Red Gate Meets the SQL Server 2005 Compatibility Challenge
Simon Galbraith, marketing director for Red Gate Software (http://www.red-gate.com), talked with our editors about his company’s focus on delivering user-friendly products that support the myriad new features of SQL Server 2005. “Delivering SQL Server 2005–compatible products was a greater challenge than anyone anticipated,” says Galbraith. But Red Gate has been able to meet that challenge by responding to the feedback from its more than 20,000 customers. One of the company’s highest priorities in recent product versions has been improving overall usability. Galbraith notes, “We realized we had precious few seconds to make sure the product installs on the first try and users can work with it immediately. We don’t want our customers to ever have to worry about opening a Help file.” Red Gate’s SQL Dependency Tracker demonstrates the company’s emphasis on responding to customer feedback. According to Galbraith, the company’s flagship product, SQL Compare, lets you synchronize databases but doesn’t help you figure out how a change within a database (e.g., to a table) will affect the rest of your database structure. SQL Dependency Tracker fills that gap.
Panorama Strives for All-in-One BI
How can a company simultaneously be a Microsoft Partner and compete with Microsoft? As the original developer of the OLAP engine, which Microsoft acquired, Panorama (http://www.panorama.com) has a close working relationship with Microsoft. At the same time, the company provides a business intelligence (BI) platform that it hopes gives customers a reason to look beyond Microsoft tools. Oudi Antebi, Panorama vice president of marketing and strategy, explains that Microsoft’s foray into the BI arena “is very application focused. You look at data in one app, your scorecard is in another app, \[and\] reporting is in another app. All those environments might connect to the same cube, but all have separate metadata and require separate configuration.”
Panorama NovaView 5, one of the key components of the company’s BI platform, meets a company’s BI needs through a single UI. In addition, the product offers integration with Microsoft Office, real-time updates and collaboration, and “guided analytics,” an interactive environment that helps users intelligently select the information they need. Panorama has also invested heavily in improvements to its platform’s search features and in optimizing the functionality of Analysis Services to support multiple concurrent users.
Unleash Microsoft BI Features
Rex Parker, senior product manager for ProClarity (http://www.proclarity.com), talked with me about his company’s business intelligence (BI)–platform additions, which harness the new BI features in the Microsoft space. These add-ons include ProClarity for Business Scorecard Manager, which lets you investigate the key performance indicators (KPIs) in Microsoft Office Business Scorecard Manager; ProClarity for Reporting Services, which lets you create SQL Server Reporting Services reports without opening Visual Studio; ProClarity for SharePoint Portal Server, which displays ProClarity analytic views within a Microsoft SharePoint Portal System; and ProClarity Publishing Server, which lets you create PDF and HTML documents that include ProClarity analytic views and author commentary to give business users a comprehensive view of your business. Parker expressed one common theme in all of the add-ons: “At ProClarity, we focus on answering the ‘why’ questions and provide you with a one-click step to answering them.”
Guardium Add-On Removes Compliance Burden
According to Phil Neray, vice president of marketing for Guardium (http://www.guardium.com), a major compliance issue for most companies is that “DBAs are being asked to create reports that they’ve never created before.” The ability to automate tracking, auditing, and reporting for compliance is especially crucial for mid-sized companies, which often require existing IT staff to bear the compliance burden.
Guardium’s Data Privacy Accelerator, an add-on to the company’s SQL Guard compliance solution, protects sensitive data against theft, including situations in which insiders obtain data through unauthorized access. The add-on brings to the compliance solution a portfolio of pre-configured policies, real-time alerts, and audit reports that specifically address the challenges of identity theft. The add-on works with the SQL Guard solution to let you audit your entire database system from a central point instead of using the various logging features of disparate platforms in a heterogeneous environment. And because the solution is network-appliance–based, it doesn’t affect database performance. Data Privacy Accelerator is one of several Guardium database compliance accelerators.