Emulation, transparency, portability

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

August 4, 2010

ANTs Software CEO insults Sybase, claims migration success

Edit: ANTs Software seems to have subsequently collapsed, which may be why some of these links broke too.

Jeff Pryslak of Sybase put up a post insulting ANTs Software and the general idea of ANTs-aided Sybase-to-DB2 migration. CEO Joe Kozak of ANTs hit back with a rambling diatribe, which came to my attention because he mentioned my name in it, making some rather fanciful remarks about the “long” relationship I used to have with ANTs Software. (I do recall at least one briefing, plus some attempts from them to buy my services under the condition that I agree to a ridiculous NDA, which I refused to sign.)

This piqued my interest, so — recalling that ANTs is a public company — I decided to take a look at just how successful their software products business is. Well, for the quarter ended March 31, 2010, ANTs’ 10-Q filing says (emphasis mine):  Read more

June 26, 2010

Netezza’s version of EnterpriseDB-based Oracle compatibility

EnterpriseDB has some deplorable business practices (my stories of being screwed by EnterpriseDB have been met by “Well, you’re hardly the only one”). But a couple of more successful DBMS vendors have happily partnered with EnterpriseDB even so, to help pick off Oracle users. IBM’s approach was in the vein of an EnterpriseDB-infused version of SQL handling within DB2.* Netezza just announced an EnterpriseDB-based Netezza Migrator that is rather different.

*The comment threads are the most informative parts of those posts.

I’m a little unclear as to the Netezza Migrator details, not least because Netezza folks don’t seem to care too much about Netezza Migrator themselves. That said, the core ideas of Netezza Migrator are:  Read more

May 12, 2010

The Clustrix story

After my recent post, the Clustrix guys raised their hands and briefed me. Takeaways included:    Read more

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

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