Accessing Heterogeneous Data with Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
Enterprise business applications increasingly are being designed to run in a distributed computing environment. In addition to distributing applications across a network of workstations, servers, and legacy mainframe systems, organizations are distributing applications across geographic boundaries, time zones, and divisions. And as organizations evolve and grow, they often acquire a heterogeneous collection of computers, networks and databases.
As a result, these organizations need access to information and data from diverse enterprise business applications. For example, an organization may need to access the data residing on a UNIX workstation or an Oracle database in a way that is transparent to the end users. Transparent access is key to developing powerful distributed solutions that allow an organization to be responsive to the marketplace. Microsoft's solution is the Universal Data Access (UDA) architecture.
Developing Mobile Applications: Comparing Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 to Sybase Adaptive Server Anywhere 6.0
Changing demographics and the popularity of laptop computers are fueling an explosive growth in mobile applications. Many organizations are decentralizing parts of their companies to save money and provide employees with a more flexible work environment. In addition, workers increasingly are using computers when away from the office. According to Dataquest 1998 Mobile Computing Forecast (gartner12.gartnerweb.com/dq/), the mobile computing market is expected to grow more than 18 percent per year by 2002.
Increasingly, people are using computers when on the road. For example, sales personnel might use a computer to enter orders, update customer information, or manipulate financial information. When they reconnect to the network, new or updated information needs to be merged into the enterprise databases. Similarly, any changes made to the enterprise databases while the user was offline need to be copied to the user's computer. The application logic that is required to synchronize the multiple databases can be complex. For example, the application must resolve conflicts if two remote users update the same information independently while offline.
This document discusses why Microsoft® SQL Server version 7.0 offers a compelling database and development architecture for implementation and administration of mobile applications. It also compares SQL Server 7.0 functionality with that of another product for mobile applications, Sybase Adaptive Server Anywhere 6.0.
Developing with Microsoft English Query in Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
So you have learned Active Server Pages (ASPs) and want to build a dynamic Web site or application. You have gone beyond that to master Microsoft® ActiveX® Data Objects (ADO) and to drive your Web content from Microsoft SQL Server or another database server. After you have made your Web site database-driven, you will probably want to add a way for users to search and report on your database content.
It is easy enough to build a query form that allows users to search based on one or two fields. It is much harder to build form-based Web pages to allow searches across multiple tables and multiple fields. Not only is a more flexible search difficult to implement (there are many problems beyond the user-interface and Web-coding aspects, such as defining how the various tables and fields are related to each other), but even the best interface will be difficult for the casual Web visitor to use and understand.
There is an inevitable learning curve for any complex search of structured data that you want to make available. This obstacle is unacceptable for the spontaneous usage of your Web site or application. Fortunately, there is a powerful, flexible search-specification mechanism that most of your users will understand: the English language.
Since the introduction of Microsoft English Query version 1.0 with Microsoft SQL Server version 6.5, Enterprise Edition, such a capability is no longer science fiction. English Query allows users to ask questions about your data in plain English in your existing database-driven Web sites and applications. Developing your initial natural-language search is easy, a small fraction of the effort of building your overall application. The development process is more conceptual than traditional programming, and it can be mastered by nonprogrammers who have some database background (such as a database administrator or Web-content developer who works often with databases).
English Query ships with an engine, a component object model (COM) server, that is used at run time to convert a user's English question to a SQL statement. Sample ASPs are provided that you can embed in your overall Web site and that drive the engine, prompting a user for questions, executing the engine's returned SQL queries, and displaying the database's results to the user.
This document will demonstrate how to author your English Query domain and how to embed the English Query engine and authored domain into your Web site.
Benchmark: High Performance Online Database Backup for Very Large Databases
High availability of your data is crucial to the smooth operation of your business. As your database grows in size and your operations expand to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it is critical that you be able to perform backups without disrupting work. In addition, after a catastrophic failure you must be able to restore your database in the minimum amount of time.
Microsoft Corporation, Compaq Computer Corporation, and Legato Systems, Inc. have joined together to demonstrate that backing up and restoring very large MicrosoftТ SQL ServerФ version 7.0 databases can be accomplished at the high data rates required in mission-critical applications with minimal disruption to productive use of the database. The tests we conducted used a CompaqТ DIGITALФ AlphaServerФ 8400 configured with cost-effective Compaq AIT tape drives.
