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Open source, embeddable database courts developers with new release

Dec 22, 2004 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

[Updated Dec. 23, 2004] — A small database consulting company has updated its mature, open source embeddable database with features designed to attract developers. ITTIA's “db.*” (dbstar) 1.1 features code cleanups, a regression test suite, and bugfixes. It targets telecom and financial systems, and small-footprint embedded devices that run Linux and other open source OSes.

ITTIA in August adopted dbstar, which Centura and Open Avenue contributed to the open source community after going out of business. The database is licensed under a derivative of the Mozilla Public License that limits use to open source operating systems such as Linux. Dbstar was first released in the 80s by Raima as “dbvista.”

According to ITTIA President Sasan Montaseri, dbstar is actively used today by financial companies such as Bloomberg, and by TEMs (telecom equipment manufacturers) such as Marconi.

Dbstar 1.1

Dbstar is a lightweight embeddable database that can be configured with a footprint as small as 130KB, according to Montessari. It offers a low-level C API, and an ODBC API is available through a $2,000 add-on offered by ITTIA. The ODBC driver has a footprint of 100KB each for client and server, according to Montaseri.

The dbstar database can be embedded within applications, but requires a filesystem, Montessari confirms, adding that high availability features are planned for future releases. These features include an expansion of the multi-user lock manager to support network filesystems, an expanded test suite, and an XML add-on.

The 1.1 release of dbstar comes with a test suite that can be used to verify that changes to the code have not broken any functions. The suite includes a TIMS database, and scripts that test each database function for proper function. The test suite should be a help to active dbstar developers, as well as those adapting the database for their use, Montaseri says.

To encourage developer participation and cooperation, ITTIA launched a community forum Website called “Club ITTIA” in August. The site is accessible after a brief registration. Commercial subscriptions to Club ITTIA are also available, and priced at $500 for a standard subscription that includes support installation, discounted per-incident support, and early access to new features. A $2000 Premium subscription adds the ODBC driver.

Oleg Sesov, a developer with Sibneft-MobilCard, said, “There were no troubles at all with installing dbstar. And I like the code very much — very readable and understandable.”

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