Complex Queries Defeat Top Databases

October 16, 2002

[From vnunet.com]

Today's leading databases cannot handle many common queries and should only be used as a last resort, claims a Bloor Research report released this week. The analyst company identified a variety of increasingly common database queries that were particularly poorly handled, and recommended that users turn to specialist third-party products instead.

Philip Howard, author of Innovations in Data Warehousing - Answering Complex, Real-time and Dynamic Queries: An Evaluation and Comparison, argues that a conventional access approach as implemented in Oracle, IBM DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server should only be used as a last resort for at least three reasons.

First, when attempting to answer complex analytical queries, it typically takes either a very long time (certainly measured in hours and often in days) or requires an inordinate amount of processing power. This is especially true when the query cannot be predicted in advance. Secondly, traditional relational databases simply cannot cope with truly real-time environments. And, thirdly, standard approaches are not well-engineered to cope with large-scale queries whose business rules change on a regular basis.

A number of companies have worked to address these concerns and now offer products that can be used to supplement existing solutions (though some of them may also replace traditional approaches). Typically, these vendors report performance improvements of hundreds of times, frequently on considerably reduced hardware platforms. This report examines these claims, which might be thought to strain credulity (actually they are real).

Specifically, this report compares six of the vendors in this space, including Aleri, Alterian, Apama, Aruna, Sand Technology and Sybase. The report also investigates the technologies (including column-based relational databases, tokenisation, and vector processing and databases) that underpin their various solutions.

The complete article is available at http://www.vnunet.com/News/1135981.

An overview of the report itself is available at http://www.bloor-research.com/product/480/innovations_in_data_warehousing.html.

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