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Database

Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL now supports PostgreSQL 9.5

PostgreSQL News - Fri, 04/15/2016 - 01:00

April 8, 2016 – Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL now supports major version 9.5, which contains several new features including UPSERT capability, Row Level Security (RLS) and several Big Data capabilities. In addition to supporting the new major version of PostgreSQL, 9.5, RDS for PostgreSQL also supports new minor versions 9.4.7 and 9.3.12, which contain several enhancements and fixes. All three versions are available to use starting today.

PostgreSQL 9.5 (supported via minor version 9.5.2) offers the following new features:

UPSERT: Shorthand for "INSERT, ON CONFLICT UPDATE", this feature allows new and updated rows to be treated the same way, enabling the database to handle conflicts between concurrent data changes and simplifying application development. Row Level Security (RLS): RLS implements true per-row and per-column data access control which integrates with external label-based security stacks, giving you more control over securing your data. Big Data features: PostgreSQL 9.5 includes multiple new features for integrating with Big Data systems, including BRIN Indexing to create tiny but effective indexes for "naturally ordered" tables; faster sorts using "abbreviated keys" algorithm to sort through text and NUMERIC fields faster; CUBE, ROLLUP and GROUPING SETS to produce reports with multiple levels of summarization to allow integration with OLAP tools such as Tableau; Foreign Data Wrappers (FDWs) with IMPORT FOREIGN SCHEMA and JOIN pushdown to make query connections to external databases easier and more efficient; and TABLESPACE to generate a statistical sample of huge tables to avoid expensive sorting. You can create a new PostgreSQL 9.5.2 database instance with a few clicks on the AWS Management Console (learn how). You may also upgrade an existing PostgreSQL 9.4 instance to version 9.5.2 using major version upgrade. If you wish to upgrade from version 9.3 to 9.5, you will have to perform point-and-click upgrade twice. Each upgrade operation involves a short period of unavailability for your database instance. Learn more about upgrading your database instances.

In addition to PostgreSQL 9.5.2, we also now support PostgreSQL 9.4.7 and 9.3.12, which include several fixes and enhancements as listed here. To learn more about these new versions, please refer to their release notes:

Release Notes for 9.5.2

Release Notes for 9.4.7

Release Notes for 9.3.12

All three versions also now provide visibility into the status of autovacuum by allowing rds_superuser access to autovacuum sessions in pg_stat_activity. Read more about the new features in PostgreSQL 9.5 on the PostgreSQL website. For more details on using Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL, please refer to the Amazon RDS User's Guide.

Amazon RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. It provides cost-efficient and resizable capacity while managing time-consuming database administration tasks, freeing you up to focus on your applications and business.

Contact:

Kevin Jernigan

Product Manager, RDS for PostgreSQL

+1-415-710-8828

kmj (at) amazon (dot) com

Categories: Database, Open Source

Big Data Architecture

Database Journal News - Thu, 04/14/2016 - 08:01

Business Intelligence (BI) has matured over the past two decades. The next few years will be critical for the information technology staff, as they attempt to integrate and manage multiple, diverse hardware and software platforms. This article addresses how to meet this need, as users demand greater ability to analyze ever-growing mountains of data, and IT attempts to keep costs down.

Categories: Database

Keep data virtually forever with Stretch Database in SQL Server 2016

This post was authored by Joe Yong, Sr. Program Manager, SQL Server.

Stretch Database in SQL Server 2016 allows users to keep as much data as they need, for as long as they need, without incurring business service level agreement (SLA) risks or the high costs of enterprise storage. Unlike typical cold data solutions, by leveraging the endless storage and compute capacity of Azure your data is always online and most applications don’t require changes. DBAs only need to enable the database for stretch.

As organizations continue to accumulate massive amounts of data in their transactional systems, much of it eventually becomes cold, and therefore infrequently accessed. Overtime, individual tables can grow to millions or billions of rows and up to terabytes in size.

Stretch Database

For business and regulatory compliance purposes, users need the data to remain online and accessible on-demand. Storage administrators and IT managers are continually looking for ways to meet business goals with inadequate IT budgets. Meanwhile, DBAs are pulled in different directions by these conflicting goals, trying to keep database performance and availability within business SLAs as the database grows, even as maintenance windows and budgets continue to shrink.

Core scenarios
  • Stretch entire table: If you currently already have a dedicated table for cold data, you can stretch this entire table. For example, you may have an Order_details and an Order_details_history table where the Order_details_history table only contains cold data moved from the Order_details table.
  • Stretch cold rows: If you have hot and cold data in the same table, you can stretch just the cold rows from the table to Azure. You only need to define which rows are cold (usually by date or status) and SQL Server will take care of the movement.
Benefits

With Azure SQL Stretch Database, you can leverage Azure on your terms:

  • Get as much enterprise-class storage as needed, when it is needed. Automated backup and geo-redundancy are available by default.
  • Scale compute and storage resources independently based on workload requirements—and only pay for what is consumed.
  • Centralize access control via integrated security for customers who federate their on-premises Active Directory with Azure Active Directory.
  • Leverage existing knowledge and tools such as SQL Server Management Studio, SQL Server Data Tools, T-SQL and PowerShell, while adding enhanced experiences via Azure portal.

And the best part is, most applications will require no code changes in order to take advantage of Stretch Database.

Base requirements

Stretch Database is only available in SQL Server 2016, so users will need to first upgrade their existing SQL Server database to 2016. It works with RC0 or later, which can be downloaded here. Customers will also need an Azure subscription to create a new SQL Server Stretch Database. Any subscription admin, co-admin, owner or contributor account will have this privilege. If you don’t currently have an Azure subscription, sign-up for a free trial subscription. Implementing Stretch Database generally requires little effort if your database does not have unsupported objects or features.

How it works

To get started, first identify either a cold table that you wish to stretch entirely or a table where you will stretch the cold rows. The actual process to enable Stretch Database is simple and can be accomplished via a SQL Server Management Studio wizard or via T-SQL. Details and step-by-step guidance is available on this documentation page.

As part of the Stretch Database process, SQL Server establishes a secure connection to Azure to create a new server (if you choose to do so) and a new Stretch Database (occurs each time a database is stretched). Once you have a table enabled for stretch, SQL Server will create a new table in the Stretch Database created earlier and begin migrating data silently in the background.

SQL Server always performs Stretch Database tasks over a secure channel and validates the target certificate; nothing is ever sent to Azure in clear text. It ignores user defined settings for this specific area to ensure users cannot accidently configure Stretch Database in an un-secure manner.

Data is trickled to Azure instead of a high volume migration. This ensures minimal impact to the production database. The entire system is online and applications continue working against the database throughout the entire process. Enabling Stretch Database does not incur downtime.

Enabling Stretch Database

Queries against a Stretch Database do not change. If the query needs to retrieve data from the remote database, the query processor automatically executes the query and pushes appropriate filters (WHERE clause) to the remote database for execution. Only required rows are returned and joined with local data, if any, and presented to the application/user. If the query does not require data from the remote database, the query processor will not execute the query remotely. This avoids the overhead and latency of the Azure roundtrip.

When Stretch Database is enabled, you can monitor its activity and progress in different ways. We offer Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) that provide current migration activity or schema update status. You can also view the overall status via the Stretch Database Monitor in SSMS (figure below). Full details are documented here.

Stretch Database Monitor in SSMS

After a period of time when a large percentage of the cold data has moved to Azure, you will see that important maintenance operations like backup/restore will take less time and fewer resources. This is because the cold data in Azure no longer affect these operations.

