Friday, 4 November 2011

Set SQL - Exploiting the power of a database

I have just read a great blog post from George Coleman, the much respected Teradata engineer and Set SQL guru, reflecting on the history of database programming culminating in the Set SQL we all know and love today.

What I found particularly interesting were the origins of programming with flowcharts, and how this visual representation of process and logic is easy to understand and remains an excellent way of documenting procedural systems.  Obviously database programming has evolved into a textual language, and enables us to fully exploit advances in RDBMS technologies and massively parallel processing - rather fortunate given the significant increases in data volumes and our unabated appetite for insight!

But wait, haven’t we lost something along the way? 

Database programming, in the form of SQL, has become so advanced and so functionally rich that is its use, beyond the basics at least, is now restricted to the realm of us technical folk.  So now those poor business users and subject matter experts who could once work with a flowchart to define and implement their requirements have to rely on the interpretation of a developer to deliver their data needs, and then have no way of checking whether the results reflect what they actually wanted.

So wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow combine the power of Set SQL and the usability and intuitiveness of a visual diagram.  Not only for basic data retrieval, but as a way of developing comprehensive database procedures that can combine, transform, aggregate and analyse large data sets.  Just think of the increased collaboration, accuracy and productivity gains that could be achieved with an environment that can graphically generate complex Set SQL and deploy it straight to the database.

Well, now this is all possible - with Microgen DBClarity Developer.  In Microgen's quest to simplify the complex when it comes to developing enterprise applications, it saw the challenges normally associated with the definition and implementation of business logic extend into the data space.  Exacerbated by the growth in data volumes, with typical work around solutions like data manipulation within Excel becoming unworkable, Microgen decided to tackle this head on.  Leveraging years of experience crafting and refining a graphical environment for developing business processes and rules, Microgen have created a completely graphical approach for developing Set SQL.

So as George encourages you to migrate your old database code into Set SQL, why not simplify the process and reduce your learning curve by taking the graphical approach.  Give it a try at