Valentina COM beta, the latest offering from Ukraine-based Paradigma Software, provides Visual Basic users with a sturdy, affordable tool for working with object relational databases.
Like the other Valentina development kits, Valentina COM is based on Valentina's own database kernel.
Paradigma spokesperson Lynn Fredricks said Valentina's database kernel is the result of seven years of advanced object-oriented database research in by the company's founder, Ukrainian professor Ruslan Zasukhin.
"It's an extremely fast and robust database. Creating an application with VB... using some other client product, if you get up a 100,000 records, very often there's a dramatic slowdown or stability problems," Fredricks said.
Fredricks was reluctant to divulge the "secret recipe" behind the Valentina kernel, but he did say it gains its speed and stability from a hyper-intelligent new way of generating and maintaining indexes.
"Because of its innovations it can handle millions of records, provided that you have a fair amount of RAM," Fredricks said.
The groups most likely to benefit from Valentina COM are custom software and systems developers. They'll be impressed by how easily it handles large amounts of data, according to Fredricks.
"Nowadays, in an e-business application, you're no longer managing just a few hundred sales contacts. You have to deal with thousands of contacts.
"To deal with that amount of data, you need an extremely robust database. If you have a moderately busy Web site, you wouldn't want to do a lot of database work with Access," Fredricks said.
During the earlier stages of testing, Zasukhin used Valentina COM to successfully build a database of every listing in the entire Russian telephone directory. That index includes several million entries.
To entice users into experimenting with the open beta version of the product, Paradigma will be giving away more than a dozen copies of the final product.
Visual Basic, Imprise Delphi, and Macromedia Authorware users must submit creative uses or applications of VCOM beta to Paradigma. Developers will judge the entries in early August and award the prize to the top five applications in each category.
Fredricks said not only is it a way to encourage feedback on the product, but it also may help smaller companies gain well-deserved exposure because the winning entries will be featured as sample codes in the final release.
"It's a great way for software developers to get the word out about their companies because they can include information about their own products, as well," Fredricks said.
The final release will retail for $199, with conditions for royalty-free distribution. The beta version is available as a free download.
While Valentina COM is a client database product, Paradigma is currently developing a Valentina enterprise database server offering. It is being designed to compete with Microsoft Corp.'s SQL Server, and is scheduled for release by the end of the year.