The Role of SQL Anywhere within the SAP Real-Time Data Platform
This post is a follow-up of SQL Anywhere – Your Flight-Mode Database Server
One major benefit of the SAP Real-Time Data Platform is the orchestration of the various elements of the SAP Database Technology family of products. While each product has its own set of use cases, the platform integrating them provides an environment where the specific strengths of the components are highlighted. So this post is intended to showcase the contribution of SQL Anywhere to this platform approach.
First, let’s look at a world where all aspects of Data Management except SQL Anywhere are hidden:
The orange colored cylinders symbolize possible SQL Anywhere database nodes.
The primary role of SQL Anywhere inside the Real-Time Data Platform is to enable the deployment of Database Applications with low administration requirements and reduced footprint on both hard and soft embedded equipment and on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets or laptops. This bears a tendency to reduce SQL Anywhere to “The Mobility Database” or “The Embedded Data Store”, but explicitly includes the option of a deployment in Client- Server-, Multi- Tier and Desktop environments. And many of the integration capabilities required for the mobility infrastructure also provide the foundation for a Fractal IT infrastructure cell (when interested, find more information about Fractal IT at the bottom of this article).
You may or may not know the metaphor of the container filled with stones (or golf balls) until no more stones fit in. However, there is still some space to hold sand. And if the bucket is all filled with stones and sand, there’s still some water that can be poured into the container, occupying available space unused by the bigger granularities. Within this metaphor, SQL Anywhere is best suited to take the role of sand and water.
At the risk of over- extending this metaphor, SQL Anywhere from an Information Liquidity perspective can be the loose cash of your information infrastructure. In financial liquidity, the loose cash in your pockets is what you have under immediate control, just like a SQL Anywhere database, that you can run on hardware in your direct range and under your individual control. It can act as the vehicle to bring information infrastructure close to you on a Departmental or Workgroup server or even your Individual PC or mobile device (rather than somewhere in a faraway data center). For hardware like a Netbook / Ultrabook or stronger, you can consider it a full-grown and full-feature database server with no limits but the power of the hardware it runs upon. For mobile devices smaller than these, you’ll usually use it embedded in an application (such as SUP / SMP).
Now, as we look at the integration aspect which is one of the core concepts of the Real-Time Data Platform, the integrative capabilities of SQL Anywhere enter the game by connecting – continuously or occasionally – the SQL Anywhere nodes to the central IT infrastructure.
The blue lines here symbolize continuous database to database connections. Orange boxes represent middleware for occasionally connected data movement (such as MobiLink). Orange lines symbolize occasionally connected data movement paths.
So, within the Real-Time Data Platform, SQL Anywhere with its accompanying infrastructure extends the range of the Data Center focused IT infrastructure to nodes temporarily disconnected or connected via unstable, slow or insecure lines and to environments too lightweight to operate a database server with an enterprise level footprint.
What are your ideas for data you prefer to have available even when the networks are down or out of reach?
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About Fractal IT: The term originates from the concept of the “Fractal Factory” [German article] or “Fractal Company” which was published in the 90s or even late 80s by the German professor Hans-Jürgen Warnecke (President of the Fraunhofer Society) and follows the idea that, like in the visualization of a Mandelbrot set, a factory or an enterprise can be organized in a way that the smaller sub-entities resemble the structures of the large scale entity.
Transformed into IT, this means that departments or local plants can have their own subset of infrastructure, which is a perfect habitat for SQL Anywhere due to its ease of administration, lightweight infrastructure requirements and low TCO.
- Safari Books: Fractal-Based Enterprise Management System
- “The Fractal Company” in Google Books
- “Die Fraktale Fabrik” (German) in Fraunhofer publications