Archive for the ‘IDG Insider’ Category

What is a database? Once upon a time, it was simple. The database was a modern Bob Cratchit putting data in tables made up of very straight columns filled with one row per entry. Long, endless rectangles of information stretching on into the future.

The relational database has been the bedrock of modern computing. The vast majority of websites are just a bunch of CSS lipstick painted on top of SQL. Everything that makes us special is just another row … Read the rest

Most any application needs some form of persistence—a way to store the data outside of the application for safekeeping. The most basic way is to write data to the file system, but that can quickly become a slow and unwieldy way to solve the problem. A full-blown database provides a powerful way to index and retrieve data, but may also be overkill. Sometimes all you need is a quick way to take a freeform piece of information, associate it with … Read the rest

Big data and analytics initiatives can be game-changing, giving you insights to help blow past the competition, generate new revenue sources, and better serve customers.

Big data and analytics initiatives can also be colossal failures, resulting in lots of wasted money and time—not to mention the loss of talented technology professionals who become fed up at frustrating management blunders.

How can you avoid big data failures? Some of the best practices are the obvious ones from a basic business management … Read the rest

A long time ago, developers wrote assembly code that ran fast and light. On good days, they had enough money in their budget to hire someone to toggle all those switches on the front of the machine to input their code. On bad days, they flipped the switches themselves. Life was simple: The software loaded data from memory, did some arithmetic, and sent it back. That was all.

Today, developers must work with teams spread across multiple continents where people … Read the rest

Several years into widespread JavaScript fatigue, the front-end ecosystem isn’t getting any smaller or simpler. The world of front-end testing is also expanding, and the tools tend to be opinionated from framework to framework. This is sort of a double-edged sword. One the one hand, picking a framework narrows the testing options we have to choose from. On the other hand, testing stacks are less portable across frameworks, so we may have to learn a whole new set of tools … Read the rest

Scaling a relational database isn’t easy. Scaling a relational database out to multiple replicas and regions over a network while maintaining strong consistency, without sacrificing performance, is really hard.

ed choice plumInfoWorld

How hard? The CAP Theorem says that you can only have two of the following three properties: consistency, 100 percent availability, and tolerance to network partitions.

A network partition is a break that blocks all possible paths between some two points on the network. Partitions do happen, even if you … Read the rest

Everyone wants faster database queries, and both SQL developers and DBAs can turn to many time-tested methods to achieve that goal. Unfortunately, no single method is foolproof or ironclad. But even if there is no right answer to tuning every query, there are plenty of proven do’s and don’ts to help light the way. While some are RDBMS-specific, most of these tips apply to any relational database.

Whether you’re coding on SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, Sybase, MySQL, or some other … Read the rest

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime, built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine, that’s suitable for implementing both desktop and server apps. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient compared to threaded servers, such as Apache, IIS, and your typical Java server.

While you can implement a web server or app entirely in plain Node.js code, an MVC framework can greatly reduce the amount of code you need to write. MVC (model-view-controller) is a paradigm intended … Read the rest

“The right tool for the right job.” If such wisdom holds true anywhere, it certainly holds true with the choice of database a developer picks for a given application. Document databases, one of the family of data products collectively referred to as “NoSQL,” are for developers who want to focus on their application rather than the database technology.

With a document database, data is not stored in tables with distinct column types. Instead, it’s stored in freeform “documents” with … Read the rest

Amazon Web Services clearly dominates the field. One of the first clouds, AWS is today’s leading choice for good reason. It offers so many options and services under its virtual roof that it’s nearly impossible to summarize the breadth. There are dozens of machine types to choose from, dozens of ways to store data, and hundreds if not thousands of software packages you can use to build out your environment. That’s the definition of the 800-pound gorilla in the cloud.… Read the rest