Mid-range

Analysis of database management systems optimized for general-purpose or transactional use, but not the most demanding high-end transactional applications. Related subjects include:

November 10, 2013

RDBMS and their bundle-mates

Relational DBMS used to be fairly straightforward product suites, which boiled down to:

Now, however, most RDBMS are sold as part of something bigger.

Read more

November 8, 2013

Comments on the 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems

The 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems is out. “Operational” seems to be Gartner’s term for what I call short-request, in each case the point being that OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing) is a dubious term when systems omit strict consistency, and when even strictly consistent systems may lack full transactional semantics. As is usually the case with Gartner Magic Quadrants:

Anyhow:  Read more

July 25, 2012

SQL Server to MySQL migration — why?

Oracle wants you to help you migrate from Microsoft SQL Server to MySQL. I was asked for comment, and replied:

Am I missing anything?

January 24, 2012

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and enterprise database choices in general

Microsoft is launching SQL Server 2012 on March 7. An IM chat with a reporter resulted, and went something like this.

Reporter: [Care to comment]?
CAM: SQL Server is an adequate product if you don’t mind being locked into the Microsoft stack. For example, the ColumnStore feature is very partial, given that it can’t be updated; but Oracle doesn’t have columnar storage at all.

Reporter: Is the lock-in overall worse than IBM DB2, Oracle?
CAM: Microsoft locks you into an operating system, so yes.

Reporter: Is this release something larger Oracle or IBM shops could consider as a lower-cost alternative a co-habitation scenario, in the event they’re mulling whether to buy more Oracle or IBM licenses?
CAM: If they have a strong Microsoft-stack investment already, sure. Otherwise, why?

Reporter: [How about] just cost?
CAM: DB2 works just as well to keep Oracle honest as SQL Server does, and without a major operating system commitment. For analytic databases you want an analytic DBMS or appliance anyway.

Best is to have one major vendor of OTLP/general-purpose DBMS, a web DBMS, a DBMS for disposable projects (that may be the same as one of the first two), plus however many different analytic data stores you need to get the job done.

By “web DBMS” I mean MySQL, NewSQL, or NoSQL. Actually, you might need more than one product in that area.

August 13, 2011

Couchbase business update

I decided I needed some Couchbase drilldown, on business and technology alike, so I had solid chats with both CEO Bob Wiederhold and Chief Architect Dustin Sallings. Pretty much everything I wrote at the time Membase and CouchOne merged to form Couchbase (the company) still holds up. But I have more detail now. ;)

Context for any comments on customer traction includes:

That said,

Membase sales are concentrated in five kinds of internet-centric companies, which in declining order are: Read more

April 4, 2011

Some thoughts on Oracle Express Edition

I was asked by a press person about Oracle 11g Express Edition. So I might as well also share my thoughts here.

1.  Oracle 11g Express Edition is seriously crippled. E.g., it’s limited to 1 GB of RAM and 11 GB of data. However …

2.  … I recall when I excitedly uncovered the first 1 GB relational databases, the way I’ve uncovered petabyte-scale databases in recent years. It was less than 20 years ago. This illustrates that …

3. … the Oracle 11g Express Edition crippleware is better than what top relational database users had 20 years ago. That in turn suggests …

4.  … there are plenty of businesses small enough to use Oracle 11g Express Edition for real work today.

5.  Sensible reasons for having an Oracle Express Edition start with test, development, and evaluation. But there’s also market seeding — if somebody uses it for whatever reason, then either the person, the organization, or both could at some point go on to be a real Oracle customer.

By the way, allowable database size of 11 GB is up from 4 GB a few years ago. That’s like treading water. :)

July 17, 2010

Sybase SQL Anywhere

After Powersoft acquired Watcom and its famed Fortran compiler, marketing VP Tom Herring told me that the hidden jewel of the acquisition might well be a little DBMS, Watcom SQL. To put it mildly, Tom was right. Watcom SQL became SQL Anywhere; Powersoft was acquired by Sybase; Powersoft’s and Sybase’s main products both fell on hard times; Sybase built a whole mobile technology division around SQL Anywhere; and the whole thing just got sold for billions of dollars to SAP. Chris Kleisath recently briefed me on SQL Anywhere Version 12 (released to manufacturing this month), which seemed like a fine opportunity to catch up on prior developments as well.

The first two things to understand about SQL Anywhere is that there actually are three products:

and also that there are three main deployment/use cases:

Read more

May 13, 2010

Further quick SAP/Sybase reactions

Raj Nathan of Sybase has been calling around to chat quickly about the SAP/Sybase deal and related matters. Talking with Raj didn’t change any of my initial reactions to SAP’s acquisition of Sybase. I also didn’t bother Raj with too many hard questions, as he was clearly in call-and-reassure mode, reaching out to customers and influencers alike.

That said,   Read more

April 5, 2010

Notes on the evolution of OLTP database management systems

The past few years have seen a spate of startups in the analytic DBMS business. Netezza, Vertica, Greenplum, Aster Data and others are all reasonably prosperous, alongside older specialty product vendors Teradata and Sybase (the Sybase IQ part).  OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing) and general purpose DBMS startups, however, have not yet done as well, with such success as there has been (MySQL, Intersystems Cache’, solidDB’s exit, etc.) generally accruing to products that originated in the 20th Century.

Nonetheless, OLTP/general-purpose data management startup activity has recently picked up, targeting what I see as some very real opportunities and needs. So as a jumping-off point for further writing, I thought it might be interesting to collect a few observations about the market in one place.  These include:

I shall explain. 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

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