Two different backup software configurations were tested:
SQL Server 7.0 integrated backup/restore capability
SQL Server 7.0 combined with Legato NetWorkerТ
This benchmark demonstrates that you can back up your SQL Server databases at full speed while they are online and under heavy transaction load. It is not necessary to take the database offline or select times of low activity to achieve the best backup performance. You can provide full access, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and still protect your data.
The benchmark also demonstrates how Legato NetWorker and SQL Server 7.0 work together to provide extended functionality and excellent backup performance. Among the enhanced capabilities offered by Legato NetWorker are robotic device support, advanced media management, flexible multiplatform distributed backup, and complete integration into an enterprise-wide solution.
Implementing Large Decision Support Databases with Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
Microsoft® SQL Server is one of the leading database solutions on the Windows NT® operating system and breaks new ground in the enterprise space with the release of version 7.0. Redesigned for the enterprise, SQL Server 7.0 sets the quality standard by which all will be measured in terms of scalability, high performance, and ease of use.
This document reviews the decision support systems (DSS) features of Microsoft SQL Server version 7.0. In addition to information about the enterprise features of SQL Server 7.0, this document contains practical examples, performance metrics, and comparisons to SQL Server version 6.5.
Index Tuning Wizard for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
Enterprise-class databases require database administrators (DBAs) to select a physical database design appropriate for the system. An important component of physical database design is selecting indexes. In data intensive applications such as decision support and data warehousing, choosing the right set of indexes becomes crucial for performance. This document discusses the Index Tuning Wizard: a Microsoft® SQL Server 7.0 wizard that automates the challenge of index selection, while achieving performance competitive with that of indexes handpicked by DBAs.
Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Data Warehousing Framework
Making better business decisions quickly is the key to succeeding in today's competitive marketplace. Organizations seeking to improve their decision-making ability can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume and complexity of data available from their varied operational and production systems. Making this data accessible is one of the most significant challenges for today's information technology professionals.
In response to this challenge, many organizations choose to build a data warehouse to unlock the information in their operational systems. A data warehouse is an integrated store of information collected from other systems that becomes the foundation for decision support and data analysis. While there are many types of data warehouses, based on different design methodologies and philosophical approaches, they all have these common traits:
Information is organized around the major subjects of the enterprise (for example, customers, products, sales, or vendors), reflecting a data-driven design
Raw data is gathered from nonintegrated operational and legacy applications, cleansed, and then summarized and presented in a way that makes sense to end users
Based on feedback from end users and discoveries in the data warehouse, the data warehouse architecture will change over time, reflecting the iterative nature of the process
The data warehousing process is inherently complex and, as a result, is costly and time-consuming. Over the past several years, Microsoft has been working within the software industry to create a data warehousing platform that consists of both component technology and leading products that can be used to lower the costs and improve the effectiveness of data warehouse creation, administration, and usage. Microsoft also has been developing a number of products and facilities, such as Microsoft® SQL Server version 7.0, that are well suited to the data warehousing process. Coupled with third-party products that can be integrated using the Microsoft Data Warehousing Framework, customers have a large selection of interoperable, best-of-breed products from which to choose for their data warehousing needs.
SQL Server 7.0 will offer broad functionality in support of the data warehousing process. In conjunction with the Data Warehousing Framework, Microsoft plans to deliver a platform for data warehousing that helps reduce costs and complexity, and improves effectiveness of data warehousing efforts.
Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 OLAP Services
Online analytical processing (OLAP) is an increasingly popular technology that can dramatically improve business analysis, but that has been characterized historically by expensive tools, difficult implementation, and inflexible deployment. Microsoft has tackled the OLAP problem and created a solution that makes multidimensional analysis accessible to a broader audience and potentially at a significantly lower cost of ownership.
Microsoft® SQL Server OLAP Services is a fully featured OLAP capability that is a component of Microsoft SQL Server version 7.0. OLAP Services includes a middle-tier server that allows users to perform sophisticated analyses on large volumes of data with exceptional performance. A second feature of OLAP Services is a client cache and calculation engine called Microsoft PivotTable® Service, which helps improve performance and reduce network traffic. PivotTable Service allows users to conduct analyses while disconnected from the corporate network.
