October 2011

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Trends and Applications

Joe Clabby authors a comprehensive overview on the SHARE website this week focusing on the issue of the IT Skills Gap. While the need for mainframe professionals remains high, for instance, the supply of young mainframers remains stubbornly short. Certainly, the supply of mainframers coming out of universities is hamstrung by a number of specific factors including an uninformed perception by students about the platform's ongoing importance, a dearth of curriculum and faculty covering the subject in many computer science programs, and a lack of outreach by industry into local computer science departments to foster both academic and internship focus.

Legacy IT systems were developed for - and still run - about 60% of all mission-critical applications. They are still stable and reliable. However, the maintenance on legacy applications over time has made them so complex that rather than helping to solve business problems, most legacy systems have become a challenge that enterprises are grappling with.

During a keynote presentation last week at Oracle OpenWorld 2011, the new Oracle Big Data Appliance, an engineered system optimized for acquiring, organizing and loading unstructured data into Oracle Database 11g, was announced by Thomas Kurian, executive vice president, Product Development, Oracle.

Cloud computing has taken the enterprise IT world by force. IT managers and CIOs are evaluating private, public and hybrid cloud infrastructures for running corporate applications and services. Many are doing pilots and evaluating large-scale migrations to the cloud, with the hope of not only saving money but increasing services for users.

Columns - Notes on NoSQL

One of the greatest achievements in artificial intelligence occurred earlier this year when IBM's Watson supercomputer defeated the two reigning human champions in the popular Jeopardy! TV show. Named after the IBM founder Thomas Watson and not - as you may have thought - Sherlock Holmes' famous assistant, Watson was the result of almost 5 years of intensive effort by IBM, and the intellectual successor to "Deep Blue," the first computer to beat a chess grand master.

Columns - Database Elaborations

Every project is, or should be, driven by user requirements. Requirements are the organization's way to articulate what needs to happen in order to provide value. Yet time and again requirements are looked at as something overly technical, mysterious, and too confusing to easily handle. Repeatedly, organizations use a template to ensure that requirements are defined early in the solution process. Sadly, the intended purposes are habitually defeated as these templates are filled with a lack of understanding for what information belongs in a given section, resulting in people creating documents that the authors themselves do not understand. Across many organizations requirements documents are created, reviewed, and even agreed to, that far too often are incoherent monstrosities saying nothing of actual value.

Columns - DBA Corner

Every professional programmer (and DBA) should have a library of books on SQL fundamentals. There are many SQL titles to choose from, and a lot of them are very good. But this month's column will outline four SQL books that should be on every database professional's bookshelf.

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

Database - Abstracted

MV Community

BlueFinity International will present a free webinar on October 19th showing MultiValue resellers and developers how to deliver a modern, sophisticated look and feel to their existing applications while retaining the functionality and features of their proven MultiValue solution.

Entrinsik Inc., a developer of web-based operational reporting and analysis software, plans to offer a solution that will assist Datatel users in migrating their Informer UniData-based mappings and reports to a SQL environment. The utility is slated for general release January 2012.

Rocket U2 has released four enhanced products: System Builder SB/XA 6.1.0 Personal Edition for Windows and UNIX; U2 DataVu 2.0.1 Web and Client for Windows; UniVerse 11.1.4 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux, and AIX; and UniData 7.2.11 for AIX and Solaris SPARC.