MicroStrategy has stayed ahead of the analytics industry by combining a simple, intuitive user interface design with high levels of system performance and a virtually unlimited, open approach to database connectivity. Progress® DataDirect®, a MicroStrategy partner, makes it possible for MicroStrategy to connect their platform to new types of data sources, such as Salesforce.com and Hadoop Hive, while preserving their data source agnostic, high-performance analytics design principles. MicroStrategy gains a competitive advantage with Progress DataDirect’s ODBC drivers for Salesforce and Hadoop Hive by adding the popular data sources to their large portfolio of BI platform configurations and databases.
Keeping the commitment to winning design analytics principles
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.”
Mastering cloud data with DataDirect’s Salesforce.Com ODBC driver
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 cloud-based 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 re-transmissions. 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 server
- Supports multiple simultaneous connections with Salesforce
Turning size and complexity into analytics advantage with Hadoop Hive
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.
A partnership that drives versatility in customer relationships
The fifteen-year partnership with Progress DataDirect gives MicroStrategy versatility in customer relationships. “Our clients are constantly asking for new data source support, and we know that DataDirect will quickly make an ODBC driver available,” said Demuth. “The Salesforce and Hive drivers are only the most recent in a long series of such innovations. They position us very favorably against the competition.” The relationship is highly collaborative, fueled by a mutual push for continuous improvement. The two engineering organizations share roadmaps and discuss plans for new platform and database configuration.
With Progress DataDirect, MicroStrategy can now support a remarkable 434 different platform/database/driver configurations. The working relationship and shared history of quality management make it possible for MicroStrategy to coordinate driver development with Progress DataDirect in order to anticipate industry trends such as the cloud-based data found in Salesforce and large open-source data frameworks such as Hadoop Hive.
About MicroStrategy Analytics Platform
The MicroStrategy Analytics Platform is a comprehensive family of powerful, easy-to-use analytics solutions bringing together over 20 years of innovation in analytics and business intelligence. It contains three distinct products – MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise, MicroStrategy Analytics Desktop and MicroStrategy Analytics Express. Together, these products support a full spectrum of business needs with maximum flexibility and affordability, ranging from small and medium organizations to the largest global businesses; running at individual, team, departmental, or enterprise scale; delivered via web or mobile devices; supporting high performance analytics on gigabytes, terabytes, or petabytes of data; and deployed on-premises or up to 100x more quickly and at lower cost in the MicroStrategy Cloud. To learn more about MicroStrategy, visit www.microstrategy.com.