Interesting Start to 2009
Well, this year is certainly off to an interesting start. I think we're all holding our breath to some extent, but remember some exciting things are going on. I was intrigued to see an article talking about the federal government using Web 2.0 technology to update their Web site. I actually wondered how they managed to switch content to Obama on the day of the inauguration – speed is not my first impression of how the government works (check out my Blog on our Web site – more detail appears there). The government has also been one of the first to incorporate EA (Enterprise Architecture) into their processing – being on the leading edge is another mild surprise.
Everyone's doing something new – remember that sea change we all talk about. IT is changing drastically – make sure you keep up.
Here's the schedule or you can view the complete schedule on our Website:
CSTA Web sessions:
February 11, 12
March 11, 12
UITJ (Understanding IT Jobs) Web sessions:
TR Web sessions:
Keep in touch and keep up with technology!
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This is absolutely everybody's hot point (or at least one of them). Gone are the days when every system had its own database, and all the data it needed was contained in one resource. Both the sales system and the customer system needed some of the same information, so we had to integrate data from both applications. Then because our employees were also customers, we needed some of that data. And our customers didn't always pay in a timely manner, so we needed a collections database. Data Integration is a hot topic as companies need to be able to access data from multiple sources in both operational and business intelligence systems. Companies have to handle redundant, inconsistent, inaccurate, and imprecise data, and when the data comes from different sources we have more of these problems.
The same data can be expressed differently. Do you always provide your name the same way? Very few of us do, which means that if we have a checking account, a savings account, and a mortgage at the same bank, one account could be Johnathan Jones, another John Jones, and the last John J. Jones. People have no trouble understanding that all these represent the same thing, but software does. This means that when we integrate data from multiple sources, the software has to reconcile the differences. It must understand whether we have one customer with three accounts, or three different customers.
Another view of this problem - take a simple piece of information such as an address. Sometimes it's spelled out as "street," other times it's abbreviated "st." Or, it could even be left off. How about state - it could be represented by the state name, the numeric code, or the alpha code. How do we want street and state to appear to our customers, partners, and employees? Can we live with the inconsistencies? Do we have to change some of the sources to make sure data is always expressed the same way? We don't have time to do this.
Different technologies are used for data integration. A survey by Oracle late in 2008 showed the use of different scenarios:
Data warehouse 55%
ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) platforms 30
SOA and data services 25
Part of BI (Business Intelligence) 24
Embedded in database 17
MDM (Master Data Management) platform 6*
Data integration must include five basic functions.
Data movement (core ETL capabilities and bulk data transfer)
Data synchronization (change data capture, data replication)
Data quality (data cleansing, data quality business rules)
Data management (Metadata management, MDM, data modeling)
Data services (single and federated data access, bulk data services)
We're used to data integration with data warehouses, and both are standard technology in many companies. Warehouses first appeared in the late 1980s, and their use has grown over the past 20 years. BI systems have basically grown with the warehouses. Now, the newer systems that require data integration are the BPM (Business Process Modeling) systems that are still considered to be "new" even though they've been around for many years. And, a BPM system needs the same integrated data that a data warehouse and the BI system needs. The obvious has happened; data warehousing, BI and BPM are merging. And, none of them would work without data integration.
The growth of data integration products and services has exceeded market expectations as companies recognize how important unified enterprise data is. The market is now expected to exceed $3 billion by 2012. Think you'll be hearing about it?
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1. What's the world's largest database – and just how big is it?
2. What's shadow IT?
3. Which of the following does not belong?
4. XML Schema is a language used to describe an XML document. It contains the constraints on the structure and content of documents fitting that type. It's not the only XML Schema language; what's its biggest competition?
