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Is it time to get Lazy?

When it comes to the database -- lazy is better. At least that's what the folks behind Lazy Software think. They're just crazy about Sentences, a new relational database software.

UK-based Lazy Software has an industrious task in mind: Challenge the relational database.

With less than 50 employees and about 45 customers, Lazy Software is trying to challenge the relational database supremacy of companies such as Oracle. Lazy's Sentences database is based on the "associative model of data," the brainchild of Simon Williams, Lazy Software's CEO and co-founder. Williams believes the associative model makes developing programs much easier than relational databases.

The company's name isn't a joke but plays off the company's mission. "I had a mathematics teacher once tell me that all the great mathematicians were lazy. They looked for the simplest, easiest solution to a problem," Williams said. "Programmers should try to do the same thing."

Lazy Software proclaims Sentences allows applications to be written much faster. "I found the issue of software reuse wasn't about better programming but about the structure of the database," Williams said.

Relational databases require applications to be rewritten when the database changes and vice versa. Sentences breaks that dependence chain, William said. Applications are independent of the Sentences database.

Atlanta-based application service provider M2 Technologies is using Sentences to store the data for the Web sites and solutions it develops and hosts for chambers of commerce and other membership organizations.

"For us, it's a matter of granularity. Sentences scales very well for large amounts of small bits of data," said Thomas P. Lennon Jr. M2's executive vice president of business development and strategic planning. "You also don't have to be a programming genius to get a huge database up and working."

While the company is aiming its product towards relational database users, it realizes its place. A database like Sentences is to a relational database like a microwave oven is to a conventional oven, Williams said. "Each has its role, side-by-side. You wouldn't cook a TV dinner in an oven much as you wouldn't cook a 25-pound turkey in a microwave," he said.

The newest version of Sentences, version 2, runs on Windows, Solaris, Linux and AIX platforms. It's also been certified IBM Server Proven with WebSphere on IBM's eServer iSeries, pSeries and xSeries.

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