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illuminate, FAST and yet more completely unfounded (and probably ill-informed) speculation on my part

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I was just reading this article on TWDI:
http://www.tdwi.org/News/display.aspx?ID=8876

It’s on illuminate and their ‘correlation DBMS’ – not relational, not OLAP, not COP, but a ‘value-based’ system. All very fascinating indeed, although their web site is yet another one of those irritating ones that leaves you with the feeling that some important technical detail and information on where they’re positioning themselves is missing. This entry on their blog:
http://www.ianalyze.net/2008/02/which-tool-do-i-use.html
is a case in point – what is it exactly that illuminate can do that these other platforms can’t? I guess it’s the kind of query that they talk about here:
http://www.ianalyze.net/2008/03/incremental-approach.html
…which is certainly not the kind of thing that OLAP is good at, or even meant to be good at.

I might have completely the wrong end of the stick, but didn’t Microsoft get its hands on something similar when it acquired FAST last year (blogged here)? Is this it:
http://www.fastsearch.com/FAST_Database_Offloading_Solution_Product_Sheet_SJgpx.pdf.file
? I’m sure I remember reading about how FAST could speed up DW-style queries by loading all the data into an index; I’d be interested to hear from anyone who can set me straight on this. If I’m right, then perhaps some of the comments I made when talking about COP databases last year about how they would fit into the Microsoft BI stack would also be relevant here.

Written by Chris Webb

April 10, 2008 at 11:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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