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EII as a Filesystem

I've been digging through a lot of technical details on enterprise information integration (EII) products and technologies lately as I prep for some webcasts on the topic. I also spend a fair amount of time on web integration (accessing web-based data, whether in pages, files or APIs) and I turned up Amit Singh's demo of MacFUSE (embedded below).

What I found novel about it is that FUSE and in particular this demo of MacFUse is the exposing of heterogeneous data as files instead of as web services, APIs or database tables. Instead we're talking about making the data (or fragments of data) available to a standard file browser. Not something I would have thought of since this isn't very "enterprisey", a characteristic of most EII tools. The procFS part of the demo below wasn't that interesting because Unix geeks have had this for years, but RSS as a filesystem and Picasa web APIs as a filesystem were both neat to see.

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Which SF Writer Are You?

When I was young Isaac Asimov was my idol, so imagine how happy I was that in my more optimistic moments...
I am:
Isaac Asimov
One of the most prolific writers in history, on any imaginable subject. Cared little for art but created lasting and memorable tales.

When I was a little bit older but a lot younger than now, I really liked reading William Gibson, and interestingly in my less optimistic moments...

I am:
William Gibson
The chief instigator of the "cyberpunk" wave of the 1980s, his razzle-dazzle futuristic intrigues were, for a while, the most imitated work in science fiction.

These "Which X are you?" sites are working as well as astrology and the Myers-Briggs test. Try it for yourself at Which science fiction writer are you?


Amazon S3 Not Perfect After All

The Amazon storage service has gotten lots of press recently, with several IT trade rags publishing articles and case studies about using the Amazon infrastructure services. The articles have been pretty rosy, which always makes me suspicious. Everyone has problems from time to time and the talk about how customers don't need an SLA with S3 because they have 100% uptime (from quotes in the articles) is hard to believe based on the evidence.

As far as the reality of the service, all may not be so swell with S3 based on this account discussing performance issues. We're beginning to see the element missing from the trade press, namely the boundaries defining what S3 is and isn't good for.

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Upcoming BI/DW Events (I'll be attending)

Now that I'm back to regularly scheduled business, first up is events for this year.

My cancelled DAMA talk on open source BI and DW (exciting video below) will be rescheduled . It was cancelled due to the freak snowstorm that paralyzed the city. I missed all the car wrecks because I was dragging a suitcase 30 blocks up a deserted street to a bus stop for one of the few buses that hadn't stopped running yet. [video at the end of this post]

I'll be doing a webcast for TDWI on February 14 titled "Enterprise Information Integration Technologies: Uses and Abuses" where I'll talk a little about EII technology and then go through various scenarios and use-cases for EII tools. This touches on both BI-related and non-BI topics since the EII vendors are moving to be broader SOA enabling companies. TDWI requires registration for the webcasts which can be done from their webinar series page - just click the links of the webcasts you're interested (namely this one).

Also in February, I'll be teaching the ETL tool evaluation course at TDWI's conference in Las Vegas. On Monday I'll be in the executive summit for the Business Intelligence 2.0 panel session.

Some time later this spring I'll be doing another with a tentative title of "The Hybrid Warehouse: Extending the BI Environment with Data Federation", with a focus on extending the integration capabilities of the data warehouse/BI environment to address on-demand, event-driven and non-relational data.

Then in May there's the Shared Insights Portals, Collaboration and Content Conference which doesn't have their schedule up yet. I'll be giving a talk titled "Web Data Integration: Methods to Extract and Deliver Data for Portals and Web Applications" Really, this talk ought to be called something like "ETL for the web" since I'll be talking about how to get data to your portal, portlet or whatever data consumer or UI widget you have handy. I'll probably talk some protocols and APIs, but spend more time looking at scrAPIs and vendors starting to offer tools to help us deal with the vast data resource that is the web.

May also has the Boston TDWI conference (no schedule page yet) whre I'll do another round of the ETL course, hopefully with some major updates. I'll also have an entire day of open source BI and DW. This session will be great, with demos from Pentaho, Jasper and hopefully two other open source providers, a panel session and a run through some OSS BI comparisons.

Last on my list is MashupCamp 4 in Silicon Valley in July, where I'll be an attendee though I may do some sort of talk on integrating with BI, DW or databases if that's something that people want to hear about.

Now the video you've been waiting for. Portland, Oregon - winter wonderland.

That first driver looked like he was deliberately crashing based on the engine revving and acceleration.

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