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Tony Davis


Tony Davis

On Selecting a Database System Fit for the Task

9 comments

Now that the rate of hot air hissing out of the NoSQL marketing balloon seems to be abating, we can take stock of the obvious qualities of the technologies in a less excitable atmosphere. There are some impressive technologies out there. The oddly-named Neo4J, for example, is an excellent ‘Graph’, or network, database that can […]

13 February 2015 11:20 am by
Tony Davis

Ooh R

7 comments

Why has Microsoft acquired Revolution Analytics, the company who provide open source distributions of R, alongside commercial “Enterprise” extensions for big data infrastructures? R is a programming language and platform for data manipulation, time series analysis, statistical modelling and graphics. It provides powerful statistical methods that can, for example, explore the relationships between the many […]

30 January 2015 10:52 am by
Tony Davis

Prettier, But Less Usable

13 comments

When the original window-based user-interface was first being developed by Palo Alto, the team was driven by the idea that applications must be easy to use, consistent and accessible to all of humanity. This is why every window that opened in all subsequent windowing operating systems, had a rather standard design, with a set of […]

15 January 2015 12:45 pm by
Tony Davis

Inside the Box

9 comments

Over recent months, it’s been hard to avoid the growing noise and enthusiasm surrounding the push towards distributed, microservice-based software architectures. In this world, every application is a set of independent services, typically cloud-based, each with its own ‘persistence solution’, and each service communicating and sending data back and forth across the network. Many of […]

2 January 2015 12:49 pm by
Tony Davis

Throwing the BDUF out with the bathwater

9 comments

Recently, it has been interesting to observe a more critical and considered reaction to some of the more extreme ideas in software development, from berating the nonsense of the 10x developer, to a burning desire to consign SCRUM to the flames. Underlying some of these critiques, there is a nostalgia for a return to a […]

5 December 2014 12:36 pm by
Tony Davis

Please sp_help My System Stored Procedure

9 comments

SQL Server provides a large number of built-in stored procedures that can tell us all sorts of useful information about what’s going on in our SQL Server databases. For example, the sp_help* set of system stored procedures allow us to return information regarding the structure of our databases, or any of the objects within that […]

20 November 2014 5:19 pm by
Tony Davis

PASS Summit 14 Dispatches: Azure Machine Learning

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PASS Summit 14 Day 1 keynote and Joseph Sirosh and Sanjay Somi demo’d Azure Machine Learning (ML) and the drive to ‘democratize’ predictive analytics. The basic idea behind ML is computers learning through “training” how to look for patterns and relationships in complex data, without being explicitly programmed to find a particular “answer”. Through iteration, […]

5 November 2014 6:06 pm by
Tony Davis

PASS Summit 14 Dispatches: DocumentDB

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During the PASS Summit 14 keynote, TK “Ranga” Rengarajan mentioned briefly Microsoft’s DocumentDB, a new NoSQL database. I was hoping to hear more. It’s an Azure-hosted JSON document data store and seems to be an attempt to marry the schema ‘flexibility’ and  easy scalability that developers crave from their databases with the transactional capabilities of […]

5 November 2014 5:10 pm by
Tony Davis

To PASS Summit and Beyond

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In his recent, successful bid to win election to the PASS board, Grant Fritchey (@GFritchey) opened his campaign statement as follows: The PASS organization changed my life for the better. He goes on to explain how, as a result, he’d now like to help extend the benefits he’s experienced to as many other people as […]

23 October 2014 1:35 pm by
Tony Davis

Source Code isn’t sacred

5 comments

A recent, short article on O’Reilly.com, Before You Refactor suggests that if you think you need to rewrite code, you must proceed with caution, do cost-benefit analysis and so on. If you’re still convinced then, at the very least, make the changes in small increments, reusing as much of the existing code, and tests, as […]

10 October 2014 9:49 am by
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