"We focus not on the storage of XML, but on the processing of scalable XML data," says Thomas Tesch, CEO of XML database developer Infonyte. The company claims that its approach to XML querying and transformation can help organisations build far more scalable XML-based applications.
"Transformation of XML is a big issue," says Tesch. Due to the complexity involved in processing XML documents, a document that occupies 20 megabytes on a disk will consume up to 400 megabytes of main memory when it is taken out of the database and processed, he says.
The centrepiece of Infonyte's technology is its binary indexing format that enables users to place only parts of a big XML document that they need to work on in main memory, as opposed to the entire document.
This means that users of Infonyte-DB can process, query or transform data "in the order of gigabytes and not just 10 or 20 megabytes," says Tesch. Infonyte-DB can also store XML documents of up to a terabyte in size.
Infonyte-DB was developed in Java and runs in the Java runtime environment, enabling it to be deployed on a wide range of hardware platforms and operating systems. The software has been embedded in a number of third-party products, including web portals, B2B exchanges, content management systems and wireless applications.
Based in Darmstadt, Germany, Infonyte was founded in December 2000, a spin-out from the Integrated Publication and Information Systems Institute (IPSI), where Infonyte's founders developed one of the first Java-based XML storage and query applications for large XML documents.
For 2002, Tesch expects revenues to more than double, with half coming from the US and only a quarter from Germany, despite the fact that its sole office is in Darmstadt. However, although it received modest funding from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research in February 2001, Tesch has no plans to seek further funding just yet, preferring to grow the company from revenues.
Top of the agenda is the hiring of sales and marketing staff. At the moment, Infonyte is staffed entirely by technical people, although given the 50 or so customers the company has gained since it was founded, they would seem to have made a good job of selling the company's technology on their own.