So, how big of an impact can this have? As for impact, that really depends on how large the tables have gotten and what your business SLAs are. The largest single table we’ve found working with customers is 45 billion rows (and growing), with about 99% of that being cold data. All of it needs to be online and query-able at any time, although actual access to cold data is rare. Imagine you were the DBA and were tasked with index maintenance for that table. If that weren’t big enough for you, the largest partitioned table we found with a customer is 1.3 trillion rows (and still growing rapidly).

While these are pretty extreme examples, they do show what the future holds. Most users today are well below the billion-row range, but still face similar challenges.

Next steps

Download the latest release of SQL Server 2016 if you haven’t already done so, and check out Stretch Database running against the new Stretch Database service in Azure. Share you experiences with us and let us know what works and doesn’t work for you.

Finally, if you have a really large table or even a lot of moderately large tables, we’re very interested in working with you. Talk to us in the comment section or on MSDN.

Learn more

For more information and to get started, check out the following links:

 

See the other posts in the SQL Server 2016 blogging series.

Try SQL Server 2016 RC

Categories: Database

Microsoft releases the latest update to Analytics Platform System (APS)

Microsoft is pleased to announce the release of Analytics Platform System (APS) Appliance Update (AU) 5. APS is Microsoft’s scale-out Massively Parallel Processing fully integrated system for data warehouse specific workloads. Powered by industry-leading SQL Server as its core engine, APS leverages PolyBase, the tool that allows for integrated querying between relational and non-relational data technology, for Hadoop/Big Data integration.

The AU5 release offers customers greater Transact-SQL (T-SQL) compatibility to aid in migrations from SQL Server and other platforms as well as improved connectivity and integration with Hadoop. The AU5 release also includes support for faster data loading scenarios through both first party Microsoft and 3rd party tools. These features continue to provide greater alignment with SQL Server and bring significant value to our customers.

APS hardware partners Dell, HPE and Quanta Cloud Technology will ship APS with AU5 starting this month. Specific shipping dates will vary depending on the hardware partner’s factory process.

This update delivers several new capabilities and features, including:

PolyBase/Hadoop enhancements
  • Support for Hortonworks (HDP 2.3) and Cloudera (CHD5.5)
  • String predicate pushdown to Hadoop for improved performance
  • Support for National/Government cloud storage and public Azure data sets
  • Apache Parquet file format support
Data loading
  • BCP support for additional data loading scenarios
    • Supports the bcp.exe command line interface for simple data import/export scenarios
    • .NET SqlBulkCopy class support for custom application integration
  • Support for SQL Server Native Client OLE DB and the Bulk Copy API unlocking access by many 3rd party ETL, reporting and analytic tools
T-SQL compatibility improvements to reduce migration friction from SQL SMP
  • sp_prepexec: A common dynamic query preprocessor model that allows customers to simplify migrations
  • SET NOCOUNT and SET PARSEONLY set statements used across a variety of customer’s scenarios
  • IS_MEMBER() and IS_ROLEMEMBER() in support of Windows Authentication
  • CREATE TABLE as HEAP option allows customers to explicitly define heap, in addition to clustered index, or clustered columnstore index tables which aligns DDL with the SQL
Data Warehouse service

Based on early testing and feedback, we are seeing a performance improvement of up to 30% for short running queries.

In addition to the above, we are also offering an early preview of Adaptive Query Processing which can automatically re-optimize query execution mid-flight. Please note that Adaptive Query Processing is currently in beta. Any customers wishing to participate in the beta should contact their support representative.

Please visit the Analytics Platform System portal to learn more.

Categories: Database

Oracle Bolsters Computer Science Education in America

Oracle Database News - Wed, 04/13/2016 - 11:00
Press Release Oracle Bolsters Computer Science Education in America Part of $3.3 Billion Annual Investment to Advance Computer Science Education and Increase Diversity in Technology Fields Globally

Redwood Shores, Calif.—Apr 13, 2016

Computer Science Job Market Study

Computer Science Job Market Study (2016) by Burning Glass Technologies and Oracle Academy

View the infographic

In conjunction with The White House Science Fair 2016, Oracle and The White House today announced Oracle’s plan to invest $200 million in direct and in-kind support for computer science (CS) education in the United States over the next 18 months. Oracle’s pledge supports the Administration’s Computer Science for All initiative and is part of the company’s greater annual worldwide investment of $3.3 billion to empower CS educators and engage diverse student populations globally. Today’s commitment expects to reach more than 232,000 students in over 1,100 U.S. institutions through Oracle Academy, its philanthropic CS-focused educational program that impacts more than 2.6 million students in 106 countries.

In 2015, only two percent of all participants in the College Board’s AP program took Computer Science and a mere 22 percent of those participants were female.[1] Yet, programming jobs are growing 50 percent faster than the market overall, according to new research by Oracle Academy and Burning Glass Technologies, a leading labor market company. The study (2016), which analyzed and interpreted real-time data from millions of online job postings from nearly 40,000 sources, revealed that demand for CS, programming, and coding skills is large, growing, and far more widespread than just IT jobs.

“Our latest research findings confirm that access to computer science education in the United States is both an economic and social equality issue. Moreover, these findings help quantify and contextualize the need to expand CS to all students regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic status,” said Alison Derbenwick Miller, vice president, Oracle Academy. “We’ve been working to advance computer science education globally for more than two decades, and today’s commitment takes Oracle Academy to a new apex in our journey. It’s an honor to be part of this collaborative mission, led by the White House. The potential power of Computer Science for All to change the lives of our children and the future of our nation is awe-inspiring.”

As part of the White House announcement, Oracle Academy will provide free academic curriculum, professional development for teachers, software, certification resources, and more. Further, Oracle will work with K-12 schools, community colleges, and 4-year colleges and universities to support continuous CS education pathways through a number of new and meaningful ways, which include:

  • Training more teachers in computer science. Aims to double the number of U.S. teachers Oracle Academy trains in the 2016-17 academic year.
  • Providing access to free Oracle software. Offers students hands-on experience through free software licenses for a large number of Oracle products.
  • Expanding outreach to underrepresented populations. Commits to invest more than $3 million in nonprofit organizations focused on inspiring young girls and engaging underrepresented students in pursuing STEM and CS degrees.
  • Launching innovative courses in emerging CS fields. Introduces new Cloud-focused boot camps in the 2016 academic year and expands access to Oracle Academy’s Big Data Science boot camps.
  • Connecting world class innovators with educators and students. Plans to build an innovative new public high school, d.tech, at Oracle’s headquarters in California.
  • Driving efforts to ensure CS counts as an academic credit. Expands policy push and partnerships with other corporate and nonprofit leaders to encourage all 50 states to recognize CS as an academic graduation credit in K-12 schools.

[1] The College Board (2015), AP Program Participation and Performance Data 2015: Program Summary Report. Retrieved from https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/research/2015/Program-Summary-Report-2015.pdf.

    • Join Oracle Academy
    • Attend an Oracle Academy workshop
    • Learn about Oracle Academy’s participation in CS For All
    • Livestream President Obama’s address at The White House Science Fair 2016 (Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 2:15 p.m. ET)
    • Follow @OracleAcademy, @Oracle, #CS4All
Contact Info Julie Sugishita
Oracle Corporation
1.650.506.0076
julie.sugishita@oracle.com About Oracle Academy

As Oracle’s flagship philanthropic educational program, Oracle Academy advances computer science education globally to drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields. To this end, Oracle Academy offers students and educational institutions a free and complete portfolio of software, curriculum, hosted technology, faculty trainings, support, and certification resources. The program works with public and private partners to provide the tools educators need to engage, inspire and prepare students to become innovators and leaders of the future. Through Oracle Academy, students receive hands-on experience with the latest technologies, helping make them college and career ready in the era of big data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and beyond.

About Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor

The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation. 

