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Who's Going to Buy Whom Next Year

It's the time of year when everyone starts talking about what's going to happen in the market next year. While hanging out after the sessions in Amsterdam, we all got to talking about this. Most agree that nobody is going to buy Microstrategy, IBI or Ab Initio any time soon. Some talk about the BI players who are left, mainly Actuate.

I've been wondering what HP is up to. They bought Knightsbridge and introduced the Neoview, but they haven't got anything else going on. IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP all have data and application integration software. HP doesn't. Would have made more sense for them to buy BEA than for Oracle to. Oracle's buying strategy hasn't made much sense lately. It's like they want to be the ark of software and sell two of everything.

Everyone wonders how long Informatica, Actuate and Teradata will stay standalone, even though TD just separated from NCR.

It looks like all the main BI vendors are going to become application/technology stack elements. The bet is that a couple years from now BOBJ will be for SAP customers, Hyperion/Siebel/etc. will be for Oracle apps (Fusion) customers, Microsoft for Dynamics users, and Cognos for people who are playing the enterprise Java stack. The enterprise stacks (.NET, Java, SAP) are so complicated it's almost impossible not to shove BI functionality into them.

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Scalzi Reviews the Creationism Museum

Writer John Scalzi has written a really entertaining review of the Creation Museum. A good antidote to the depressing propaganda from the other day.
"Imagine, if you will, a load of horseshit. And we’re not talking just your average load of horseshit; no, we’re talking colossal load of horsehit. An epic load of horseshit. The kind of load of horseshit that has accreted over decades and has developed its own sort of ecosystem, from the flyblown chunks at the perimeter, down into the heated and decomposing center, generating explosive levels of methane as bacteria feast merrily on vintage, liquified crap. This is a Herculean load of horseshit, friends, the likes of which has not been seen since the days of Augeas."
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Finally, Truth in Advertising

Consumer Reports is correcting some misleading TV advertisements. This first video deals with "restless leg syndrome", and it's about time. I'm sick of pharmaceutical ads aimed at specific disease that make it seem like we all might have them, while showing drugs that have side effects far worse than the disease itself. Gambling? Intense sexual urges? Whaaa?

They're just side effects, so they must be minor. Drugs can solve everything! Buy more drugs! Maybe we could use them to solve the homeless veteran problem too!

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Veterans Day: So Much for Supporting the Troops

More than 25% of the homeless population in the US are veterans. Yet veterans make up only 11% of the US population. That's a big disparity and points to the need for the Republican administration to do something to solve the problem.

The Republican party has long shouted the message that "welfare mothers and homeless should just get a job", using it as a rationale for slashing the safety net, preventing passage of medical care reform, and cutting back on services for anyone who serves in the military. Meanwhile, companies like Haliburton, Black Water and KBR defraud the government of tens of millions and face no punishment, only blocked investigations by their political cronies

According to this article, there are roughly 196,000 veterans with nowhere to go, many of them veterans from Iraq versions 1 & 2. This is pretty pathetic for a government hell-bent on using the military wherever possible and calling anyone who opposes them "unpatriotic". I think "patriotic" would mean supporting the people you ask to die for your ideals after they come back from the war you threw them in.

How many speeches will we see today from politicians about how proud they are of veterans while these same politicians stab them in the back? Yes, that's right, veterans were not allowed to march in a Veterans Day parade.

You can do something about this. Vote the bastards out of office and get some people in who give a damn about governing, and help out a homeless shelter with a donation. It's the only safety net left to many of these veterans and they deserve our help.

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SOAP and WS-* : This is Never Going to Work

Not going to work. May as well call WS-* Death-* since that's where it appears to be headed. I've had my head in the sand with "enterprise" web work, doing REST APIs and such, so I surfaced a couple months ago and looked at all this WS-* SOA stuff and also Java stacks/platforms. They make my brain hurt.

All this reminds me of the days of CORBA and object request brokers and how the world would be saved by all this magical interoperability. After a dozen years it almost worked, so we moved on to SOAP which begat WSDL which begat UDDI and together they spawned WS-KitchenSink.

We now have WS-I: Web Services Interoperability. A standard to define interoperability of standards in the WS-* arena because the standards aren't standard enough. Joy! Sure is reminiscent of the early 90's when I gave up on C++ and transaction processing monitors and CORBA and focused on databases and data integration.

I'm glad I've been ignoring the enterprisey web services stuff and paying more attention to how real work gets done in a web 2.0 world. Hopefully the RESTian people will borrow the good bits of WS-* and move everything forward. Seems to be working well enough outside the enterprise where issues WS-* is supposed to address are potentially tougher than inside the enterprise.

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Future of Business Intelligence Is Coming From Outside the BI Market

My keynote for the Orlando conference was all about the future. Instead of trying to predict exactly what we would be doing in five years' time, I talked about why it's hard to know that, why the people who do it (us industry analysts) are so often wrong, what we can look at to guess the shape of the future in our market, and some examples of smart people doing work that's already in the next generation of data warehousing.

The slides are posted below. I'll have a transcript posted once I have it cleaned up for public consumption.

The future of business intelligence is most likely going to come from (or be heavily influenced by) consumer web sites, consumer electronics and games. I'm not seeing a lot of real innovation in this market from the major players. They seem to still be adjusting to the architecture change from client-server to basic web 1.0.

At least I know some of my assumptions about the future are right. Cindi Howson mentioned that most customers are still running desktop versions of BI software, so the BI vendors are still having to pay too much attention to the past. While sharing a taxi with Claudia Imhoff I checked my thoughts about the younger generation against her experiences with her daughter. Surprisingly, I got a few things right. She also had some great observations about what people need versus what they want and what IT gives them. See her blog for of her thoughts.

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