Data Is Like Crude Oil

Data Is Like Crude Oil

May 08, 2014 0 Comments

Way back in 2006, Michael Palmer blogged that “…data is just like crude [oil]. It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used.” Michael is spot on of course. Data as oil is a great analogy, and speaks to two of the most critical aspects of data integration: drilling for that data, and refining it to make it useful. With the Progress Pacific spring release, we have made both of those tasks much easier to accomplish.

What’s New In This Release?

Getting access to the data, or drilling for that crude, is the first step toward powering your business insight engine. Recently we’ve seen an interesting dynamic at play as companies move their infrastructure to the cloud. Five or six years ago we saw a huge customer need to drill into cloud data from on-premise databases or applications. With most cloud applications only exposing a proprietary API for data access, connecting up BI or ETL processes became a real challenge. The patent-pending technologies in Progress DataDirect, part of Progress Pacific Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), met this need by providing standards-based connectivity (using SQL, ODBC, and JDBC) to popular cloud applications like Now we are seeing the opposite problem. Many companies have adopted cloud BI and other cloud-based applications that need to access on-premise data. The challenge is that, at least from a cloud perspective, this on-premise data is locked away behind firewalls and other security protection mechanisms. Understandably, IT doesn’t want to start opening up ports everywhere, but the need to access and leverage this big data is real and urgent.

So what we’ve done in this release is ensure companies can drill into this data from the cloud. For ISVs in particular, this is an important innovation. Now you can get access to this on-prem data without having to convince each and every customer that you need to muck with his or her security and network settings. For DataDirect Cloud, which initially debuted this feature a few months back, this release adds support for IBM DB2 on the Linux/Unix, z/OS, and iSeries hardware. This complements the OpenEdge, Rollbase, SQL Server, and Oracle support already in place. Real-time access to on-premise data from the cloud.

For Progress Easyl, we have unlocked the on-prem crude stored in Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle databases, allowing business users to self-service their data integration needs with the critical business data they store on premise. Data integration for the masses, no matter where your data is located. What makes Progress Easyl special is not only its capability of drilling for data, but the ability to refine that crude data into business insight. It is like your own personal refinery.

Where To Go?

There’s plenty more in this release that you will find interesting. Corporate and partner plans, an improved initial user experience, new capabilities for custom templates, and more. The best way to experience them is to try for yourself. Both Progress DataDirect Cloud and Progress Easyl have free trial periods, allowing you to try out the complete products for 30 days.

To start your free trial of Progress Easyl, visit and click the Try Now button. You will need to register for a ProgressID but it’s a one-time signup that works across all of Progress’ products.

To start your free trial of Progress DataDirect Cloud, go to and again, click the Try Now button to get started.

Whether you want real-time data access to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and on-premise data from a single interface, or you want easy data integration for the masses, the Progress Pacific spring release has valuable enhancements to offer. Try them today and please, send me any feedback or questions you have.

Cheers and all the best!


Dion Picco

View all posts from Dion Picco on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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