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MOBILE DATABASES

A mobile database is a database that can be connected to by a mobile computing device over a mobile
network. The client and server have wireless connections. A cache is maintained to hold frequent data
and transactions so that they are not lost due to connection failure. A database is a structured way to
organize information. This could be a list of contacts, price information or distance travelled.
The use of laptops, mobiles and PDAs is increasing and likely to increase in the future with more and
more applications residing in the mobile systems. While those same analysts cant tell us exactly which
applications will be the most popular, it is clear that a large percentage will require the use of a database
of some sort. Many applications such as databases would require the ability to download information from
an information repository and operate on this information even when out of range or disconnected.
An example of this is a mobile workforce. In this scenario, a user would require access to update
information from files in the home directories on a server or customer records from a database. This type
of access and work load generated by such users is different from the traditional workloads seen
in clientserver systems of today. With the advent of mobile databases, now users can load up
their smart phones or PDAs with mobile databases to exchange mission-critical data remotely without
worrying about time or distance. Mobile databases let employees enter data on the fly. Information can
be synchronized with a server database at a later time.

Need for mobile databases

Mobile users must be able to work without a wireless connection due to poor or even non-existent
connections.

Applications must provide significant interactivity.

Applications must be able to access local device/vehicle hardware, such as printers, bar code
scanners, or GPS units (for mapping or Automatic Vehicle Location systems).

Bandwidth must be conserved (a common requirement on wireless networks that charge


per megabyte or data transferred).

Users don't require access to truly live data, only recently modified data.

Limited life of power supply(battery)

The changing topology of network

If your application meets any of those requirements, the chances are good that you will be required to
build a mobile database application with synchronization

Mobile database system architecture


For any mobile architecture, things to be considered are:

Users are not attached to a fixed geographical location

Mobile computing devices: low-power, low-cost, portable

Wireless networks

Mobile computing constraints

Three parties
Mobile databases typically involve three parties: fixed hosts, mobile units, and base stations. Fixed
hosts perform the transaction and data management functions with the help of database servers. Mobile
units are portable computers that move around a geographical region that includes the cellular
network (or "cells") that these units use to communicate to base stations. (Note that these networks need
not be cellular telephone networks.) Base stations are two-way radios, installations in fixed locations, that
pass communications with the mobile units to and from the fixed hosts. They are typically low-power
devices such as mobile phones, portable phones, or wireless routers.

When a mobile unit leaves a cell serviced by a particular base station, that station transparently transfers
the responsibility for the mobile unit's transaction and data support to whichever base station covers the
mobile unit's new location.

Products
Sybase Inc.s SQL Anywhere dominates the mobile-database field, with about 68 percent of the mobile
database market. IBMs DB2 Everyplace is a relational database and enterprise synchronization server
that extends enterprise applications to mobile devices. Microsoft SQL Server Compact and Oracle9i
Lite are similar mobile databases. Products from lesser-known vendors, such as SQLBase from Gupta
Technologies LLC of Redwood Shores, Calif., HanDBase from DDH Software Inc. of Lake Worth, Fla.and
Cellica Database from Cellica Corporation NY, might serve your needs equally well. On Apple's iOS,
the DataGlass Mobile Database Client line of products by impathic offers file-based access to Microsoft
Access databases and client-server access to Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, MySQL, Oracle,
and PostgreSQL.

Sybase's SQL Anywhere


SQL Anywhere offers enterprise-caliber databases that scale from 64-bit servers with thousands of users
down to small handheld devices. SQL Anywheres data exchange technologies extend information in
corporate applications and enterprise systems to databases running in mission-critical frontline
environments. Design and management tools within SQL Anywhere enable developers to implement and
deploy frontline applications and equip administrators to easily manage and support them.

SQL Anywhere Technologies


SQL Anywhere Server is a high performing and embeddable relational database-management system
(RDBMS) that scales from thousands of users in server environments down to desktop and mobile
applications used in widely deployed, zero-administration environments.
Ultralite: UltraLite is a database-management system designed for small-footprint mobile devices such as
PDAs and smart phones.
Mobilink: MobiLink is a highly-scalable, session-based synchronization technology for exchanging data
among relational databases and other non-relational data sources.
QAnywhere: QAnywhere facilitates the development of robust and secure store-and-forward mobile
messaging applications.
SQL Remote: SQL Remote technology is based on a store and forward architecture that allows
occasionally connected users to synchronize data between SQL Anywhere databases using a file or
message transfer mechanism.

IBM DB2 Everyplace (DB2e)


DB2e stores, retrieves, organizes and manages data on a handheld device. The data on the handheld
device is synchronized to a server-based relational database management system (RDMS). DB2e is
currently available for Palm OS, EPOC, Neutrino, Windows CE and embedded Linux DB2e on the
handheld device includes:

IBM DB2 Database Engine

IBM Sync

Query By Example (QBE)

DB2e includes a component called Synchronization Server, which:

Allows synchronization between DB2e and server database

Mobile Device Administration Center (MDAC)

Table encryption for version 8.1.1

Java ME Sync Client for cell phones and pagers

Microsoft SQL Server Compact (formerly SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition)
Microsoft SQL Server Compact (SSC) is a small footprint embedded database designed for developers
who target Microsoft Windows mobile-based devices or desktops. It provides synchronization
with Microsoft SQL Server, programming APIs, integrated development experience through Visual
Studio and a Management Studio.

Oracle9i Lite
This is a complete solution for mobile or wireless applications that require the use of a relational database
on the mobile client. It includes support for Win32, Windows CE, PalmOS, and EPOC database clients,
integration with Oracle's Advanced Queuing (AQ) mechanism, and data and application synchronization
[citation
software (to enterprise Oracle databases. The Oracle9i Lite relational database is surprisingly
needed]
powerful. The database supports 100% Java development (through JDBC drivers and the
database's native support for embedded SQLJ and Java stored procedures) as well as programming from
any development tool that supports ODBC (Visual Basic, C++, Delphi, and so on).

Others
Borland's JDataStore
Borland JDataStore 6 is a fast, versatile Java database for truly portable embedded, mobile, and Web
server applications. Compliant with Java and SQL92 standards, the JDataStore database features a very
small footprint, requires practically zero maintenance, and delivers the performance, scalability, and
synchronization capabilities of a full-power database.
MobiSnap
MobiSnap, a research project that aims to support the development of SQL based applications for mobile
environments, providing conquerable support for data divergence control and connectivity abstractions.
MobiSnap aims at developing a middle-ware infrastructure that allows access to relational database
systems from mobile computers with a clear semantics in all operational scenarios (from high to
unavailable connectivity). This platform will isolate programmers from the problems related to mobility and
disconnection, allowing them to easily develop new applications for mobile environments, focusing only
on application specific problems. MobiSnap will be based on SQL, thereby also providing close
integration to legacy information systems.

Uses
Mobile databases are highly concentrated in the retail and logistic industry. It is increasingly being used in
aviation and transportation industry.