Talk to a Press Contact

Julie Sugishita

  • 1.650.506.0076

Follow Oracle Corporate

Categories: Database, Vendor

Tucson Electric Power Reduces Average Call Handling Time with Upgraded Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing System

Oracle Database News - Wed, 04/13/2016 - 10:59
Press Release Tucson Electric Power Reduces Average Call Handling Time with Upgraded Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing System Oracle, Cognizant, and Origin Consulting help Tucson Electric Power deliver improved customer service and streamline operations

Oracle Industry Connect—Orlando, Fla.—Apr 13, 2016

Utilities are faced with a rapidly changing industry and increasing expectations from their customers. Adapting to these factors requires a mature, flexible, and highly-scalable customer information system, designed to improve customer service and enhance financial performance. Oracle today announced that Tucson Electric Power (TEP)—which delivers safe, reliable power to more than 414,000 customers in the Tucson metropolitan area—upgraded its customer information system in its commitment to provide superior customer service.

By working with Cognizant and Origin Consulting to upgrade to Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing 2.4 Service Pack Two, TEP is able to further leverage its existing Oracle investment as well as ensure compatibility with its enterprise software, including its meter data management system—ultimately enabling the utility to save money and provide enhanced customer service.

With the upgraded Oracle solution, TEP realized additional cost savings. The utility reduced the average call handling time by 10 seconds, received new postal discounts by implementing mail stream for customer letters, and increased operational efficiency. Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing 2.4 also enhanced TEP’s visibility of business performance and operations through solution features such as an intuitive user interface, online help, and complete and immediate access to customer account histories.

Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing 2.4 also helped TEP improve IT efficiencies. TEP shortened batch billing performance by 15 to 20 minutes, reduced night-batch processing time on an average of 20 minutes, and reduced batch aborts by 25 percent, resulting in timely revenue flow. The utility also reduced storage costs and improved database performance. Immediately upon go live, TEP processed 800,000 billing records and generated 30,000 bills with zero differences; validated and matched critical month-end reports; and received zero calls to the help desk during first couple of weeks post-cutover.

“We wanted to implement a solution that would improve security for sensitive data, automate manual business processes, and decrease system maintenance costs. We partnered with Cognizant and Origin Consulting to upgrade to Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing 2.4 because it meets all our goals and more,” said Ramon Vazquez, IT customer applications supervisor, Tucson Electric Power.

Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing 2.4 enabled more than 50 new features for the utility, including meter-to-cash analytical reporting and report standardization, leveraging integration with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

The Oracle solution also included encryption features that enabled the utility to reduce risk by allowing it to encrypt sensitive data, like social security numbers.

“Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing meets the express needs of a customer-centric business strategy,” said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities. “Tucson Electric Power was able to quickly and seamlessly upgrade to the latest version of the Oracle solution to take advantage of new functionality that helps improve the customer experience and streamline operations.”

Tucson Electric Power worked with Cognizant and Origin Consulting on the system upgrade. Cognizant and Origin Consulting are Platinum-level members of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN). Oracle Black Belt was also involved for fine tuning of batch billing and was available during Cutover.

“Changing customer behaviors and new technologies are creating new opportunities for customer engagement and transformation of customer service,” said John Gustafson, Vice President and Business Unit Head - Energy and Utilities, Cognizant. “We worked closely with TEP from discovery, design, and development to testing, cutover, and warranty—to help ensure the utility could realize results immediately and continue to maintain a positive customer experience.”

Contact Info Samantha Thai
Oracle
+1.510.917.5564
samantha.thai@oracle.com Lacy Cooper
O’Keeffe & Company
+1.540.364.5913
lcooper@okco.com About Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor

The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation. 

Talk to a Press Contact

Samantha Thai

  • +1.510.917.5564

Lacy Cooper

  • +1.540.364.5913

Follow Oracle Corporate

Categories: Database, Vendor

Beyond end-of-support: Seeing value in modernization

This post was authored by Tiffany Wissner, Senior Director, Product Marketing.

Today is the last day of extended support for SQL Server 2005. Starting tomorrow, companies running SQL Server 2005 will no longer receive security updates or hotfixes from Microsoft. We started on this journey eighteen months ago, with our first discussion on the end of support for SQL Server 2005, and sharing information about how to upgrade. If you haven’t migrated your SQL Server 2005 databases to a newer version of SQL Server, now is the time to put in place a plan for action.

While we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that these customers will now run a much greater risk for business disruptions, increased maintenance costs and security and compliance issues, there is another hidden cost to running an older system that can potentially be much larger over time — lost opportunity.

In 2016, the world looks much different than it did in 2005. With our smart mobile devices, much more powerful hardware, intelligent applications and cloud computing, an older database solution can be a limiting factor to an organization’s competitiveness. Modern systems like SQL Server 2014 or the soon-to-be-released SQL Server 2016 give organizations the flexibility to deploy on-premises or in the cloud, to manage modern apps and create a host of business scenarios that simply weren’t possible a decade ago.

“From our unique vantage point of successfully running SQL Server modernization programs for diverse customers two things clearly stood out. First of all, modernization comes with better performance and scalability. Secondly modernization drives a culture change. Companies start treating data as an asset and the SQL Server ecosystem helps them to make smarter decisions with actionable insights with an immediate positive business impact, with the integration of Power BI, R Server, Azure Machine Learning and Cortana giving insights that were previously not available.” – Debu Dasgupta, Vice President of Technology and Microsoft Evangelist, Cognizant Technology Solutions

Recognizing this, many companies have already undertaken their upgrades from SQL Server 2005 to more modern platforms. We recently worked with Spiceworks to survey hundreds of these customers to understand where they were in the process, which platforms they were migrating to, obstacles, costs and other factors. The report found that the majority of SQL Server 2005 customers are either fully or partly migrated.  With data on fellow customers’ upgrade plans and durations, and the benefits these customers achieved through upgrade, it is a great read for companies still considering the move.

Case in point: Pact Group

A SQL Server upgrade can be a powerful business differentiator. Australian packaging manufacturer Pact Group has acquired 44 companies since 2002, and has a five-year plan to continue its aggressive expansion — averaging four new acquisitions each year.

To facilitate the plan, Pact has moved its SAP stack, which was running older Oracle and SQL Server databases, into Microsoft Azure, Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014, resulting in several benefits. For one, they’re now working under a consumption-based model hosted on Microsoft Azure, providing massive scalability and enabling them to incorporate acquisitions without the associated cost of provisioning on-premises IT.

The company’s ability to spin up virtual machines has gone from two weeks to just minutes. Now Pact can respond quickly with near-unlimited capacity when managing a merger, then scale back when it’s complete, paying only for what they use. Further, each of Pact’s main platforms in now mirrored in the cloud, giving them a true disaster recovery solution for the first time. They’ve also reduced database storage needs by 75%, from 10 terabytes to 2.5 terabytes.

Looking ahead, the company is exploring the platform’s ability to integrate with a variety of sensors, an IoT approach with the potential to create valuable new efficiencies and insights.

The path forward

What Pact has been able to accomplish would not have been feasible if they’d remained on their legacy, on-premises SAP systems powered by older versions of SQL Server, Windows Server and Oracle. By upgrading its systems, the company has literally enabled its own business plan, put itself on the path for continued growth, and opened the door for new possibilities down the road.

Not every company is a large multinational like Pact, but the benefits of elasticity, agility and connectivity that enables a rich new flow of data are largely the same for organizations of all shapes and sizes. And of course security and compliance are important concerns wherever you do business.

With all this in mind, Microsoft strongly encourages customers currently using SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2 (the latter two will sunset in 2019) to review their technology needs and see how an upgrade to a modern database platform can make a real transformation in your business.

For a deeper run-down of the benefits of SQL Server 2014, take a look at a blog post from Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President of Cloud + Enterprise Marketing from last October.

