Jade has hopes for Joob

Millions spent on database and middleware to support emerging software applications

New Zealand's second-largest software company, Jade, hopes to cash in on the increased use of smartphones and social networks after spending millions of dollars developing Joob, a database and middleware to support an emerging class of software applications.

Chief executive Craig Richardson said Joob had three components: an object-oriented database developed in Microsoft .Net, a series of software engines to predict values, visualise data and carry out complex searches on the database, and middleware that allowed smartphone developers to import and export data from enterprise systems.

Jade had been working on Joob for a few years and spent about $2.5 million on its development in the last six months, he said.

The company has developed a mobile application, called "Where's My Tribe?", to demonstrate its potential.

"A user can log on through their Facebook page to the Joob platform and we can track them in real-time wherever they are and bring up their iPhone on Google Maps.

"They can also invite their friends to subscribe to that service and they can see where their friends are as well.

"We're targeting three mega-trends in the technology world. The first one is the increasing penetration of smartphones, the second one is around advanced analytics and the third is around the proliferation of social and community networks."

Mr Richardson said Joob was also well suited to manage the labyrinths of information handled by intelligence agencies and financial services and telecommunications firms.

The software was about 30 to 40 times faster at retrieving data from information networks than traditional databases, he said. Joob's database will be launched at the Microsoft Tech Ed conference in Berlin this week.

Jade planned to release the application and optimisation tools within the next six months.

It was not trying to compete with the likes of Microsoft and Oracle in the traditional database market, Mr Richardson said.

"What we're targeting is the new and emerging area of systems of engagement, which are about advanced analytics and real-time rule-based operations."

IDC market analyst Vern Harn Hue said Joob would particularly appeal to the financial services, insurance, telco and even health markets.

"They would typically be the ones who have amassed the most data and would need to retrieve it in the shortest period in time."

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