Ovrimos is perhaps not the first name you think of when you think SQL server, but the company is quickly making in-roads on a number of platforms, offering free Web downloads and trials, and pricing the product competitively.

We tested Ovrimos SQL Server under UNIX where installation is easy. You mount the CD-ROM, create a directory to unpack the tar files, and run an installation script. The process is fast. If you don’t want to modify system files, you don’t need to. You don’t need to reboot the system, either. Once the files are loaded, Ovrimos SQL Server is ready to go. This makes it one of the easiest SQL servers to install and work with from the system administration point of view.

Administration of Ovrimos SQL Server is just as easy as installation. There’s an HTML interface that provides a simple way to handle just about all needs. The interface is clean, and because it uses a standard Web browser will be available on any platform. There are a series of wizards that allow a database administrator to create an new database in just a few clicks of the mouse. Creating a new table with Ovrimos SQL Server was a lot easier than competing SQL servers. Another nice feature is that you don’t need to specify maximum sizes for your tables: they can grow as you need them to with no preallocated maximum disk size. This is a change from some competing products that because a nuisance when the database exceeds its initial size estimate.

For users, the HTML interface will probably be the primary source of query for Ovrimos SQL Server. There’s the normal slew of SQL commands that can be used, as well as applet development using Perl, Excel, and others, although the Web interface may well suffice for many users. This is especially true if they are not SQL veterans and want a simple, click and choose interface to the tables. Ovrimos SQL Server uses a graphical tree presentation of the tables and their contents, allowing users to see what is going on in the tables. For output, there is the usual print or cut-and-paste to another application, but Ovrimos SQL Server goes further with the ability to import to HTML or DHTML pages, as well as XML. SQL scripts can generate HTML code directly from a query, and the process can be automated for repetitive updates of a Web site. Ovrimos SQL Server also supports CGI so you can do anything you want with the incoming table data. On the data security side of the server, there’s referential integrity and rollbacks, as you would expect. There’s user and password access for file security.

If there’s one thing that really impressed us about Ovrimos SQL Server (other than its ease of installation and administration), it’s the speed of the package. We compared it running on our SCO Unix server to Oracle on the same platform. Ovrimos SQL Server takes a lot less system resources and runs about twice as fast for all the data tables and queries we tried (the tables were the same for both products). The difference was definitely noticeable on large tables. Whether Ovrimos SQL Server can be scaled to enormous tables like Oracle can, we didn’t investigate, but with our largest table at 100GB, we think it probably would.

Ovrimos SQL Server impressed us as a fast, easy to use SQL server. If you need a robust, inexpensive package, this is it. It’s available for a wide number of platforms and works amazingly well.

Ovrimos SQL Server
Price based on concurrent accesses. 10-access package $525.
2680 Bayshore Parkway, Suite 307
Mountain View, CA 94043
(800) 407-5170
(650) 694-4949
Fax (650) 694-4953

Summary: Remarkably good SQL server that’s faster than Microsoft’s SQL Server and Oracle, and mush easier to use!