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MariaDB X4 brings smart transactions to open source database

MariaDB has come a long way from its MySQL database roots. The open source database vendor released its new MariaDB X4 platform, providing users with “smart transactions” technology to enable both analytical and transactional databases.

MariaDB, based in Redwood City, Calif., was founded in 2009 by the original creator of MySQL, Monty Widenius, as a drop replacement for MySQL, after Widenius grew disillusioned with the direction that Oracle was taking the open source database.

Oracle acquired MySQL via its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2008. Now, in 2020, MariaDB still uses the core MySQL database protocol, but the MariaDB database has diverged significantly in other ways that are manifest in the X4 platform update.

The MariaDB X4 release, unveiled Jan. 14, puts the technology squarely in the cloud-native discussion, notably because MariaDB is allowing for specific workloads to be paired with specific storage types at the cloud level, said James Curtis, senior analyst of data, AI and analytics at 451 Research.

“There are a lot of changes that they implemented, including new and improved storage engines, but the thing that stands out are the architectural adjustments made that blend row and columnar storage at a much deeper level — a change likely to appeal to many customers,” Curtis said.

MariaDB X4 smart transactions converges database functions

The divergence with MySQL has ramped up over the past three years, said Shane Johnson, senior director of product marketing at MariaDB. In recent releases MariaDB has added Oracle database compatibility, which MySQL does not include, he noted.

In addition, MariaDB’s flagship platform provides a database firewall and dynamic data masking, both features designed to improve security and data privacy. The biggest difference today, though, between MariaDB and SQL is how MariaDB supports pluggable storage engines, which gain new functionality in the X4 update.

The thing that stands out are the architectural adjustments made that blend row and columnar storage at a much deeper level — a change likely to appeal to many customers.
James CurtisSenior analyst of data, AI and analytics, 451 Research

Previously when using the pluggable storage engine, users would deploy an instance of MariaDB for transactional use cases with the InnoDB storage engine and another instance with the ColumnStore columnar storage engine for analytics, Johnson explained.

In earlier releases, a Change Data Capture process synchronized those two databases. In the MariaDB X4 update, transactional and analytical features have been converged in an approach that MariaDB calls smart transactions.

“So, when you install MariaDB, you get all the existing storage engines, as well as ColumnStore, allowing you to mix and match to use row and columnar data to do transactions and analytics, very simply, and very easily,” Johnson said.

MariaDB X4 aligns cloud storage

Another new capability in MariaDB X4 is the ability to more efficiently use cloud storage back ends.

“Each of the storage mediums is optimized for a different workload,” Johnson said.

For example, Johnson noted that Amazon Web Service’s S3, is a good fit for analytics, because of its high-availability and capacity. He added that for transactional applications with row-based storage, Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) is a better fit. The ability to mix and match both EBS and S3 in the MariaDB X4 platform makes it easier for user to consolidate both analytics and transactional workload in the database.

“The update for X4 is not so much that you can run MariaDB in the cloud, because you’ve always been able to do that, but rather that you can run it with smart transactions and have it optimized for cloud storage services,” Johnson said.

MariaDB database as a service (DBaaS) is coming

MariaDB said it plans to expand its portfolio further this year.

The core MariaDB open source community project is currently at version 10.4, with plans for version 10.5, which will include the smart transactions capabilities, to debut sometime in the coming weeks, according to MariaDB.

The new smart transaction capabilities have already landed in the MariaDB Enterprise 10.4 update. The MariaDB Enterprise Server has more configuration settings and hardening for enterprise use cases.

The full MariaDB X4 platform goes a step further with the MariaDB MaxScale database proxy, which provides automatic failover, transaction replay and a database firewall, as well as utilities that developers need to build database applications.

Johnson noted that traditionally new features tend to land in the community version first, but as it happened, during this cycle MariaDB developers were able to get the features into the enterprise release quicker.

MariaDB has plans to launch a new DBaaS product this year. Users can already deploy MariaDB to a cloud of choice on their own. MariaDB also has a managed service that provides full management for a MariaDB environment.

“With the managed service, we take care of everything for our customers, where we deploy MariaDB on their cloud of choice and we will manage it, administer it, operate and upgrade, it,” Johnson said. “We will have our own database as a service rolling out this year, which will provide an even better option.”

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3 healthcare CIOs on what they think 2020 will bring

Three healthcare CIOs believe 2020 will come with exciting opportunities as well as challenges — not unlike 2019.

