(This post was originally published on my Sybase blog on March 27, 2008)

Several people have asked me to explain the name of this blog. Why “Invisible Database”?Good question. I chose this name for several different reasons that I will try to explain here.

  1. When our OEM partners embed our SQL Anywhere product inside their own software product, the end-user does not usually realize there is even a database included. The user simply uses the application provided by our partner. Hence, the database software is for the most part “invisible”. This blog will discuss some of the engineering and business aspects about embedding 3rd party software with your own, drawing on experiences with the SQL Anywhere OEM partners.
  2. When SQL Anywhere is used by corporations for their mobile applications, the user is usually not aware of the complex database and data synchronization system that enables their application to “just work”. The entire system is just “invisible”. In these blog posts I will comment on some of the factors that increase the probability of success when implementing these type of systems.
  3. The success we have had with our customers and OEM partners is often not reflected with broad market awareness. In fact, at times we have been accused of using a “stealth” or “invisible” marketing strategy. This blog will provide an engineering viewpoint on the promotion and sales of development and infrastructure software, again, drawing on the experiences with our customers and partners.
  4. The SQL Anywhere engineering team is, in my opinion, one of the most talented set of individuals ever put together. Many customers and partners I have worked with in the past have commented to me that they would like to understand more about our team, and how it works. To date, this aspect has been mostly “invisible”. Through this blog I will share some personal observations and comments about the SQL Anywhere team.


I welcome your comments and observations on any of these thoughts.

I announced last week that registration was open for the SQL Anywhere Technical Summit. This week, I am happy to report that we only have a few openings left. If you have been thinking about joining us in Waterloo for this one-of-a-kind event, then I would urge you to register soon!


This will be a great opportunity for advanced SQL Anywhere users to learn more about SQL Anywhere, speak directly with our consulting and engineering staff, as well as network with your peers.


Access the registration information here.


Also, the event itself is FREE, however attendees are responsible for flight, hotel and other travel expenses.


I am looking forward to meeting you at the event!

I mentioned the SQL Anywhere Technical Summit a couple weeks ago in a post, reminding everyone to save the date in their calendars.


It's now official, registration is now open. I would recommend that all SQL Anywhere experts take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about SQL Anywhere, speak directly with our consulting and engineering staff, as well as network with your peers.


We plan on delivering sessions that will cover SQL Anywhere Server, MobiLink, SQL Anywhere on-demand edition, as well as talking about our next major release (code named 'Nagano'), which will be going into Beta test around that time.


Access the registration information here.


Also, the event itself is FREE, however attendees are responsible for flight, hotel and other travel expenses.


I hope to see you there!

Chris Kleisath

The Pink Tie

Posted by Chris Kleisath Sep 4, 2012

This week is Orientation Week or "O-Week" at the University of Waterloo, as new students come to university for the first time. From our office in the University of Waterloo’s David Johnston Research + Technology Park, we are close to the action. I’ve written previously about how our team got our start at the University of Waterloo. Many, if not a majority, of our SQL Anywhere engineering team are graduates of the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, myself included. Additionally, we hire a number of UW coop students every term to work on our products.


University of Waterloo Math Pink TieI know that many schools and faculties have unique symbols or mascots. The symbol for the UW Faculty of Mathematics is the Pink Tie. Every incoming student has to earn their own pink tie, and during orientation week, the GIANT pink tie is hung on the side of one of the math buildings on campus. This year, the tie is hanging on the new 'Math 3' building, as seen to the right. The pink tie harkens back to Professor Ralph Stanton, the founder of the Faculty in 1967, who loved outlandish colored ties.


I myself have a pink tie from my days as a student, and still occasionally wear my pink tie pin.

As I am sure many of you heard about in 2010, SAP acquired Sybase. Throughout the beginning of 2012, I have been involved in a number of internal items related to getting Sybase SQL Anywhere to be available on the SAP price list. As you might imagine, SAP (a company of more than 50,000 employees) has its own, unique bureaucracy that is very different from Sybase’s (and certainly very different from our days in the past as WATCOM and iAnywhere!). SAP has rules for everything, including a set of product standards that must be passed prior to being placed on the SAP price list.


