Marxmeier AG is releasing the 8.0 version of its Eloquence database, but the product’s improvements have already been in use for months. That’s because the vendor has been patiently rolling out the enhancements in patches for the many 7.10 users around the world.
The database continues to win high marks in migrated 3000 sites both small and large. In migrations such as the N-Class powered in-house apps at Tufts Health Plan and Summit’s Spectrum credit union software, this IMAGE work-alike combines a familiar database’s functions with a multi-faceted tool suite for Linux, Unix and Windows. Customers don’t need to change 3000 app designs if Eloquence is the target database in a migration.
The changes in 8.0 embrace a shift in computer architecture since the last major release, said Eloquence’s creator Michael Marxmeier. “When we wrote the last major Eloquence architecture, it was a point in time when the industry had less CPUs, but the emphasis was on faster CPUs every year,” he said.
Existing operating systems of that time had “abysmal threading support, to put it nicely,” Marxmeier said. “We were pretty much forced to write our own.” The 7.10 threading is good enough to run the largest business which uses MPE/iX, he explained, “but it doesn’t use the latest technology to the largest advantage.” Logging has also been redesigned in the database’s 8.0 version.
Renovating the technology to accommodate HP-UX is important to power issues as well as horsepower. “Just because you use more CPU doesn’t necessarily mean you get better performance,” he said of HP’s Unix threading designs. “Sometimes you just heat up the room because it takes more electricity.” Eloquence 8.0 works around HP-UX’s design shortcomings.
The two-year project also adds 64-bit server support as an option. Moving from 32- to 64-bit structures moves the database’s process capacity from 4,000 to 10,000. Some Eloquence customers use more than 3,000 concurrent connections today, and some sites have more than 1,000 active users accessing an Eloquence database. The 64-bit option also simplifies system administration of memory allocation for processors.
Rolling out features like 64 bits and revamped threading in phased-in 7.10 patches “was the best possible outcome for us and our customers, because there was no pressing need to have 8.0 available immediately,” Marxmeier said. The new Eloquence Replication delivers database mirroring functionality. Improvements such as these get better testing from the customer base if they arrive one at a time, he said.
“8.0 is a new release, but it’s not untested among the customers,” Marxmeier said. Customers who maintain a Marxmeier support agreement receive the 8.0 version at no extra charge. The two versions of the database can be run in parallel for existing Eloquence sites, so long as an HP-UX site is up to date with its patches for the operating system.