OLAP is a key component in the data warehousing process, and OLAP Services provides essential functionality for a wide array of applications ranging from corporate reporting to advanced decision support. The inclusion of OLAP functionality within SQL Server will help make multidimensional analysis more affordable and will bring the benefits of OLAP to a wider audience, including not only smaller organizations, but also groups and individuals within larger corporations that have been excluded from the OLAP industry by the cost and complexity of today's products.
Coupled with a wide variety of tools and applications that support OLAP applications through the Microsoft OLE DB for OLAP interface, OLAP Services will increase access to sophisticated analytical tools and can reduce the costs of data warehousing.
Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Distributed Queries: OLE DB Connectivity
This document describes how the Microsoft® SQL Server version 7.0 query processor interacts with an OLE DB provider to enable distributed and heterogeneous queries. It is primarily intended for OLE DB provider developers, and assumes a good understanding of the OLE DB specification. The emphasis is on the OLE DB interface between the SQL Server query processor and the OLE DB provider, and not on the distributed query functionality itself. For a full description of distributed querying functionality, see SQL Server Books Online.
Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Performance Tuning Guide
This performance tuning guide provides information to help database administrators configure Microsoft® SQL Server 7.0 for maximum performance and to help them determine the cause of poor performance in a SQL Server environment. This document also provides information about using SQL Server indexes and SQL Server tools for analyzing the I/O performance efficiency of SQL Server queries.
Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Query Processor
Microsoft® SQL Server version 7.0 is a defining release for Microsoft's database products, building on the solid foundation established by Microsoft SQL Server version 6.5. Customer needs and requirements have driven the significant product innovations in SQL Server 7.0. As the best relational database management system (RDBMS) for the Microsoft Windows® family of operating systems, SQL Server is the right choice for a broad spectrum of corporate customers and independent software vendors (ISVs).
This document describes the innovations and improvements to the SQL Server query processor, that portion of the database server that accepts SQL syntax, determines how to execute that syntax, and executes the chosen plan. SQL Server 7.0 is a source of considerable innovation when compared to other commercially available RDBMS products.
After a brief introduction describing the role of query processor, types of query processors, and the components of query processing, these topics will be discussed:
Goals for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
Working with Queries
For more information, see "Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Storage Engine" (part number 098-80769).
Replication for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
Replication provides a fast and reliable way to disseminate corporate information to multiple locations in a distributed business environment, enabling organizations to move their data closer to knowledge workers in corporate, branch, or mobile offices. This paper provides information about the replication capabilities of Microsoft® SQL Server version 7.0, and how they can empower users, improve decision-making, and increase performance and reliability of existing systems by reducing dependencies on centralized data.
SQL Server 7.0 Features Guide
This Features guide highlights the most important new features in Microsoft® SQL Server 7.0. This software release includes many additional features that are not covered in this Guide, or only covered briefly in the At a Glance section.
SQL Server 7.0 Reviewers Guide
This Reviewers Guide highlights the most important new features in Microsoft® SQL Server 7.0. This software release includes many additional features that are not covered in this Guide, or only covered briefly in the At a Glance section.
Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Storage Engine
Ten years ago, it was not uncommon for database application development to take months or years. When databases were built, everything was worked out in advance: the database size, schema, number of users, and so on. Now database applications are developed over weeks or months, evolve during the process, and are put into production before all issues are fully understood.
This rapid deployment of mission-critical applications places rigorous demands on the storage engine, which needs to be highly available and have a fast recovery system and automatic management utilities. Microsoft® SQL Server version 7.0 is a scalable, reliable, and easy-to-use product that will provide a solid foundation for application design well into the next century.
The Microsoft® TerraServer stores aerial and satellite images of the earth in a Microsoft SQL Server Database served to the public via the Internet. It is the world's largest atlas, combining five terabytes of image data from the United States Geodetic Survey, Sovinformsputnik, and Encarta® Virtual Globe Internet browsers provide intuitive spatial and gazetteer interfaces to the data. The TerraServer demonstrates the scalability of Microsoft Windows NT® Server, Enterprise Edition version 4.0 and SQL Server, Enterprise Edition running on Digital hardware including the AlphaServer 8400 and StorageWorks storage system. The TerraServer is also an E-Commerce application. Users can buy the right to use the imagery using Microsoft Site Servers managed by the USGS and Aerial Images. This paper describes the TerraServer's design and implementation.
