Introducing Jasper (SQL Anywhere 10 Beta)

If you use iAnywhere’s SQL Anywhere 10 database product, you will want to hear about Jasper. A sign of things to come in the next version of SQL Anywhere, this beta software is already making waves. Keep reading to find out why.

Introduction

Named after a popular ski resort in Canada, Jasper is the code name for the latest version of iAnywhere’s database product, SQL Anywhere 10 which is still in beta with lots of new features. The three Ps, performance, protection and productivity are fully addressed. Impressive productivity gains in report generation, which goes at lightning speeds, are made possible by storing often used queries requiring complex joins. Other reported highlights include tight integration with Microsoft Visual studio 2005, .NET 2.0 support, graphical administration tools and a host of others. Check them out after downloading the software.

This tutorial provides an overview of some of the hands-on things that database users need to perform before using this product. This tutorial shows how to install this product, what is installed and where the files are installed. It describes some of the main features, the SQL Anywhere 10 Server, the Sybase Central graphical User interface, the Interactive SQL tool for application development, and so on.

Installing SQL Anywhere 10

As mentioned, the product is in its Windows 32-bit beta, which can be downloaded after registering at http://www.ianywhere.com/promos/sqlanybeta/index.html. It is available for both Windows and Linux platforms. You can also download the documentation as well as reviewer’s guide and samples. Your installation starts with the shortcut shown in the next picture.

The InstallShield Wizard (TM) takes you through the steps by extracting the files from the package and welcomes you to the first installation step shown in this picture.

The license agreement shows the global penetration that is expected of this popular product.

After you agree to the licensing you will be asked to indicate a folder on your hard drive where the installation files may be placed as shown here. You could use the default directory, or choose a location by browsing the folder structure with the Browse… button. Click on the Next button.

This takes you to the next step where you will be asked to indicate a location for installing the shared folder. The sub-folders in the shared folder have items related to Sybase Central 5.0, Java runtime, Sybase Central native library files, and so on. Again you have the option to install shared components to a different folder by browsing. Here the default was accepted. Click on the Next button.

The ones shown with the checked boxes are the default. Should you require specific items only, you could choose them on this screen. The description of the item is shown in the right side when you highlight an item. For some of the items, however, the description may be missing in this beta edition. It is interesting that the footprint is small and can be installed on older generations of the Windows OS.

Here one can choose the type of license. The following choice was made for no particular reason. This is a single CPU machine with just one client, either will do.

This is almost the end of the installation, where the default directory is chosen.

Jasper comes fully prepared for the .NET platform, with Network and Personal DB servers (a sandbox environment), and more – see the list in the next window. When the set up is complete, make sure you read the ReadMe file.

{mospagebreak title=Installation Directory View}

The exploded view of the installation directory shows the various folders. Folders for Win32 and x86 contains some of the OS related items.

The Visual Studio-related dlls are stored in the VS8 folder.

This next picture shows the shortcuts you would find after the installation. The main items are highlighted in blue: MobiLink (session-based synchronization solution), QAnywhere (secure application-to-application messaging solution), SQL Anywhere (embeddable RDBMS), Ultralite (database for mobile devices), Interactive SQL (tool), and Sybase Central (database management dashboard).

The SQL Anywhere shortcut will take you to Network Sample, an ODBC Administrator (ODBC is mostly used) and a Personal Server sample. SQL Anywhere 10 also comes with a demo database, demo10.

With the installation you also get samples and documentation.

{mospagebreak title=Sybase Central and Interactive SQL show up in Visual Studio 2005}

From within Visual Studio 2005 (also supported in VS 2003) you can start both Sybase Central and Interactive SQL, which open in their own windows, although the Microsoft Visual Studio splash window lists SQL Anywhere 10 explorer. From then on you will need the username and password to get to the utility or connecting to databases which are unchanged from the previous version.

User Name: dba and Password: sql

Starting and stopping the servers

It is very easy to start and stop the servers. From Start -> All Programs -> SQL Anywhere 10 ->, you can choose the Network Sample or the Personal Server sample to start the servers. The following screen should show up for the network server; it will get minimized and stay on the desktop tray. Notice the location of the database file, demo.db, and picture transaction log file demo.log. You can use the Shutdown button to stop the server.

{mospagebreak title=Management Dashboard: Sybase Central}

Sybase Central is a dashboard for all database related activities, very much like the MS SQL 2005 server’s Management Studio. It has some similarities to the earlier version, with a more modern look and a better arranged folder structure, which makes navigation easier. It also has a task menu item, listing all four key components. To compare with the earlier version read my previous article on the older version. Also review the four articles on the ASPFree site for usage of Sybase Central as well as Interactive SQL. Accessing Sybase Central uses the same trail, Start -> All Programs -> SQL Anywhere 10 ->Sybase Central. While you are at it, do not forget to cycle through the tips which provide capsules of information related to enhancements.

Graphical Interface: Interactive SQL

The Interactive SQL interface has not changed very much. In Sybase Central version 5.0, the present version, you can connect to both SQL Anywhere 10 and Ultralite databases, as shown in the next picture. Again I refer you to the aforementioned previous article. You can access the Interactive SQL user interface from the same trail, Start -> All Programs -> SQL Anywhere 10 ->Interactive SQL. The first screen you will face is the Connect screen, where you need to provide Username and Password, which are respectively dba and sql, and a server name or database file located under the Database tab. You may also provide an ODBC source name, or ODBC source file, if such a thing has been configured.

The next screen shows an attempt being made to connect to the demo10.db by providing the file name (you may browse to the location where it is installed). You can test the connectivity by clicking on the drop-down, Tools which shows only one item, Test Connection.

The test connection turns up a window as shown, where you can copy the file generated during connection. This can be very useful for trouble shooting connectivity problems.

Database Connectivity

The installation also installs the following for database connectivity related items:

For ODBC Connectivity:

SQL Anywhere        10,          Ver.10.00.00.2117
UltraLite           10,          Ver.10.00.00.2117
iAnywhere solutions 10 – Oracle, Ver.10.00.00.2117

For OLE DB:

SQL Anywhere OLE DB Provider 10

Summary

The installation of Jasper was uneventful and fast. The interface is rich in features; only a few of them were explored in this tutorial. Out of the box, it is integrated with Visual Studio 2003 and Visual Studio 2005, besides providing traditional ODBC, OLEDB, and other interfaces for database connectivity. The user interface is very much improved with new features. Jasper has many facets besides being a database server; it really is a one-stop solution for distributed database management. Some of the other features will be explored in future tutorials. The author would like to thank David Jonker, Product Manager at Sybase iAnywhere, for helpful suggestions in the preparation of this article.

One thought on “Introducing Jasper (SQL Anywhere 10 Beta)

  1. There are enhancements all around. The four major items have their own well designed design areas. One of the important strengths of SQL Anywhere, namely synchronizing with clients is much improved with a wizard who steps you thorough the process.
    The .NET support is much better integrated including a Native OLE DB interface. Look out for my article, “Provider Factory in ADO.NET 2.0″ which gives the uniform way data access is made in VS 2005 for SQL Server, Oracle, SQL Anywhere, and Ole DB sources. Check out the software by downloading from their beta site.

    I look forward to your comments and questions.

    Sincerely,

    Jay

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