Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Emerging Technologies 2009 from Gartner – Hype or Hope!

Gartner Hype cycle is a good way to take a bird’s eye view of where the technology markets are headed in a short and medium term. Here are some interesting trends being observed :

Cloud computing is seen to have climbed to the peak of hype from 2008 and holds a promising future as increasing number of enterprises are looking at reducing “on-premise” equipment and exploiting computational power, storage and apps in the cloud. Airtel Net PC is an example of commercial adoption of the concept.

SOA seems to have arrived! Though advancing a bit slowly, but surely, its out from white boards to some productive implementation at large enterprise level. Enterprises worldwide ‘dare’ to allocate bucks on this integration approach which has been finally making sense now. Web 2.0 seems to have been following the similar trend.

Micro blogging which was emerging in 2008 has seems to be loosing its shine this year.

Video Search, which has been there for a while now, mostly in the research labs, it catching some heat.

Certain technology trends like Tablet PC, Electronic Paper, Social Network Analysis, Green IT either have stagnated or disillusioned from their promising spots.

Focus clearly has shifted from media centric trends in 2007 and 2008 to otherwise conceptually unconventional enterprise technologies.


Gartner Hype Cycle 2009

 Gartner Hype Cycle 2008 

Gartner Hype Cycle 2007 


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Monday, February 23, 2009

Moving data between various databases

If the complex enterprise world was synonymous with an automobile, data can be considered as the fuel revving its engines. Enterprise applications either consume or generate the data to deliver the functionality for which they are designed.ETL_Basic

Enterprises persist data into various different source systems. Most of the organizations use standard RDBMS (i.e. MySQL, Oracle, DB2, MSSQL etc.) while some of them keep it simple by dumping data into spreadsheets, text files/csv, xml etc. There is also a considerable amount of data floating around as RSS, HTML and Emails and many more such bizarre data sources.

It can get extremely chaotic if there is a requirement to move such data between heterogeneous platforms using traditional data extraction and loading techniques. Data movement requirements can be envisaged with following few scenarios :

  • Database upgrades i.e. from oracle 1.x to 1.y
  • Database schema upgrades i.e. structural changes w.r.t. fields and tables.
  • Bulk loading of data from multiple and possibly heterogeneous data sources into a target database i.e. loading data into MySQL partly from DB2 and partly from Oracle
  • Moving data from source to target while transforming information being moved i.e.  First name and Last name fields being combined from source to Full Name field in target database.
  • Reconciliation of information from various dynamic data sources into a data warehouse.
  • Simple data archival requirements.

ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) is a function of Data Integration that provides the technology for moving data between variety of such data sources. ETL technology is being provided by variety of vendors today. Each offering has some or the other uniqueness in terms of  data sources it supports. Here are some of the prominent ETL products listed against vendors providing it :

  • Ab Initio
  • Adeptia [Data Tranaformation Server]
  • Altova [Mapforce]
  • Advanced ETL Processor
  • Barracuda Software [Barracuda Integrator]
  • CA [Data Integrator]
  • Corporator [Transformer]
  • CoSORT [CoSORT ETL Tools]
  • Crossflo Systems [Data Exchance]
  • DataHabitat [DH ETL]
  • Djuggler
  • Enhydra [Open Source]
  • Group 1 [Data Flow]
  • IBM [WebSphere DataStage]
  • iSoft [Amadea]
  • Ikan [ETL4ALL]
  • LogiXML [LogiETL]
  • Microsoft [SSIS]
  • Oracle [Oracle Data Integrator(ODI) / Oracle Warehouse Builder(OWB)]
  • Pentaho [Pentaho Data Integration, PDI]
  • Pervasive [Data Junction]
  • Platinum [Info Pump]
  • SAP/Business Objects [Data Integrator & Services]
  • SAS [Data Integration]
  • Sagent Technologies [Sagent Solution]
  • Solonde [Warehouse Workbench]
  • Sybase [Data Integration Suite & Data federation]
  • WisdomForce [FastReader]

Also, there are variety of Open Source ETL solutions available.

  • Apatar
  • Benetl
  • kJube
  • QXchange
  • Scriptella [Open Source ETL]
  • SUN Microsystems [SUN Data Integrator]
  • Teland [Talend Open Studio]

Here are some of the other prominent (Open Source) once - Browse List Here

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Can you resell Free/Open Source Software Products ?

Free/Open Source Product Software has always been a boon for Startups/Freelance Developers. Availability of quality code (for reuse or reference) acts aopen_source_solds a catalyst in  providing much needed agility that small enterprises need. This not only saved time to  market but also saved lots of moolah that would ,otherwise, be spent on buying costly licensed products.  However, “can you monetize freely available source code?”, is a question I am trying to analyze ?

What is a free software ?

GNU philosophy of free software explains this very well. Here is the gist:

  • When you think free software, think as in free speech, not as in free beer.
  • Users can exercise following freedom with the free software :
    • Freedom to run/execute the program for any purpose.
    • Freedom to study how the program works and adapt it to your needs.
    • Freedom to redistribute copies with friends, colleagues and community.
    • Freedom to enhance/improve the product code and release it for commercial use.
  • Free software does not mean non-commercial. A free program must be available for commercial use, commercial development, and commercial distribution.

What is an Open Source software ?

Almost all open source software is a free software and vice-versa. Like free software, open source software providers ensures that source code is available for the users to run/execute, study,redistribute, enhance and improve the software.

So where is the difference ?

Free software license (most commonly GNU GPL) ensures that any redistribution, enhancement or improvement to the source code is available (mandatory) along with the commercially available executables built out of modified code. This ensures passing all the benefits to the community no matter how the original software was used.

On the contrary, Open Source license (most commonly SUN CDDL) advocates redistribution of software on similar lines as GPL except that it does not make it mandatory to release the enhanced/improved code along with executables built out of modified code. This, to some extent, may stem the community contribution making source code more viable for repackaging into a commercially available proprietary products.

Thus, both Free and Open Source software can be sold and monetized as long as you abide by license agreement under which they exist.

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