Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Thought I would brush off the blog, it has been a long time since I last posted. This is mainly because of the fierce rate of change at Embarcadero this year. Including my new position as CTO. This role brings some new challenges, one of which is helping to drive the technical innovation of our products and portfolio. This implies lots of research and archaeology into how people design, build, run technology. Which means I am interested in knowing where you think the gaps in our tool portfolio are. A tremendous amount of effort has gone into making our portfolio available in the form of All-Access. The benefits of having the whole portfolio (or tool box) at your disposal is amazing and worth some attention. The new All-Access server with it's integration with the licensing server and provisioning really helps in many ways. Three I like are: Usage transparency, easy of deployment, and single application portal.

Even with all the activity related to InstantOn (part of All-Access) the product releases train keeps on moving. Next stop a new version of DB Optimizer to be released this week. The 1.5 release has major changes in appearance, Kyle Hailey and team have done amazing job in bring this product to a new level. There are many new features but the main focus of making it easier to identify and resolve SQL problems is definitely improved upon in this release. This release reflects Kyle's thoughts on ease of use, "life is too difficult already, I don't need more complexity just make it easier". More info on DB Optimizer and other products can be found on the EDN site.

In these tough economic times if it often hard to find budget to attend conferences in person. Today marks the start of DataRage our virtual conference. This is a great way to get lots of information from the comfort of your desk chair. There are a number of On-Demand videos that have been prerecorded for you to view at your leisure. Including one from yours truly. I encourage you to take a look at DataRage and EDN and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Let the count down being

I am currently live from Iasi, Romania where I eagerly await the signal that we are ready to launch the DBArtisan 8.6.0 RTM. I will of course make the product available immediately on the beta site the rest will have to wait for the official GA. For those that are not familiar with our terms RTM meaning Release To Manufacturing is the point at which R&D releases the product to the rest of the company at which point is transferred to web site any additional marketting colateral is produced proceeding general availablity. If you can't wait to get a taste please feel free to join the beta site at http://beta.embarcadero.com. Thanks again to everyone that participated in the beta, keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DBArtisan Beta

The reason I haven't been very active on my blog is because I have been busy working on the DBArtisan 8.6 Beta. This release is different from previous releases in a lot of way, probably most noticeably is the DBArtisan 8.6 Beta doesn't have a major new feature, rather the theme is about improving feature quality and bunch of small features that just make life better. For instance one feature I absolutely love is introduction of check boxes. Gone are the annoying true/false selection. Anyhow there are piles of new things including support for new database versions like Sybase Cluster, SQL Server 2008, Oracle 11g, DB2 9.5, migration improvements and host of improvements. Plus for the first time we are using some new beta software so you can read more about all the new improvements at beta.embarcadero.com. This site is also going to allow you to communicate with each other on just how great this beta is or log and track your issues online. The cool thing about the beta site is we have surveys so you can help guide us as to when this is ready to ship.

Please join the DBArtisan 8.6 Beta now and be part of the action.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Value of Work Flow

These days it is hard to attract people to your software based on appearance. That isn't to say that appearance isn't important or that people won't make decisions based on appearance. However it is hard to convince someone to try a piece of software if your claims are about appearance, usability, work flow, etc. This is because these terms have been so often misused and everyone will indicate they have superior user experience. The reason I bring this up is I was playing around with the new Change Manager 5.0.1 release and was doing a comparisons so that I could determine the permission difference on a set of tables. Well it didn't work right away. Fortunately I quickly noticed that "Ignore Object Permissions" was selected in the Options selection. After deselecting and re-executing I got the desired result. While I was marvelling over how useful knowing how permissions have changed and how easy it was for me to resolve my issue it dawned on me how little I notice the rest of the setup. From narrowing to tables, though the mapping to finally seeing the result a lot of very exacting refinements were done without really having to think about it. The tool guiding me through a very complex task to results I wanted to see. Anyhow the net result was me thinking, wow that is a great experience we should be telling people about. So as I was seeing the "Great User Experience" headline I signed and realized that would never work. So how do you promote something like work flow?

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Patch for Performance

DBArtisan 8.5.5 is out. This patch is great step for quality. We corrected over 125 customer issues ( and many more internally reported ). Plus we put a ton of effort into improving the performance of our new object management system. In fact I am going to list off the objects that we have worked on improving the performance of.

On Oracle: Table, Columns, Indexes, Materialized Views, Materialized View Logs, Privileges, Unique Key, Primary Key, Rollback Segment, Cluster, Packages and Package Bodies, Types and Type Bodies, Views, Procedures, Functions, Triggers

On ASE: Table, Column, Primary Keys, Unique Keys, Check Constraints, Indexes, Procedures, Functions, Views, Foreign Keys, Triggers

On SQL Server: Tables, Indexes, Foreign Keys, Procedures, Functions, Triggers, Views, Primary Keys, Unique Key

On DB2: Tables, Views, Primary Keys, Unique Keys

We are always listening to customers and always want to create the best tool for the job. This patch is just a small response to that but certainly contains enough performance improvements to justify a look. Enjoy! More great improvements soon to come.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sliding back in time

Isn't August supposed to be the down month? Everyone is on vacation? Well not for this guy. Apparently a few people decided it was change jobs month. I have never been one to shy away from change so I am excited about new beginning but filling the voids has been fun but exhausting. For one I am currently guiding the DBArtisan and Rapid SQL teams personally. These are great teams and they are anxious to put out great product. As such the team has rewarded the world and me with DBArtisan 8.5.5 which should be on the website tomorrow, and I will blog more about then.

Anyhow with all these distractions I haven't had a chance to blog about Performance Center 2.5. The first thing you will notice is it has that new car smell. Er it looks new all over. Some might say the move to 2.5 is like going from VW to a BMW. Marketing has done a great job on detailing the benefits of Performance Center so I won't repeat that. However when you start the Performance Center UI find the Zoom slider and "Current" button on the toolbar.

These two controls do amazing things that were not possible in previous versions. The Zoom actually lets you move around in the last few hours of activity. The graphs will all reflect this change. Clicking current lets you go back to any point in time and the information on the screens adjust to that time. So if someone asks you what was happening last night at 2am when my batch failed, then you can quickly check it out. You can then zoom around to see what lead up to problem as well. Possibilities are endless and if database performance awareness is important to you then this is a good time to test drive this tool.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Looks as though Kenn has already broken the news regarding Blaugust, of course derived from the lunar calendar for when blogging is most frequent and happens to be contained within the month of August. In other words a cheeky attempt to increase the amount of blogging we do.

There are many topics I want to discuss this month. One of the things that we are interest is the topic of DB2 on zOS. We have long supported zOS in DBArtisan are about to spec out some work for the latest versions of zOS. I have always viewed our tool for zOS as way to empower users familiar with database object management on distributed systems to get work done. How many people are out there in this camp? If you have a demand for rich UI experience involving the zOS, what would you expect the tool to do? Let me know what you think.