In order to allow our team to focus on development of SQL Anywhere on-demand edition and 'Nagano', the next major release of SQL Anywhere, I have taken on much of the work for the SA team to prepare answers to, and defend those answers for the various SQL Anywhere products. Of course, I am not working alone, and I thank everyone on the team who has provided input to me on this process. (More about 'Nagano' in future posts!)


I am pleased to report that we recently passed all the hurdles, to enable SQL Anywhere 12.0.1 to become available from the SAP price list. Over time, as Sybase further integrates into SAP, most of our products will become available on the SAP price list.

Last week, we announced that we will be holding a SQL Anywhere Technical Training event right here at our development lab in Waterloo, Ontario, on November 14th and 15th, 2012. The complete Save the Date announcement is here.


I was a big proponent of this idea when it was first suggested, as it will provide a unique opportunity for our customers and partners to interact on a one-on-one basis with our developers. We also gain, because it enables many additional folks from our team to meet you, rather than just the 4 or 5 folks who were lucky enough to travel to TechWave in previous years.


We anticipate the training sessions will appeal to those who are already experienced with SQL Anywhere, as we are putting together a good set of technical sessions covering SQL Anywhere Server, MobiLink, SQL Anywhere on-demand edition, as well as talking about our next major release (code named 'Nagano'), which will be going into Beta test around that time.


Be sure to mark the date on your calendar, and look for more information in September on how to register, etc. If you are interested in the event, be sure to provide your input by completing the survey.


I should also mention that the event itself is FREE, however attendees are responsible for flight, hotel and other travel expenses.

A Very Busy First Half of 2012
Regular readers of my blog will have certainly noticed that I have been absent from these pages for a few months. The first half of 2012 has been a busy time on the SQL Anywhere team, and this fall is shaping up to be just as busy. That said, I plan to resume blogging, and will try to keep everyone up to date on all the exciting activities on our team.


Fuji – a.k.a. SQL Anywhere on-demand edition
SQL Anywhere on-demand edition has finally shipped and is available. First demonstrated at last year’s TechWave when it was code named 'Fuji', and under development for about 2 years, the product is finally available to customers here.


SQL Anywhere on-demand edition is expressly designed for our ISV partners who require a robust, secure and manageable database system for their cloud offerings. SQL Anywhere on demand edition utilizes the shared server, separate database model for multiple tenants that I have written about in previous blog postings. This model is renowned for its ability to offer tenant customizability and security, while still enabling the ISV to easily manage a large number of tenants.

As we enter 2012, our engineering team is hard at work on our new SQL Anywhere OnDemand Edition "Fuji" product that is currently planned for GA launch in the 1st half of this year. Everyone is involved, for example:


  • Development is hard at work on the last set of features and capabilities, fixing software issues and bugs, testing performance and scalability
  • QA is working closely with development to create and run a whole series of new test suites
  • The Doc team is busy writing new books to describe how to use the new software
  • Other folks are busy working out the details for a new cloud-friendly payment process


As you read through this list, you may recognize elements of your own engineering organization. Do we have other matters to deal with? Of course we do:


  • Fixing customer issues (bugs)
  • Enhancements to SQL Anywhere Server, MobiLink and UltraLite in preparation for its next major release, currently scheduled in early 2013 (more about that later this year)


Our team's goals this year are to continue consulting our customers to ensure we understand what problems are being faced so that we are in a better position to create innovative software to solve those problems. As I say this, I am reminded of a phrase I heard recently:


To understand how to make a product better, understand what job the product is being hired to perform. - Clayton Christensen as heard listening to his talk at the Business of Software 2011 conference


One of my personal goals each year is to interact with our customers, to better understand what "job" our products are being hired to perform.


As a personal note, I would like to thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to read my blog. Andrew Coyne, a columnist in one of the newspapers I read, recently posted this thought, which resonated with me:


Of necessity, then, the writer who wishes to be read must begin with an attitude of humility before the reader. Your parents told you nobody owes you a living? Nobody owes you the two minutes it takes to read your column.


As I start this new year of 2012, I hope to keep you informed about what our team is doing, how we do it, and most importantly, to try and provide you with information you can use in your own organization to make a difference.


On behalf of all of us on the SQL Anywhere team, I would like to wish each and everyone of you a Happy New Year!