Product Reviews

Briefing: Attunity

Connect to legacy data without abandoning your new, slick API.

I had a nice chat the other day with the Director of Product Management for Attunity. Their product, Attunity Connect (or more properly, suite of products - there's a mix-and-match approach to buying what you need) is designed to help developers get to legacy and enterprise data sources using modern APIs. You can think of it as a near-universal piece of database middleware, with much more reach than things like OLE DB or ODBC. How far does it reach? Well, on the server side, it can get data from Adabas, Btrieve, IMS, Red Brick, MUMPS, NonStop SQL, and many more (including better-known sources like Oracle, DB2, and SQL Server). On the client, there are versions of Attunity Connect that run on Windows, Solaris, Red Hat Linux, HP-UX, and more. Client protocols they speak include ADO, ODBC, JDBC, XML, COM, and lots more. Get the picture? For hooking things up, Attunity is extremely flexible. Their goal is to get your enterprise data out and working in your current applications.

Inside Attunity, you'll find both a data engine and an application engine. The data engine manages heterogenous transactional data access across all of the supported sources. The data engine implements a uniform SQL-92 syntax and two-phase commit across the supported data sources. The application engine provides access to application protocols such as COM and XML, as well as support for things like event management. The application engine can also expose server-side transaction managers to the client. There's also a Windows-based management tool to let you keep everything working.

You can already use Attunity with .NET, by leveraging their ADO, XML, and OLE DB support. They're also planning to ship a native .NET provider for Attunity Connect early next year, which will help integrate the tool more closely with .NET applications.

Pricing is per machine per driver. You select which data source you'd like, and then one price gets you all of the protocols hooked up to that driver. You'll find fully installed and configured pricing starts around $5000, depending on which pieces you need. You can also sign up at the Attunity Developer Exchange ( and get free access to developer forums, white papers, and evaluation versions of the software.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.


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