Thursday, 22 September 2011 16:29

Ingres renames to reflect new focus on apps


Database vendor Ingres is renaming itself Actian. While its DBMS activity continues, the company is looking to a new market for apps driven by massive databases.

Actian officials stress there will be no changes to its Ingres and VectorWise database business, but the change in name reflects a new activity - a platform that can combine massive databases with publicly available feeds (such as Twitter or Facebook) to drive lightweight, easy to use apps, especially in the BI area.

These Action Apps perform three functions. A Probe selects the data, a Trigger determines whether the data means action should be taken, and an Action, well, an Action takes action. An SDK will be provided for developers.

To keep Action Apps simple, most of the work is done by Actian's VestorWise based Cloud Action Platform. The Platform will be offered as a public or private cloud service, and will combine big databases with live external feeds.

One example given by company officials is that an Action App could watch trading sites and public forums for changes in sentiment towards a company, and then execute stock market trades that reflect that change.

"Actian is turning big data into big outcomes for our customers with Action Apps," said Steve Shine. "More than $8 billion a year is spent on business intelligence to generate piles of historical reports and no action. Actian picks up where BI falls short by arming customers to take instant actions the second something changes in their data."

Page 2: "The next evolution in IT."

Another example sees an Action App monitoring internal systems for changes in the deal pipeline and alerting an appropriate executive when thresholds are breached.

Action Apps can be kept in-house, or sold through a store that Actian will operate.

Jason Leonidas, vice president, Asia Pacific sales and services, said the rebranding and the introduction of the Cloud Action Platform heralds a new era in our history" and described Action Apps as "the next evolution in IT."

Mr Leonidas thinks business intelligence reporting tends to be reactive - users are expected to run reports, drill down, and then decide what to do next, whereas he would rather receive an alert when something needs to be done.

"Everyone likes smartphone technology," he said and the Action Apps approach allows the delivery of "almost atomised" information as opposed to the monolithic approach of traditional applications.

Feedback from local customers and partners who were pre-briefed about the announcement was positive, Mr Leonidas said. One customer noted that it dovetailed with its existing mobile strategy, while partners saw it as a way of adding customer value and increasing differentiation.

Strategy welcomed by BI partners - see page 3.

Even though the new strategy might appear to step on the toes of BI providers, the company's BI partners see it as a way of extending their products.

Empowering end users is widely seen as a positive thing, Mr Leonidas said.

The Cloud Action Platform should be available in early 2012, he said, and Action Apps will run on iOS and Android.



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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



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