March 2010

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

Faced with growing data volumes and limited budgets, companies, educational institutions, and government agencies are increasingly relying on IT to help them gain a competitive edge and better serve their customers and constituents. DBTA recently asked key MultiValue vendors to explain their strategies for enabling data integration from different repositories and for supporting business intelligence and analytics that provide meaningful insight for customers.

IBM acquired predictive analytics vendor SPSS in October 2009. Erick Brethenoux, predictive analytics strategist for SPSS, an IBM Company, talks about the growing importance of the technology in helping enterprises address customer needs, what is driving the demand for it now, and how it fits into IBM's idea for a Smarter Planet.

For many organizations, application information lifecycle management, or ILM, now offers expedient - and badly needed - measures for properly defining, managing, and storing data. Many enterprises are being stymied by a massive proliferation of data in their databases and applications. Growing volumes of transaction data are being digitally captured and stored, along with unstructured forms of data files such as email, video, and graphics. Adding to this tsunami are multiple copies of all this data being stored throughout organizations. At the same time, increasingly tight mandates and regulations put the onus on organizations to maintain this data and keep it available for years to come. Much of this data still resides on legacy systems, which are costly to operate and maintain.

An overwhelming challenge - expanding volumes of data - threatens to gum up any productivity improvements seen to date as a result of information technology deployments. All that data is coming in from systems, sensors, and storage area networks, pressuring organizations to expand database inventories, while grappling with associated licensing and hardware costs. Plus, many compliance mandates demand that this data be stored for long periods of time, but remain accessible to auditors and business end users.

Columns - Applications Insight

Open source applications were somewhat niche at the beginning of the decade but now are clearly mainstream. Credible open source alternatives now exist for almost every category of application, as well as every component of the application.

Columns - Database Elaborations

Primary keys come from candidate keys. Each candidate key consists of the attribute or attributes used to label a distinct row in a table. Every candidate key should contain the fewest number of attributes possible to identify rows individually and uniquely. Every entity within a design requires at least one candidate key.

Columns - DBA Corner

The continuing acceptance and growing usage of Linux as an enterprise computing platform has enlivened the open source community. The term "open source" refers to software that users are free to run, copy, distribute, study, change, and improve. Often "open source" gets misinterpreted to mean free software. This is understandable, but the open source concept of free is closer to liberty than it is to no charge.

Columns - Oracle Observations

The future of business intelligence is coming. The comment is rhetorical, but in many ways it is true. For the last few years the conversation has surrounded Web 2.0 or even BI 2.0. The concept has brought changes to the way that we look at information and the methods that we use to exchange information. BI 2.0 has brought us a plethora of new functionality that provides proactive support to organizations and a more interactive manner of sharing information. So where is this going, and how will today's technology support our needs as 2010 arrives, and with it a new decade?

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

After the misery that was 2009, most of the SQL Server users I talk to are happy that 2010 started in languid fashion. Not that there isn't a lot of work to do; on the contrary, there's more work than ever. However, the long hours and multiple projects of 2009, compounded by freezes in all levels of spending, raised the general stress level to unhealthy heights. With the new year, stress levels dropped significantly, and many IT leaders see signs of improving prospects. What does that bode for 2010? I have a couple of predictions, though I doubt they'll surprise many people.

MV Community

NorthgateArinso (Northgate) has announced that Anderson Business Technology has gone live with its Reality system. Anderson Business Technology, an office equipment, supply and service provider, teamed up with Northgate to overhaul its system to a contemporary Reality database in a Microsoft Windows server environment. "There is no other sector that moves as fast as technology," says David Anderson, company president and grandson of the founder. "If you are not prepared to make the changes you need to keep pace, you don't survive."

BlueFinity International, part of the Mpower1 group of companies, has announced that support for Microsoft Silverlight within mv.NET Solution Objects will be available with the formal release of Visual Studio 2010.

Entrinsik will be exhibiting at several upcoming conferences to demonstrate Informer's self-service operational reporting and analysis capabilities for organizations in various industries.

Rocket Software is planning a complimentary webcast series focused on the latest release of RocketU2 SystemBuilder Extensible Architecture (SB/XA). SB/XA is a Rapid Application Development (RAD) and deployment environment delivering up-to-the-minute interface design and portable reporting capabilities. Existing SB+ applications can automatically convert without requiring changes to the underlying code.