March 23, 2014

DBMS2 revisited

The name of this blog comes from an August, 2005 column. 8 1/2 years later, that analysis holds up pretty well. Indeed, I’d keep the first two precepts exactly as I proposed back then:

I’d also keep the general sense of the third precept, namely appropriately-capable data integration, but for that one the specifics do need some serious rework.

For starters, let me say: Read more

July 2, 2013

Notes and comments, July 2, 2013

I’m not having a productive week, part of the reason being a hard drive crash that took out early drafts of what were to be last weekend’s blog posts. Now I’m operating from a laptop, rather than my preferred dual-monitor set-up. So please pardon me if I’m concise even by comparison to my usual standards.

*Basic and unavoidable ETL (Extract/Transform/Load) of course excepted.

**I could call that ABC (Always Be Comparing) or ABT (Always Be Testing), but they each sound like – well, like The Glove and the Lions.

May 3, 2013

It’s time to change around Monash Research’s mailing lists

Email delivery of posts has been screwed up; multiple people tell me they haven’t gotten their email for months. (In the future, please tell me of such difficulties!) So it’s time for a change, and I’m asking for your advice as to what you’d suggest for our mailing list.

Yes, I’m asking via a blog post, even thought the core problem is that people who want to see my posts via e-mail aren’t getting them. Please work with me on this anyway. :)

My two basic questions are:

1. The nightly scheduling has been an artifact of an RSS-to-email link that no longer seems stable. So I’m thinking of just manually pasting each post into a list email, in which case:

It’s a bit more work for me, but probably nothing dire. Does lower latency sound good to everybody? :)

2. The main technical options seem to be: Read more

October 6, 2012

Analyzing big companies is hard

Analyzing companies of any size is hard. Analyzing large ones, however, is harder yet.

Such limitations should be borne in mind in connection with anything I write about, for example, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, or SAP.

There are many reasons for large companies to communicate less usefully with analysts than smaller ones do. Some of the biggest are:

Read more

September 27, 2012


Please disregard any intentions I expressed of traveling in October, in particular a trip to visit 20 or so California clients. I’m under doctor’s orders not to fly for several weeks, and also don’t feel like driving (or walking) any significant distances. Any meetings I have in the very near future will either be telephonic, or else within a few minute’s drive of my home office in Acton, MA.

The story behind this is:

Fortunately, that’s all it is — no fracture, and the sprain per se is mild. But about 4 doctors and nurses have told me this is really unusual bruising. Nobody has offered a precise opinion as to how soon it will clear up, but I gather the good case is 2-4 weeks and the bad case is twice that.

I should have plenty of opportunity to blog.

September 7, 2012

Integrated internet system design

What are the central challenges in internet system design? We probably all have similar lists, comprising issues such as scale, scale-out, throughput, availability, security, programming ease, UI, or general cost-effectiveness. Screw those up, and you don’t have an internet business.

Much new technology addresses those challenges, with considerable success. But the success is usually one silo at a time — a short-request application here, an analytic database there. When it comes to integration, unsolved problems abound.

The top integration and integration-like challenges for me, from a practical standpoint, are:

Other concerns that get mentioned include:

Let’s skip those latter issues for now, focusing instead on the first four.

Read more

August 19, 2012

DBMS2 analytic glossary — a new project

Enterprise software terminology is too often mired in confusion. I hope to lessen that by publishing a series of web pages that define and describe various industry terms, with one or several paragraphs per subject, and plenty of internal and external links.

Absent a better name, I’ll refer to this as an “analytic glossary”. I want users of the analytic glossary to learn or confirm:

I will do or closely direct the core writing myself. I may hire outside help for ancillary tasks, such as adding links, or for various kinds of wordsmithing.

All this presupposes a site redesign, which hasn’t begun. But I’ve started to draft the content. As I do, I’ll post it here. And I very much want you to comment.

If you think I got something wrong or left anything out — even if it’s just a nuance — please speak up! Later, when the glossary pages are live, I’ll  link them back to the original blog post discussions. Thus, your comments will be part of the permanent glossary record. Read more

July 30, 2012 is back up!

After several hours of DBMS 2 being down, I put out a “We’re broken” note from another blog. Naturally, the next fix I tried seems to have worked. My joy in that far outweighs my embarrassment. :) This kind of thing just happens once in a while when one has business-critical software that isn’t good at having a test-to-production staging cycle.

In case anybody ever runs into the same problems, the short form of the story is:

1. came down due to a corrupted automatic upgrade of WordPress.

2. The fix was to do an automatic install of WordPress to a dummy domain, then copy over the files in the domain’s root and wp-includes directories.

3. The one file that needed to be copied back from the old installation was wp-configure. (Once it occurred to me to start reading from index.php, it took me about 1 minute to figure that out …)


May 13, 2012

We’re back

Our blogs have been moved to a new hosting company, and everything should be working. Ditto our business site.

If you notice any counterexamples, please be so kind as to ping me.

May 9, 2012

Comments are briefly being turned off

I need to move web hosts, and am initiating the process now. This involves a large file copy, a recopy of same, and a variety of manual steps. So until the process is complete, updating site databases is a bad idea.

A comment is, of course, an update. So we’re closing off comments across DBMS 2, Strategic Messaging, Text Technologies, Software Memories, and the Monash Report. I hope to turn them back on shortly.

The sites should remain readable all the way through — unless, of course, there are more hosting company outages.

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