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It’s hard to believe that we’re about to wrap up 2013. The year really flew! In terms of technology trends, it was an eventful year in the world of application development and data connectivity. PaaS made a big splash, and we’ve seen a huge influx in Big Data platforms, which has forced providers to rethink the nature of their connectivity solutions.
From a Progress perspective, 2013 saw the launch of Progress Pacific, our PaaS solution that allows users to rapidly create and deploy data-driven business applications that are unlimited by cloud or device. We also introduced DataDirect Cloud, a key element of Pacific, which enables simple, fast connections to cloud data (regardless of source) using a single ODBC or JDBC driver.
Indeed, it was an eventful and interesting year, both for Progress DataDirect and the industry as a whole. Here’s a taste of what we think is in store for 2014.
Connectivity Must Adapt: Data connectivity will maintain its status as a key component in data integration solutions, but in 2014 it will need to go beyond high performance connectors and also provide capabilities to adapt to varying environments. The library of database platforms continues to expand, and if solutions can’t adapt to that reality, providers will be faced with many complicated and time consuming product updates and releases. Moving forward it will not be enough to offer data access using native and proprietary APIs. Providers will have to adapt to the data-driven applications that process the data, as well as the schemas used by the data sources. We have already started providing that adaptability factor with DataDirect Cloud, and we’re working on advancements that will enable improved access and transparency moving forward.
The Data-Driven Platform will Rule: History has shown us what happens when proprietary platforms start to lose their appeal of openness and adaptability (think Blackberry). Companies don't want their business-critical applications and the processes they rely on to be locked into a platform determined by their CRM system. Moving forward, the kind of data needed to drive a given application will help shape the platform it requires. Big influencers like Oracle and IBM have recognized this already and are overhauling their platforms to be more conscious of the data driving the business. How we can consistently and quickly access that data from the galaxy of new data sources out there is now paramount to using (and not being locked into) an application platform. Progress Pacific, mentioned above, is now a player in this space as a progressive, open, data-driven application platform. Being able to adapt to data access methodologies transparently and easily will be a differentiating factor for application development platforms in the year to come.
Mobile Connectivity Improvements Will Free up Data and Workers: In the coming year, data access from mobile devices needs to be easy, pervasive, and provide the ability to access data wherever it might reside, on-premise or in the cloud. As the world becomes increasingly mobile and mobile apps become increasingly sophisticated and business critical, being able to offer fast and secure connectivity to a wide variety of different, geographically dispersed data sources will be a key differentiator in the future of mobile support. The use of enterprise mobile is expected to skyrocket in the coming year, and data connectivity must keep up with that. Connecting customer data will drive industry innovation as companies seek to unify CRM, ERP, marketing, social, cloud, and enterprise data into a unified entity that can be analyzed and factored into key business decisions.
It looks like another eventful year is coming our way! Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @DataDirect_News and @ProgressSW to see how it unfolds. We’d also love to hear your data connectivity predictions for the coming year in a comment on this post!
Sumit Sarkar is a Chief Data Evangelist at Progress, with over 10 years experience working in the data connectivity field. The world's leading consultant on open data standards connectivity with cloud data, Sumit's interests include performance tuning of the data access layer for which he has developed a patent pending technology for its analysis; business intelligence and data warehousing for SaaS platforms; and data connectivity for aPaaS environments, with a focus on standards such as ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET and ODATA. He is an IBM Certified Consultant for IBM Cognos Business Intelligence and TDWI member. He has presented sessions on data connectivity at various conferences including Dreamforce, Oracle OpenWorld, Strata Hadoop, MongoDB World and SAP Analytics and Business Objects Conference, among many others.
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