March 2012

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Trends and Applications

For enterprises grappling with the onslaught of big data, a new platform has emerged from the open source world that promises to provide a cost-effective way to store and process petabytes and petabytes worth of information. Hadoop, an Apache project, is already being eagerly embraced by data managers and technologists as a way to manage and analyze mountains of data streaming in from websites and devices. Running data such as weblogs through traditional platforms such as data warehouses or standard analytical toolsets often cannot be cost-justified, as these solutions tend to have high overhead costs. However, organizations are beginning to recognize that such information ultimately can be of tremendous value to the business. Hadoop packages up such data and makes it digestible.

Valuable data and trusted applications are dependent on MultiValue databases at many organizations, but there is also a need to integrate that data and those applications with other systems and provide access to users in new ways. In this special section, DBTA asks leading MultiValue vendors:What is your organization doing to help customers modernize and stay current with new technologies to address the evolving requirements of customers?

Clinical Data Management (CDM) is a company headquartered in Colorado that provides clinical information database software, enabling medical institutions to report and compile data on patient care. A longtime user of Revelation Software, dating back to Revelation G and continuing through OpenInsight, CDM was pleased with both the quality of the products and the service from Revelation. However, CDM had come to realize it needed to provide a web interface for data entry to better support its customers and also stay current with evolving technology requirements. That need was answered when Revelation launched the OpenInsight for Web (O4W) Development Toolkit, a web development toolkit that makes it possible for OpenInsight developers with limited or no HTML, XML or JavaScript experience to develop feature-rich web pages.

Organizational focus has been placed on the emergence of "big data" - large-scale data sets that businesses and governments use to create new value with today's computing and communications power. Big data poses many opportunities, but managing the rapid growth adds challenges, including complexity and cost. Leaders must address the implications of big data, increasing volume and detail of information captured by enterprises, the rise of multimedia, social media, and the internet.

The volume of business data under protection is growing rapidly, driven by the explosion of mobile computing, the use of powerful business applications that generate more data, and stringent regulations that require companies to retain data longer and maintain it in a format that is readily available upon request. The problem of massive data growth is particularly acute in traditional, large data-intensive enterprises that have become increasingly reliant on database-driven business automation systems, such as Oracle, SQL, and SAP. These organizations are also increasingly adopting a new wave of data-intensive applications to analyze and manage their "big data" - further compounding the problem.

Columns - Applications Insight

Knowing how your customers feel about your products is arguably as important as actual sales data but often much harder to determine. Traditionally, companies have used surveys, focus groups, customer visits, and similar active sampling techniques to perform this sort of market research. Opposition or lack of faith in market research takes a number of forms. Henry Ford once said, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses," while Steve Jobs said, "People don't know what they want until you show it to them." The real problem with market research is more pragmatic: It's difficult and expensive to find out what people think.

Columns - Database Elaborations

Solution development work is usually accomplished via projects, or a combination of programs and projects. This project perspective often leads to thoughts of documentation as project-owned. And while many documents are project-specific, such as timelines, resource plans, and such, not everything is project-specific. Unless projects are established in a fashion whereby each is very limited in scope to the creation or enhancement of a single application or system, specification and design documents belong to the final solution and not to the project.

Columns - DBA Corner

As a DBA, it is almost inevitable that you will change jobs several times during your career. When making a job change, you will obviously consider requirements such as salary, bonus, benefits, frequency of reviews, and amount of vacation time. However, you also should consider how the company "treats" their DBAs. Different organizations place different value on the DBA job. It is imperative to your career development that you scout for progressive organizations that understand the complexity and ongoing learning requirements for the position.

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

Recently, I was speaking at a SQL Saturday event (www.sqlsaturday.com), when I encountered a question that I've been getting more and more often. It went something like this: "I know that I can look up a lot of SQL Server blogs thru the various aggregators, such as SQLBlog.com, SQLServerPedia.com, SQLServerCentral.com, and SQLMag.com, but what are the very best high-end blogs that you read?" Since this is an evergreen question, I figured I'd provide a more permanent answer and anchor it here at DBTA.com and on my own blog.

MV Community

Entrinsik is launching its new Informer dashboard product at the Informer User Conference (ICON). In addition, Entrinsik has also announced its first annual Operational Business Intelligence Awards for users who have applied Informer's capabilities to improve operational efficiency.

InterSystems will hold its annual Global Summit, March 18-21, at the Peabody Orlando in Florida. The Global Summit is composed of three conferences: the Developer Conference, the Executive Leadership Conference, and the Healthcare Leadership Conference.

Revelation Software has announced new features as well as patches and enhancements that will be added in OpenInsight (OI) 9.3.1. The new release will include O4W 1.3 as well as the OI connector for OpenQM from LadyBridge Systems. In addition, Revelation has announced that its next user conference will be held in Nashville, Tenn., in April 2013.

Rocket U2 has announced the availability of new offerings, including the U2 DBTools package, U2 RESTful Web Services, and wIntegrate v. 6.3. In addition, the dates have been finalized for U2 University, with the U.S. event taking place in downtown Denver May 8 to May 10, followed by the U.K. event from June 26 to 28, and the Australia event scheduled for August 14 to 16.