DW Platform Evolutions
Analytic Application Platform Models
Analytic applications development platforms usually combines some
or all of the following software tools:
- Data warehouse or Data mart generation
- Database management
- Data presentation
- Security/user rights management
- Collaboration tools
- Templates and wizards
Such platforms enable rapid implementation of analytic applications.
By developing on an analytic applications platform, IT departments
or systems integrators can focus on their core competency of customizing
analytic applications for their clients rather than reinventing
the wheel developing and/or integrating core BI and DW components.
There are two main models emerging for provision of analytics applications
- Database Driven Models
- Specialty Analytic Applications Driven
Database Driven Models
Relational database vendors are including a complete horizontal
package that incorporates:
- Data warehouse generation
- Database management
- Access tools
Database vendors have traditionally dominated the DW management
function and are now actively moving into the other two DW functions.
Examples of Databases with embedded BI and/or ETL tools include:
- Microsoft's PerformancePoint Server - SQL
Server with multidimensional analysis, basic data mining and reporting
services, as well as Data transformation services [DTS] ETL component.
- Oracle9i - a relational database that includes
Oracle9i OLAP and Oracle9i Data Mining. It can also be supplemented
with Oracle's Warehouse Builder tool.
The underlying goal of these database companies is to sell their
database into the business analytics market to supplement the sale
of databases for transaction processing environments.
Relational database vendors position their analytic DBMS platforms
for building analytic applications and target both database administrators
and application developers with their platforms.
Specialty Analytic Applications Driven
These platforms are offered by the BI, ETL and specialty analytic
applications platform vendors that have crossed market segments,
- Cognos DecisionStream
- Business Objects Data Integrator
- SAS DataFlux
These solutions are all based on acquisitions of ETL tools by BI
Industry Specific Packages
Many of these BI vendors have entered the analytic applications
market with packaged domain and/or industry-specific software products,
- SAS Supplier Relationship Management
- Cognos Financial Analytics
- BusinessObjects Customer Intelligence
- Informatica Supply Chain Analytics
- Hyperion Planning
- SPSS PredictiveMarketing
Analytic applications development platforms that combine various
data management tools and development templates and wizards include:
- BusinessObjects Application Foundation
- Cognos Series 7
- Informatica Analytics Delivery Platform
- Hyperion Essbase XTD Application Framework
Such solutions combine various data management, security and collaboration
tools with templates and wizards, to allow application developers
faster development and deployment cycles for custom build analytic
These vendors are positioned in the market between standalone BI
and DW tools and prepackaged analytic applications.
In the future, one could expect relational database vendors to
continue to improve OLAP, data mining, reporting and warehouse generation
services embedded in the database. They will also provide more sophisticated
warehouse management tools with improved performance and more automation.
Database vendors may move up to the prepackaging continuum to provide
templates and analytic applications. This is likely to complicate
the market, and make vendor strategies more difficult to discern.
The likelihood of this move depends largely on core size and strength.
- IBM is unlikely to start providing packaged
- Oracle, which already has a substantial applications
[including analytics] business is likely to continue in that direction.
- Microsoft is more likely to target both the
analytic applications development platform market AND the packaged
analytic applications market through its Great Plains applications
Packaged analytic applications will become more specialized, along
with seamless data integration and presentation for disparate relational
It is likely that the two rival platform models will coexist out
of necessity, but consolidation is likely.
- Oracle, Microsoft and Teradata – all of which have their
own applications businesses – are more likely to continue
a move into analytic applications.
- At the same time, except for SAS, which has its own relational
database, none of the BI or ETL vendors are likely to enter the
warehouse management market.
All this is good and bad news for customers. Bundled capabilities
tend to add cost to the application, and often the capability range
of individual tools is more constrained than offered in stand alone
versions. This means that customers may likley be forced to pay
for ETL bundled tools AND have to purchase a best of breed ETL solution
to gain all the feature functionality they desire.
This has already occured in the ETL and Data Quality tool market.
As more emphasis is being placed on data quality, one can expect
more data quality functionality to be incorporated into the next
generation analytic platforms, leading to further acquisitions and
consolidation. [SAS acquired DataFlux and Ascential acquired Vality].
Other features likley to be embedded in analytic platforms include:
- Advanced Visualisation Development Tools
DW Platform Solutions
Leading Enterprise DW grade platforms include:
SQL Server 2008 - significant performance increases
over 2005 version.
- Teradata's 5450 Server - features a boost of
18 per cent in the price/performance ratio over previous models
and more powerful utilisation of Teradata's market-leading analytical
- HP - BI and data integration. Neoview product combines HP hardware
with a NonStop-inspired massively parallel database.
DW Platform Requirements
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SQL Server 2008 | Informatica | Teradata
MDM | Teradata & Informatica
| Vendor Models | DW
Platform Requirements | Sybase PowerDesigner