If you’re just getting started, these informational blog posts will serve as great resources. You can also visit the SQL Server 2005 upgrade page for more information on planning and executing your migration, along with options for your new database strategy. The analyst firm Directions on Microsoft has also issued a paper on planning your data platform upgrade: “Migrating from SQL Server 2005,” available here.

As always, Microsoft and our partners are still here to help you complete your migrations. Many of our partners have been helping customers modernize their SQL Server install base, and they say customers are recognizing new value in their updated solutions.

“We see the EoS of SQL Server 2005 as a big opportunity for large organizations. Data being the fabric of the digital enterprise, modernization starts with the designing the data layer as appropriate on the cloud or on to the latest on-premises solutions. We are excited about our partnership with Microsoft on SQL Server 2005 modernization program to help large enterprises create a digital data farm migration roadmap.” – Eravi Gopan, Head, Microsoft BU, WIPRO LTD

Categories: Database

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative Empowers Members and Drives Satisfaction with Modern Customer Experience

Oracle Database News - Tue, 04/12/2016 - 13:00
Press Release Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative Empowers Members and Drives Satisfaction with Modern Customer Experience Oracle Utilities helps cooperative revolutionize its contact center operations with online self-service options

Oracle Industry Connect—Orlando, Fla.—Apr 12, 2016

Providing unmatched customer service means going beyond offering a 24/7 contact center. In a recent Oracle study, 63 percent of utilities respondents noted that they do not offer intuitive online user experiences, yet 87 percent said they recognized a trend toward customers wanting a more individualized experience. With a keen sense of this purview, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO)—providing power to more than 160,000 customers—integrated a customer self-service application from Oracle into its existing customer information system to help satisfy this consumer-centric trend and count itself among those offering a comprehensive user experience.

“SMECO is a cooperative, which means it is owned by its customers and operated for them on a non-profit basis,” said Sylvia Welch, managing director of IT, SMECO. “Our goal is to provide the highest satisfaction for our customer-members. Previously, we relied on a third party to provide our members with online capabilities, but these were limited to the ability to log in, view a bill, maintain paperless status, and make a payment. With Oracle Utilities Customer Self Service and Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing in place as part of an integrated customer service platform, members can leverage simplified single sign-on to access everything in one location. Our members can manage their communication preferences, update account contact information, make payments and payment arrangements, view a 13-month energy usage graph, view and report outages, and stop service—all within an intuitive, full-service online user experience.”

Prior to implementing the Oracle solutions, SMECO’s customers had expressed their desire for more self-service capabilities. The co-op recognized that its highest call volumes involved making payments and payment arrangements. With the Oracle solutions in place, the utility was able to automate the payment process, which improves customer service, enables members to engage with SMECO in their channel of choice, and allows the contact center staff to work more efficiently and focus more time on solving complex issues.

“Oracle Utilities Customer Self Service is the perfect complement to SMECO’s services and existing Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing solution. The cooperative can now offer members a comprehensive web portal to enhance the customer experience,” said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities. “With a range of online account management features, bill payment options, streamlined communication channels, and service request capabilities, SMECO met its goals, and its members benefit from a seamless, intuitive user experience available at the click of a button.”

To continue its commitment to member satisfaction, SMECO plans to utilize additional Oracle Utilities Customer Self Service capabilities to expand user options within the co-op’s mobile application. Currently, the mobile application offers outage maps and outage reporting capabilities; SMECO will leverage Oracle Utilities Customer Self Service to add an account management option, enabling customers to securely log in and instantly access even more information and account management tasks via their mobile devices. SMECO is also working on an advanced metering infrastructure project, which will be complete in 2017. As part of that initiative, SMECO will launch an energy portal to show customers their detailed energy information, including high bill alerts, within Oracle Utilities Customer Self Service.

  Contact Info Samantha Thai
Oracle
+1.510.917.5564
samantha.thai@oracle.com Lacy Cooper
O’Keeffe & Company
+1.540.364.5913
lcooper@okco.com About SMECO

SMECO provides electricity to more than 160,000 services in Charles County, St. Mary’s County, southern Prince George’s County, and all but the northeast portion of Calvert County. Co-ops are distinctly different from investor-owned utilities because co-ops are owned by their customers, and these members elect the men and women who serve on the Board of Directors. Co-ops also issue capital credits to their members. What are capital credits? They are the member’s share of the co-op’s margins, based on how much electricity the member purchased and the rate at which the account was billed. SMECO’s margins—revenue less expenses—are used as working capital for new construction and system improvements. When SMECO’s Board of Directors determines that a percentage of the capital credits can be distributed to members through a general refund, capital credits will be issued by check or credited to members’ electric bills.

About Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor

The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation. 

Talk to a Press Contact

Samantha Thai

  • +1.510.917.5564

Lacy Cooper

  • +1.540.364.5913

Follow Oracle Corporate

Categories: Database, Vendor

Oracle Delivers Complete Cloud Solution to Help Pharma Companies Improve Drug Safety

Oracle Database News - Tue, 04/12/2016 - 13:00
Press Release Oracle Delivers Complete Cloud Solution to Help Pharma Companies Improve Drug Safety

Oracle Industry Connect—Orlando, Fla.—Apr 12, 2016

Pharmaceutical organizations today face increasing safety requirements when bringing drugs to market and once they’re on the shelf, including properly managing limitless amounts of safety data and accurate, timely reporting.

To help medicinal product manufacturers, trial sponsors, contract research organizations (CROs), and health authorities make faster, more informed safety decisions, optimize global compliance, and manage risk holistically across the entire product lifecycle, Oracle Health Sciences has introduced a cloud version of Oracle Health Sciences Safety Suite 8.0.

“In the quest for treatments that are both safe and effective, life sciences organizations seek solutions that enable them to automate and improve the accuracy of their end-to-end safety processes,” said Steve Rosenberg, vice president and general manager, Oracle Health Sciences.  “Oracle’s 8.0 release of our safety suite delivers the power of our industry-leading safety knowledge leadership along with our cloud platform for rapid innovation adoption.”

The solution provides end-to-end drug safety management—including case management/ reporting, business analytics/intelligence, and signal detection/management—all from a single, integrated, cloud-based platform that accelerates processes and improves accuracy while reducing costs and risk. The cloud solution speeds deployment and eliminates the need for additional, on-site, hardware investment.

Stronger Together

Oracle Health Sciences Safety Suite 8.0 includes Oracle’s full line of industry-leading, safety solutions, spanning the Oracle Argus and Oracle Health Sciences Empirica applications that support automated, end-to-end, safety management. Working together, the suite’s components enable life sciences organizations to:

  • Facilitate compliance with a solution that is continuously enhanced to meet the latest regulatory requirements and incorporate evolving industry best practices
  • Gain faster, more in-depth insight into potential safety and operational issues with a flexible, extensible business analytics and intelligence platform
  • Perform holistic signal detection across multiple data sources, including adverse events, clinical data, and healthcare data, as well as manage those signals in one place
  • Reduce costs and increase value with a configurable, out-of-the-box solution available both on-premise and via the cloud
Contact Info Samantha Thai
Oracle
+1.510.917.5564
samantha.thai@oracle.com Mary Tobin
O’Keeffe & Company
+1.503.658.7396
mtobin@okco.com About Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor

The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation. 

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Mary Tobin

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Categories: Database, Vendor

Utilities Maximize Project Visibility and Governance and Boost On-Time/On-Budget Capital Initiatives with Oracle’s Primavera

Oracle Database News - Tue, 04/12/2016 - 13:00
Press Release Utilities Maximize Project Visibility and Governance and Boost On-Time/On-Budget Capital Initiatives with Oracle’s Primavera Alliant Energy, Ameren, Kansas City Power & Light, and South East Water Corporation successfully select, plan, and execute water and power projects with Oracle’s Primavera enterprise project portfolio management solutions on-premises and in the cloud

Oracle Industry Connect—Orlando, Fla.—Apr 12, 2016

Utilities today are looking for enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) solutions that provide one comprehensive view of their portfolio at any given moment, connect all internal and external stakeholders, and enable them to plan ahead—and in a way that is tailored to the utility industry. Because it delivers on these requirements, and is helping organizations transition to the cloud, utilities around the world continue to select and deploy Oracle’s Primavera solutions.

