September 2009

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Trends and Applications

Microsoft SQL Server has been a favorite for years for organizations that want to implement business intelligence (BI) functionality - even in traditionally non-Microsoft shops. Especially since the SQL Server 2005 release, the ROI of a Microsoft solution coupled with the ease of implementation has driven healthy adoption of the DBMS for BI. And the integration of SQL Server 2008 with Microsoft Office, SharePoint Server, and PerformancePoint Services for delivering BI to end users has created an even stronger end-to-end platform.

A member of the Quest International Users Group and IT specialist at Shell Canada Ltd., Sue Shaw took on the role of president of the users group in June. She talks with Database Trends and Applications about what drew her in as a member and her goals for the PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Oracle Utilities association now that she is at the helm.

The Swiss National Sound Archives is Switzerland's official depository of audio records. Founded by law in 1987 as a private foundation working in close collaboration with the Swiss National Library in Bern, the mission of the Swiss National Sound Archives is the preservation of the country's audio heritage. Strictly for Switzerland's audio archives, the foundation collects and safeguards anything sound-related, including speeches, theatrical works, interviews, audio books, and all types of music-from rock to classical. It makes these recordings and detailed information about them, such as the people involved in their creation, available through a website accessible to the public in Switzerland's four official languages - German, French, Italian and Romansh - as well as in English.

This year, despite a turbulent economy marked by painful layoffs in many sectors, database professionals appear to be weathering the storm. In fact, database professionals reported higher incomes and bonuses this year over last. Still, a sizeable segment of professionals saw changes in their jobs as a result of economic conditions, and many are concerned going forward about the impact of tighter budgets on their departments' performance.

Why do business decision makers need to wait for IT to deliver performance reports on the business? Why can't they build their own reports, and gain rapid access to answer the questions they have?

Columns - Applications Insight

Google introduced the MapReduce algorithm to perform massively parallel processing of very large data sets using clusters of commodity hardware. MapReduce is a core Google technology and key to maintaining Google's website indexes.

Columns - Database Elaborations

Composite keys are an implementation of business rules within the database. As an example, a table named INVOICE has a composite primary key consisting of Account_Number and Invoice_Date. In this example several possible rules are being expressed. The Account_Number which partially identifies an INVOICE instance implies that an account must exist before an invoice can exist. In addition to this INVOICE table, one expects to see a table named ACCOUNT with only the Account_Number as its primary key. Likewise, a referential integrity constraint would be defined between the INVOICE and the ACCOUNT tables based on that Account_Number value. In this manner, the DBMS would prevent Account_Number values from insertion into the INVOICE table unless they already existed in the ACCOUNT table.

Columns - DBA Corner

If you use an IBM z Series mainframe you've undoubtedly heard about zIIPs and zAAPs and other specialty processors. But maybe you haven't yet truly examined what they are, what they do, and why they exist. So, with that in mind, let's take a brief journey into the world of specialty processors.

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

If you haven't paid attention to the new social media, you're doing yourself a disservice. Just as email was a game-changer in the 1980s and the internet revolutionized society in the 1990s, social media is making a huge impact on the way people work and interact today. Personally, I was skeptical about social networking until some good friends persuaded me to give it a trial run. It seemed like a great way to dither away some valuable time, but I didn't see the business value in the whole proposition until I tried it.

MV Community

Entrinsik, Inc., a provider of web-based operational reporting and analysis solutions, has announced the launch of the Informer Channel on YouTube. The new channel will feature video clips demonstrating features of the company's web-based reporting software used by thousands around the world.

InterSystems Corporation has introduced technology additions to its InterSystems CACHÉ high-performance object database. Available now in CACHÉ 2009, the new features provide enhanced web services security, reporting, and system management and monitoring.

Revelation Software is planning several road shows for the last quarter of 2009 and is soliciting input from users about where to host the events. Possible cities include: Boston, Mass.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Chicago, Ill.; Houston, Tex.; London, United Kingdom; Nashville, Tenn.; Seattle, Wash.; Sydney, Australia; Tampa, Fla.; Westwood, N.J.; and Vancouver, Canada. Votes for cities can be cast at the Revelation website. City selections will be announced in September.