September 2008

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Trends and Applications

Claims that the mainframe is a near-death technology in the mission-critical world of today's robust business intelligence (BI) applications are exaggerated. Conventional wisdom says the mainframe-the "powerhouse" of corporate computing-is simply too costly, too complex and incapable of supporting a comprehensive BI system. Not so.

Early discussions on SQL Server 2008 seemed to suggest that it would really only be a point release, quite unlike what occurred with SQL Server 2005. Anyone looking at the new and upgraded features in SQL Server 2008 would soon realize that it offers much more than that. Given that SQL Server 2005 took some time to achieve mass adoption, the question that arises is how fast users will migrate to SQL Server 2008.

The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) manages an Amtrak intercity passenger train service in eight Northern California counties, partnering with Amtrak, the Union Pacific Railroad, and Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation. Serving 16 stations along a 170-mile rail corridor, CCJPA offers a convenient way to travel between the Sierra Foothills, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose and the rest of the Silicon Valley.

We all know software piracy causes huge financial losses. It has been estimated that the world's software companies are now losing $40 billion in revenue in unlicensed installations. Yet, with all the security technology at our disposal, why isn't piracy going away? While some areas have been able to squelch a certain percentage of software theft, the problem is here to stay. The huge influx of new PC users, the ubiquitous nature of piracy tools over peer-to-peer networks, and the near-impossibility of enforcement across the globe stand in the way of significant progress. Moreover, the outsourcing of development work opens up new worries for those dealing with countries with weak intellectual property (IP) enforcement laws.

Implementing comprehensive database security solutions can be an onerous task. Security requirements are always changing and new compliance requirements are constantly emerging. Despite this dynamic environment, there are simple steps that can be undertaken to dramatically and quickly reduce risk. Database security solutions are only as secure as the weakest link. Forward-thinking organizations should begin by addressing the vulnerabilities that are the most obvious and easiest to exploit.

Now more than ever, data has evolved into an asset more strategic and valuable than any raw material or capital construction project. Companies are scrambling to "compete on analytics," recognizing that the one to most effectively leverage information coming out of their systems gets the greatest competitive advantage.

Columns - Applications Insight

Columns - Database Elaborations

Columns - DBA Corner

Columns - The Enterprise Environment

Columns - Oracle Data Strategies

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

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