September 2014

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Trends and Applications

When it comes to data analysis, companies often have a long project list with each project having it's own set of specific needs - the net result is a lengthy and growing project backlog. Since the late 1980s, business intelligence (BI) vendors have been attempting to address this backlog through various "ease of use" enhancements. We've seen big improvements with the latest generation of cloud-based BI solutions. But how can companies evaluate which analysis projects will work well with a cloud-based solution?

It's not unusual to have different parts of your data system solving different problems. From utilizing partitioning in a relational database to user-facing in-memory caches to a Lambda architecture, it is important that pieces of the system are the "right tool for the job"; appropriate for the task at hand, and not duplicating the functionality of another piece of the system. While there are technical challenges, the root and the solutions to these challenges is largely non-technical.

When should you scale your database? The short answer often is: Don't scale until you have to. It is important to understand—and exhaust—all of your options for improving database performance first. Here is a look at the common options available.

Columns - Applications Insight

In this month's column, Guy Harrison writes about Docker, an open source project based on Linux containers that is showing rapid adoption. "Unlike virtual machines, Docker containers do not have to include a copy of the guest OS - each Docker container essentially shares the same copy of the underlying OS," explains Harrison. "This allows Docker containers to be much smaller, which, in turn, allows them to be more easily deployed, provides for greater density (more containers per host) and permits faster initialization."

Columns - Database Elaborations

"On occasion, the inmates actually do take over the asylum. Similarly, business personnel can be defeated by their IT peers," writes Todd Schraml. Although some might argue that such an unexpected role reversal cannot happen, it may indeed occur when data architects skilled in their craft can identify the options that help achieve the business goals, versus those alternatives that stifle the business goals. "A good data architect must also be a very good business analyst," he notes.

Columns - DBA Corner

Recounting the evolution of IBM's relational database technology DB2, Craig S. Mullins goes back a full 3 decades in his latest column, starting with the wild and woolly 1980s and ending with DB2 10 and 11 for z/OS as the currently supported versions of DB2, which have added important new functionality.

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

Skimming the newspaper on a recent summer morning, Kevin Kline was astounded to read about Russian hackers' success in grabbing 4.5 million records by way of good, ol' fashioned SQL injection attacks. "This is like saying a bunch of robbers rummaged through 450,000 houses because none of the home owners knew about locking doors and windows. It is that serious and that elementary of a mistake," writes Kline, who outlines security steps that all developers should implement.

MV Community

North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) is deploying Entrinsik Informer as its new reporting solution to allow end users to create and run their own reports, and leverage dashboard creation and data analysis capabilities. In evaluating new solutions, NIACC sought to implement a reporting solution that could be set up to easily answer questions as they arise; and provide the ability to join tables and views in the background giving the end user access to more data with less reliance on technology services.

Kore Technologies will be one of the featured vendors at Encounter, the annual Eclipse Users Group Conference, taking place September 17-19 in Atlanta. Mark Dobransky, co-founder and managing partner of Kore, will present a session titled "Integration and Data Warehousing with Eclipse" on Friday, September 19, at 2 pm. The presentation will include a live demonstration of Kourier Integrator's data warehousing capabilities.

Data representations such as JSON and XML have the ability to extend well beyond the three dimensions supported by the MultiValue data model. Processing this data efficiently can present challenges when needing to parse or update large multi-dimensional data items, according to Pick Cloud and Ladybridge Systems, which will jointly present a webinar that introduces the concept of data collections that use extensions to the familiar MultiValue environment to store and manipulate arbitrarily multi-dimensional data.

Revelation Software will showcase the next major release of OpenInsight at its 2015 users conference in Houston, Texas, March 24-27. RevCon15 will take place at the Omni Houston Hotel, which is centrally located in the Uptown Post Oak/Galleria area.

After 20 years in the MultiValue market, most recently as vice president of the U2 and D3 Business Areas of Rocket Software, Susie Siegesmund is retiring. In an interview, Siegesmund reflected on the changes that have taken place in MultiValue and the emerging opportunities in this sector of the IT market.