August 22, 2010

The Workday architecture — a new kind of OLTP software stack

One of my coolest company visits in some time was to SaaS (Software as a Service) vendor Workday, Inc., earlier this month. Reasons included:

Workday kindly allowed me to post this Workday slide deck. Otherwise, I’ve split out a quick Workday, Inc. company overview into a separate post.

The biggie for me was the data and object management part. Specifically: 

Other notes on Workday’s data and object management strategy include:

Obviously, serious apps have been built before in object-oriented and/or key-value ways, with the resulting objects then being banged to disk (or in some cases kept in memory). Examples include:

Still, perhaps because it’s wholly object-oriented yet doesn’t even bother with anything like a real object-oriented DBMS, Workday’s approach seems particularly cool.

Other highlights of Workday, Inc.’s technical story include:

This post is part of a three-post series

Comments

13 Responses to “The Workday architecture — a new kind of OLTP software stack”

  1. Workday comments on its database architecture | DBMS 2 -- DataBase Management System Services on August 22nd, 2010 6:23 am

    [...] my discussion of Workday’s technology, I gave an estimate that Workday’s database, if relationally designed, would require [...]

  2. Workday, Inc. company overview | DBMS 2 -- DataBase Management System Services on August 22nd, 2010 6:24 am

    [...] main post on Workday’s technology got really long, so I decided to split out a company backgrounder separately. Here [...]

  3. Event Report — Workday Technology Summit 8-23-2010 — Humongous Post on August 24th, 2010 1:33 pm

    [...] I couldn’t make this important session to my regret, but I’ve tried to capture as much as possible of the twitterstream via RTs.  Below is my twitterstream from this period, read as you know from the bottom up to get chron order.  Following that are two sources (thus far) of the total twitterstream as captured by colleagues who were there using tools with which I’m not familiar.  And I’m sure there will be a deluge of blog posts/analyst reports/etc. coming very soon.  Already posted are Dennis Howlett, Brian Sommer, Mipro.  A good backgrounder on Workday’s technology stack, written before the Summit is here. [...]

  4. Roland Bouman on January 16th, 2011 7:35 pm

    Curt,

    Sorry for posting late – I was just wondering about the distinction between the Entity-Attribute-Value vs InstanceID-Attribute-Value model as mentioned by Workday.

    To me this sounds like this is actually a solution to implement a graph store inside MySQL, where the InstanceID is a node, and attributes are properties of the node, where some attributes represent relationships to other nodes, that is to say, edges. Is this correct?

    Thanks in advance, and kind regard –

    Roland.

  5. Curt Monash on January 17th, 2011 1:58 am

    Sorry, Roland. I was being a bit sloppy.

    Anyhow, I’m going to duck the meat of your question, because I don’t find it particularly intuitive to call generic object models graphs, even when it’s theoretically very defensible.

  6. Mike on February 17th, 2011 3:17 pm

    The slide deck
    http://www.monash.com/uploads/Workday-August-2010.ppt
    seems to be corrupted. Is there a good version that you can put up?

    Thanks!

  7. Curt Monash on February 17th, 2011 7:28 pm

    The slide deck link is looking good to me. Please try again and let me know how it goes.

  8. Starcounter | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on April 13th, 2011 12:57 pm

    [...] guessing this isn’t an H-Store/VoltDB architecture, but rather something more like what Workday [...]

  9. Mark Adkins on April 20th, 2011 7:58 pm

    Curt – I appear to have the same problem with the Powerpoint deck. Powerpoint asks me to repair it. Is there anyway to save it online, or another way to download it?

  10. Curt Monash on April 21st, 2011 3:13 am

    I just saved it, made some invisible edits, and re-uploaded it. If problems persist, please start noting what browser you’re using, whether you’re opening it as an Office 2003/compatibility mode file (correct) or trying to pretend it’s a .pptx (which it isn’t), and anything else you think might be helpful. Thanks!

  11. Traditional databases will eventually wind up in RAM | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on May 23rd, 2011 11:05 am

    [...] (Software as a Service) companies — such as Workday — often bring a particular tenant’s database entirely into [...]

  12. Analyzing Larry Ellison | ServicesANGLE on March 22nd, 2012 2:49 pm

    [...] feel abotu your old nemesis Dave Duffield? He is building something pretty exciting at Workday. As Monash also said, their applications run entirely in-memory in object oriented structures. Their interface [...]

  13. Analyzing Larry Ellison | ServicesANGLE on March 24th, 2012 12:49 pm

    [...] feel about your old nemesis Dave Duffield? He is building something pretty exciting at Workday. As Monash also said, their applications run entirely in-memory in object oriented structures. Their interface [...]

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