20 May 2010

It's Alive!!!!

Today's news brings the assertion that Big Business now embraces Creativity.

Here are the four bullet points (nicely bolded in the original):

Needed: Creative Disruption
Disrupt the Status Quo
Disrupt Existing Business Models
Disrupt Organizational Paralysis

I admit that these kinds of disruptions are my stock in trade; that was true before the advent of flash SSD, I was a proponent of SSD when they were only (realistically) DRAM parts. But, as I've said all along, the Real Point of SSD in relational database development isn't the SSD per se, but rather the design freedom it bestows. The significant cost and efficiency gains, all the Good Things from soup to nuts, accrue because the SSD supports BCNF databases as alternatives to the (un-)de-normalized legacy Frankensteins.

Taking each bullet in turn.

BCNF databases represent Creative Disruption since they implement a set based paradigm which is anathema to COBOL/java Row By Agonizing Row coders. Nothing is more disruptive to a coder than to find that only 1/10 as much code is needed to accomplish a goal. Can you say: You're Redundant?

BCNF databases Disrupt the Status Quo since they actually are relational datastores as opposed to the flat file messes that continue to be dumped into database engines. Can you say: toss out the status quo and do it right?

BCNF databases Disrupt Existing Business Models since they represent a smaller footprint (by as much as an order of magnitude) datastore. Both vendors of hardware and software (application vendors, primarily) will find their sphincters tightening. Rather than thousands of disk drives, it's tens or hundreds. Rather than millions of lines of code, it's thousands. Rather than lots of client side code, it's just a sprinkle.

BCNF databases Disrupt Organizational Paralysis since they can be designed and implemented much faster with fewer bugs, although they do demand more thought and time in design. But that's to be expected. Years ago I spent some time with W. Edwards Deming, he of statistical quality control (I was doing stat and OR at the time), who hammered his particular nail: think first and do it right the first time. BCNF databases allow those who understand them, and those managers who are willing to take advantage of the situation, to get the train moving.

But we'll see. There have been stories about such a transition every now and again going back to the late 1960's. Smart work would be the future. Instead, we've had scheming. We'll see.

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