Progress, Apama, and DataDirect
Analysis of Progress Software and its various product lines, including Apama, DataDirect, and OpenEdge. Related subjects include:
- CEP (Complex Event Processing)
- Mid-range OLTP and general-purpose database management systems
- (in Text Technologies) Progress’ EasyAsk natural language recognition technology
My recent non-technical Apama briefing has now had a much more technical sequel, with charming founder and former Cambridge professor John Bates. He still didn’t fully open the kimono – trade secrets and all that — but here’s the essence of what’s going on.
Complex event/stream processing (CEP) is all about looking for many patterns at once. Reality – the stream(s) of data – is checked against these patterns for matches. In Apama, these patterns are kept in a kind of tree – they call it a hypertree — and John says the work to check them is only logarithmic in the number of patterns.
Since patterns commonly have multiple parts — and usually also take time to unfold — what really goes on is that partial matches are found, after which what’s being matched against is the REMAINDER of the pattern. Thus, there’s constant pruning and rebalancing of the tree. What’s more, a large fraction of all patterns – at least in the financial trading market — involve a short time window, which again creates a need for ongoing, rapid tree modification. Read more
|Categories: Complex event processing (CEP), Memory-centric data management, Progress, Apama, and DataDirect||4 Comments|
More and more, I find myself addressing questions of database portability and transparency, most particularly in the cases of EnterpriseDB, Ants Software, and now also Dataupia. None of those three efforts is very large yet, but so far I’d rate their respective buzzes to be very encouraging in the case of EnterpriseDB, non-discouraging or better in the case of Ants, and too early to judge for Dataupia. On the whole, it definitely seems like a matter worthy of attention.
With that as backdrop, where is all this compatibility/portability/transparency stuff going to lead? Read more
|Categories: ANTs Software, Dataupia, Emulation, transparency, portability, EnterpriseDB and Postgres Plus, Progress, Apama, and DataDirect||Leave a Comment|
In my post Monday about Apama, I complained that StreamBase hadn’t offered a rebuttal to some of Apama’s claims. This has now been fixed. Bill Hobbib, StreamBase’s VP of Marketing wrote in. Part of what he had to say was the following.
Adapters to Data Feeds
Your blog comment that adapters doesn’t seem like a key competitive differentiator is accurate, and since adapters are so straightforward to develop with StreamBase as part of a customer engagement, we’ve never found adapters to be a key competitive differentiator. The comment by a competitor that their advantage over StreamBase comes from their having developed more adapters suggests they cannot distinguish themselves based on the other functional capabilities that are important to customers. In reality, our speed/performance and scalability are orders of magnitude superior to competitors, as is the speed with which StreamBase applications are developed, deployed, and modified when business needs change. (If it were easy to develop applications with certain competitive systems, then one might assume they would make free evaluation versions of their product available for download from their websites!)
That being said, StreamBase offers adapters to a broad array of data feeds. Most of these are offered out-of-the-box by StreamBase, including the following:
* Financial Market Data: processes data from Reuters® RMDS™ and Reuters Triarch™
* TIBCO® Rendezvous™: converts Rendezvous message into StreamBase tuples and vice versa.
* StreamBase Adapter for JDBC: connects StreamBase to enterprise databases, allowing submission of SQL queries to external resources such as IBM® DB2™, Oracle®, Microsoft® SQLServer™, and Sybase®.
* StreamBase Adapter for JMS: integrates StreamBase with any JMS-compliant message bus.
* StreamBase Adapter for Microsoft Excel™: allows applications to publish data to Excel or read data from Excel.
* StreamBase CSV Adapters: allow applications to read data from, and write data to, comma-separated value (CSV) files.
* StreamBase SMTP adapter: taps into the IP stack on a running system to process live data, converts the IP packets into a TCP data stream, or reads IP packets from captured files.
* StreamBase XML Adapter: streams XML-formatted data records into and out of StreamBase applications
We also can connect to financial exchanges either using our own adapters or through a third-party partnership. Below you’ll find a listing of those.
|Categories: Complex event processing (CEP), Memory-centric data management, Progress, Apama, and DataDirect, StreamBase||Leave a Comment|
I finally got my promised briefing with Progress Apama. Unfortunately, nobody particularly technical was able to attend, but I came away with a better understanding even so.
Unlike StreamBase or Truviso, Apama has a rules-based architecture. In essence, the rules engine maintains state of various kinds, and matches that state against desired patterns, called “scenarios.” They can handle 100s or possibly even 1000s of scenarios at once. Read more
|Categories: Complex event processing (CEP), Memory-centric data management, Progress, Apama, and DataDirect||2 Comments|
I’ve been implying that the short list for native XML database engine vendors should be Mark Logic, IBM, and maybe Microsoft, on the theory that Progress and Intersystems tried the market and pulled back. Well, add Intersystems to the list, and not necessarily in last place. They’ve long had a very fast nonrelational engine in Cache’. Perhaps building Ensemble on it has induced them to sharpen up the XML capabilities again.