Microsoft strategy for Universal Data Access
This paper provides an in-depth look at Microsoft® Universal Data Access, Microsoft Corp.'s broadly supported strategy for providing access to information across an organization, from the desktop to the enterprise.
The following people are the intended audience for this paper:
Corporate business and information technology professionals
Computer industry analysts and press
The technologies discussed in this paper are complex, spanning many areas of computing, including architecture, programming, networking, and platform integration. The issues are critically important because data and information are at the heart of almost any computer system, and the efficient and effective use of information is what provides business value and strategic advantage. Today, these issues are magnified as organizations begin to broadly implement applications that leverage the Internet and mobile computing. Access to information is being required in new scenarios, and the complexity of that information continues to grow. Whereas organizations previously had data on the mainframe and in various DBMSs, now important information is found in mail stores, file systems, Web-based text and graphical files, and more. Organizations that are able to leverage all of this information, that can expand rather than replace current UNIX and mainframe systems to embrace client/server systems and the Internet, will thrive.
This paper is intended to explain Microsoft's strategy for helping organizations achieve maximum business advantage by organizing and accessing their information efficiently. This is a strategy paper; readers looking for in-depth technical analysis are directed to a companion paper titled "Microsoft Data Access Technologies," which can be found along with other technical and strategic documents on Microsoft's data access Web site, http://www.microsoft.com/data.
What is Microsoft Repository?
Microsoft Repository is composed of two major components: a set of ActiveXФ interfaces that a developer can use to define open information models, and a repository engine that is the underlying storage mechanism for these information models. The repository engine sits on top of either Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft JET database systems.
Microsoft Repository 1.0 ships with the Visual Basic 5.0 Professional and Enterprise Editions. It targets software tool vendors who wish to use open information models to support the development, deployment, and reuse of component software. Corporate customers who will benefit from better facilities for component reuse and tool interoperability will be the primary users of these tools.
This paper describes the general architecture and uses for Microsoft Repository. It uses a single scenario to illustrate the basic principles of Microsoft Repository. Software vendors that are interested in using Microsoft Repository should consult the Web site or the repository documentation supplied with the Visual Basic 5.0 Professional and Enterprise Editions.
Платформа управления знаниями Microsoft
Управление знаниями (knowledge management)- это прежде всего и главным образом дисциплина управления, рассматривающая интеллектуальный капитал в виде управляемого ресурса. Основными "инструментами" процесса управления знаниями являются организационные подходы, методы управления и технология. Будучи объединенными, эти три "кита" позволят компании ускорить и развить процесс формирования и движения данных, информации и знаний, а также их передачи исполнителям и группам исполнителей, курирующих весьма специфический раздел работ. Эти исполнители, или "создатели знаний" (knowledge workers), бесспорно представляют собой важнейший кадровый ресурс компании 21 века, ибо ежедневно принимают решения, в итоге определяющие успех или провал работы фирмы.
Управление знаниями на практике
На практике концепция управления знаниями начала реализовываться совсем недавно, но этот процесс сразу же получил бурное развитие. Оказалось, что претворение новой идеи в жизнь повышает деловой престиж организации, так как помогает быстро осваивать самые передовые технологии и обеспечивает адаптацию сотрудников к постоянно меняющимся условиям современного делового мира. Существует целый ряд важнейших аспектов, которые стимулируют применение данной концепции для управления экспериментальными и интеллектуальными ресурсами компании на системной основе.
Во-первых, в последнее время снизилась окупаемость капиталовложений в реорганизацию производственных процессов. В то же время появилось множество средств управления физическими активами компании, таких как глобальное управление качеством, реинжиниринг, регулирование расходов на основе активности, и их оценки. Стали очевидны и широчайшие перспективы, которые эти средства открывают перед компаниями. Подобные системы находят все более широкое применение, а в производстве продукции мирового класса стали скорее правилом, чем исключением. Сегодня корпорации считают, что управление знаниями и процессами совершенствования производства являются наиболее важными из новых факторов, обеспечивающих успех в конкурентной борьбе и удовлетворение запросов потребителя.
