Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Why Microgen DBClarity Developer?

Some of you, particularly the SQL gurus amongst you, may be asking why you need Microgen DBClarity Developer.  So here are my thoughts.

I’ve lost track of the number of programmes, projects and initiatives I’ve worked on, but consistent throughout was a hunger for data to support the definition of requirements, business processes, success criteria, ROI, etc.  I’ve seen Business Analysts spending too much of their time writing SQL queries to get a better understanding of how a company’s product data is structured, or how their customer hierarchies are modelled, only for another BA to repeat the same process whilst on another project three months down the line.  Development resources are typically stacked trying to deliver the 50+ projects that are currently in-flight, and even if they did have a small window to help, they need briefing, and then the logic implemented need to be checked and validated.  It all takes valuable time.

I’ve seen BI teams, both developers and analysts, writing endless SQL queries and procedures to support the business’ need for insight – and that’s even when there is a full complement of BI reporting and visualisation tools available.  Indeed many large financial institutes have many hundreds of people developing SQL queries on behalf of the business, all without any real structure or control.

Then, to make matters worse, in a typical enterprise that has many flavours of database, the poor business analyst who’s just about become familiar with the Microsoft SQL syntax now has to go interrogate some data on an Oracle or Teradata platform!  I can hear the screams now… why does this date function not work, why is this join different…

The scenarios are endless, but take a step back and ask how many of these queries and procedures are inconsistent, how many versions of the truth are being reported out there, how many development briefs are misinterpreted and subsequent business decisions made on invalid logic?

And this seems to be the story wherever you go, whether on a large scale or pocketed away in small teams, the fact is every company has some level of SQL development that is going on in an inconsistent and uncontrolled manner.

So why Microgen DBClarity Developer?  Well we’ve addressed these and many other issues by developing a product that enables the visual creation and maintenance of SQL views, functions, triggers and procedures so that you don’t need to know database specific SQL.  A product that has a repository with full version management and security so that you can collaborate and gain control of your procedures, and one that I really love is the ability to define SQL expressions (e.g. a KPI calculation) once and re-use them across multiple queries.  With a fully featured visual debugger and features such as a “where used” report for impact analysis, Microgen DBClarity Developer really is an enterprise level SQL development tool.

So next time you’re trying to explain to a business user what your 200 line SQL query does, just think how much easier it would be talking through a visual diagram.

Don't forget you can download a free trial version from www.microgen.com/dbclarity

Friday, 14 October 2011

Launch Fanfare

Last week was a very exciting one; not only was Microgen a gold sponsor at the Teradata Partners event in San Diego, but we launched a beta release of our new product Microgen DBClarity Developer.  

It offers an innovative way of developing SQL views and procedures through graphical representation.  Designed to provide transparency and control over in-database processes, and help bridge the gap between business and IT through its visual environment.

We handed out many copies of a trial version of our beta release at the Partners event, and you can now download a 30-day trial version from the Microgen website.  If you’d like to get a feel for the product first, why not watch the introductory video at www.microgen.com/dbclarity

We have also posted a series of tutorials on the website that help you get to grips with the product.  They are based on the sample projects that are shipped with the software, so you can follow each tutorial step by step, and see the completed article in the sample project.

I’d love to get your thoughts and feedback on the product and how you think it could help your organisation, so please have a look and post your feedback.

More about Microgen DBClarity Developer coming soon.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A New Chapter

After many years of architecting, designing and developing business focused technology solutions, I am really excited that I am now Product Manager for Microgen Aptitude.  Microgen have a powerful technology platform that enables organisations to develop enterprise class applications that can leverage existing systems and data assets.  I was particularly drawn to this role as I can see how the product could have added huge value in past roles, and helped overcome a number of the challenges we faced.

During my career I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in both business and technology transformation initiatives, and have seen first-hand the challenges faced by organisations trying to respond quickly to changing market conditions.

From implementing SOA, sales automation, legacy integration and migration programmes through to enterprise wide adoption of agile methodologies, they all challenge us in the way we work together, what technologies we use and how they integrate, and the end results typically dictate significant change to business processes.

So it is with this in mind that I get animated about Microgen Aptitude, my company’s flagship product.  Microgen Aptitude provides an end-to-end visual approach to application development that breaks down traditional barriers, enabling true collaboration amongst business and IT folk.  The platform includes all the technology elements one needs to develop applications including BPM, business rules, integration, ETL, and web applications.  These elements were designed from the ground up as a single integrated product, which is based on a service orientated architecture with full orchestration capabilities.  This enables fast development of enterprise scale solutions without the challenges of a mixed toolset with proprietary languages (as is offered by some of the mega vendors).  Finally, the Aptitude solution is resilient and scalable and has the ability to process hundreds of millions of transactions per hour.  This all adds up to a platform that happily powers applications at some of the world’s largest investment banks and digital media providers.  

In this blog, I hope to discuss the challenges faced by companies today, and how they can rapidly develop applications to gain competitive advantage, whether they’re to improve operations, launch new products, or leverage existing data.

Next; the Teradata Partners event where we launched a new product.