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Insights from the enterprise: a 'meaningful' reshaping of the database landscape

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, Bellinger 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. Bellinger 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 Bellinger 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, Bellinger 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.

Lucy Carey

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