Во-вторых, за последние 50 лет мировая экономика претерпела коренные изменения. Если ранее главным критерием оценки повсеместно выступало производство продукции, то сейчас на первый план выдвинулся уровень интеллектуальности и мастерства. В 1980 году в производстве было занято лишь 34% американских рабочих, тогда как в 1940 году этот показатель составлял 57%, а в 1900 году - даже 76% . Такую тенденцию хорошо улавливают инвесторы: компаниям, которые смогли обеспечить соответствующий уровень управления производством и продемонстрировать быструю приспособляемость к изменчивым условиям ведения бизнеса, предлагаются гораздо лучшие условия, чем тем, которые делают основную ставку на повышение стоимости своих фиксированных фондов. Сегодня будущее компании и ее деловая оценка как никогда раньше зависят от способности оперативно осваивать выпуск новой продукции, выходить на новые рынки, своевременно реагировать на новые веяния.
Третьим фактором стало развитие "предпринимательской экономики" , чему в немалой степени способствовало повышение роли предпринимателей в культуре производства, а также постоянный рост фондов венчурного капитала (только в США их общая сумма увеличилась с 14 млрд. долларов в 1985 году до 46 миллиардов в 1997 ). Сегодня темпы таких изменений возрастают еще больше, поскольку главным качеством предпринимателя становится способность оперативно оценивать перспективность новых бизнес-моделей. Даже слаборазвитые страны могут быстро модернизировать свои экономические системы, если воспользуются опытом передовой экономики. Постоянное же возникновение все новых и новых бизнес-моделей оказывает существенное влияние на методы торговли, управления и финансирования.
И, наконец, сам процесс технологического развития диктует необходимость управления знаниями. Возможности получения информации, знаний и данных уже намного превосходят человеческую способность усваивать и анализировать их. Следовательно, в выигрыше окажутся те компании, которые откроют своим служащим доступ к информации и опыту, необходимым для своевременного определения новых тенденций и возможностей управления. Такой подход позволит реагировать на изменчивую рыночную ситуацию во много раз быстрее.
ERP and the Digital Nervous System
In recent years, sales of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions skyrocketed as many organisations combined year 2000 and Euro compliance with a rethink of how they did business. There was even sharper growth in the mid-market, with many independent software vendors (ISVs) delivering best of breed solutions to complement and extend core ERP functionality.
Promising more flexible, process-oriented approaches, ERP was designed to address many business challenges: from improved manufacturing, inventory and supply chain management (SCM), through financial controlling and human resource management, to enabling a faster time-to-market and improved customer relationship management (CRM). In such areas, ERP was seen as a way of using information more proactively across the enterprise.
The reality, however, was that many organisations found that improvements in their operating efficiency did not necessarily translate into improvements in their overall effectiveness. As demand for ERP solutions has tailed off, companies have begun looking for ways to build on their ERP investments to enable them to place customers at the centre of their business, to drive competitive advantage and increase profitability.
ERP clearly improves the "muscle tone" of an enterprise, giving it the potential to react to changing markets, business dynamics and customer needs. To realise that potential in the digital economy, the enterprise needs an infrastructure - a nervous system - that ties its disparate parts together, one that enables it to act, react and adapt faster than the competition. This is Microsoft's starting position in the ERP arena.
In short, Microsoft provides the technology infrastructure that companies need to exploit their ERP-based business process infrastructure.
E-commerce is becoming an everyday event, with more and more people around the world buying an ever increasingly wide range of products and services online. And with the population of web users growing dramatically, there is huge potential to win business through e-commerce.
But online shopping is just part of the opportunity. The Internet can also be used, amongst other methods, to streamline relationships with suppliers. Moreover it can also be used to create entirely new business models that challenge the established norm.
Although business-to-consumer activity is leading e-commerce today, all analysts agree that it is business-to-business that offers the greatest potential in the long term. New approaches to corporate procurement or managing the supply chain, for instance, will significantly change the way most companies do business over the next year.
