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September 18, 1995

DON’T GET A DATA WAREHOUSE, SAYS INTERSYSTEMS

By CBR Staff Writer

Struggling with the question of how to justify the cost of that pricey data warehousing strategy? Don’t bother because it’s a waste of money according to database supplier InterSystems Corp, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The normally low-profile organisation has stuck its neck out by stating that there is no need to create a separate data warehouse specifically for decision support purposes. Going for a warehousing strategy is not just jumping on the bandwaggon, declared InterSystems’ European business development director, John Blackwell, it’s like jumping onto the Titanic. He said data warehousing is little more than a camouflage invented by database suppliers to conceal inefficient database design. He argued that those that adopt data warehousing as a central strategy will find themselves driven down too rigid a path, leaving them unable to respond properly to the demands of end users. Don’t have a data warehousing policy, have an information technology-on-demand strategy instead, he said. This, Blackwell explained, involves developing the ability to extend on-line production databases to support ad-hoc querying, something which he argued is only feasible with a database that is frugal with systems resources. He, naturally, put his own company’s Open M database firmly in this category. Frugal or otherwise, InterSystems was recently named as the fifth largest database company in terms of installed base by International Data Corp. The company itself claims 1.5m licences for Open M, a relational database derived from a combination of MUMPS database technology and SQL, which is available on range of systems including MS-DOS, Windows, NT and Unix. The privately owned company bought Digital Equipment Corp’s MUMPS-compliant DMS database business earlier this year and forecasts revenues of $40m for the 1995 financial year – about 25% of which stems from DMS.

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