Pervasive Introduces SDK

A software development kit (SDK) is more often than not a necessity in today's world, as the financial health of many software vendors -- operating system and database vendors in particular -- is often directly correlated to their success in engendering application support for their respective platforms. With the announcement of the Pervasive.SQL SDK, Pervasive Software Inc. (Austin, Texas, hopes to give developers leveraging its Pervasive.SQL database a powerful rapid application development (RAD) tool.

According to Gary Allison, engineering product manager for the Pervasive.SQL SDK, the prevalence of Pervasive's Pervasive.SQL database in both small- and midsize companies, as well as at the departmental level in many enterprises, provided the original impetus for his company's development of a comprehensive SDK. "Pervasive is not only targeted at the small- and midsize businesses, but what we've also seen is that departments inside large enterprises tend to behave like small- and midsize businesses," Allison says. "They have a need for a zero administration database such as Pervasive.SQL, and so they'll turn to our product."

The Pervasive.SQL SDK comprises a number of RAD resources, including Pervasive's I*net Data Server, ActiveX controls, a pure Java API, and support for popular Windows development environments from both Microsoft Corp. and Inprise Corp. (Scotts Valley, Calif.,

The incorporation of a number of resources makes the Pervasive.SQL SDK a robust development environment, says beta tester Davin Church, president of Creative Software Design, an independent software vendor based in Mesquite, Texas. "We were using two-version-old standalone code to write current network code," says Church, "and our job was made a lot easier because the SDK now includes the client workstation code in addition to the server code."

Accordingly, the I*net Data Server utility that is included with the Pervasive.SQL SDK lets developers write Pervasive.SQL-based applications in several Windows development environments, including Visual Basic, Visual C++ and Java. Developers can code applications and run them as Web-based or Internet-based client/server solutions. The I*net Data Server provides a connection to Pervasive-based data over the Internet, intranets or extranets that allows developers to create single-user workstation or multiuser client/server applications.

The new Pervasive.SQL SDK also leverages ActiveX access to the Pervasive.SQL interface, which Pervasive's Allison says allows developers to write directly to the database from popular Delphi and Visual Basic environments. Because ActiveX components reduce the amount of code developers need to write to create packaged applications, Allison says that the Pervasive.SQL SDK offers advantages in performance over competing products. Performance is also augmented by the integration of the ActiveX controls with the native Pervasive.SQL API instead of ODBC. The Pervasive.SQL SDK includes a native Java Native Interface (JNI) and Java class libraries, as well.

As Pervasive's Allison maintains, the Pervasive.SQL SDK doesn't attempt to replace an enterprise developer's existing integrated development environment (IDE). "Our market is not to deliver an IDE; rather, our market is to play with all of the standard IDEs," Allison acknowledges. "We don't want to be in the IDE game, and we're not going to be able to compel people to change what their favorite IDE is, because they've grown their technical expertise around this IDE, and we don't want to."

Consequently, the Pervasive.SQL SDK offers support for most of the major IDEs available for the Win32, including Microsoft Visual Basic and Microsoft Visual C++; Borland Delphi, C++ Builder, JBuilder; and Symantec Visual Café. The SDK also supports C, C++, Java and Cobol programming languages.

Even though the Pervasive.SQL is designed to work with any number of development environments, Creative Software Design's Church says that it's the SDK's ability to interoperate with nearly any IDE that he finds most important. "I built my own [development] interface, which is something else that [the Pervasive.SQL SDK] lets you do," he explains. "If you want a specialty environment, you can build it yourself with very little problems. If you want to use one of the less popular languages that they don't already have interfaces built for, it works just as well for those, too."