Utilities that use Primavera include:

  • Alliant Energy
    Alliant Energy Corporation generates, purchases, distributes and sells electric energy and natural gas to residents and organizations through two regulated utilities: Interstate Power and Light Company and Wisconsin Power and Light Company. The corporation provides electric and gas service to approximately 950,000 electric and 410,000 gas customers in Iowa and Wisconsin. Alliant Energy is headquartered in Madison, WI and manages more than $12 billion in assets. Alliant uses Primavera Unifier in the cloud, and Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management to manage project controls for its large capital projects.
  • Ameren
    Ameren Corporation is the holding company for Ameren Illinois and Ameren Missouri, which together serve more than 2.4 million electric and 900,000 gas customers in those two states. Ameren uses Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, Primavera Risk Analysis, and most recently deployed Primavera Portfolio Management. In its first year of using Primavera Portfolio Management, Ameren Missouri’s Non-Nuclear Generation group has made improvements to its budgeting and planning process—it is now more efficient and transparent using the product’s configurability and ability to extract high-level and break-down portfolio views and detailed forecast changes in real-time. Additionally, the Ameren group is now able to complete project justifications in less than 1/15 of the time it used to take; the Oracle products enable Ameren to import forms and data from a variety of systems into one place to ease the process.
  • Kansas City Power & Light
    Serving more than 800,000 residents across Missouri and Kansas, Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) is an investor-owned, regulated electric utility. It delivers its electricity through more than 3,000 miles of transmission lines, 24,000 miles of distribution lines and more than 400 substations. KCP&L uses Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, and recently moved Primavera Unifier from on-premises to the cloud. It uses Primavera to manage major capital projects to improve project execution, change management, and project costs.
  • South East Water Corporation
    The Australia-based water, sewerage and waste service company manages over 23,000 kilometers of pipeline, 80 water pump stations, 255 sewage pump stations and $3 billion of infrastructure and assets. South East Water’s role is to bring healthy water to the communities it serves, and when an alliance agreement with three delivery partners expired in 2013, it looked to Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and Primavera Unifier to help it manage its new water delivery responsibilities. Despite the additional workload, the Primavera solutions have enabled South East Water Corporation to complete its reporting process five times faster, improving governance and transparency, and reduce overall operational costs by 10 percent.

“Today’s fluctuating and interconnected web of regulations, environmental concerns, and supply and demand are making water and power projects more complex than ever,” said Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle’s Primavera global business unit. “But challenges yield innovation, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with these visionary utilities with which we work. They are strategically using Primavera to manage risk and execute effectively today while making the right capital investments for the future, and are increasingly doing so with the power of Oracle’s cloud.”

Oracle’s Primavera is a suite of cloud-based and on-premises EPPM solutions that project and program management teams and executive stakeholders from many asset-intensive industries count on to help improve strategy execution, operations, and financial performance.

Primavera empowers utilities to:

  • Identify and select the right water infrastructure projects and power generation, transmission, and distribution opportunities
  • Maintain and improve existing assets
  • Maximize labor resources—even globally—through an integrated approach
  • Monitor budget allocations against key performance indicators
  • Build end-to-end processes and systems to establish best practices and consistency across the business
 
  • “We manage our major capital projects efficiently, in part, because of the system that runs in the background—Oracle’s Primavera. We have been using it for more than five years now to complete projects on-time and on-budget, and effectively manage changes along the way. And, as we have evolved our project portfolio management practices to align with our business objectives, we’ve been able to do the same with Primavera, most recently by moving it to the cloud.”
    —Mike Deggendorf, senior vice president, Delivery, Kansas City Power & Light

    “We had a utility alliance agreement with three delivery partners that expired, and we had to figure out how to manage a whole new set of business processes, the capital works program and still reduce our overall operating budget. Oracle’s Primavera provided an end-to-end enterprise project portfolio management system that addressed these needs, making everything more centralized and transparent.”
    —Cameron Leavy, finance manager, South East Water Corporation

  • To learn more about Oracle’s Primavera solutions for utilities and other industries, connect on Twitter @OracleEPPM and at facebook.com/oracleprimavera, or visit https://www.oracle.com/primavera.

Contact Info Katie Barron
Oracle
+1.202.904.1138
katie.barron@oracle.com Mary Tobin
O’Keeffe & Company
+1.503.658.7396
mtobin@okco.com About Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor

The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation. 

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Katie Barron

  • +1.202.904.1138

Mary Tobin

  • +1.503.658.7396

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Categories: Database, Vendor

Bellevue University, Kentucky State University, San Bernardino Community College District, and Vanderbilt University Move to Oracle Cloud to Drive Institutional Excellence, Enhance the Student Experience, and Support Student Success

Oracle Database News - Tue, 04/12/2016 - 13:00
Press Release Bellevue University, Kentucky State University, San Bernardino Community College District, and Vanderbilt University Move to Oracle Cloud to Drive Institutional Excellence, Enhance the Student Experience, and Support Student Success Oracle drives innovation in support of modern students, systems, and processes

Oracle Industry Connect—Orlando, Fla.—Apr 12, 2016

Oracle exhibits continued momentum in the higher education market. Bellevue University, Kentucky State University, San Bernardino Community College District, and Vanderbilt University selected Oracle Cloud to help ensure operational excellence and student success by transforming the way these institutions conduct business and serve their constituents—from faculty and staff to students. 

With Oracle’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud  and Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud, higher education institutions can simplify, streamline, and better support marketplace changes and growth by empowering higher levels of productivity and increased insight into human resources (HR) and financial functions. Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle HCM Cloud enable higher education institutions to focus resources on driving institutional innovation and excellence to offer students, faculty, and staff new agility and functionality to advance educational opportunities. 

Higher Education Institutions Move to the Cloud

Bellevue University, a private, non-profit university located in Bellevue, Nebraska, selected Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service to replace its on-premise licensing—offering the institution improved functionality with lower operational costs. With the Oracle solutions in place, Bellevue University will be able to more efficiently perform operational duties and streamline accounting processes as well as create and drive improved analytics—enabling the university to focus and proactively look at critical information in real-time to improve decision-making.

Kentucky State University (KSU), a historically black liberal arts and 1890 Land Grant university in Frankfort, Kentucky, selected Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud to replace an aging ERP system that did not provide insight into the data the university needed to support operational needs. With the Oracle solutions in place, KSU will be able to more efficiently perform operational duties including providing a better student experience, self-service for employees and improved workflow while transforming its legacy environment to enable its 600 users to gain better insight into financial, procurement, and grant information.

San Bernardino Community College District, one of 72 community college districts within the California Community College system, selected Oracle ERP Cloud to provide more visibility into operations as well as improved reporting capabilities, and help ensure more informed decision-making as it works to declare fiscal independence from the county. The breadth and depth of Oracle’s cloud functionality will enable the district to drive sustainable cost reductions, simplify processes, and standardize systems. The district will work with Highstreet IT Solutions, LLC on the implementation. 

“San Bernardino Community College District is in the process of becoming fiscally independent from the County and we were looking for a robust complete Cloud ERP solution that could help us transform our organization,” said Jose Torres, vice chancellor of business and fiscal services, San Bernardino Community College District. “Oracle ERP Cloud was that solution.”

