DBTA E-EDITION
February 2011

Subscribe to the online version of Database Trends and Applications magazine. DBTA will send occasional notices about new and/or updated DBTA.com content.


Trends and Applications

There is a wealth of information, connections and relationships within the terabytes and petabytes of data being collected by organizations on distributed cloud platforms. Utilizing these complex, multi-dimensional relationships will be the key to developing systems to perform advanced relationship analysis. From predictive analytics to the next generation of business intelligence, "walking" the social and professional graphs will be critical to the success of these endeavors.

A replay of a live DBTA webcast on overcoming gaps in database patch deployment is available on-demand on the DBTA website. Presented by former Citicorp CISO Mike Stiglianese and Sentrigo vice president of marketing Andy Feit, and hosted by Tom Wilson, president of DBTA and Unisphere Research, the webcast covered why organizations find it so difficult to patch databases in a timely manner, often delaying patch deployment by weeks, months and even years; the risks to data security that delays create; best practices for patch deployment; and why the use of virtual patching offers a compelling case for database security. Ironically, said Stiglianese during his presentation, the risk to organizations is the greatest right after a patch is announced up to the time that patch is implemented because once the new vulnerability becomes widely known, hackers begin actively working on how to exploit it.

IBM announced the latest release of the Informix database server, version 11.7, in October 2010, thus marking the fourth major release since Informix joined the company. One of the most exciting features in Informix 11.7 is the "Flexible Grid." Wouldn't you like to administer multiple servers as easily as a single server? Wouldn't you like to mix different hardware, operating systems, and versions of software? The Informix Flexible Grid provides this capability.

Data growth is driving the use of virtualization within data centers. The virtualization evolution from server to storage to desktop is catching on at many small-to-medium size businesses, as well as at large enterprises. Aimed at providing a better end-user and administrator experience than their physical counterparts, virtualized desktops promise lower cost of acquisition and management with a highly scalable, easy-to-deploy and fully protected environment. However, with virtualization desktop infrastructure (VDI) comes a set of new challenges. Chief among these are storage and server resource allocation and data protection and recovery.


Columns - Notes on NoSQL

Salesforce.com is well known as the pioneer of software as a service (SaaS) - the provision of hosted applications across the internet. Salesforce launched its SaaS CRM (Customer Relationship Management) product more than 10 years ago, and today claims over 70,000 customers. It's less widely known that Salesforce.com also has been a pioneer in platform as a service (PaaS), and is one of the first to provide a comprehensive internet-based application development stack. In 2007 - way before the current buzz over cloud development platforms such as Microsoft Azure - Salesforce launched the Force.com platform, which allowed developers to run applications on the same multi-tenant architecture that hosts the Salesforce.com CRM.


Columns - Database Elaborations

Referential integrity helps manage data by enforcing validation between related entities. This enforcement follows logical semantics behind the database design -- i.e., an employee can only work for an already defined department; a prescription can only be written by a health care practitioner with the proper authority. A Foreign Key on an Employee table rejects data when any attempt is made to insert or update a row with a department value that does not already exist as a department identifier within a Department table.


Columns - DBA Corner

One of the most fertile grounds for disagreement between database professionals is the appropriate usage of views. Some analysts promote the liberal creation and usage of views, whereas others preach a more conservative approach. When properly implemented and managed, views can be fantastic tools that help to ease data access and simplify development. Although views are simple to create and implement, few organizations take a systematic and logical approach to view creation. And therein lies the controversy. A strategic and reasonable policy guiding the creation and maintenance of views is required to avoid a muddled and confused mish-mash of view usage. Basically, views are very useful when implemented wisely, but can be an administrative burden if implemented without planning.


Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

Depending on their industry sectors, many database professionals have to deal with audits at some stage, often removing vital years off their lives and inches off their hairlines! Having worked as a DBA in the financial industry, I've experienced both internal and external auditor visits on multiple occasions. In all cases, we pretty much had to drop all other work to ensure they were provided with the relevant information, or to implement the changes they required so we could provide the information in the future. The auditors' levels of experience and understanding varied wildly. This was not their fault, as they are not paid to be database experts, but it could make them frustrating to work with.


MV Community

The Revelation Users' Conference will be returning to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, later this year. The conference dates are Tuesday, October 4th through Friday, October 7th, 2011.

The development team at BlueFinity International has released a new version of its toolset designed for creating Microsoft .NET- based applications requiring access to MultiValue logic and databases, mv.NET 4.2.2. mv.NET enables software designers to combine the power and flexibility of proven MultiValue technology with the feature-rich Microsoft .NET environment. Its seamless integration with Visual Studio provides a rapid application development environment fine-tuned for the MultiValue developer. "These tools allow the rapid creation of state-of-the-art, industry standard applications which can be deployed across any of the wide range any of today's interface devices - workstations, browsers, handhelds, phones and other mobile devices," explains David Cooper, lead developer at BlueFinity.

Rocket Software recently held a UniVerse Fundamentals class with the students located from New Jersey to China. Rocket's Instructor-Led Online Training (ILOT) allows students to save on the cost of travel while still participating in a real classroom. Registration is now open for additional Rocket Software webinars.

Sponsors