November 2012

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

For years, data warehouses and extract, transform and load (ETL) have been the primary methods of accessing and archiving multiple data sources across enterprises. Now, an emerging approach - data virtualization - promises to advance the concept of the federated data warehouse to deliver more timely and easier-to-access enterprise data. These are some of the observations made at Composite Software's third Annual Data Virtualization Day, held in New York City. This year's gathering was the largest ever, with nearly 250 customers and practitioners in attendance, Composite reports.

TVSN is a 24x7x365 television shopping network that sells clothing, health and beauty aids, electronics, home furnishings, collectibles, and jewelry in Australia. Customers can place orders at any hour of the day or night any way they desire, by phone or online. Since TVSN is always open and always on, downtime is just not possible. Originally only available on cable TV, at 8:30 am on Monday October 24, 2012, TVSN in combination with Network Ten Australian flipped the switch to make television shopping available to anyone in Australia who has a television. As a result, TVSN now reaches 6.5 million households. TVSN has relied on Revelation Software since the late 1980s when it was called Demtel, a telemarketing company that was one of the first to run infomercial-style ads Down Under, using a Revelation G application in the call center and warehouse.

Companies are facing serious external challenges managing aging IT infrastructures and application portfolios. To decrease costs and risks while increasing flexibility and innovation, many are turning to cloud technologies. By adopting cloud platforms, companies enable the delivery of "everything as-a-service." This empowers the workforce with faster any-device access to solutions that are available, affordable and ready to use. However, in order to realize cloud computing benefits, organizations must first transform and modernize their applications portfolios. Modernization is a key to business success and a significant challenge for chief information officers (CIOs).

Columns - Applications Insight

Five years ago, Radio Frequency ID (RFID) seemed posed to revolutionize commerce. Way back in 2003, Wal-Mart announced that it would be requiring that RFID tags - so called "electronic barcodes" - be attached to virtually all merchandise. Many- myself included - became convinced that the Wal-Mart directive would be the tipping point leading to universal adoption of RFID tabs in consumer goods and elsewhere.

Columns - Database Elaborations

In writing a definition for an entity, an attribute, or any other element within a database design, the desired end is a descriptive text that is clear, factual and concise. Semantics are an ambiguous and often painful tool to employ. Balancing the need for clarity against the desire to avoid redundancy can be a juggling act that is hard to accomplish. One might not easily recognize what is complete versus what is lacking, versus what has gone too far. But even so, within a definition if one finds oneself listing valid values and decoding the value's meaning, then one has likely already moved beyond what is "concise." Lists of values easily add bulk and quantity of verbiage into a definition, yet such lists do not usually increase the quality of a definition.

Columns - DBA Corner

Every organization that manages data using a DBMS requires a database administration group to ensure the effective use and deployment of the company's databases. And since most modern organizations of every size use a DBMS, most organizations have DBAs, or at least people who perform the on-going maintenance and optimization of the database infrastructure.

Columns - My View

Backup appliances now have some maturity. How mature are they really? Unfortunately, not very. Why? Backup appliance vendors have resorted to bundling rather than architecting purpose-built appliances. Bundling simply packages a server and storage with off-the-shelf software. And, now, these "immature" bundles are starting to crumble the appliance revolution.

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

I was privileged to deliver a session entitled Managing SQL Server in a Virtual World at the PASS Summit 2012, the largest annual conference for Microsoft SQL Server. It was a packed house, literally at standing-room-only capacity. I delivered the session with my friend David Klee and we were swarmed by attendees after the session wrapped up. With almost 600 people in the room, we conducted one of those informal polls that speakers like to do along the lines of "Raise your hands if …" and the informal findings were very telling. Probably around 90% of the attendees used VMware and SQL Server in some capacity and at least 60% used it in production environments. Another important fact was that only 10% of the attendees were actually able to get information on the performance of the actual VMs themselves. Most had to get all of their information and support from the VM / System administration staff.

MV Community

UK-based Ladybridge Systems is making the OpenQM MultiValue database software available on the Raspberry Pi computer. The Raspberry Pi computer launched in February 2012 by the Raspberry Pi Foundation is a credit card-sized computer with a price tag of under $35, featuring 512MB RAM, SD card data storage, two USB ports, high definition video and Ethernet connectivity. Primarily intended as an educational tool, enthusiasts have purchased these devices as fast as they can be manufactured, says Ladybridge. "Making OpenQM available on the Raspberry Pi is one element of a project to increase awareness of the MultiValue data model," says Martin Phillips, technical director of Ladybridge Systems.

Development has started on Revelation Software's next release of OpenInsight (OI) which will include a 32-bit and 64-bit implementation of the product. OI 10.0 will include a range of new components, including an embedded web server in the OEngineServer for use with the O4W_CHILD_FORM and O4W_STANDALONE_FORM; a WYSIWYG O4W Form Designer; as well as provide increased performance on 64-bit operating systems.

Entrinsik, Inc., has announced that its Informer self-service reporting and business intelligence software is now listed on SugarCRM'sSugarExchange and can integrate directly with SugarCRM implementations. Through the integration between Entrinsik and SugarCRM, users can log into Sugar and access real-time reporting, data analysis and interactive dashboards. "It allows users to integrate multiple sources of data without even leaving the Sugar instance and without having to set up a separate data store or data cube which they would typically have to do in order to access data from multiple data sources," Sharon Shelton, vice president of marketing at Entrinsik, tells DBTA.

Rocket Software has launched CorVu NG v2.2.3, merging U2 DataVu into its CorVu product for strategic performance management and business intelligence, and adding new features. U2 customers will be able to purchase the entire suite of CorVu Performance Management modules. The new release is targeted at addressing the needs of business users without necessitating high level IT support as well as enabling users to analyze a greater variety of data - including unstructured data. In addition, Rocket has announced SB/XA v6.2 and launched a new website.