December 2009

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Trends and Applications

Corporate management is complacent about data security. Efforts to address data security are still ad hoc, and not part of an overall database security strategy or plan. Companies are not keeping up with the need to monitor for potential risks. More monitoring tends to be ad hoc or on-the-fly, versus more organized or automated systematic approaches. These are the findings from new research from Unisphere Research and the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), which shows that the recent economic downturn has taken a toll on data security efforts within enterprises.

Rocket Software recently completed the purchase of the UniData and UniVerse Servers and Tools assets from IBM. Susie Siegesmund, now vice president and general manager for the U2 brand under Rocket, talks with Database Trends and Applications about why the timing was right for this move and what U2 customers and partners can expect under the new ownership.

Credit card security is a top priority - for both consumers and businesses. But what happens if there is a security breach exposing critical data to unknown sources? What can businesses do from an IT perspective to ensure they're protecting consumer information? When sensitive cardholder information resides in legacy host systems, host access technology can be a critical tool to help organizations successfully achieve PCI DSS compliance.

As we enter the next decade of the millennium, we will see information technology becoming more ubiquitous, driving an even greater share of business decisionmaking and operations. IT has proven its muster through the recent downturn as both a tactical and strategic weapon for streamlining, as well as maintaining competitive edge. Now, as we begin the next round of economic recovery, companies will be relying on IT even more to better understand and serve their markets and customers. Yet, there are many challenges with managing a growing array of IT hardware, software, and services. To address these requirements, businesses continue to look to approaches such as analytics, virtualization, and cloud computing. To capture the trends shaping the year ahead, Database Trends and Applications spoke to a range of industry leaders and experts.

Columns - Applications Insight

When a company like Microsoft talks about the future of computing, you can expect a fair bit of self-serving market positioning - public software companies need to be careful to sell a vision of the future that doesn't jeopardize today's revenue streams. But, when a company like Microsoft releases a new version of its fundamental development framework - .NET, in this case - you can see more clearly the company's technical vision for the future of computing.

Columns - Database Elaborations

In composing a data model, the structures are put together thoughtfully and with intention. Data structures emerge from the application of semantics germane to the universe-of-discourse and filtered through the rules of normalization. Each table expresses meaning, with columns that are self-evident. The best models reduce the data items within the covered subject area into obvious arrangements. However, this simplicity often confuses observers, persuading many that modeling itself must therefore be a simple task. DBMS tools often incorporate wizards that facilitate the quick definition of tables which are then immediately created within the chosen database. These tools enable the developer to build tables in the blink of an eye. At times some prototypes are approached in this fashion, and while this provides for placeholders, such slapped-up table structures are insufficient for an industrial strength solution. Under these instant-table setups, developers often have no problem reworking large sections of code for minor changes, or misusing data elements to mean many things while making the determination of meanings at a specific point-in-time less clear. Unaware of these less-than-stellar consequences, users become confused; they often wonder why modeling tasks should ever need to be done because the proof of concept worked, didn't it?

Columns - DBA Corner

As per my regular custom, this final DBA Corner column of the year is a review of the most significant data and database-related events of the year. Of course, to meet my deadlines, it is October 2009 as I write this, so please excuse any significant news that may have happened late in the year!

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

Listen to a group of database professionals talk for awhile and someone will eventually bring up the topic of data deduplication. Data deduplication is a means to eliminate redundant data, either through hardware or software technologies. To illustrate, imagine you've drafted a new project plan and sent it to five teammates asking for input. That single file has now been reproduced, in identical bits and bytes, on a total of six computers. If everyone's email inbox is backed up every night, that's another six copies backed up on the email backup server. Through data deduplication technology, only a single instance of your project plan would be backed up, and all other instances of the identical file would simply be tiny on-disk pointers to the original.

MV Community

jBASE International has introduced an enhancement to its jEDI Development Kit that improves the jQL performance for the entire jEDI suite. Recent benchmark results demonstrated performance levels very close to - and in some cases surpassing - native jBASE files.

Kore Technologies has formed a new partnership with Demand Management, Inc. (DMI) to resell its suite of industry leading demand planning products. Demand Solutions provides software for the full spectrum of supply chain management - including forecasting, sales and operations planning (S&OP), collaboration, inventory optimization and replenishment, advanced planning and scheduling, and retail planning.

InterSystems Corporation has announced reseller agreements with two new InterSystems application partners. Management Information Tools, Inc. (MITS) and LifePoint Informatics have partnered to help medical laboratories provide timely, accurate reporting services to healthcare providers.

Rocket Software, which recently acquired the UniData and UniVerse Servers and Tools assets from IBM, has announced the availability of SystemBuilder Extensible Architecture (SB/XA) 6.0.1, designed to maximize its customers' investments in U2 technology. SB/XA is a Rapid Application Development (RAD) and deployment environment that delivers up-to-the-minute interface design and portable reporting capabilities. Existing SB+ applications can automatically convert without requiring changes to the underlying code.