April 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

Big data is one of those terms that is quickly gaining momentum among technologists. If you watch closely, you'll notice that everyone seems to have an opinion on what "big data" means and wants to own the term. As industry experts discuss what to name this problem, in 2011, companies will be tasked with bringing big data from back office offline analytics to customer-facing 24x7 production systems. Customers are paying attention and they need solutions that support not only massive data sets but also mixed information types, extended feature sets, real-time processing, and technical teams that have not hand-coded these systems from the ground up. Here are five big data solution trends we see developing as our customers work hard to solve "big data" or "big information" problems.

On the surface, the idea of using a single source integrator to implement SAP's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software seems ideal. The appeal lies in the potential to make an incredibly complex project appear simple. The single source model promises the ease of having only one vendor to pay, only one team to work with and a single source of accountability should things go wrong. Yet what works in theory doesn't always bear out in real world applications.

Organizations today are beginning to understand that, second to their employees, data is their most critical asset. Consequently, they need to approach data management as they approach capital management - by employing disciplined methodologies utilizing automation and actionable intelligence. Once employed, these methodologies secure and protect data in a scalable and repeatable fashion, without requiring additional intervention from IT personnel or disturbing business processes. In the age of information overload, with the explosive growth of unstructured and semi-structured data, best practices help organizations of all sizes effectively manage, control and protect this valuable asset.

Columns - Notes on NoSQL

The relational database is primarily oriented toward the modeling of objects (entities) and relationships. Generally, the relational model works best when there are a relatively small and static number of relationships between objects. It has long been a tricky problem in the RDBMS to work with dynamic, recursive or complex relationships. For instance, it's a fairly ordinary business requirement to print out all the parts that make up a product - including parts which, themselves, are made up of smaller parts. However, this "explosion of parts" is not consistently supported by all the relational databases. Oracle, SQL Server and DB2 have special, but inconsistent, syntax for these hierarchical queries, while MySQL and PostgreSQL lack specific support.

Columns - Database Elaborations

Dates are important. Without dates how can anything be planned? However, due dates have been know to increase in importance in the delivery of software solutions. Sometimes the due date becomes such an overwhelming creature of importance that the date is more important than following best practices, more important than verifying that what is built is correct, more important than the solution team gaining a proper understanding of the work they are attempting to perform.

Columns - DBA Corner

What will you do when you find out you're about to acquire or consolidate with another firm or division? Are you aware of the risks you may be inheriting? What data is going to demand the highest availability? What IT regulations will you have to address and how do you know if existing controls already address them? Here are 10 "data health" checks you can conduct to answer help these questions before giving a green light to an M&A or consolidation.

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

When I meet SQL Server professionals, I am always interested to find out if they have deployed the latest version of SQL Server into production yet, if they are using Enterprise Edition, and, if so, which new features they are using and why. Nothing beats real world implementation scenarios to help get a better understanding of a feature in SQL Server. The most common Enterprise Edition SQL Server Engine features deployed (and this is not a scientific survey, by any means) appear to be Table Partitioning, Backup Compression (now in Standard Edition) and Resource Governor. The Resource Governor was the feature DBAs working with large-scale SQL Server environments seemed most excited about when SQL 2008 was first announced.

MV Community

Rocket Software has released the U2 Web Development Environment (U2 WebDE). It is limited to use with the personal editions of UniData and UniVerse, but will allow customers and consultants the opportunity to try out this product free of charge, notes Susie Siegesmund, vice president and general manager, U2 Brand, Rocket Software. In addition, Rocket Software is also seeking customers who want to participate in the Early Adopter Program for U2 DataVu 2.0.

Wynne Systems, Inc., an international provider of enterprise software for the equipment and rental industries, has announced a partnership with Entrinsik, Inc. to integrate Entrinsik's Informer web-based reporting software into its Wynne Systems product suite.