August 2011

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Trends and Applications

Another IT initiative is in the news. What does it really mean for you? Is it an opportunity? Or is it a distraction? Whatever your perspective, it seems clear that internet computing standards have reached another plateau of standardization and capability, such that vendors see an opportunity to pursue new models of computing.

Over the years, countless papers and articles have been written on enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation project success rates and why ERP projects fail. Interestingly enough, the reasons that projects fail are the same today as they were 10 years ago: lack of top management commitment, unrealistic expectations, poor requirements definition, improper package selection, gaps between software and business requirements, inadequate resources, underestimating time and cost, poor project management, lack of methodology, underestimating impact of change, lack of training and education, and last, but not least, poor communication.

The rise of big data has garnered much of the attention in the data management arena lately. But it is not simply the sheer volume of data that is challenging data professionals. Many new types and brands of DBMSs are also popping up across organizations, bringing new problems for the data professionals who are tasked with managing them, and also giving rise to scores of "accidental database administrators" with no formal DBA training, a new Unisphere Research study reveals.

Columns - Notes on NoSQL

Michael Stonebraker is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of the relational database. While at Berkeley, he co-founded the INGRES project, which implemented the relational principles published by Edgar Codd in his seminal papers. The INGRES project became the basis for the commercial Ingres RDBMS, which, during the 1980s, provided some of the most significant competition to Oracle.

Columns - Database Elaborations

The Broadway tune goes, "The sun will come out tomorrow ... it's only a day away." The words from this optimistic jingle are often heard on IT projects that are overburdened with features and functions. On any project of significant size the list of desired things often becomes larger than the budgeted resources or time. Faced with limiting circumstances, the only option becomes aligning the work effort with the constraints and only doing what fits within those constraints. The items are "timeboxed," and the amount of planned work is exactly the amount of allowed work. Some things remain in, while other features are left out. Alternatively, responsibility for controlling a project may be ignored and the end date arrives with some things simply not completed. Essentially, a project is timeboxed by default.

Columns - DBA Corner

Often, when the business of data management frustrates me, I look for inspiration in what may seem at first glance to be odd places. For instance, I think the Lewis Carroll "Alice in Wonderland" books offer sage advice for our particular industry.

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

In last month's column, "2012 Might Really Be the End of the World as We Know It," I described a number of major developments in the IT industry that are likely to disrupt the life of database professionals everywhere. I categorize those four disrupters - virtualization, cloud computing, solid state drives (SSD), and advanced multi-core CPUs - into two broad groups. I'm going to continue an analysis of these disruptive technologies in inverse order. Today, let's discuss SSDs.

MV Community

MITS, a provider of advanced reporting and analytics solutions, has announced a new inventory analysis tool for wholesale distributors using the Epicor (formerly Activant) Prelude distribution management system called the Prelude Inventory Hypercube. The Prelude Inventory Hypercube, which is being sold in partnership with Epicor, consists of a specialized, analytics-tuned data collection culled from inventory data in Prelude that enables business users to quickly and easily perform a wide range of inventory analyses. "Inventory control is very challenging in uncertain economic times," Fred Owen, MITS president, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

MITS, a provider of advanced reporting and analytics solutions, has announced a new solution designed to help wholesale distributors measurably improve their business results. MITS Distributor Analytics - anchored by the MITS Discover online analytics processing (OLAP) technology platform - provides easy-to-use tools for tracking and optimizing inventory levels and profitability, along with sales trends, cash flow and collections.

Revelation Software has announced its schedule of training classes for autumn 2011. In addition, plans for the Revelation Users' Conference at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, are underway. The conference dates are Tuesday, October 4 - Friday, October 7.

Rocket U2 has released 6.1 of SystemBuilder Extensible Architecture (SB/XA), completing the multi-year project to provide a complete .NET run-time environment for existing SystemBuilder solutions. SB/XA optimizes application development and provides flexible deployment options for UniVerse and UniData (U2) databases. It delivers a development toolset for quickly defining business logic as processes and combining and reusing these to meet any business needs for an application. SB/XA provides an advanced interface, using clients based on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), to render an application using rich-vector-based graphic controls or integrate custom controls through .NET.

Rocket Software has announced that U2 DataVu has been enhanced to make it easier to combine queries and results then filter and quickly create reports and charts with a couple of clicks using the quick report wizard. The new release provides drilldown scenarios to enable end users to slice their data so they can drill into different views of their results. Additionally, in the new release, predictive analytics, flexible result set joining and appending, cross-tabulations and data normalizations together with result set filtering and improved parameter prompting, make U2 DataVu V2.0 significantly easier to use.

NorthgateArinso (Northgate) has created a YouTube series, Coffee Breaks with Northgate, on the company's Northgate Reality YouTube channel. The goal of the series is to provide Reality users with on demand, how-to videos that take 15 minutes or less.