Vanderbilt University, a private research university and medical center offering a full-range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, selected Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud to replace a 30 year-old legacy system that could not support its split from its medical center. The Oracle solutions will enable the university to modernize business processes for more than 6,000 employees, 300 ERP users, and 3,000 student workers. Additionally, the cloud-based solutions will enable Vanderbilt University’s IT team to refocus their attention to other value-add activities—increasing productivity, helping ensure rapid innovation, and improving operational efficiency. The university will work with Oracle Consulting for the implementation and Huron Consulting Group for change management.  

“Oracle is working with higher education institutions to help them grow by developing innovative solutions that enable them to support institutional excellence, enhance the student experience, and drive student success,” said Mark Armstrong, vice president, product development, Oracle Higher Education. “Our cloud solutions empower higher education institutions to optimize productivity by focusing resources on faculty, staff, and students instead of IT—ultimately enabling them to drive institutional excellence with greater insight, transparency, and traceability into crucial financial, procurement, and human resource processes.”

Contact Info Katie Barron
Oracle
+1.202.904.1138
katie.barron@oracle.com Lacy Cooper
O’Keeffe & Company
+1.540.364.5913
lcooper@okco.com About Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor

The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation. 

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Katie Barron

  • +1.202.904.1138

Lacy Cooper

  • +1.540.364.5913

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Categories: Database, Vendor

E-Maj 1.3.0 is released

PostgreSQL News - Tue, 04/12/2016 - 01:00

I am proud to announce the 1.3.0 version of E-Maj.

E-Maj is a PostgreSQL extension which enables fine-grained write logging and time travel on subsets of the database.

This version mainly adds some functions to protect "tables groups" and "marks" from unattended "E-maj rollbacks". The E-Maj phpPgAdmin plugin has been improved as well to use these new features.

The core extension is available at pgxn.org or github.org. It includes a general presentation and a detailed documentation. The phpPgAdmin plugin is also available at github.org.

Categories: Database, Open Source

PGConf US 2016 One Week Away - Registrations Closing

PostgreSQL News - Tue, 04/12/2016 - 01:00

There is only 1 week left until one of the biggest PostgreSQL events in the world: PGConf US 2016, which is in New York from April 18th to 20th: http://www.pgconf.us/2016/schedule/

Some highlights:

  • A keynote presented by Parag Goradia, Executive Director, Cloud Services Engineering, GE Digital
  • An awesome set of general sessions on April 19th - 20th
  • The Regulated Industry Summit on April 18th (free with regular conference pass!)
  • Training sessions from seasoned Postgres trainers!
  • A chance to meet fun people from all over the world

…and the biggest PostgreSQL party of the year - come celebrate the PostgreSQL community turning 20! You can signup for the 20th Anniversary Party separately here: http://www.meetup.com/postgresql-3/events/229101241/

Hope to see you at the conference!

Categories: Database, Open Source

Mark your calendar: Satya Nadella to keynote Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta

Satya Nadella at Ignite 2016

We’re pleased to announce that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will deliver the opening keynote at Microsoft Ignite 2016 in September. During the keynote, Satya will provide his unique perspective on the technology trends shaping the future of business and enabling powerful new ways for people and organizations to work.

And that’s just the beginning…

We’re working to deliver an amazing line up of product experts, top Microsoft executives and industry visionaries at Microsoft Ignite, making it the event for IT decision makers and professionals to get hands-on learning and industry insights. Stay tuned for more Ignite conference news in the coming weeks.

Join us.

Register now to join the IT community in Atlanta, GA from September 26 – 30.

Categories: Database

In Search of a Regex Replace Function for MySQL

Database Journal News - Mon, 04/11/2016 - 08:01

While MySQL does feature Regular Expression matching via REGEXP operator it does not offer an equivalent to Oracle’s REGEXP_REPLACE function, which is all the more mysterious when you consider that Oracle owns MySQL! Join Rob Gravelle as he tries to account for this incongruence between the two DBMSes and searches for user-defined replacements.

Categories: Database

Deliver modern reports with SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services

This post was authored by Riccardo Muti, Senior Program Manager, SQL Server Reporting Services.

Why should you upgrade your reporting platform? You might think of it as a cost of doing business considering your operational processes that depend on it, but recent research suggests that it can be a strategic investment as well.

Forrester Research recently noted that “Companies with richer, more accurate information about their customers and products than their competitors will gain substantial competitive advantage” (Forrester Research, The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms, Q1 2015). Indeed, a modern reporting platform is critical to delivering valuable information to the right people in the right format.

Today’s leading organizations have realized the return on this investment and are continuing to invest to stay ahead: the fastest-growing companies (those growing faster than 15% year-over-year) planned to invest 38% more of their IT budgets in business analytics and reporting than did their slower-growing competitors.

Historically, organizations needed to produce reports in the traditional form of paginated documents, ideal for exporting to Word or PDF or for printing. They needed to produce “fixed” layout documents that always looked “exactly so,” even though people may have been using different computers and screen resolutions to view them. Organizations still face these needs, but with many enterprise reporting platforms developed years ago, designing modern-looking reports can be a challenging and tedious task.

Meanwhile, technological shifts have influenced the way we work and organizations’ reporting requirements have grown more varied and challenging. Business users are doing more and more on their mobile devices and need to view reports on smartphones and tablets while they’re away from their desks. Solutions originally designed for PCs, however, often deliver a suboptimal experience. If you’ve ever tried to view a report layout designed for a landscape-orientation PC screen or for an 8.5″ x 11″ document on a smartphone, you’ve probably found the experience cumbersome.

SQL Server Reporting Services

Since its introduction 12 years ago, SQL Server Reporting Services has emerged as a market leader and key component of Microsoft’s business intelligence platform – the most-adopted enterprise BI platform, based on a 2014 survey (Forrester Research, 2015). Countless organizations run their operations on Reporting Services and rely on it to deliver information critical to their success.

SQL Server 2016 overhauls Reporting Services to provide a modern, on-premises solution for deploying and managing reports within your organization. You can continue to create traditional, paginated reports (what you’ve always thought of as Reporting Services reports), plus you can now create mobile reports that are optimized for smartphones and tablets. To top it all off, you have a modern web portal where you can view all your reports in one place.

SQL Server Reporting Services

Modern paginated reports

SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services modernizes and enhances paginated reports in several ways. As a report designer, you’ll find modern styles for charts, gauges, maps and other data visualizations, enabling you to create beautifully modern reports more quickly and easily than ever. In addition to the pre-existing chart types, you’ll find two new ones – Treemaps and Sunburst charts, which are ideal for visualizing hierarchical information. And as you design parameterized reports, you now have direct control of the position of each parameter so you can arrange them the way you like, including across several columns to make the best use of wider screens.

Daily Store Report

To design reports, you’ll find modern versions of familiar tools. For example, Report Builder now sports a modern look-and-feel. And if you’re a developer who prefers designing reports in Visual Studio, you can now do so in Visual Studio 2015, where you can take advantage of Visual Studio projects, source control and more. When developing report logic or custom extensions to the platform, you can now write or integrate with code using the .NET Framework 4.6. When it comes to development environments, Forrester ranked Microsoft’s BI platform the strongest, with a 5.00 rating on a five-point scale (Forrester Research, 2015).

You’ll find a number of new features when viewing reports as well. In addition to exporting reports to Word, Excel, PDF and other formats, you can also export them to PowerPoint presentations. Report items become individual PowerPoint objects, so you can move and resize them to customize your presentation. Likewise, in addition to monitoring important metrics and trends by delivering reports to your email inbox, you can now pin report charts, gauges and maps to your Power BI dashboards.

Responsive mobile reports

Responsive Mobile Reports

SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services introduces mobile reports to address the need for responsive-layout reports that adapt to different screen shapes, sizes and orientations. Mobile reports dynamically adjust the content depending on whether you’re using a phone, tablet or PC, and even as you rotate your device.

