April 2010

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Trends and Applications

The drivers and benefits of using open source in the enterprise have been widely documented. Ultimately, enterprise users adopt open source for two primary reasons: cost and vendor independence. These are the same drivers and benefits that apply to well-known categories such as operating systems, application servers and web browsers. However, because the database plays a role in all enterprise IT applications, the scrutiny and rigor that enterprises apply to the selection, implementation and deployment of open source databases is far more intense and deliberate.

COLLABORATE 10 will at long last bring together Sun and Oracle users for the first time under one roof. Ian Abramson, president of the Independent Oracle Users Group, talks with DBTA about what the group is planning for the April conference in Las Vegas, and how the integration of customers and technology is being handled by Oracle and the IOUG.

It's hard enough to lock down sensitive data when you know exactly which server the database is running on, but what will you do when you deploy virtualization and these systems are constantly moving? And making sure your own database administrators (DBAs) and system administrators aren't copying or viewing confidential records is already a challenge - how are you going to know when your cloud computing vendor's staff members are not using their privileges inappropriately? These are just two of the obstacles that any enterprise must overcome in order to deploy a secure database platform in a virtual environment, or in the cloud. In some cases, these concerns have been preventing organizations from moving to virtualization or cloud computing.

Columns - Applications Insight

Spreadsheets, which have long been a disruptive force to enterprise IT, to some extent are the "killer" applications that helped drive the adoption of personal computers (PCs) in the enterprise. Spreadsheet products such as Lotus 1,2,3 - and early versions of Excel on the Mac - saw rapid adoption by business users. Inevitably, these users pushed the boundaries of the spreadsheet model, using spreadsheets as databases, and even to develop simple business applications. In the late 1980s, it was typical to see corporate IT rolling out massively expensive mainframe-based solutions, while departmental users got their real work done on spreadsheets running on cheap PCs.

Columns - Database Elaborations

Far too often we all talk past one another. This cross talking, while not always drastic, remains perceived as an understood fuzziness. Much of the time we ignore these minor miscommunications because precision and clarity are not necessarily critical in all situations. If the general gist is effectively understood between those communicating, that generality may be all that is necessary. Those involved in the communication may feel comfortable that assumptions made to "fill in the gaps" will fall within an acceptable range. Although the lack of clarity in the message communicated may be acceptable, in other circumstances it may not be acceptable.

Columns - DBA Corner

As you work to protect your data in this day-and-age of data breaches and regulatory compliance, technology and software solutions to data and database security spring to the top of most people's minds. This is to be expected because, after all, most of our data is stored on computers so technology and software are required to protect the data from unauthorized access. This is a good thing: Technology is a crucial component of protecting your valuable business data. But it is not the only thing.

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

If you spend any time at all reading IT trade journals and websites, you've no doubt heard about the NoSQL movement. In a nutshell, NoSQL databases (also called post-relational databases) are a variety of loosely grouped means of storing data without requiring the SQL language. Of course, we've had non-relational databases far longer than we've had actual relational databases. Anyone who's used products like IBM's Lotus Notes can point to a popular non-relational database. However, part and parcel of the NoSQL movement is the idea that the data repositories can horizontally scale with ease, since they're used as the underpinnings of a website. For that reason, NoSQL is strongly associated with web applications, since websites have a history of starting small and going "viral," exhibiting explosive growth after word gets out.

MV Community

Entrinsik Inc., a provider of operational reporting and analysis solutions, will present at this year's SugarCon event in San Francisco, being held April 12-14. SugarCon 2010, SugarCRM's fourth annual user and customer conference, brings together SugarCRM users, developers, partners and industry experts from around the world.

NorthgateArinso (Northgate) and Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM) have announced that they have extended their partnership agreement through 2016. "We are excited to have this level of partnership with Nebraska Furniture Mart," says Mark Pick, vice president, Reality, "and we don't take it lightly. Long-term relationships such as this show our commitment to our customers, Reality and to the MultiValue community."

In a presentation titled, "OpenInsight 9.2 Features and Functionality: An Overview," Mike Ruane, president and CEO, Revelation Software, will provide insight into the many new features and enhancements in OpenInsight version 9.2. Attendees to this session will be given a brief overview and demonstration of many of the new features and functionality in OpenInsight 9.2.

The Rocket U2 team has set the dates for U2 University. The U.S. event will be November 9-11, 2010, in Denver, Colo. The U.K. and Australia events have been scheduled for the first quarter of 2011.