They are heading into the new year with the goal of building a more digitally-focused healthcare system. They’re also focused on improving the patient experience through continuous patient monitoring and predictive analytics backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning programs, telehealth services and greater access to data.

That won’t be easy. Arthur Harvey, Boston Medical Center CIO, said one challenge he foresees is integrating data across the continuum of care.

Here are their biggest takeaways from 2019 and what’s on their agendas for the new year.

What is your biggest takeaway from 2019?

Craig RichardvilleCraig Richardville

Craig Richardville, CIO at SCL Health in Broomfield, Colo.: The biggest takeaway from 2019 is that the future of healthcare delivery and financing is as unknown as it’s ever been. What that means is that we have an opportunity to participate in its new definition and to start painting the vision of the future. 

Arthur Harvey, CIO at Boston Medical Center: To me, as a CIO, I’ve got to be focused on the business rather than just technologies and looking for technologies that solve my business problems. I think one of the biggest challenges we’re having is the acceleration of the need to share data across the continuum of care with people who are… my partners, but I don’t control them. We’ve got to come up with techniques and technologies to share data across the continuum of care that are doable by organizations of different sizes. I can’t expect a little community health center to do what I can do. If I look at what we spent a lot of time on this year, it’s that.

John Bosco, CIO at Northwell Health in Manhattan, N.Y.: In general, I would say things are changing rapidly in healthcare. We’ve got care model reform. For us it’s a lot of growth and expansion… it feels like controlled chaos.

What new trend or technology came onto the scene in 2019 that you’ll be paying attention to in 2020?

Richardville: There was not a new technology, from my perspective, that took us by storm, but rather a heightened interest and advancement in business use cases in several areas. First, digital transformation and assets. Secondly, voice services as both an input mechanism and natural language processing. Thirdly, artificial intelligence with providing self-service, assistance and the building of a digital workforce. All of these will be accelerated in 2020 with improved adoption and acceptance.

Arthur HarveyArthur Harvey

Harvey: Data democratization, or self-service. The idea of providing data and providing tools that could be used by people outside of IT to come to some business conclusions. This isn’t revolutionary, but I think we’re at a point right now where most places have something like Tableau… and I think extending that down to the provider level, I think we’re going to see that in 2020. That’s a good thing so people can use data to inform their decisions on how they provide care or manage their practice.

Bosco: We’re only at the very beginning of transformation when it comes to continuous patient monitoring. Being able to put sensors on patients when they come in the door is really huge. I think we’re all at the very beginning of that. We’ve got about four, five or six pilots going on of different sensors for different purposes in our hospitals. Sensors backed up by AI and machine learning programs, we think, are going to have an incredible impact on healthcare and we’re only at the very beginning of that.

What challenge presented itself in 2019 that you will be dealing with in 2020?

Richardville: The continued challenge with each and all of our progressions will be the culture and its ability to transform through change management and change realization. We need to create a culture of continuous change, improvement, and the courage to transform and advance ourselves and our industry.

Harvey: Data integration across different organizations. It was hard enough to do data integration inside of an organization for years, that’s why HL7 was invented. But now, when we’re trying to do it across organizations it gets hard. Part of it is we need standards. I would describe current standards for a lot of this data as evolving.

John BoscoJohn Bosco

Bosco: Patient experience is No. 1 — it tends to be No. 1 in a lot of places. That’s been a big challenge and will continue to be. From the IT side, patient experience is broad. It’s thinking about access to finding care, scheduling care and the administrative aspect of coming here. How easy do we make all of that? We’re also doing a lot with trying to stay in contact with patients after they leave and help them get well and stay well.

What are you most excited for in 2020?

Richardville: I think you need to keep your head on a swivel and your eyes completely open. The speed in which solutions will be available both inside and outside of the industry will grow exponentially. So your ability to take advantage of the current, be prepared for the future and be flexible for the unknown will be characteristics of success.

Harvey: Most of the things that have me jazzed are things that have been around a while but now are getting to the point where adoption actually improves healthcare. As an example, I’m very excited about telehealth. I think it’s now become much more mainstream, and that’s a good thing. That’s a good thing for patients for providers, for everybody … being able to extend [healthcare] services for convenience purposes to get patients where they need to be seen for minor stuff. I think we’re going to see some real advantages there.

