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Consolidated Database Creation

Sybase Unwired Platform Article Series #3

Though the title of this article is about the Consolidated Database, I will be discussing equally the Remote database. But before let me recap on Synchronization...

Synchronization is the sharing of data between consolidated and remote databases, where a summary of changes are synchronized instead of all changes. The Synchronization process can provide subsets of data defined by client or server and supports Bidirectional and unidirectional synchronization, with the guarantee of data consistency.

Basic Sync

Data is downloaded to the remote database and Data is uploaded to the consolidated database. For uploads change tracking is built into the remote database/client and ONLY changes since the last complete synchronization are sent. Download data is selected from the consolidated database based on synchronization scripts. With SUP these scripts are created automatically but can be amended if required.

Below is a diagram of the consolidated database for iSurvey, created in SQL Anywhere 11. Unlike some applications, all of these tables within the iSurvey consolidated database will appear within the remote database. Sometimes the data in the remote database used for mobile applications is a 'slice and dice' of the consolidated database. By that I mean maybe not all the tables or all of the columns of the tables are used in the remote, as well as the data being partitioned by users. This last point is true for iSurvey... by suid. The remote database for SUP on iOS is SQLite and the synchronization method is Message Based. For Windows 32, Windows Mobile and Blackberry you can use Replication based synchronization, along with Sybase's SQLAnywhere/UltraLite database.

Consolidated DB

What I have not mentioned up until now is the creation of the Remote Database. Reason is that this step falls in the areas on defining the Mobile Business Objects (MBO's that I will explain next week) and when running the application. Basically when defining the MBO's you are defining what the Remote Database will look like and when the Mobile application connects to the Unwired Server the Remote Database will be created on the device automatically, then the synchronization of data will occur.

Whilst writing this week's article, I had a conversation with another LinkedIn use with respect to SQL Anywhere and SUP, the question was...

"I have been developing ASA apps for the last 10 years; and have been trying to find out how to port my existing apps to the iPad; is this SUP effectively spelling the end of ASA?".

Here was my answer...

"ASA is NOT going away.... and it ROCKS! The skills you learn with ASA and ML etc can be used across platform, though the programming against it would have to be different for each platform. SUP is the best was to go forward if you are building for different OS'/Devices and many apps.... check out the other articles I have...for example http://ianthain.ulitzer.com/node/1612037. SUP has a Device Application Designer that will help generate an application, to a certain point.... then you can enhance them in the language of the device... Objective-C for iOS, C# for WM etc. Or create the app from scratch in language of the device"

Separate to SUP, here is a list of supported databases with SQL Anywhere...

“Remote database”

  • UltraLite, UltraLiteJ, SQL Anywhere

“Consolidated database”

  • SQL Anywhere
  • Sybase ASE
  • Oracle
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • IBM DB2 UDB LUW (Linux, Unix, Windows)
  • IBM Mainframe
  • MySQL

Please check back weekly on a Friday for the next article and please follow me on Twitter @ithain

More Stories By Ian Thain

As one of the Sybase Technical Evangelists, Ian regularly addresses technical audiences all over the world and his sessions are always very well attended. He also writes education classes, whitepapers, demos and articles for various Sybase products and publishes regularly in Journals such as SYS-CON's PBDJ and International Developer Magazine. He is also the Sybase Unwired Platform & PocketBuilder Evangelist and works closely with the team in Dublin, CA and Concord, MA on new features and demonstrations for the products. In his customer-facing Evangelist role, Ian is very involved with the design, production and testing of Enterprise class Unwired Solutions, that have been implemented using Sybase's Unwired tools for Sybase customers around the globe. In addition, Ian is a dedicated technical expert continually working with Sybase's key partners and clients to enhance the capabilities of the Unwired solutions that Sybase can offer to its customers. Ian can also be found on Twitter @ithain

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