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Perst Mobile Database Helps Streamline Financial Training in Android Tablet App

April 24, 2012 — Students in the CFA training course offered by 7city Learning can avoid heavy book-bags and cluttered desks, opting instead to receive all course materials on a compact Android-based tablet computer. The company – a global leader in financial training, with offices in London, New York, Singapore and Dubai – organizes the readings, videos and other media on the tablet using McObject®’s Perst™ object-oriented, open source mobile database system, and credits Perst with delivering faster performance and a better user experience than competing SQL-based, relational mobile database systems.

7city began providing the pre-loaded Archos 101 and G9 tablets last year. In addition to storing volumes of class materials, a student’s tablet submits completed work and receives updates from 7city in any Wi-Fi zone. The app diagnoses students’ progress and display it in a chart, with suggestions for improvement; 7city exam mentors can monitor the work and reach out to help when needed.

Due to the volume and complexity of structured information, 7city determined its app needed an embedded database management system (DBMS). Developers explored using Android’s built-in DBMS (SQLite) as well as Perst, which is offered in both Java and C# editions. “We chose Perst over SQLite mainly due to a significant performance boost when accessing content,” said Che Jami, 7city developer.

Study materials consist of videos, PDF documents, and sets of questions attached to these nodes. The data is spread across a tree structure, with a depth illustrated by

Course Level -> Topics -> Study Sessions -> Readings

Students traverse the tree, accessing relevant content. As they answer questions, their performance is tracked with statistics based primarily on correct and incorrect questions.

“In one of our main scenarios where data was being pulled out and manipulated, this took about 10 seconds with SQLite, but would take milliseconds with Perst. This speed difference was crucial for a positive user experience, especially in a mobile application,” Jami said.

Why the faster performance? An object-oriented DBMS such as Perst imposes none of the impedance mismatch (and resulting performance degradation) that occurs when objects created in an object-oriented environment (such as Java) are stored in a relational database (such as SQLite).

Jami added that 7city’s software engineers enjoy greater programming efficiency with Perst. “Being OO in nature, it was more intuitive for a Java developer to retrieve data through objects rather than constructing long chains of SQL statements with SQLite,” he said.

About 7city Learning

7city Learning is a leading provider of global learning and development solutions for the financial services industry. Servicing a blue chip client base, 7city is at the forefront of learning and development and has been acknowledged for its innovative approach and level of professional service. 7city achieved The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track status in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. 7city Learning is part of the 7city Group Limited. More information is at www.7city.com.

About McObject

Founded by embedded database and real-time systems experts, McObject offers proven data management technology that makes applications and devices smarter, more reliable and more cost-effective to develop and maintain. McObject counts among its customers industry leaders such NSE.IT, Financial Technologies of India Ltd. (FTIL), BAE Systems, Siemens, Philips, EADS, JVC, Tyco Thermal Controls, F5 Networks, CA, Motorola and Boeing. McObject, based in Issaquah, WA, is committed to providing innovative technology and first-rate services to customers and partners. The company can be reached at +1-425-888-8505, or visit www.mcobject.com.

McObject and Perst are trademarks or registered trademarks of McObject LLC. All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.