5. How many browsers have you downloaded?
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I've gotten a few questions on "$30 billion = 900,000," so here's a little more detail. IBM CEO Sam Palmisano told members of the Barack Obama transition team that a $30 billion government investment in the IT industry could lead to the creation of more than 900,000 jobs in areas such as broadband access, health care IT and upgrading the electrical grid. The breakdown said that investing $10 billion in broadband networks to provide high-speed Internet access to areas that lack it would create 498,000 new jobs in a year, while a $10 billion investment in health care IT could create 212,000 jobs. In addition, IBM said a $10 billion investment in upgrading the electrical grid would lead to the creation of 239,000 additional jobs.
Just found out this $30 billion is in the stimulus package. Now, be sure you're ready for this. IT is changing and growing. We all have to change and grow with it. I know times are scary, and none of us know exactly what's going to happen in 2009, but we do know this: IT is changing and growing. I am in the midst of adding functional programming and functional programming languages to the CSTA course and to TechRef ®. Some of the techie bloggers think this is going to be one of the hottest skills in 2009. Both of these products are updated constantly. They have to be.
Remember, we research technology, so you don't have to. Just keep up with us!
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Just plain appliance, or computer appliance. This is a software/hardware combination with a specific function. Watch this category as some IT gurus feel this is the eventual direction of IT. We will have specific devices for all major functions - see the list below.
database appliance Database system that combines hardware and software - a DBMS (DataBase Management System) and an OS (Operating System). Usually both the hardware and software are provided by a single vendor, but "software appliances" also exist where the bundled database and operating system can run on any common hardware. A common use for these systems is data warehousing as they are usually scalable through terabtyes of data. Because they are acquired as a single system, installation, maintenance, and support are simplified.
data warehouse appliance Combination of hardware and software that is dedicated to data warehousing applications. Includes high-performance hardware with database, storage and other types of software. Often preconfigured for specific tasks, such as strategic analysis.
encryption appliance Security appliance that encrypts data from the network itself rather than from a general-purpose server. This allows organizations to encrypt more data in flight to storage at local or remote locations. Encryption keys are managed within the appliance itself.
firewall appliance A firewall appliance is a computer running firewall software. All entry into the protected system goes through this computer.
security appliance Security device that integrates hardware and software for various security functions. There are many different devices including firewall appliances and encryption appliances.
storage appliance Storage appliances combine storage devices, server functions, and storage management software. They can provide overall storage management or be more specific such as a storage encryption appliance, a backup appliance, or an archival storage appliance.
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1. There really is no definitive answer to this as "large" depends on whether you mean number of records, physical size, or a combination of the two. The most common answer is the NSA call database – the one created to keep track of phone calls. This one makes more sense – Yahoo's internal database that processes 24 billion events every day. The database is 2 PB (PetaBytes – quadrillions of bytes) in size. It's used to analyze the browsing habits of visitors. Yahoo expects it to grow into multiple tens of petabytes in 2009.
2. Computer terminology. Term used to describe IT systems and IT solutions built and used inside organizations without organizational approval. Often considered to be an important source for innovation and such systems may turn out to be "prototypes" for future approved IT solutions. These solutions, however, are not necessarily following the organization's requirements for control, documentation, security, reliability etc.
The term is also used for any application or transmission of data relied upon for business processes, which is not under the jurisdiction of a centralized IT or IS department. The IT department did not develop it, is or was not aware of it, and does not support it. It creates 'unofficial' and "uncontrolled" data flows. Examples of unofficial data flows include USB sticks or other portable data storage devices, online messaging software, Gmail or other online e-mail services, Google Docs or other online document sharing and Skype or other online VOIP software, and self-developed Access databases and self-developed Excel spreadsheets and macros.
3. They're all programming languages. But c) Lisp does not belong. Interesting enough, Clojure is actually a Lisp dialect, but Lisp is not a functional language, which is the definition of Clojure, F#, and Scala.
4. DTD (Document Type Definition) is one of the oldest schema languages, and is not only the biggest competition, it's actually the most used.
5. Even a couple of years ago many people were satisfied with IE (Internet Explorer) and didn't even consider another. Then, slowly, they started using Firefox and maybe Opera. Now, we've got Safari and Chrome. It's starting to be fun to have a choice!
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