Anyhow, while I’m not at liberty to explain more of my reasoning (i.e., to disclose my evidence) — Cache’ should be taken seriously as an XML DBMS alternative … even if I never can seem to get a proper DBMS briefing from them (which is far from entirely being their fault).
|Categories: IBM and DB2, Intersystems and Cache', MarkLogic, Microsoft and SQL*Server, Progress, Apama, and DataDirect, Structured documents||1 Comment|
For the past 20+ years – all the way back to when it was still privately held — I’ve periodically gotten up to speed on Progress Software. I’m trying again now, and to that end dropped by yesterday for a chat with Jeff Stamen. I’ll give a brief overview now – which is probably all I’m qualified to do right now anyway – and then loop back with more detailed info after I get it.
After a reorganization at the beginning of this (November) fiscal year, the vast majority of Progress’ products fall into one of five buckets, which I shall glibly refer to in decreasing order of size as “Progress Classic,” “SOA,” “drivers,” “memory-centric,” and “EasyAsk.” Here’s a quick overview of each. Read more
|Categories: Companies and products, Mid-range, Object, OLTP, Progress, Apama, and DataDirect||2 Comments|
Edit: This post has largely been superseded by this more recent one defining mid-range relational DBMS.
I find myself defining a new product category – midrange OLTP/multipurpose DBMS. (Or just midrange DBMS for brevity.) Nothing earthshaking here; I’m simply referring to those products that: Read more
|Categories: Actian and Ingres, EnterpriseDB and Postgres Plus, IBM and DB2, Intersystems and Cache', Microsoft and SQL*Server, Mid-range, MySQL, OLTP, Open source, Oracle, Progress, Apama, and DataDirect, solidDB, Sybase||8 Comments|
Oracle made a slick move in picking up Tangosol, a leader in object/data caching for all sorts of major OLTP apps. They do financial trading, telecom operations, big web sites (Fedex, Geico), and other good stuff. This is a reminder that the list of important memory-centric data handling technologies is getting fairly long, including:
- Object caching (e.g., Tangosol, Progress ObjectStore)
- In-memory RDBMS (e.g., Oracle TimesTen, Solid BoostEngine, McObject eXtremeDB)
- Stream processing (e.g., Progress Apama, Streambase)
And that’s just for OLTP; there’s a whole other set of memory-centric technologies for analytics as well.
When one connects the dots, I think three major points jump out:
- There’s a lot more to high-end OLTP than relational database management.
- Oracle is determined to be the leader in as many of those areas as possible.
- This all fits the market disruption narrative.
I write about Point #1 all the time. So this time around let me expand a little more on #2 and #3.
|Categories: Cache, Complex event processing (CEP), Database diversity, Memory-centric data management, MySQL, Netezza, OLTP, Oracle, Oracle TimesTen, Progress, Apama, and DataDirect, solidDB, StreamBase, Theory and architecture||3 Comments|
The standard Clayton Christensen “Innovator’s Dilemma” disruption narrative goes something like this:
- Market leaders have many advantages, including top technology.
- Followers come up with good technology too.
- The leaders stay ahead by making their products ever better and more complex.
- The followers sell into new or non-mainstream markets, at prices the leaders can’t match. So they dominate new markets.
- Old markets turn into low-margin commodity-fests.
- Old leaders are screwed.
And it’s really hard for market leaders to avert this sad fate, because the short- and intermediate-term margin hit would be too great.
I think the OLTP DBMS market is ripe for that kind of disruption – riper than commentators generally realize. Here are some key potential drivers:
Most of what I’ve written lately about database management seems to have been focused on analytic technologies. But I have a lot to say on the OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing) side too. So let’s start by clearing the decks. Here’s a list of some consensus views that I in essence agree with:
- Oracle is the top of the line, and has nothing wrong with it other than cost of ownership and the non-joys of doing business with Oracle Corporation.
- DB2/mainframe is a fine product, but only if you like IBM mainframes.
- DB2/open systems is another fine product, but it’s hard to think of reasons to use it over Oracle.
- Microsoft SQL Server has great cost of ownership if you’re a Windows (server) shop anyway, especially on the administrative side. It does most but not all of what Oracle does.
- Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise is a lot like SQL Server, but without the Windows dependence or the great Microsoft tools. If you have it installed or are Chinese, you should strongly consider using it, but otherwise there are better alternatives.
- Progress’ DBMS is great if you don’t need any of the features it’s missing. Administration, for example, is a super-low-cost breeze. But why use it unless you’re also using the Progress development tools?
- Intersystems’ Cache’ is another fine mid-range product that involves buying into the vendors’ whole tool set – all the more so because it isn’t relational.
- Small-footprint embedded DBMS, from vendors such as Sybase’s iAnywhere division or Solid Information Technologies, are off in their own little world. Mainly, that world is telecom, with a satellite in medical devices, although other kinds of networked equipment also sometimes use these products.
- IBM’s non-DB2 database management products – IMS, Informix, etc. – are fine things to stick with until you have to change. Ditto products from Software AG, Computer Associates, Cincom, etc.
- MySQL Version 4 is an OLTP joke, but it’s a joke many people share. (Hey — a lot of blogs, including mine, run on WordPress and MySQL 4.)
- Until Ingres is meaningfully marketed and sold outside its installed base, it’s not worth worrying about.
- PostgreSQL is more significant as the underpinning of other products — mainly EnterpriseDB in the OLTP space — than it is in its own right.