*TimesTen Fulfills the Need for Speed

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TimesTen Performance Software is expected to announce today its Front-Tier 1.2 caching solution designed to speed Web site performance.

This software will allow sites that are prone to large spikes in traffic to more quickly conduct catalog searches, complete shopping cart purchases and deliver personalized data. This helps to avoid the slow response times and "server not found" messages that many consumers experienced during the holiday season.

The software does this by caching the information using in-memory database technology. In other words, it takes a subset of the data, otherwise known as hot data, and makes a copy. This copy is pulled to the front of the Web site's infrastructure, allowing for accelerated data retrieval.

The alternative is constant trips to the site's back end for data, which can take much longer. The result of the software is that sites are 10 times faster than sites that just use a typical Oracle database, said Jim Groff, CEO at TimesTen Performance Software, Mountain View, CA.

This is particularly valuable considering the increased amount of personalization many high-end Web sites are doing to profile and target consumers, said Groff.

"The greatest challenge these sites face is during the holiday season when there's three times the traffic volumes and five times the processing [due to personalization messaging for the consumer] than the static, predefined page," he said.

Front-Tier is not a replacement for Oracle8 and Oracle8i back-end databases, but a compliment, Groff said. The software has been certified to work with three leading application servers: BEA's WebLogic Server, Netscape Application Server from iPlanet and Art Technology Group's Dynamo Personalization Server.

The product, which costs $20,000 to $80,000 depending on the size of the cache, will begin shipping in March.

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