But while the benefits of electronic commerce systems are enticing, it isn't always straightforward to develop, implement and then manage these systems once they are in place. To succeed, businesses need the support both of advanced technology and established standards. And in addition to adopting new technology, many companies will need to reengineer their business processes to maximise the benefits of electronic commerce.
In response to this requirement, Microsoft has developed the concept of a digital nervous system to close the gap between business processes and technology implementations. This is a new approach to managing information which allows businesses to exploit their existing technology and build highly efficient integrated systems that collect, manage, organise and disseminate information throughout an organisation (See http://www.microsoft.com/dns).
By adopting this vision, organisations can take full advantage of the opportunities offered by e-commerce and overcome the specific challenges facing European organisations. The potential is clear - for those who respond dynamically, e-commerce can deliver a whole new world of business.
Microsoft BizTalk позволяет
приложениям говорить на языке бизнеса
Microsoft® BizTalk представляет
собой спецификацию, основанную на новых
схемах языка Extensible Markup Language (XML) и
отраслевых стандартах для обеспечения
общего доступа к данным. Эта спецификация
позволяет организациям интегрировать
имеющиеся системы и процессы, делая бизнес-данные
независимыми от инфраструктуры
приложений. Такой ориентированный на
данные подход облегчает для предприятий
обмен документами BizTalk с партнерами по
бизнесу в Интернете независимо от
используемых платформ, операционных
систем и технологий, лежащих в основе
существующих систем. Примерами документов
BizTalk являются каталоги продуктов, заказы
на поставку, а также сведения о продуктах и
рекламная информация. Корпорация
Майкрософт будет сотрудничать с покупателями,
партнерами и промышленными объединениями
в области определения схемы BizTalk и
ускорения принятия отраслевых стандартов.
Она также включит схему BizTalk в
коммерческую платформу Microsoft®, в службы
сетевых покупок Microsoft Network (MSN™) и в будущие
версии продуктов Office, BackOffice® и Windows®.
В документе приводится общее описание
спецификации BizTalk и подчеркиваются
преимущества принятия ее стандартов как
элемента долговременной стратегии
The Need for Collaboration in the Corporate World
To achieve differentiation in today's markets, organisations need to ensure that individuals and teams across the whole company, suppliers and customers can collaborate successfully. By ensuring that all employees are working from the same information and enabling them to work in a manner best suited to their requirements, organisations can reduce time to market and stock inventory levels while minimising bottom-line costs. Technology can bring together the best ideas from all people at all levels of an organisation and create a new kind of corporate intelligence - one informed by correct, up-to-date, actionable information. When an organisation has this, it has a Digital Nervous System (DNS).
Microsoft provides the foundation tools for such an effective collaborative environment. From information storage services such as Microsoftв Exchange Server and Microsoftв SQL ServerФ, through operating system services via Microsoftв Windows NTв Server to advanced collaborative services including NetMeetingв, NetShowФ and ActivePages, Microsoft provides an optimised, fully integrated environment for the future. As we move into the new millennium, e-commerce will become a major driving force as organisations fight to attract, capture and leverage customers. Areas such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) will require increased use of both asynchronous collaboration, for example e-mail, discussion databases, and synchronous collaboration including data sharing and whiteboarding. Microsoft, with initiatives such as the Supply Chain Initiative, will continue to be at the forefront of this revolution.
Through its continued driving of industry standards, Microsoft ensures not only the highest levels of functionality internally within your organisation, but full capabilities to interact with suppliers and customers in a secure, reliable manner. Providing full transactional collaboration via Microsoftв Message Queue Services and Microsoftв Transaction Server, Microsoft provides backbone services for the support of global Internet trading to businesses of any size.
Through partners, Microsoft enables the integration of other, non-IT collaborative technologies. For example, the capability to bring voicemail into the PC world via the Telephony Application Programmer's Interface, (TAPI), and room-based video conferencing via the ITU H.320 and H.323 standards provides the means of including highly mobile users into the corporate collaborative backbone.
Microsoft is dedicated to the continued support and evolution of the collaborative environment. As a key pillar of its DNS framework and as one of the pillars of a corporate knowledge management network, collaborative computing provides immediately identifiable business benefits to the workplace, and sets the foundation for future success via business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) commerce.
