Microsoft, Sybase Step Up BI

Enterprises looking for speed are getting help from Microsoft Corp. and Sybase Inc.

Enterprises looking for speed when it comes to business intelligence applications are getting help from Microsoft Corp. and Sybase Inc., which each announced new products to accelerate database performance.

Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., began shipping late last month Version 1.2 of its SQL Server Accelerator for Business Intelligence, a rapid application development tool to automate the process of building the infrastructure of an analytical application.

At the same time, Sybase announced Sybase IQ 12.5, the latest version of its analytical database, designed for powering BI applications. The upgrade promises analysis of information in seconds and the ability to handle thousands of users and queries and terabytes of data.

Sybase IQ 12.5 can be used to analyze customer profitability, market penetration, sales effectiveness and operational efficiency and is suited for both large and small organizations because it has low overhead costs, according to Sybase officials, in Dublin, Calif.

Nielsen Media Research Inc. uses Sybase IQ 12.5 to store as much as 12 terabytes of data about national television viewership. Data is collected from households and stored in the database, which serves as a hub for distributing the data to the companys business units, according to Kamal Nasser, vice president of IT strategy.

"Theres more out-of-the-box support for performance, backup and recovery, and loading in 12.5," said Nasser, in Clearwater, Fla.

Nasser said Version 12.5 supports complex queries, such as those requiring multiple pages of source code, and can simplify the backup-and-recovery process by taking snapshots of the data.

Microsofts Accelerator for BI can create the back end for a customized BI solution by automating development procedures, Microsoft said. The newest version of Accelerator for BI provides support for SQL Server 2000 Standard and Enterprise editions, as well as support for Microsoft Office 2003. This version includes the capability to generate a solution from an XML file to speed integration with partner solutions.

Other new features include separation of the application generation and deployment processes so that applications can be put into production faster without dependencies on the application generation code. Version 1.2 supports drill-through actions in count measures to enhance the reporting capabilities of the generated application.