Mobile reports are built on Datazen technology that Microsoft acquired in 2015 and on the idea that a “mobile-first” approach, designed from the outset for mobile devices, delivers the optimal experience for viewing reports on phones and tablets. You can create mobile reports using the SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher app and view them using either the Power BI mobile app or your browser. (A preview is available today in Power BI for iPhone and iPad, and coming soon to Power BI for Windows and Android).

Paginated reports and mobile reports are complementary; you can choose the type of report that best fits your needs on a case-by-case basis. When you need to generate and deliver a precisely-formatted document, you’ll want a paginated report; when optimizing for phones and tablets, you’ll want a mobile report.

We’ll take a closer look at mobile BI in SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services in an upcoming post.

A modern web portal to view all your reports

Web Portal

With SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services also comes a modern web portal where you can view and manage all your reports – both paginated and mobile, in one place. Built from the ground up on HTML5 technology and designed for modern browsers, it works great across Edge, Internet Explorer 10 and later, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

The web portal also introduces features such as key performance indicators (KPIs), a way to monitor important metrics and trends at a glance:

Monthly Sales

You can now favorite the KPIs and reports that matter most to you and see them in one personalized view without the clutter. As an organization, you can even customize the web portal with your logo and color scheme.

A roadmap for the future

Reporting Services features prominently in Microsoft’s reporting roadmap as the on-premises solution for delivering reports to users. SQL Server 2016 advances that roadmap with the overhaul of Reporting Services into a modern reporting platform and the addition of mobile BI. Looking beyond SQL Server 2016, you’ll be able to publish Power BI Desktop reports to Reporting Services as well, providing an on-premises solution for self-service BI.

Try it now

Download SQL Server 2016 RC and try the new Reporting Services today. It works with current and previous versions of SQL Server Database Engine, so whether or not you’re upgrading your databases, you can upgrade to a modern reporting platform. To learn more, read the Reporting Services team blog, join the conversation on Twitter: @SQLServerBI (#SSRS) or check out the video below.

See the other posts in the SQL Server 2016 blogging series.

Try SQL Server 2016 RC

Categories: Database

Azure SQL Database Elastic Database Jobs

Database Journal News - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 08:01

One of more common concerns among database administrators who consider migrating their estate to Azure SQL Database is their ability to efficiently manage the migrated workloads. In particular, the absence of the SQL Server Agent introduces the challenge of identifying a means to perform ad-hoc and scheduled automated management tasks across multiple databases. Fortunately, recently introduced Elastic Database jobs provide a convenient and efficient way to address this concern.

Categories: Database

Oracle Announces New Oracle HCM Cloud Solutions to Help Further Drive HR Transformation

Oracle Database News - Wed, 04/06/2016 - 13:00
Press Release Oracle Announces New Oracle HCM Cloud Solutions to Help Further Drive HR Transformation New solutions help streamline HR processes and increase employee engagement

Redwood Shores Calif—Apr 6, 2016

Today at Oracle HCM World in Chicago, Oracle announced new additions to its Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud portfolio that help organizations drive HR transformation. Designed to enable HR departments to embrace modern best practices, the new offerings include a comprehensive self-service solution that helps HR and employees streamline issue resolution, a new work-life application that helps employees identify volunteer services in which to participate and updated corporate learning solutions that help support the demands of the digital workforce.   As organizations transition to the cloud to support their HR needs, they face the challenge of delivering high-quality services to their employees while also reducing operational costs. As a result, HR departments are under pressure to not only deploy smart and engaging technologies, but also drive efficiencies across both traditional and modern HR processes. In order to further help HR departments meet this demand and extend its commitment to driving HR transformation, Oracle has introduced Oracle HR Help Desk (HRHD) Cloud, as well as My Volunteering, a new addition to Oracle’s portfolio of work-life applications, and a series of enhancements to the Oracle Learning Cloud.   Natively developed within the Oracle HCM Cloud, Oracle HRHD Cloud leverages the same workflows, analytics, social capabilities and intuitive user interface to help employees quickly and easily gain the knowledge they require through superior self-service capabilities. To help HR professionals personalize the employee experience, Oracle HRHD Cloud provides a 360-degree view of the workforce and also includes advanced search capabilities. In addition, the new solution offers case management and escalation capabilities that help HR professionals resolve more complex issues. As a result, HRHD provides a key new capability to help HR deliver high quality services to employees at a low cost.        Oracle’s Work Life Applications go beyond traditional HR applications to help increase employee engagement by bringing process, innovation and the employee community together. In order to help meet employees’ philanthropic goals, My Volunteering enables employees to identify which volunteer projects their company supports and quickly enroll in those initiatives. In addition, through applications such as Career Development, Oracle HCM Cloud can help organizations suggest which volunteer projects would be a good fit based on their employees’ interests.   The Oracle Learning Cloud enables employees at all levels to learn contextually and socially regardless of their location. The latest enhancements to Oracle Learning Cloud build on this commitment through support for e-learning standards such as SCORM 1.2/2004 and new capabilities that enable learning content to be embedded into the context of business processes. Oracle Learning Cloud now also includes an Offline Mobile Learning application that enables employees to consume training content regardless of location or connectivity.   “To attract and retain the best talent in today’s fiercely competitive global market, organizations increasingly need to offer the same types of digital experiences that employees have become accustomed to in the consumer world,” said Chris Leone, senior vice president, Oracle HCM Development. “With the latest additions to Oracle HCM Cloud, Oracle continues to help organizations drive digital transformation by creating highly effective and modern HR departments. As a result, Oracle HCM Cloud gives organizations the ability to drive positive business outcomes through their HR functions.”   Contact Info Peter Mertens
Burson Marsteller
1.312.596.3515
peter.mertens@bm.com About Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor

The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation. 

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Categories: Database, Vendor

Security and flexibility with SQL Server 2016’s hybrid cloud solutions

The cloud is now a fact of business life, and adoption is growing fast. Findings from a 2016 survey by RightScale found 95 percent of respondents are now using the cloud. Perhaps more noteworthy is the increase in hybrid cloud adoption from 58 percent to 71 percent year-over-year.

The fact that the cloud has become so ubiquitous — coupled with the fact that data is driving business success, raises the question: What is the best way to extract the highest value from both the cloud and a data platform?

In other words, does it make more sense to get native cloud capability built into your data platform with SQL Server 2016? Or does it make sense to spend a lot of extra money cobbling together cloud capabilities onto Oracle and to pay for costly support in order to piece it all together?

Microsoft has invested heavily in the former option, building cloud capabilities into SQL Server. SQL Server 2016 is architected to work smoothly with the cloud in a hybrid environment that helps organizations realize the benefits of hyperscale cloud. And SQL Server and Microsoft Azure work better together because the Microsoft hybrid cloud technology provides a consistent set of tools and processes between on-premises and cloud-based environments. This means that SQL Server 2016 is designed to work in a hybrid cloud environment in which data and services reside in various locations.

As a result, it is now much easier to move databases to the cloud. The list of scenarios supported in the SQL Server 2016 wave includes Stretch Database, Always Encrypted, faster hybrid backups and high availability, and disaster recovery scenarios to back up and restore on-premises databases to Microsoft Azure and place SQL Server AlwaysOn secondaries in Azure.

Upcoming blogs from engineers working on these capabilities will cover the technical details. To set the stage for those drilldowns, it’s important to have an overview of the business implications of some of the hybrid cloud functionality built into SQL Server.

Stretch Database – built-in innovation, only in SQL Server

The mounting cost of storing ever-expanding amounts of data is an issue facing most organizations. In fact, many companies don’t accurately know the actual cost they’re incurring for data storage per gigabyte per month. Hardware, maintenance and software required for data storage are generally tracked, but the time DBAs invest is not.