Challenges within European Retail Banking and Financial Markets
As we approach the millennium, financial institutions are faced with a dilemma. The age of electronic commerce has opened up new ways to reach the customer, new services to offer, and the potential to understand the customer - institutional or personal - as never before. Amidst this background of change, institutions are examining the relationship with their customers, continuing to strive to improve their margins and to increase returns on their equity.
Technology should be an enabler for financial institutions, assisting them to exploit new opportunities to the full, not holding them back and restricting their ability to act swiftly. To this end, they need a systems architecture that gives them the flexibility to interface easily with legacy databases and transaction systems hence protecting existing investments, while still being able to make use of emerging technologies.
The year 2000 and the single European currency are just two issues placing an enormous burden on the resources of any organisation. This is compounded by increased banking regulation and the need to be compliant within strict timeframes. The technological revolution within the IT industry is inexorable, giving institutions the ability to rapidly develop new banking products and enter new markets.
Harnessing the power of Database Technology in the Financial Markets
During 1998, the standard operating practices that support banks' ability to trade profitably on the open market came under the microscope. The senior management of investment banks, and their clients, took a fresh look at core business processes from front office trading through to regulatory reporting. Such investigations took place amidst aggressive mergers and acquisitions designed to find the optimum institution size, structure and geographical scope necessary to offset future uncertainty.
In short, financial markets companies are beginning to make fundamental decisions about the structure of their operations as well as to speculate on the longer term structure of the industry in which they operate.
Harnessing the power of Database Technology in Retail Banking
The number, and complexity, of the relationships consumers have with providers of financial services has increased dramatically. At the same time, customer demands continue to rise as the breadth of products sold to each individual grows. In European markets, congested with the arrival of new entrants such as financial services supermarkets (bancassurers) and disintermediators (direct providers), traditional banks have made some important strategic decisions.
Firstly, traditional banks are reacting to customer driven changes by trying to find the optimum institution size, structure and product range given the growth of niche providers.
Secondly, under consolidating market conditions, where margins are under pressure, the need to raise 'per customer' profitability is paramount. Banks are expanding middle office operations, in areas such as liquidity & risk analysis, to rapidly identify and reward profitable sections of their client base.
Lastly, institutions are trying to develop a more detailed view of the customer. Institutions want to distribute an expanded range of products through non-branch channels, where measures of operating efficiency and return on datawarehousing investment are more attractive than distribution via the branch.
The European Insurance Industry
European insurance has traditionally been a static, heavily regulated and domestically focused industry. Throughout most of this century, it has evolved slowly and gradually broadened its scope and size as insurance products cover increasingly diverse areas of risk.
However, it is now witnessing unprecedented change as a result of deregulation, globalisation and the entrance of new players from both European markets and the US.
The industry has been forced to respond to external pressures, which have transformed a once stable and predictable sector into an uncertain, fluctuating, but more dynamic and responsive industry. This is prompting a wave of consolidation in an attempt to survive through obtaining greater geographical scope and financial mass, thereby providing more value to customers and shareholders. Insurers are realising that they can no longer merely offer a broad product range to a wide customer base. It has become imperative to increase client management skills to retain customers in the medium to longer-term.
Retail Banking and Financial Markets
As we reach a new millennium, the politicians of Europe have created a challenge to the banking industry probably greater than anything it has faced before - Euroland. Not since the Roman Empire has so much of Europe accepted the same legal tender and the same central financial control over economic policy.
The implications for the banking industry must now be worked through. Central to these issues and challenges is the role of technology. Typically consuming 12% of banking operating costs, IT provides the ability for an institution to operate and serve customers across the continent efficiently and instantly. To be truly effective, however, technology must be the servant of business needs, not the master. Without a proper appreciation of the business issues facing the banking sector, IT is at best a blunt instrument.
A universally agreed strategic direction for retail banking has yet to emerge, with arguments for breadth and Europe-wide reach, countered by proponents of specialisation and local focus. At the same time, the rate of growth and importance of new channels such as online banking are uncertain. The take-up and demand for many new products is untested.
