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Applications Insight

Understanding the applications that drive database demand helps us understand the forces that are shaping the current and next generation of database engines. In this column, we keep track of software application architecture, trends and practices to enrich our perspective on database trends.



Predictive Analytics - sometimes referred to as Predictive Data Mining - is a branch of Business Intelligence that attempts to use historical data to make predictions about future events. At its simplest, predictive analytics utilizes statistical techniques, such as correlation and regression, which many of us have encountered in college or even high school. Correlation analysis determines if there is a statistically significant relationship between two variables. For instance, height and age are highly correlated, while IQ and height are very weakly correlated. Regression attempts to find an equation between the two or more variables, so that you can predict one from the other.

Posted July 13, 2009

Virtualization has changed the IT landscape more dramatically than perhaps any other technology introduced over the past decade. Virtualized environments are omnipresent in the modern data center due to their economic advantages in hardware consolidation and manageability.

Posted June 15, 2009

Both open source software ( OSS) and cloud computing continue to experience strong interest and growth despite the economic downturn. Clearly, both provide the promise of reduced operating and software licensing costs. For instance, corporations looking to reduce the cost incurred by Microsoft Office licensing are looking more closely at the open source OpenOffice alternative, or at Google's online application suite, Google Apps. There's understandable resistance to moving from the rich experience offered by Microsoft to these lower-cost alternatives, but resistance has a way of disappearing in the face of financial imperatives.

Posted May 15, 2009

The business intelligence (BI) market is big: at least $10 billion in 2008 and much more if you include data warehousing projects. The tough economic environment may slow the growth of the BI market, but cost constraints, compliance and similar measures demanded by the current economy require accurate and timely business data, so BI is expected to remain a vigorous market segment regardless of the macro-economic situation.

Posted April 15, 2009

Way back in 2003, Walmart announced that it would require Radio Frequency ID (RFID) tags—so-called "electronic barcodes"—to be attached to virtually all merchandise. Walmart pioneered the use of the printed bar code back in the 1970s, and many—myself included—became convinced that the company's directive would be the tipping point leading to universal adoption of RFID tabs in consumer goods and elsewhere.

Posted March 15, 2009

few years ago, it seemed as though the days of the "micro-ISV"-very small Independent software vendors consisting of one or two developers-were over. The role once played by shareware windows applications had been supplanted by free web applications financed by advertising revenue. The start-up costs for such web applications-including funding a scalable and reliable web hosting infrastructure-were beyond the reach of most small software entrepreneurs.

Posted February 15, 2009

In the classic comedy, "The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy," a frustrated Ford Prefect can't understand why a bunch of marketing consultants shipwrecked on prehistoric earth can't invent the wheel.

Posted January 15, 2009

MOORE'S law—first expressed by Intel cofounder Gordon Moore in 1965—predicts that computing power will increase exponentially, doubling roughly every 18 months. Moore's law has proved remarkably accurate and we have all benefited from the rapid growth in CPU and computer memory available for our desktop computers.

Posted December 15, 2008

Posted November 15, 2008

Posted September 15, 2008

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