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Doug's Mailbag: The Passing of Sybase, Google and Microsoft Duke It Out

One reader eulogizes the dearly-departed Sybase:

I remember working on Microsoft SQL Server 4 in 1992 -- it still referenced Sybase in the documentation at that point. It was stable, though, and worked well in our environment. Around the same time, I learned PowerSoft's PowerBuilder which made development against the SQL Server database much easier. PowerBuilder for local apps used the Watcom database engine which was an extremely quick SQL engine. Watcom was acquired by PowerSoft and morphed into SQL Anywhere. Sybase acquired PowerSoft shortly thereafter.

So, all of these products (except MS SQL Server) are owned by Sybase now and by SAP overall. All are really good products, but with most large companies, you are either an SAP shop or an Oracle shop (I won't include the others, no disrespect intended) and usually do not buy tools from the other ERP vendor. I think this will hurt PowerBuilder as it has already seen a decline due to the growth of .NET and Java. I hope SAP is able to re-invigorate the product lines and not just cast off PowerBuilder. SAP has major investments in java and ABAP already.

It is kind of funny to note that Microsoft used PowerBuilder internally. In fact, the "datagridview" in .net 2005 is very similar to the functionality of PowerBuilder's "datawindow" -- only 15 years late.
Joe

With Google and Microsoft squaring off to be your cloud-based document solution, here's what a couple of readers have to say about the situation:

I've just read your article about Google getting stronger. Like many people, I have followed Google for a number of years and always used to joke around and say that one day houses would have Google Thin Clients in them…

I think without Google, we wouldn't have seen the Web version of Microsoft Office or today's updates to Hotmail. I think we have a few very interesting years ahead of us, and working in IT means I'm very excited about what the future holds. It'll be interesting to see what amazing solutions are going to be developed by Google and Microsoft. I think there is room for both of them. Google is most certainly capable of giving Microsoft some much needed competition.
Jonathan

NO, NO, NO. I do not trust either MS or Google (or anyone else) to secure my data in the "cloud." I want my data in my business, backed up on my servers and not available to any hacker who wants to try to snag it.
-Jay

 Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to [email protected] Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).

Posted by Doug Barney on May 19, 2010 at 11:53 AM


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