Analysis of SaaS vendor Workday, Inc., and especially of its innovative technology strategy.

                                                    July 19, 2016

                                                    Notes from a long trip, July 19, 2016

                                                    For starters:

                                                    A running list of recent posts is:

                                                    Subjects I’d like to add to that list include:

                                                    Read more

                                                    November 24, 2013

                                                    Thoughts on SaaS

                                                    Generalizing about SaaS (Software as a Service) is hard. To prune some of the confusion, let’s start by noting:

                                                    For smaller enterprises, the core outsourcing argument is compelling. How small? Well:

                                                    So except for special cases, an enterprise with less than $100 million or so in revenue may have trouble affording on-site data processing, at least at a mission-critical level of robustness. It may well be better to use NetSuite or something like that, assuming needed features are available in SaaS form.*

                                                    Read more

                                                    September 23, 2013

                                                    Thoughts on in-memory columnar add-ons

                                                    Oracle announced its in-memory columnar option Sunday. As usual, I wasn’t briefed; still, I have some observations. For starters:

                                                    I’d also add that Larry Ellison’s pitch “build columns to avoid all that index messiness” sounds like 80% bunk. The physical overhead should be at least as bad, and the main saving in administrative overhead should be that, in effect, you’re indexing ALL columns rather than picking and choosing.

                                                    Anyhow, this technology should be viewed as applying to traditional business transaction data, much more than to — for example — web interaction logs, or other machine-generated data. My thoughts around that distinction start:

                                                    Read more

                                                    July 20, 2013

                                                    The refactoring of everything

                                                    I’ll start with three observations:

                                                    As written, that’s probably pretty obvious. Even so, it’s easy to forget just how pervasive the refactoring is and is likely to be. Let’s survey some examples first, and then speculate about consequences. Read more

                                                    June 14, 2012

                                                    Workday update

                                                    In August 2010, I wrote about Workday’s interesting technical architecture, highlights of which included:

                                                    I caught up with Workday recently, and things have naturally evolved. Most of what we talked about (by my choice) dealt with data management, business intelligence, and the overlap between the two.

                                                    It is now reasonable to say that Workday’s servers fall into at least seven tiers, although we talked mainly about five that work together as a kind of giant app/database server amalgamation. The three that do noteworthy data management can be described as:

                                                    Two other Workday server tiers may be described as: Read more

                                                    May 4, 2012

                                                    Notes on graph data management

                                                    This post is part of a series on managing and analyzing graph data. Posts to date include:

                                                    Interest in graph data models keeps increasing. But it’s tough to discuss them with any generality, because “graph data model” encompasses so many different things. Indeed, just as all data structures can be mapped to relational ones, it is also the case that all data structures can be mapped to graphs.

                                                    Formally, a graph is a collection of (node, edge, node) triples. In the simplest case, the edge has no properties other than existence or maybe direction, and the triple can be reduced to a (node, node) pair, unordered or ordered as the case may be. It is common, however, for edges to encapsulate additional properties, the canonical examples of which are:

                                                    Many of the graph examples I can think of fit into four groups: Read more

                                                    April 7, 2012

                                                    Many kinds of memory-centric data management

                                                    I’m frequently asked to generalize in some way about in-memory or memory-centric data management. I can start:

                                                    Getting more specific than that is hard, however, because:

                                                    Consider, for example, some of the in-memory data management ideas kicking around. Read more

                                                    August 22, 2010

                                                    Workday comments on its database architecture

                                                    In my discussion of Workday’s technology, I gave an estimate that Workday’s database, if relationally designed, would require ā€œ1000sā€ of tables. That estimate came from Workday, Inc. CTO Stan Swete, in a thoughtful email that made several points about Workday’s database strategy. Workday kindly gave me permission to quote it below.
                                                    Read more

                                                    August 22, 2010

                                                    The Workday architecture — a new kind of OLTP software stack

                                                    One of my coolest company visits in some time was to SaaS (Software as a Service) vendor Workday, Inc., earlier this month. Reasons included:

                                                    Workday kindly allowed me to post this Workday slide deck. Otherwise, I’ve split out a quick Workday, Inc. company overview into a separate post.

                                                    The biggie for me was the data and object management part. Specifically:? Read more

                                                    August 22, 2010

                                                    Workday, Inc. company overview

                                                    My main post on Workday’s technology got really long, so I decided to split out a company backgrounder separately. Here goes.

                                                    Workday, Inc. was founded by Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri, who’d previously worked together at PeopleSoft. It is generally the case that the companies Dave starts:? Read more

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