The View From 25B

Emma McGrattan


Birthday Balloons

I arrived in Islandia this morning to find my office completely filled with balloons.  I’m not sure if they’re to celebrate the launch of Actian 10, or my birthday, both of which we’re toasting today!

Despite blogging a few months ago that I was boycotting Apple iPads, I received one for my birthday and have been unable to let it out of my hands.  Even Mammy McGrattan, back in Dublin, knew as soon as she laid her paws on it that she could easily become addicted to it and after spending half an hour playing bridge against the computer she asked me to hide it from her.    Enough about me Mammy (sic), I suspect you’re here to read more about Actian 10! ;-)

With all the M&A activity that’s happened in the database world in recent years we’re seeing increased interest in migrating to Actian.   To make that process as simple as possible we decided to build out a set of migration tools that we’ve made available to our community here.  These tools do a nice job of migrating all the database schema objects including database procedures and we’re in the process of adding support for Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase as source databases.   As part of the migration process the tools generate a report of the stuff that can be migrated automatically and the stuff that requires some manual effort.   With Actian 10 we aimed to reduce the number of things that required manual effort so that we can capitalize on the uncertainty in the database space.

Probably the most significant new feature to be added to the Actian DBMS since the launch of Actian Corp, nearly 5 years ago, is Multi Version Concurrency Control (MVCC).   MVCC greatly increases transaction throughput in highly concurrent situations.  The fact that Actian didn’t support MVCC has bitten us during the testing and validation phase of a few of the migrations that we’ve undertaken.   Typically it isn’t uncovered until the scalability testing phase of a project and having to revisit transaction design at that late stage is very costly.   There’s no way of determining this requirement from the database schema so the migration wizard can’t flag it, and oftentimes the application developers have no idea that their applications are dependent on it.    Migrating to Actian 10 is very easy and I’m sure you’ll see some success stories around that in the coming months now that the product is GA.

In helping the PR team prepare a press release I reached out to some of our community members for quotes.   My favorite quote by far is probably not suited to those of you of a delicate disposition, but it really had me laughing out loud.

I installed the Beta sometime ago and have thrown at it the sort of firepower that is normally reserved for Godzillas left testicle.  It took a licking and kept on ticking….the installation that is, I wouldn’t lick Godzilla’s left testicle if it was glazed in honey. Now that the GA version is available we’ll be installing it on all our new installations and upgrading our existing installations  ASAP.

Long time Actian users can probably guess the source of the quote, so no prizes for that! ;-)

5 thoughts on “Milestones

  1. Hello Emma,

    I am about to pepper this question around (community forum, etc) , but wanted to start with top down approach.

    A long time Actian user in the US, I wish now to update and perhaps appropriately port an Actian 6.4 database structure to create a new application (Field Intake system for remote and mobile medical installations). This would be used via web, on handheld devices, via distributed systems, etc., simple and elegant. How can I take part in the most appropriate innovations at Actian (VectorWise?) to make this a highly responsive, seamless and elegant intake and reporting system, and do this quickly? Is there a place where this might be a small showcase project, used as a marketing tool? “Here is how we turned a complete hospital information system into a tool used by (for example: Partners in Health in Haiti, emergency ground crews in Bhopal, Ajka’s toxic cleanup crews, mobile clinics in remote areas).

    Point me in the right direction for this query? Thanks so much.

    Jan Sutherland
    Muirden Farm
    Sandwich, NH

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