September 6, 2017

RDBMS Remains Popular As Data Sources Grow

George Leopold

As the number and variety of data sources continues to explode along with proliferation of third party APIs used to connect it, data repositories such as relational databases continue to thrive while emerging software services and tools are accelerating the shift to “open analytics,” a new database technology survey reports.

The annual data connectivity outlook released by enterprise software vendor Progress found that adoption of software-as-a-service offerings are fueling the growing number of data sources with adoption jumping to 17 percent over last year to 79 percent of respondents. That total parallels overall big data adoption, which jumped 11 percent over last year among the 1,200 executives polled by Progress (NASDAQ: PRGS), Bedford, Mass.

“Organizations must deal with data spread across a variety of sources—from relational to big data to SaaS,” the report notes. Among the responses has been a growing list of data access standards to accelerate connections between desperate data sources.

Relational databases including SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) remain popular with users by a substantial margin. For example, 63 percent of those polled said they or their customers use SQL server technology or plan to adopt it in the next two years.

In terms of big data interfaces, Hadoop Hive remains the most popular, registering a 5 percent jump over last year’s survey to 25 percent of respondents. Hortonworks (NASDAQ: HDP) is the most popular Hadoop Hive distribution, Progress reported, followed by Cloudera (NYSE: CLDR) and Amazon Elastic MapReduce. Moreover, adoption of Hadoop Hive is forecast to increase by 8 percent over the next two years, the outlook forecasts.

MongoDB remains the most popular NoSQL database, cited by 29 percent of those polled, followed by Cassandra at 12 percent.

Meanwhile, SparkSQL is the preferred interface for Apache Spark, with adoption expected to jump 6 percent over the next two years.

With big data source jumping 11 percent on annual basis, the outlook also notes that “frequent release cycles [for big data technologies] make it impossible to continuously certify and maintain connectivity for hundreds of big data components and versions, which change monthly in many cases.”

With more enterprises seeking a unified view of data for analysis and business intelligence, the survey found that most are combining data across several different sources. “The biggest challenge is incorporating all relevant data across an increasing number of cloud, database and other third-party sources,” the Progess (NASDAQ: PRGS) report notes.

As standard interfaces are combined with app development and data management tools, enterprise adoption of analytics continues to grow among data-driven companies. That trend is fueling what the report calls “open analytics” as users look to query cloud applications using preferred analytics tools.

Open analytics is defined as the integration of an open data access layer into business applications. Customers can then use a preferred tool or language to query cloud applications, for example.

Another emerging trend is embedding analytics into software services that deliver data, dashboards and reporting. The parallel approach meets the needs of data scientists, analysts and business users, the report concludes, noting that 63 percent of respondents said they use reporting and analytics tools that have helped propel the open analytics push.

The data tsunami also is driving cloud adoption as data users seek to scale their operations. Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ: MSFT) were the preferred cloud infrastructure providers (both 32 percent), followed by VMware (NYSE: VMW) at 26 percent. However, 18 percent of those polled said they have yet to move to cloud computing platforms.

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