Bosco: The cutting-edge stuff is always the most fun, so I’m very excited to continue testing and piloting innovations. I think AI is going to rule the world in healthcare and in our personal lives, so I would have to label that as most exciting. I think it’s going to get to the point where everything is so much smarter, so much more sophisticated because it’s being driven by AI behind the scenes. Every part of our lives is going to become more sophisticated because of this and this is going to have a profound impact on everyone.

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“I firmly believe you can’t be what you can’t see.”

“Bluebell is in a disadvantaged area, and when I have kids come in from similar areas, I always tell them where I’m from. And they’re like, ‘No, you’re not!’” she says. “Because to them, seeing someone from Bluebell working at Microsoft is a big deal. And I just hope that they think, ‘If she works here, I can work here.’”

After a recent class, a student thanked Amanda and told her that she’d only seen men code before. The chance to code alongside other girls was something she’d never imagined.

“That was a ‘whoa’ moment for me.” Amanda pauses and then sighs with disappointment. “Of course, I know the statistics about women in the tech industry. But to actually have a student say that made the reality and the impact so much more real.”

In the next year, Amanda hopes to reach more students through DreamSpace by traveling to rural areas, training more teachers, and even creating mini-DreamSpace environments at schools—colorful and comfortable corners within classrooms where students can learn together.A woman laughs while two younger women look at a computer screen and point. They are having fun learning.

“I firmly believe you can’t be what you can’t see,” Amanda says.

“I want to show students that it doesn’t matter where you live. It’s doesn’t matter what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter what your parents do. You can do this; it’s possible for you.”

*****

Back at Colaiste Pobail Setanta, Amanda hugs her former coworkers good-bye and heads out of her old science lab. As her hand swipes an empty student desk, she thinks lovingly about the past. She loves what she does now—growing her own skills in new ways—but she’ll always remember where she came from.

Making her way to the exit, Amanda walks past the front office receptionist—a new employee who didn’t work there when Amanda was a teacher at the school.

“Hello, I’m Amanda. I used to teach here.”

“Hmm. What do you do now?” the receptionist asks, assuming Amanda has left the vocation as well as the school.

“Oh, I still teach,” she says, her face lighting up with pride. “But now, I’m a teacher at Microsoft.”

*****

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Salesforce email marketing gets Einstein AI infusion

Salesforce unveiled on Thursday Marketing Cloud email features to come, including Einstein AI tools to automate, personalize and analyze outcomes of email campaigns and interactive emails. Salesforce also introduced testing tools to detect potential errors before hitting the send button.

The Salesforce email marketing AI features scheduled for release later this month include Einstein Content Selection, which makes personalized recommendations for images based on customer preferences. Einstein Copy Insights, also slated for later this month, predicts verbiage most likely to drive customer response in email subject lines and body text, as well as for social media and text messages.

Also, part of the upcoming release is a testing and validation tool that examines email addresses for missing elements, text errors and off-topic offers before sending emails to a list. 

Einstein Messaging Insights, scheduled for January release, analyzes email campaigns to figure out why some campaigns underperform against expected results. More importantly, it can help determine why overperforming ones succeed.

“If you’re doing something that’s performing pretty well, it’s going to try to tell you why,” said Bobby Jania, Salesforce product marketing VP. “So, you’re learning from that and can use it in other campaigns.”

Salesforce also plans to pilot an interactive email builder, based on technology from its Rebel acquisition earlier this year. It can embed surveys, polls and image carousels inside emails. That avails content that otherwise might require an email recipient to click on a web link, which reduces customer engagement.

Consumers and B2B buyers prefer email as the channel to receive marketing messages, according to a Salesforce-commissioned survey of 8,000 consumers and B2B buyers conducted last April. Respondents indicated email remains the favorite channel despite the rise of competing social media and text messaging channels, Jania said.

Salesforce email marketing tools screenshot.
Salesforce email marketing tools now can tap AI to match hero images in individual emails to preferences found in customer data.

Email is not going anywhere as the most-used digital marketing channel, said Constellation Research analyst Nicole France. The upcoming Salesforce email marketing tools aren’t particularly groundbreaking, she said, as other vendors offer similar capabilities.

However, France said that Salesforce is doing what it does well: Getting Einstein AI into the hands of its customers by embedding it in tools they can use right away without help from a data scientist. That will make the tools useful.

“No one’s using AI for the sake of using AI,” France said. “This is a practical use of AI in the marketer’s daily work.”