And that time could be significantly affecting how much bandwidth employees have to perform productive, non-maintenance tasks and strategic efforts. (To learn more, see Joe Yong’s Channel 9 presentation, “Stretching On-Premises Databases to the Cloud.”)

To appreciate the impact on the DBAs’ time, consider that it’s not uncommon for a single Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) table to have a billion unpartitioned rows, or considerably more. This means that backup and restore times could require many hours, especially if the data set includes cold data (i.e., infrequently accessed data) that needs to be brought back online to complete a full database restore. Because business users require IT to retain cold data, this situation can mean increasingly high storage costs and the likelihood that IT and business will have to deal with an inability to meet Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for operations, such as database indexing and backup and restore.

To address this productivity hit and to transparently offer near-infinite capacity with low TCO storage, Microsoft has introduced the revolutionary SQL Server 2016 Stretch Database, which no other database vendor can provide today or in the near future.

Giving real-world and community context to the business impact of this unmatched technology, SQL Server expert and consultant, Mike Lawell of Linchpin People, explains: “Stretch Database is a feature we’ve all dreamed about but couldn’t imagine ever being implemented. It will allow production databases to offload ‘older’ [cold] data to an ‘archive’ location in the Microsoft Azure cloud without losing access to the data. This is huge for the clients that refuse or are unable to let go of their data. Many enterprises need quick access to their data for compliance reasons, and now they can now push that data up to the cloud. This will save large amounts of money in storage cost and still allow ready access for compliance audits.”

Always Encrypted

As data becomes the center of digital business, IT security has to be focused on data. For more information, see the July 10, 2015, Forrester report (The Future Of Data Security And Privacy: Growth And Competitive Differentiation Vision: The Data Security And Privacy Playbook). With this focus, organizations need to think of data security and privacy as a way to differentiate themselves from their competition. For example, companies that can assure that customer and business data are secure have a competitive edge over companies that don’t make data security a priority. So to remain competitive,  business and technical decision makers need a data platform with built-in security, and they need a strategy that takes advantage of such capabilities.

SQL Server has built-in security that includes Always Encrypted, a feature that gains important new and unique enhancements in SQL Server 2016. With Always Encrypted, SQL Server is the first data platform that provides query-able encryption. Now, data can be encrypted while at rest and in motion (both on-premises and in the cloud), and the new Transparent Queryable Encryption lets users query that data while it is encrypted, with very little overhead.

With Always Encrypted, SQL Server 2016 helps organizations guarantee that the data and the corresponding keys are never seen in plain text on the server. Always Encrypted capabilities ensure that DBAs and other high-privileged but unauthorized users cannot access sensitive data stored in a SQL Server database.

As we believe the cited Forrester report highlighted, excellent data security can help organizations compete. And if there is any doubt about the importance of advanced security technology, consider the results of a recent independent study by King Research, “Enterprise Application Security Market Research Report.” For this study, more than 400 InfoSec professionals rated the importance of various criteria for selecting security products on a scale of 1 to 10. Respondents rated “Security Advantage by Using Superior Technology” at a very high 7.5 on that scale.

SQL Server 2016 Always Encrypted technology helps protect your data at rest and in motion, on-premises and in the cloud, with master keys sitting with the application, without application changes. SQL Server provides superior data platform security technology that can serve as the foundation for a comprehensive data security strategy to help your organization compete.

Simplify operations

As upcoming technical blogs will explain in detail, SQL Server 2016 enhances the built-in administrative tools that work with the cloud, including backup to Azure, migration of on-premises SQL Server to Azure and the ability to easily add an Azure node to an AlwaysOn Availability Group in a hybrid environment.  In addition, SQL Server has several options for backing up to Azure, including managed backup, backup to Azure Block Blobs and Azure Storage snapshot backup. SQL Server 2016 has made enhancements in each of these backup options.

Built-in value

All of this built-in cloud functionality makes SQL Server the industry leader in value. Microsoft continues to build in innovation so that organizations do not have to purchase expensive add-ins in order to get the benefits of the cloud with security, simplicity and consistency across on-premises and the cloud.

See the other posts in the SQL Server 2016 blogging series.

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Categories: Database

Businesses See Big Benefits to Offering Individualized Customer and Employee Experiences But Struggle to Deliver, Says New Study

Oracle Database News - Tue, 04/05/2016 - 13:00
Press Release Businesses See Big Benefits to Offering Individualized Customer and Employee Experiences But Struggle to Deliver, Says New Study 81 percent of organizations surveyed note an important link between cloud solutions and the agility required to offer more individualized employee and customer experiences

Redwood Shores, Calif.—Apr 5, 2016

84% of C Level Executives

Today, Oracle announced the findings of its report “The Era I Enterprise: Ready for Anything”—which surveyed 300 C-level executives across 10 industries to understand how prepared organizations are to address the fact that consumers increasingly expect, and even demand, to have it their way—whether transacting, communicating, working, or simply enjoying leisure time. The new report revealed that most organizations are dealing with this shift—84 percent of respondents say their organization has experienced a trend toward customers wanting a more individualized experience and 70 percent have experienced this trend from employees—but fewer than 20 percent give their organization an “A” in its ability to offer those experiences.

“Today, whether shopping for an item, making reservations, examining a bill, evaluating projects, or viewing medical information, the digital age has brought us to a point where we now expect the ability to make real-time decisions, transact, and customize options at the tap of the screen. In the new service-driven economy, innovative enterprises must focus on two things: taking care of their customers and taking care of their employees,” said Bob Weiler, executive vice president, Global Business Units, Oracle. “Our study reveals that organizations are unprepared to manage the need for personalization in Era I, but those seeking a competitive advantage stand to gain tremendously. Those that invest in their customers and employees will reap the benefits now and into the future.”

Inability to Individualize Reduces Competitiveness, Leaves Money on the Table

Nearly two-thirds of respondents—across the Communications, Education and Research, Engineering and Construction, Financial Services, Healthcare, Hospitality, Life Sciences, Public Sector, Retail, and Utilities industries—say the shift is a growing challenge in their ability to compete effectively. Drilling down even further, organizations estimate that if they were able to successfully offer customers and employees a highly personalized experience, they would earn an additional 18 percent in annual revenue. For a $1 billion company, that is $180 million a year.

Cloud Will Help Organizations Get Ready for Anything 97% Think They Can Deliver

To gain the flexibility needed to succeed in Era I, nearly all organizations (97 percent) believe IT investments—from business intelligence tools to customer experience solutions to industry-specific applications—will play a vital role in improving their ability to offer individualized customer and employee experiences. Furthermore, 81 percent believe there is an important link between cloud-based IT solutions and their ability to offer an individualized experience.

In terms of benefits, managers believe personalization will lead to greater customer and employee retention. In fact, organizations believe they could increase employee satisfaction by 94 percent if they were to offer a highly individualized employee experience and more flexible, industry-specific applications that help them to thrive on the job.

Leaders Get Personal 81% See the Link Between Cloud Based

Further proof that agility is a key business enabler, the study found that organizations that have increased their revenue by more than 10 percent in the last year are significantly ahead of the curve when it comes to offering individualized experiences. Forty-nine percent of Era I leaders can act on customer feedback versus just 18 percent of other organizations, and 38 percent of leaders can respond effectively to changing market conditions versus just 10 percent.

Access the full report—which delves extensively into how prepared organizations within each industry are as well as the resources they need to meet Era I needs.

Contact Info Greg Lunsford
Oracle
+1.925.899.4231
greg.lunsford@oracle.com Mary Tobin
O’Keeffe & Company
+1.503.658.7396
mtobin@okco.com About Oracle

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