MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy, a leading worldwide provider of enterprise software platforms, needs to sustain its market leadership as customers demand direct access to new types of data sources, such as Salesforce.com and Hive.

Products:

DataDirect

SS_MicroStrategy

Challenge

MicroStrategy, a leading worldwide provider of enterprise software platforms, needs to sustain its market leadership as customers demand direct access to new types of data sources, such as Salesforce.com and Hive.

Solution

Progress DataDirect ODBC drivers let MicroStrategy provide out-of-the-box, high performance real-time connectivity to Salesforce and Hive data.

Result

Real-time connectivity to these applications simplifies the end user workflows, helping them do more from within MicroStrategy.

Story

Challenge

For 24 years, MicroStrategy has stayed ahead of the analytics industry by combining a simple, intuitive user interface design with high levels of system performance and an essentially universal approach to database connectivity.  The company has 3,200 employees serving 4,000 customers in 26 countries. MicroStrategy’s relationship with Progress DataDirect has enabled them to provide consistent, high-performance connectivity to a wide range of data sources.  DataDirect ODBC drivers serve as the standard for relational database connectivity on the MicroStrategy Analytics Platform™.

The IT world never stays still.  Analytics platforms must now embrace cloud-based data sources and even larger and more complex data warehouses, best exemplified by Salesforce.com and Apache Hadoop Hive, respectively.  Each data source scenario presents challenges to MicroStrategy’s design principle of enabling drag-and-drop functionality for on-the-fly queries against virtually all data sources.   “Our baseline requirement is that our clients should have access to all of the data in their enterprises. We also invest in staying ahead of everyone else with high performing dashboards, reports, and analytics,” said Jochen Demuth, Director of Partner Engineering at MicroStrategy.  “Today, with new data sources such as Salesforce and Hive becoming increasingly prevalent, we continue to leverage the DataDirect relationship to adapt while keeping our platform functioning optimally for the end user.”

Solution

Over 100,000 companies use Salesforce.com for customer relationship management (CRM) and customer support.  Many of them are MicroStrategy clients whose customer data resides in Salesforce’s cloudbased database servers.  They want to integrate their MicroStrategy Analytics Platform to data contained in Salesforce.com.  An example is correlating customer revenue data from an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with marketing campaigns that are launched and tracked faster in Salesforce.  Another example is the analysis of logistics data from a warehouse management system against customer support data in Salesforce.com.

Accessing data through Salesforce’s native APIs is problematic from an analytics perspective.  The APIs tend to change several times a year, requiring frequent recoding and release updates to the analytics application or disruptive, costly re-integration projects. The Salesforce APIs also do not enable high-performance BI.  The Progress DataDirect Connect XE for ODBC driver for Salesforce.com solves this problem with consistent, unified access to Salesforce along with other data sources.

MicroStrategy and Progress DataDirect handle updates and maintenance, so Salesforce API changes do not disrupt analytics processes. The drivers give MicroStrategy the ability to connect any configuration of its analytics platform to Salesforce while delivering the usability and performance levels that MicroStrategy requires. Whether the client’s MicroStrategy instance is on HP Unix, Windows Server, or Linux, the Progress DataDirect Salesforce.com driver provides a fast, flexible connection to data in Salesforce:

• Low latency, high-throughput and resource-efficient access

• Local data cache that can reuse prior data results, eliminating expensive network calls and data retransmissions. This improves performance by an order of magnitude while ensuring that the user is not exceeding its Salesforce usage quota.

• No need to mirror Salesforce instances to ensure high performance SQL access

• Wire protocol architecture in Progress DataDirect ODBC driver optimizes rate and efficiency of data transfer; eliminates need for additional components on the database serve

• Supports multiple simultaneous connections with Salesforce

Result

Many MicroStrategy customers have discovered the value of moving their data into Hadoop databases such as Hive and HBase to enable high-speed access to the data they need in order to make effective decisions. Inspired by high-profile users such as Facebook, which manages more than 100 PB of data with Hadoop, BI and analytics applications are now relying more and more on the volumes of data found across distributed Hadoop clusters. The need for providing faster access via SQL to that data is crucial. For MicroStrategy, the goal is to help clients connect the data and insights contained in Hive to the broader analytics platform. MicroStrategy clients want to conduct analysis and perform highly complex queries against multiple data sources, including Hive. 

Progress DataDirect gives MicroStrategy a source of competitive advantage when courting new clients who use Hadoop Hive. The Hive driver is the only fully-compliant ODBC driver on the market that supports multiple Hive distributions out-of-the-box.  In addition to this differentiation, Progress DataDirect keeps MicroStrategy up-to-date with the evolution of the Hive framework. MicroStrategy now supports the latest version of Hive (Apache Hive2) with improved support for concurrency and authentication as well as other security upgrades.

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