Emulation, transparency, portability

Analysis of products that support the emulation of market-leading database management systems. Related subjects include:

January 15, 2010

Intersystems Cache’ highlights

I talked with Robert Nagle of Intersystems last week, and it went better than at least one other Intersystems briefing I’ve had. Intersystems’ main product is Cache’, an object-oriented DBMS introduced in 1997 (before that Intersystems was focused on the fourth-generation programming language M, renamed from MUMPS). Unlike most other OODBMS, Cache’ is used for a lot of stuff one would think an RDBMS would be used for, across all sorts of industries. That said, there’s a distinct health-care focus to Intersystems, in that:

Note: Intersystems Cache’ is sold mainly through VARs (Value-Added Resellers), aka ISVs/OEMs. I.e., it’s sold by people who write applications on top of it.

So far as I understand – and this is still pretty vague and apt to be partially erroneous – the Intersystems Cache’ technical story goes something like this: Read more

August 5, 2009

Dataupia is officially for sale

Dataupia marketing VP Samantha Stone — who by the way has been one heck of a trooper through Dataupia’s troubles — is joining the exodus from the company.  General graciousness aside, the heart of Samantha’s farewell email reads:

Unfortunately, we have had to reduce our burn rate as we seek an acquirer for our technology.

We have a group of loyal employees remaining on staff focused on current production customers and the acquisition efforts.

As part of the most recent staff reductions I will be leaving Dataupia.

Two years ago I wrote:

[Dataupia would] make a great acquisition for a BI company or DBMS vendor who could then say “Oh, no, this isn’t a DBMS appliance – it’s merely a data warehouse accelerator.” When you look at it that way, their chances of prospering look distinctly higher.

But at this point I think there probably would be more appealing ways for those vendors to meet the same needs.

June 10, 2009

Two lessons from Dataupia’s troubles

I’ve been beating my head against the wall trying to convince startups of two well-established truisms:

Maybe one or the other will learn from Dataupia’s example.

June 10, 2009

Dataupia’s troubles are now confirmed

Todd Fin pointed me yesterday to an article by Wade Roush that confirmed in detail layoffs and other troubles at Dataupia.  The article quotes Dataupia marketing VP Samantha Stone as saying Dataupia is down to 23 employees, and that some of the layoffs were in engineering.  This is consistent with what I’d been hearing for a while, namely that other analytic DBMS vendors were seeing a flood of Dataupia resumes, especially technical ones.

The article goes on to discuss difficulties Dataupia has had in raising another round of financing.  During Dataupia’s very long CEO search — which I kept hearing about from people who’d been approached for the job — it was obvious money wouldn’t come in until a CEO was found. But it seems that even with a new CEO, existing investors are reluctant to re-up without a new investor as well, and that new investment is slow in happening.

On the plus side, the article quotes Samantha as saying founder Foster Hinshaw is recovering well from his heart surgery.

May 26, 2009

Teradata Developer Exchange (DevX) begins to emerge

Every vendor needs developer-facing web resources, and Teradata turns out to have been working on a new umbrella site for its.  It’s called Teradata Developer Exchange — DevX for short.  Teradata DevX seems to be in a low-volume beta now, with a press release/bigger roll-out coming next week or so.  Major elements are about what one would expect:

If you’re a Teradata user, you absolutely should check out Teradata DevX.  If you just research Teradata — my situation :) — there are some aspects that might be of interest anyway.  In particular, I found Teradata’s downloads instructive, most particularly those in the area of extensibility.  Mainly, these are UDFs (User-Defined Functions), in areas such as:

Also of potential interest is a custom-portlet framework for Teradata’s management tool Viewpoint.  A straightforward use would be to plunk some Viewpoint data into a more general system management dashboard.  A yet cooler use — and I couldn’t get a clear sense of whether anybody’s ever done this yet — would be to offer end users some insight as to how long their queries are apt to run.

April 24, 2009

IBM’s Oracle emulation strategy reconsidered

I’ve now had a chance to talk with IBM about its recently-announced Oracle emulation strategy for DB2. (This is for DB2 9.7, which I gather has been quasi-announced in April, will be re-announced in May, and will be re-re-announced as being in general availability in June.)

Key points include:

Because of Oracle’s market share, many ISVs focus on Oracle as the underlying database management system for their applications, whether or not they actually resell it along with their own software. IBM proposed three reasons why such ISVs might want to support DB2: Read more

April 22, 2009

DBMS transparency layers never seem to sell well

A DBMS transparency layer, roughly speaking, is software that makes things that are written for one brand of database management system run unaltered on another.* These never seem to sell well. ANTs has failed in a couple of product strategies. EnterpriseDB’s Oracle compatibility only seems to have netted it a few sales, and only a small fraction of its total business. ParAccel’s and Dataupia’s transparency strategies have produced even less.

*The looseness in that definition highlights a key reason these technologies don’t sell well — it’s hard to be sure that what you’re buying will do a good job of running your particular apps.

This subject comes to mind for two reasons. One is that IBM seems to have licensed EnterpriseDB’s Oracle transparency layer for DB2. The other is that a natural upgrade path from MySQL to Oracle might be a MySQL transparency layer on top of an Oracle base.

Read more

July 7, 2008

EnterpriseDB’s itemized claims of Oracle compatibility

Obviously, I’m poking around EnterpriseDB’s site this morning (in connection with their status as my client, actually). Anyhow, we all know that one of EnterpriseDB’s core claims is great Oracle-compatibility — but what exactly do they mean by that? I found a fairly clearly laid-out answer, as of last year, in this white paper and and — even more simply — in this blog post summarizing the white paper.

June 26, 2008

Oracle’s hefty price increases

Jeff Jones of IBM wrote in to point out that Oracle is slathering on the price increases. I quote: Read more

May 30, 2008

ANTs bails out of the DBMS market

ANTs Data Server — i.e., the ANTs DBMS — has been sold off to a company called 4Js. It is now to be called Genero DB. Actually, 4Js has been selling or working on a version of the product called Genero DB since 2006, specifically an Informix-compatible one.

I’m not totally clear on why an Informix-compatible DBMS is needed in a world that already has Informix SE, but maybe IBM is overcharging for maintenance even on the low-end version of the product.

Meanwhile, ANTs, which had originally tried to get enterprises to migrate away from Oracle, is now focused on middleware called the ANTs Compatibility Server to help them migrate to Oracle, specifically/initially from Sybase.

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