Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Alphabetic Characters Wanted

Here is a question that was posed to me recently:

Q: We have a CHAR(10) column that cannot contain alphabetic characters. How can we make sure that the letters A thru Z are not allowed.

A: Well, think about the characteristics of alphabetic characters versus the other "things" that can be stored in a CHAR column. One thing that separates an alphabetic letter from numbers, punctuation, etc. is that there are upper and lower case versions (e.g. A, a). So, you could use the following predicate to preclude alphabetic characters from being accepted:

LOWER(:string) = UPPER(:string)

Of course, you will not be able to put this into a CHECK constraint because of restrictions on their content (for example, you cannot use function in a CHECK constraint). But you could use this in SQL statements and as a check in your programs before allowing data to be inserted or modified in your CHAR(10) column.

Anyone else have any other ideas?

Monday, June 16, 2008

IBM Rules the Middleware Roost

Have you seen Gartner's latest report on the middleware market?

The Gartner middleware market numbers were reported in a recent article in eWeek. Evidently, the worldwide application infrastructure and middleware software market revenue totaled $14.1 billion in 2007, a 12.9 percent increase from 2006 revenue of $12.5 billion.

Now that is quite healthy growth in what is a somewhat slow market. And right there at the top of the pile is IBM with a 28.9 percent share of what Gartner identifies as the AIM market...BEA Systems came in second with 9.3 percent of the market, followed by Oracle with 8.5 percent. However, Oracle now owns BEA and will benefit from BEA's market share (next year).

Oracle will likely continue its acquisitive ways, but IBM has not been silent on the acquisition front lately either. So I'm guessing that next year IBM will retain its #1 position with Oracle coming in solidly at #2.

For 2007, though, in terms of growth, Microsoft and Software AG posted impressive gains. Among the big enterprise software vendors, Microsoft came in at 41.6 percent revenue growth year over year. And Software AG showed strong growth with a 107 percent increase from 2006.

This is a market segment, like database software, where a small number of big players own most of the market. However, it is not quite as monopolized as the database market where three players (IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft) dwarf the rest of the field. The top five middleware vendors hold over 50 percent of the overall market and Gartner indicates that the big players are slowly eroding market share from the smaller vendors.

Monday, June 09, 2008

On The Road Again

I will been traveling extensively in June this year (2008). Last week I traveled to Phoenix to speak to the American Express Information Summit on the topic of regulatory compliance and its impact on data management and database administration. And I also spoke at the Los Angeles Area DB2 User Group on DB2 performance tuning and database trends.

This week (the second week of June) I will be traveling to Washington, DC to speak to the Baltimore-Washington DB2 User Group (BWDUG) on June 11th to deliver "The Impact of Regulatory Compliance on Database Administration." And then, later in the week, June 13th, I will be in Tampa to speak on the topic on database auditing to the Tampa Bay Relational User Group (TBRUG).

And the week after that I will be speaking to the Chicago chapter of (DAMA) on June 18th, on the topic of "Managing Data For Long Retention Periods."

So, if you are in one of the regions where I'll be speaking, I hope you can take the time to attend. And if not, you can always keep track of my speaking schedule on my web site at