Thursday, August 27, 2009

XML and Big Data - And why DB2 is hybrid

I could have titled this post as "lesson from the field". In this blog post, "How XML Threatens Big Data" is a report about experience made with using XML for some data projects, like biotech, and then continues to give "Three Reasons Why XML Fails for Big Data" and then "Three Rules for XML Rebels".

I was pulled to some IT projects where the focus was on doing everything in XML. People got overboard in adopting new technology. However, DB2 didn't scrape its relational capabilities for a reason and supports both relational and XML data side-by-side. This is because there a projects where relational format (a.k.a. tables with columns and rows) is the right storage format and there are projects where it is XML. In many cases both are needed and it is good that DB2 is a hybrid system, supporting relational data and XML data very well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sent from my... (Information Overload)

Yesterday evening I stumbled over a funny (non-IBM!) video about information overload. IBM also has a podcast on Information Overload. Too much is too much. But how much information is ok? And what information do you need? Do you get the right information? At the right time? At the right place? Are you able to make use of that information? Do you pay too much to get the right information?

IBM calls the process around answering these questions to establish an Information Agenda. Not as funny as the video, but certainly effective.

BTW: This message was not sent from a Blackberry.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Clicks, Hefeweizen, and Transactions

Maybe you noticed that I was on vacation. And even with almost no laptop/emails and not too many job-related thoughts, a database or IT guy is (almost) always seeing the infrastructure behind.

In the evenings we were enjoying (pre-ordered) 4 course dinners in the hotel restaurant. For the drinks, the waiters used a wireless handheld terminal. With few clicks on the touchscreen an order for my Hefeweizen was created, the order printed at the bar, the beer added to the sales records, and it also got charged to our room. All this is interesting, but who really cares about transactions when a fresh, cold Hefeweizen is arriving after a long day of hiking?