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Oracle crucial to Windows Suprtool, for now

Although the recently-announced SuprtoolSQL does offer Windows users a Suprtool replacement, at the moment the product is only engineered to work with the Oracle database on Windows servers.

"SuprtoolSQL works with Oracle currently," said Robelle's developer Neil Armstrong. But he adds that Oracle isn't the only database the product is capable of supporting. "A good reason not to specify that you must have Oracle is that we still want to talk to customers and learn about their issues. Other SQL databases are possible. I don't think we know what the market will come up with in terms of who's left, but we want to keep the dialogue going."

Charles Finley of Transformix, whose engineering team developed the Oracle-based solution, says the most popular Windows database is just a matter of a few weeks' development away.

"We started working on the SQL Server version because we’ve had several people asking for it," Finley said. "Still, it’s a low priority until we get a customer to test it. We are estimating that it will only take us about two weeks of effort." Until the rollout of SuprtoolSQL, 3000 sites who migrate to Windows had to part ways with Suprtool, which often surrounds 3000 application code. The new solution requires a services engagement with Transformix.

The product is called SuprtoolSQL because it uses pure SQL to access the database on the Windows servers. Finley says the performance is the same or better than using the 3000's TurboIMAGE database.

"We use SQL to our advantage. It does not use the TurboIMAGE API. The use of SQL makes it possible to achieve performance that meets or exceeds the performance that one achieves on the HP 3000.

Transport is the software element which makes SuprtoolSQL possible, he expained. It works with Oracle, IBM DB2, SQL Server, Postgresql and Informix already. It has worked with Eloquence since 1998."

Armstrong said he loves Eloquence, and would like it to operate with more Big Endian environments such as HP-UX. At the moment, a Suprtool that tackles little endian platforms with a native design -- for direct access to Windows servers without intermediary software such as Transport -- is not on the market.

Robelle's developer has praise for the first solution that brings Suprtool within range of Windows migration sites. "Charles has a good piece of technology here that will significantly help customers retain literally millions of dollars worth of investment when migrating," Armstrong said. "Especially the Ecometry customers with their surround code."