Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Expiration of Invisible Sands

There's a wonderful example of propogandic writing at Newsforge, for a database product called dbstar. Let's decypher all the interesting bits.

"Montaseri claims db.* has some technology advantage over proprietary competitors that depend on languages like SQL to get information from the database. Most databases use a relational model, which relies on a set of indexes to get to the records. "Accessing those indexes takes its own time," says Montaseri. db.* uses a hybrid of a relational and a network model. Analyst Yuhanna confirms that with the hybrid model db.* uses, the designer can choose the indexes used, lessening resource-intensive I/O calls and resulting in a performance boost. However, since this approach forces db.* to abandon standards like the SQL language, it lessens the appeal of such a tactic."

In other words, like any toy, it has some features that nice systems lack, but they didn't do what it takes to make it a good product -- integrate their features into a package with all the standard features retained. If you can use their toy software, you might be able to get some speed advantages over real databases, but you'd better not expect any features that real databases provide. Of course, you may rather learn HOW TO ACTUALLY TUNE YOUR DATABASE because in every database software I've used, you actually have a lot of control over the indices used (and while you're at it, learn how to pluralise index). Alternatively, if you're in the one-in-a-million customers who actually needs your queries to be a few hundredths of a second faster, and are willing to trade that for all the features of SQL, then you may rather just hand code your own database, because that way you can make it even faster than this thing.

"One of db.*'s benefits -- and one of its disadvantages -- is that it was developed for intelligent developers," Montaseri says. "There is a learning curve to become familiar with the code."

In other words, they think you're smart if you use it. It's likely hard to use, and the time you need to learn it is no longer of use to you when you go anywhere else, because it's a complex toy.

"The fact that ITTIA has been in business for five years, successfully implementing and supporting db.* with the largest of companies, helps give prospective customers some peace of mind." .. "NewsForge attempted to get Oshkosh to speak about db.*, but the company declined, so we had to rely on ITTIA's account."

They managed to fast-talk some companies into using their software. Those companies don't want to talk about it.

"The power and complexity of db.* required Oshkosh engineers be given specific training. Oshkosh chose to do all of the training online. "We entertained them with an online training program, and provided consulting and technical support to make sure they were learning the product in a rapid fashion," says Montaseri. "We made sure they received technical support rapidly. Engineers cannot wait when they have questions.""

In other words, if you use their toy, be prepared for a rocky path with lots of handholding and pain.

Marketers.. *sigh*

Tags: tech

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