Vmark goes with flow to NT

Microsoft's gains in the mindshare war over Unix prompted the rapid development of an NT version of VMark's UniVerse database.

Microsoft’s gains in the mindshare war over Unix prompted the rapid development of an NT version of VMark's UniVerse database, says the company’s marketing vice-president Andy Ridgers.

Companies seeking packaged applications written for NT prompted Boston-based VMark to develop what the company says was the first relational database product--outside of Microsoft's SQL Server, which had something of an inside track--on the NT platform.

In unveiling version 9 of its object relational database, which the company also claims as the first database product to have common code across both Unix and Windows NT platforms, the company says it expects 35% to 50% of its sales by the end of 1997 on NT. Currently it sells 15% on NT and 85% on Unix. However, the company has no intention of abandoning Unix, and the update will cater to 23 flavours of the OS. UniVerse 9 will be made widely available later this month.

The low-profile VMark points to UniVerse's multidimensional database structure, which allows tables to be defined with nested tables within them, as a key feature. This object-oriented approach captures a larger view of the data and allows for greater flexibility, the company says. It claims its high scalability and automatic user-number sizing also separates it from larger competitors such as Oracle.

The company's Pick-oriented past appears to partly account for its lack of profile. However, its openness across a wide range of hardware appears to be gathering users. VMark Asia-Pacific cites IDC figures which place it as the fastest growing RDBMS company in Australia, with more than 80% growth in 1995, and 2500 sites across Australasia. VMark opened a New Zealand office in 1995. Local UniVerse users include Sanyo, NZ Credit Unions and CHH Timber.

Later in November VMark says it will launch a new data warehousing product that will address the middle portion of the process--the extraction, transformation and maintenance of metadata. Few further details were available.

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