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For Sale – Asus GTX 980 ti with EK full waterblock and backplate

Does come with original cooler and box but don’t have the screws for it, probably a few £ of ebay.
A couple of screws missing on the block but doesn’t affect the block no leaks etc.
Hard to put a price on it so will be asking £180. £185 delivered.
Was going to sell the block for £50 and card for £150 but would rather sell together.
Upgraded to RTX 2080 and cannot really tell a difference in fps in the games that I play.
Overclocks to above 1500Mhz.

Will update photos using mobile phone later on.
Will be putting it on Ebay and other forums.
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For Sale – Windows 7 Home Premium Full Retail (New, Sealed)

Hello

Bit of a clear out and I’ve come across a new, unopened full retail copy of Windows 7 Home Premium (based on the sticker on the box, I bought it from Comet originally!). As a full retail copy, you can use this to install Windows 7 Home Premium without needing any existing operating system on the laptop / PC etc.

I believe that these keys are also still accepted for a clean install of Windows 10 too, so that might be a bonus (but I don’t promise anything): https://www.howtogeek.com/266072/yo…ws-10-for-free-with-a-windows-7-8-or-8.1-key/

Price includes recorded delivery postage.

Price and currency: £50.00
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: South London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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For Sale – Asus GTX 980 ti with EK full waterblock and backplate

Does come with original cooler and box but don’t have the screws for it, probably a few £ of ebay.
A couple of screws missing on the block but doesn’t affect the block no leaks etc.
Hard to put a price on it so will be asking £180. £185 delivered.
Was going to sell the block for £50 and card for £150 but would rather sell together.
Upgraded to RTX 2080 and cannot really tell a difference in fps in the games that I play.
Overclocks to above 1500Mhz.

Will update photos using mobile phone later on.
Will be putting it on Ebay and other forums.
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Author:

For Sale – Windows 7 Home Premium Full Retail (New, Sealed)

Hello

Bit of a clear out and I’ve come across a new, unopened full retail copy of Windows 7 Home Premium (based on the sticker on the box, I bought it from Comet originally!). As a full retail copy, you can use this to install Windows 7 Home Premium without needing any existing operating system on the laptop / PC etc.

I believe that these keys are also still accepted for a clean install of Windows 10 too, so that might be a bonus (but I don’t promise anything): https://www.howtogeek.com/266072/yo…ws-10-for-free-with-a-windows-7-8-or-8.1-key/

Price includes recorded delivery postage.

Price and currency: £50.00
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: South London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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Author:

For Sale – Windows 7 Home Premium Full Retail (New, Sealed)

Hello

Bit of a clear out and I’ve come across a new, unopened full retail copy of Windows 7 Home Premium (based on the sticker on the box, I bought it from Comet originally!). As a full retail copy, you can use this to install Windows 7 Home Premium without needing any existing operating system on the laptop / PC etc.

I believe that these keys are also still accepted for a clean install of Windows 10 too, so that might be a bonus (but I don’t promise anything): https://www.howtogeek.com/266072/yo…ws-10-for-free-with-a-windows-7-8-or-8.1-key/

Price includes recorded delivery postage.

Price and currency: £50.00
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: South London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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BI for mobile remains a challenge for vendors

While the demand for analytics software grows and vendors old and new race to come up with the next innovations, the majority of vendors’ research and development resources are being dedicated to desktop applications as opposed to BI for mobile devices.

A handful of vendors stand out as exceptions, but mobile apps remain largely underdeveloped by many others.

BI for mobile, simply, presents a conundrum for developers. Some have chosen to invest in mobile, attacked the challenge and made headway, while others have elected to just focus their attention on their desktop applications.

The problem is the screen.

Digestible data is largely visual — it’s charts and graphs, and often more than just one on a single dashboard. Once, it was numbers on a page, but that time is now in the distant past. 

Mobile screens, however, are tiny compared to computer screens. Recreating desktop dashboards doesn’t work particularly well on a mobile device. Recreating the analytic capabilities of desktop device, therefore, doesn’t work either.

Instead, the vendors who have developed successful BI for mobile apps have viewed phones and tablets as different entities than desktop computers, and they’ve created a different experience on their mobile apps.

“[The phone] is not an effective tool for doing data analysis,” said Donald Farmer, principal at TreeHive Strategy in Woodinville, Wash. “It’s an effective tool for conveying short, well-formatted, concise insights. The people who have done a good job … have focused on that. They pick out significant things to tell you on the phone in a format that works for a mobile device, but they’re not trying to give you an analytic tool on a mobile device – that wouldn’t be practical or helpful.”

