time to come. It is indeed Java's credit that many prominent vendors who tried to emulate the capacities of Java, failed miserably in the endeavor.
The importance of Java in the software scenario has led to another major trend. Software vendors are either rewriting their existing products in Java, or are creating new products exclusively or partially in Java. This has led many analysts to question the need to port already existing applications to Java. While the prospects of porting small or medium sized software to Java may not attract concern, it assumes significance when we consider porting existing databases that could be handling millions of sensitive blocks of information. Similarly, experts also have to decide between deploying reputed databases, and new databases that have been entirely developed in Java, in their organizations. Analysts have to answer many pertinent questions like: What are the advantages of a Java RDBMS that would compel my company to switch to it? Would it be cost effective to change to an RDBMS that has all the advantages of Java? Would the costs involved in porting millions of existing records justify the perceived performance and scalability features of the Java RDBMS? How secure would be the new RDBMS? What is the learning curve that has to be tackled by the staff who may be assigned to this database? In fact, there are a host of questions that a concerned technical head may ask himself before taking that all important decision to switch to a Java RDBMS. Let's try finding out some of the answers.
What are the advantages of a Java RDBMS?
OK, so we all know that Java is set to capture, or has already captured a sizeable chunk of the software market. However, how does that justify the use of a Java Database? After all, is not Java theoretically capable of integrating with any database? What advantages can be afforded by a Java RDBMS?
Well the answer is quite simple. Java RDBMS has, or supports, the much sought after qualities of Java, which is the most important reason to switch to it. Some of the Java RDBMS already available in the markets answers the immediate concerns of the Technical Lead in the most persuasive manner. For example, Daffodil DB (http://www.daffodildb.com/ ), an RDBMS written in Java, considers the following as its core strengths:
- Multiple Platform Portability
- Small Size
- Java Stored Procedures
- Transparent to End User
- Zero Administration Efforts
Some of these features are worth a second look.
One RDBMS, multiple avatars
Java RDBMS not only offers the advantages of Java, but also introduces new concepts that can revolutionize database programming techniques. For a start, the much famed portability of Java is the core strength of a Java RDBMS. Now, you don't have to buy different RDBMS for different platforms within the same enterprise. Other than the cost factors, the biggest advantage such an arrangement can give is that in-house code need not be redesigned for different platforms. By standardizing the database that is used, programs working across platforms can interact transparently and effectively. Project managers would vouch that portability, synchronization and customization effort for software running on different platforms are some of the most time consuming and tension filled activities in the office. Now all these activities can be easily implemented with the Java RDBMS in its rightful place.
Store and use those procedures with abandon
Security buffs within the enterprise would always throw a tantrum when dealing with stored procedures. Traditionally, the implementation of stored procedures had been the responsibility of the specific application vendor, and most of them could crash the whole database due to internal errors, rendering precious time and money waste. Java stored procedures with its inbuilt security features is the new fad of security administrators who are finding it powerful, fast, and very safe. Java does not implement Pointers, and so is a safe bet for developers to write secure code and procedures. In addition, with the JVM overlooking all the activities (the sandbox approach), there is no scope for external access that could jeopardize mission critical enterprise applications.
Transparent to End User
Java technologies have always been in the forefront to give us seamless transparent applications with inbuilt security features being given the utmost importance. In a Java RDBMS, database components can be embedded in applications, and they can perform complex tasks without user intervention. In addition, the user need not know the complexities of the database because the embedded database components will do all the work for him without him even knowing about it. This allows the user to concentrate on his tasks rather than configuring databases, which is an auxiliary requirement. In addition, other routine activities like starting the server and repetitive configuring of the database can also be avoided. Perhaps the biggest advantage that Java RDBMS offers is that the user need not weigh the pros and cons about choosing a database vendor. This is because Java RDBMS being extremely portable can seamlessly integrate with almost all platforms, and the embedded components will handle all the chores of integrating with different vendor software. Java RDBMS can also be seamlessly operated across multiple platforms without the need to configure the database for each and every operating system.
Zero Administration Efforts
Java RDBMS comes in with zero administration efforts, which means that once installed and configured, your clients need not change their settings to suit new changes that you make in your database. Java RDBMS also does away with, or considerably reduces, the role of the Database Administrator because of its self-managed features, and its extremely scalable mode of operation.
If you have not thought of it yet, it is a good time to think about Java RDBMS. The time is not far away when the databases industry will be greatly influenced by the power and functionality of Java RDBMS.