Organising organisation

Insights from the enterprise: a ‘meaningful’ reshaping of the database landscape

Lucy Carey
organise

Embarcadero’s Mark Barringer discusses why ‘unstructured’ Big Data models aren’t as disorganised as you might think, and ways to reduce downtime in production systems.

Big Data companies have seen a marked shift in how
their customers implement their products. Along with a
growing awareness
of the range of next generation databases and
best use case scenarios, database users are increasingly willing to
rethink how they manage their Big Data systems. All this is
something Mark Barringer, Product Line Sales Manager at
Embarcadero, says has influenced the company’s product
strategy.

Embarcadero offers a range of database tools for
enterprise which support the entire development life cycle,
consisting of:
ER/Studio, CONNECT, DBArtisan, Rapid SQl, DB Optimizer and DB
Change Manager.

With these tools spanning everything from database
design to development and administration of the latest database
management system (DBMS) platforms, Embarcadero has customers in
fields as diverse as finance, petrochemical, pharmaceutical,
manufacturing to online gaming. For this reason, the
company invests a considerable amount of time talking to its user
base.

According to Barringer, they need to know not only how
customers want their existing tools to evolve, but also “how their
way of working is changing and how new tooling can continue to
improve their productivity and innovation.”

database users are increasingly willing to rethink how
they manage their Big Data systems

Barringer observes that more organisations are
“bringing the Big Data ideas to development and under the
management of the IT operation teams. It’s interesting for instance
how data modelling still plays an important part.”

Another interesting behavioural change Embarcadero has
have observed is the ways in which data professionals, data
architects, developers and the business functions collaborate with
one another.

He notes that, “No longer does IT work in a silo to
build databases and create data models. The new breed of
information architects and data scientists are working with the
technical users to build an enterprise database landscape that is
meaningful and useful to the whole user community.”  

With the Embarcadero team constantly working to
optimise their software to better manage in increasingly complex
production environments, Barringer certainly has some key takeaways
for devs looking to up their game in this field.

No longer does IT work in a silo to build databases
and create data models

He states that, by “having a clear understanding of
the data structures of the underlying database of the applications
the developers are building, promotes productivity and minimises
the chances of misunderstanding the meaning of the tables and
columns.The self-service reporting can enable the developers and
other users for that matter to search for data objects without
having to continually revert to the database developer or the
DBA.

Using data models and round trip engineering to drive
the development of databases can not only provide clarity but also
consistency in the use of structure definitions which ultimately
produces higher quality data in the organisation.”

Another thing that Embarcadero is finding is that
developers are using profiling and tuning techniques to quickly
investigate potential bottlenecks to understand poor performing
applications. Barringer says that, “If the issue can be resolved as
CPU, I/O or poorly constructed SQL code, it shortens project
development times and reduces downtime in production systems.“

2014 is slated as a benchmark year for Embarcadero’s
database tools. With the theme for the year “Big Models, Big
landscapes, Big Teams and Big Data”, the company will be looking to
build on their latest release: XE5, which adds enhanced support for
the latest DBMS platforms and ER/Studio XE5 release.

Organisations are building ever larger and more
complex data models and “wish to publish this key information out
to an increasing collaborative user community” – something
Embarcadero is keen to support.

Embarcadero is finding is that developers are using
profiling and tuning techniques to quickly investigate potential
bottlenecks

Ultimately, as Barringer sees it, the value of “fully
understanding enterprise data is becoming crucial not only for
operation  performance and productivity, but also for
compliance reasons. We will see our tools support more Big Data and
NoSQL platforms allowing data professionals to manage their entire
database environment with a single set of tools.”

Embarcadero customer feedback is that they need,
“tools to enable coordination, collaboration and automation for
their agile high-performance teams.” And so, the team will be
working to help enable these big teams to enhance the way they
manage data and information as a strategic corporate asset, monitor
and manage data assets for structural, content, availability and
performance changes.

All of this, Barringer hopes, will further enhance
collaboration and agility between the DBAs, data architects,
developers and business users, creating better leverage of the data
and metadata across the organisation.

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