Programmers and administrators of large databases and data warehouses
can create, manage and process data aggregates with speed, ease and accuracy
with a new software product unveiled by Syncsort Incorporated.
Sigma, the vendor states that the product combines a high-performance
data aggregate engine with an intuitive graphical user interface. By simplifying
aggregation creation, Sigma reduces the time it takes to define and maintain
aggregates, saves computer resources when processing aggregates, and dramatically
cuts response time for database queries.
the right aggregates available can improve runtime performance up to a
thousand times according to leading data warehouse experts," said Vic
Werner, director of marketing at Syncsort. "Sigma helps database administrators
manage the explosive growth of data in their companies and meet the demands
by their users for faster query processing of click-stream data from web
sites, 24/7 business operations and electronic commerce initiatives. Sigma
frees administrators to concentrate on selecting those aggregates that
will optimize query performance."
Data warehouse administrators have long been vexed by the difficulty of
creating aggregations of data. (An aggregate is defined by Ralph Kimball
in his "Data Warehouse Toolkit" as "the items in a SQL Select list that
are one of: SUM, COUNT, MIN, MAX, or AVG"). They are a method to improve
query response time for frequently used reporting questions such as "what
were my sales numbers by region for the last month?"
professionals have used Syncsort for many years to sort data into a predetermined
order to reduce processing time in programs (i.e., sorting data for batch
input to a COBOL program on mainframes), and they have extensive experience
in this area. Many data warehousing products have very counter-intuitive
approaches to creating aggregates. Syncsort, in contrast, should have
a strong influence in this market because IT professionals are familiar
with the Syncsort product family.
Customers evaluating aggregation engines should include Syncsort's Sigma
product on their list of vendors to be considered. The importance of aggregation
in a data warehouse to reduce query response time and overall database
load cannot be underestimated. Syncsort has much experience in the details
of sorting data, and will doubtless make a strong impact on this market.
The largest drawback we currently see in the product is the lack of ability
to output data into IBM's DB2 Universal Database, except via an ODBC driver.
However, they do have native support for Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server.