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Based on published research by industry analysts, over 400 million special-purpose electronic, non-PC embedded devices will be sold this year and over 1.2 billion units by the year 2001. By 2002, analysts predict shipments of smart handheld devices such as PDAs, Palm Pilots and smart phones will reach 25 million units. By year 2003, analysts project that smart cards equipped with miniature databases could make their way into virtually every purse and wallet in America. More than a billion chip cards were shipped worldwide in 1998 alone.

Imagine carrying your new multi-application smart card, which may have credit, debit and reloadable electronic cash functions. Add to that your personal profile information and the ability that lets you store loyalty programs and loyalty points on the card. With the security of a smart card and the power of Pervasive's database, an online Internet transaction can be placed securely without your having to provide your credit card number. Electronic copies of the receipts can be recorded on the card, as can new loyalty programs you may choose to participate in. With a standard method for storing and accessing data, such as Pervasive's Java Card SQL database, the electronic receipts can later be queried and exported directly into desktop applications such as Quicken. Imagine never worrying about lost receipts or filling out corporate expense reports! Never before has this level of application and database interoperability been available in smart cards.

In partnership with Schlumberger, the leading supplier of smart card technology, Pervasive is participating in the Java Card Forum Database Subcommittee to lead the effort to promote an industry-standard database interface for smart cards. The objectives of the database subcommittee are to define an open, on-card database access API for Java Card, basing the on-card database API on JDBC, and to define a SQL dialect for use with all on-card implementations. Pervasive is committed to providing an industry-standard open card specification promoting open database access across all cards.

Pervasive's small-footprint database, Pervasive.SQL 2000 for Smart Cards, is a sub-8 K engine designed to integrate with the Java Card environment. It provides both on-card and off-card interfaces; the former is referred to as Java Card-JDBC or JC-JDBC, while off-card the engine can be accessed using standard desktop interfaces such as ODBC and/or JDBC.

Pervasive.SQL 2000 for Smart Cards was announced in early June as part of a family of database information management solutions that also includes Pervasive.SQL for Embedded Devices as a sub-100 K data engine for real-time systems such as VxWorks, WinCE, QNX, Neutrino, Phar Lap and PalmOS. This highly portable, full-featured, small-footprint engine is well suited for use in Internet-enabled information appliances such as set-top boxes, Internet screen phones, Web-enabled PDAs and even smart refrigerators. A sibling, Pervasive.SQL for Mobile Devices, is a sub-350 K data engine for WinCE that includes integrated replication, remote access and event management designed to fill the needs of nomadic applications.

The big brother of the family, Pervasive.SQL 2000 for PC platforms, is built on decades of experience in delivering database software for use in low-maintenance applications. The new release features industry-standard SQL support and a type III JDBC driver in the SDK.

To summarize, Pervasive's goal is to support applications from the wallet to the Web. Realizing that no one size fits all, Pervasive has developed appropriate solutions for all applications. These solutions integrate with one another, expose compatible interfaces and support data replication. For the wallet (Java cards) Pervasive has developed a sub-8 K SQL engine that supports a significant subset of the JDBC API. For the Web there's Pervasive.SQL 2000. Pervasive.SQL for Embedded Devices and Pervasive.SQL for Mobile Devices round out the product line and provide support for everything in between.

You can learn more about these exciting technologies through Pervasive's Beta and partner programs. Beta release of the complete Pervasive.SQL 2000 family is available for download at www.pervasive.com. Developer resources for Pervasive's products are available from www.pervasive.com/developerzone.

About the Author
Ron Harris, president and CEO of Pervasive Software, has been involved in successful entrepreneurial ventures for most of the last decade. He spun Pervasive Software out of Novell, Inc., in 1994 and engineered Pervasive's successful IPO in 1997 and a secondary IPO in 1999. Harris is also a cofounder of Citrix Systems.

 

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