[The phone] is not an effective tool for doing data analysis. It’s an effective tool for conveying short, well-formatted, concise insights. The people who have done a good job … have focused on that.
Donald FarmerPrincipal, TreeHive Strategy

Similarly, the vendors that have developed good mobile apps have developed their apps specifically for mobile devices, noted Mike Leone, a senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass.

“First and foremost, [a good mobile BI app is] one that is designed from the ground up for a mobile device,” he said. “I’ve seen all too often organizations try and port their applications and [user interfaces] to a mobile device and the results are underwhelming and in some cases unusable.”

The good and the bad

More than a decade ago, in 2008, Yellowfin introduced its first mobile app. The vendor updated it once, and it didn’t attract many users.

But, recently the vendor completely overhauled the app, instead of attempting to recreate the desktop experience, transforming it into a timeline that looks and acts much like social media feeds. The mobile interface now highlights what it deems to be the most pertinent information and presents it in a way mobile users can easily view it.

Yellowfin CEO Glen Rabie said that he realized BI for mobile could be effective only if “the content and experience being delivered are uniquely designed for mobile versus trying to force fit a dashboard desktop experience onto a phone.”

MicroStrategy, which started developing its app in 2009, is another vendor that’s invested aggressively in BI for mobile.

“For us, we’ve always been focused on intelligence everywhere, how to arm as many people as possible,” said Hugh Owen, senior vice president of product marketing at MicroStrategy. “Mobile opened up another opportunity to arm people who aren’t looking at BI on their desktop with BI.”

While some BI software vendors have invested in creating effective mobile apps, others have all but ignored mobile innovation or ineffectively tried to simply recreate the desktop experience on mobile devices.
While BI vendors have invested heavily in developing their desktop computing software, many have chosen not yet to make the same kind of investment in their mobile apps.

The vendor’s current BI for mobile capabilities enables clients to build custom apps. Retail customers, for example, are able to embed the ability to execute transactions.

Meanwhile, MicroStrategy offers HyperIntelligence for Mobile as part of its HyperIntelligence product line. The app, due to its augmented intelligence and machine learning capabilities, provides a level of contextual understanding and intuitively provides users with information cards.

“If you walk into a store, it gives you a card about the store without you asking,” Owen said. “It can look at your calendar, scan through words and invitations, and match it with cards and give you a push note. It’s proven to be a different approach, and it’s helped us stand out.”

Domo, according to Farmer, is another vendor that has learned how to adapt BI for mobile. So have Qlik and Oracle.

But there are many others that have struggled to develop an effective BI for mobile app and have “an unclear strategy with some mobile being done but nothing very exciting and nothing very compelling,” Farmer said.

Innovation

Despite the limits placed on BI for mobile by a phone’s miniscule screen, there remains room for growth.

Phones and tablets have unique capabilities that desktop computers don’t.

Among the features they possess that desktop devices don’t is GPS. And while desktop devices also have cameras, the cameras on mobile phones and tablets are, well, mobile, while the ones on desktops are rooted in place.

Thanks to GPS, for example, someone who has business in multiple locations can travel to a location and — using a well-designed BI for mobile app — get actionable data about that location delivered directly to their mobile device.

“A good mobile app leverages the physical appendages of the phone or tablet,” Owen said. “It’s aware of your location and takes advantage. It uses the camera to take a picture and scan a QR code or other bar code — you wouldn’t do that with a clamshell laptop.”

The next step in the evolution of BI for mobile, according to Owen, is becoming more proactive rather than reactive by using AI and machine learning and learning behavioral patterns.

“It’s presenting answers back to you before you know you need it,” he said.

Vendors will also need to address security as the development of BI for mobile apps progresses.

“All too often, workers will utilize their personal devices for work,” Leone said. “With security top of mind for virtually every organization, ensuring the right level of controls and governance are in place, not just based on a user, but based on the device, will be important going forward.”

Ultimately, however, mobile devices are tools to connect people so that they can converse. The vendors who view them for what they are and develop BI for mobile apps that take advantage of a mobile device’s unique powers are the ones who will set the pace for innovations.

“It’s not a device for deep contemplation and analysis — it’s a device to look at to glimpse to see what’s important — so a really good mobile app does two things,” Farmer said. “It enables the glimpse of what is important, and it enables the communication of that, because ultimately mobile devices are communication devices.”

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