BMC Software Webs for the DBA

  • Written By: M. Reed
  • Published On: May 31 2000



BMC Software Webs for the DBA
M. Reed - May 31, 2000

Event Summary

BMC Software, Inc., (NASDAQ: BMCS), a provider of what they refer to as "application service assurance", today introduced Web DBA. Web DBA is the company's first Web-based interactive database solution that requires only a standard Internet browser to address the day-to-day database management tasks faced by today's database administrators (DBA) and developers.

"Web DBA is BMC Software's answer to our customers' database management issues - they asked us for it, they helped us design it and they continue to offer support through Web DBA's e-community," said Joyce Durst, vice president, enterprise data availability for BMC Software. "Our customers needed one product that could meet their day-to-day database management needs and one that anyone - from expert to novice - could use. Web DBA provides that solution."

Developed with the customer in mind, Web DBA speeds and simplifies routine tasks Oracle database administrators must conduct everyday, and enables developers and database administrators to manage and control their databases from anywhere, anytime. Web DBA also marks a new architecture for BMC Software and is the first of a suite of Web product solutions that will continue to be introduced throughout 2000. Future introductions to the product line will include Web DBA for DB2 UDB, Web DBA for SQL Server, and Web DBA for OS/390.

"We manage numerous database environments across the country, so our business relies on our ability to remotely manage and access our clients' databases. With its Web-based architecture, Web DBA will provide us with a powerful tool that will help us manage all of our day-to-day DBA tasks, anytime, anywhere," said Mark Vorholt, chief technology officer for DBAdirect, a lead player in the remote management of database support services, delivering database support via dial-up and the internet to perform database administration tasks for clients using Oracle, Sybase, Informix or MS SQL Server databases. DBAdirect acts as a company's "virtual DBA staff" to offload the burden of database management from clients, allowing them to concentrate on systems to keep the business moving forward. "We tell our customers 'we're there when you need us,' and, using BMC's Web DBA, we will further ensure that our clients' databases are accessible, available and up and running 24 X 7."

Customers may testdrive, download, install and purchase Web DBA via the BMC Software Web site. Web DBA is priced at $995 per user with fixed quantity discounting. Currently available in beta, Web DBA is will be generally available in June 2000.

Market Impact

This product from BMC is designed to compete with products such as DesktopDBA from Computer Associates and DBArtisan from Embarcadero Technologies. Although it is designed to be purely web based, which these other products have not been, it remains to be seen whether BMC will be able to compete in this space with these other established players. BMC does have a strong presence in the database space, and is running out of competitors due to the fact that Computer Associates has acquired both Platinum Technology and Sterling Software, both traditionally strong in this area. When BMC chairman Max Watson was asked by TEC how they intend to compete with CA, he responded "coopetition". It will be interesting to see whether they can successfully "co-op" with Computer Associates, given their competition over product lines such as BMC Patrol versus CA Unicenter.

Some of the most useful facets of the product include remote access, browser-based instance management, an on-line discussion group, and a "V$Navigator", which is an intelligent navigator into Oracle's V$ tables (dynamic performance tables used by Oracle DBAs).

User Recommendations

BMC Software's new product offering should be included on a long list of vendors considered for DBA productivity tools, keeping in mind the fact that the product does not go into general availability until June of 2000, and only on Oracle. The release date for IBM DB2 UDB support is stated to be Q3 2000, with Microsoft SQL Server following in Q4. The release date for IBM OS/390 support has not been announced.

BMC has long been a strong vendor in the database and system maintenance space, and indicated that they are strongly committed to this area of the market. The product can be downloaded and testdriven via the web, so at the least, it can be used for comparison with other products. BMC does intend to "plug in" other database products from their large stable, and may eventually design a fully functional suite.

 
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