The impact of EMU on Retail and Investment Banking Systems
On January 1st 1999, eleven core members of the European Union took a significant step towards full economic and monetary union by launching a common single currency, the euro.
EMU, (European economic and monetary union) is an ambitious economic, political and social undertaking that will, in less than a decade, create a unified economic block, second only in size to the US. Benefits of economic union are expected in the form of lower, stable prices, increased cross border competition, reduced transaction costs and improved conditions for production and consumption.
The economic process started in earnest when the wholesale financial markets opened on January 4th 1999, and the national currencies of participating member states were locked irrevocably into the euro. Wholesale euro payments and securities settlement processes became operational, new and existing government debt denominated in euro and companies began issuing euro denominated securities.
For a three and a half year transitory period the euro will co-exist along side national currencies under a framework of 'no compulsion, no prohibition'. Once euro notes and coins are issued in January 2002, and national currencies withdrawn by mid 2002 at the latest, the euro will be the only legal currency in the participating states. All business and commerce in 'in' countries will be denominated and conducted in the new currency.
It will affect all economic sectors and business functions, but the finance sector will feel the repercussions earlier and more fundamentally than most. For the finance sector, EMU presents significant medium and long term opportunities, however in the short term, there will be significant costs. It is estimated that the cost of EMU conversion will be between five and nine times the cost of Year 2000 compliance.
Financial institutions will bear a major share of these costs, suffering the double hit of conversion and compliance costs, as well as lost revenue from foreign exchange business. But banks will be developing a range of new euro denominated financial products and services, to meet more sophisticated market demands. New channels to market such as the internet and electronic commerce will simplify delivery of these services.
EMU must be seen as a strategic business issue, as it will affect which products and services are developed, how they are delivered and the markets in which they are offered. Most businesses will be affected in finance and accounting, treasury, sales and marketing, supply chain, IT, and human resources.
The Digital Nervous System for Engineering in the Manufacturing Industries
Manufacturing enterprises throughout Europe face demanding challenges, fierce international competition and rapid change. The European Common Market has created great new opportunities while removing the protection that used to be afforded by national tariff barriers. The plethora of national standards and currencies is being rationalised to advantage in the long term but all the changes have to be managed in the short term.
In pursuit of excellence, manufacturing companies seek to operate with efficiency, speed and precision. Enterprises maintain their competitive edge by increasing the quality of their products and services and shortening the time scales of their processes, preferably without increasing their cost base. They do this by providing their people with the right computing tools and the right information with which to make fast decisions. Information Technology is now fully recognised as a key weapon in responding to business challenges, and the effectiveness of a company's IT systems is a primary concern of all management.
Microsoft® envisages a manufacturing company's computing and communications infrastructure as a digital nervous system which empowers the whole extended enterprise - generating, storing and making available the right information at the right time for effective decision making and control at every level. Microsoft's technology framework for implementing such a digital nervous system is Windows® Distributed interNet Applications architecture, or Windows DNA for manufacturing.
The purpose of this white paper is to show how Windows DNA is deployed within manufacturing enterprises, with particular emphasis on the engineering function and its information interfaces with the rest of the manufacturing value chain. It describes how Microsoft's technology provides a platform for integrating the many applications solutions required within and around engineering, while reducing the costs of implementing, developing and maintaining the IT infrastructure.
Building the Digital Nervous System for Manufacturing Operations
Manufacturing enterprises maintain their competitive edge only by continually striving to increase the quality of their products and services, speed up their processes and keep tight control on costs. As the result of industrial globalisation - including the effects of the European Common Market - manufacturing enterprises throughout Europe face increased international competition, bringing with it the need for improving efficiency and the ability to react more quickly and effectively to external events. In meeting these challenges companies have become leaner and more responsive, management structures have been flattened, staff have been empowered with better information and tools, and integrated supply chains have become the dominant organisational models.
In these circumstances rapid access to business and manufacturing information has become central to industrial survival. Companies now recognise that everything depends on the performance of people, and that people operate effectively only when armed with the 'right information in the right place at the right time'. Manufacturing IT systems must therefore combine best in class productivity tools for the individual with a richly connected information distribution system for the whole enterprise, including its supply chains. At the same time, IT systems must be easy to use, easy to implement and develop, and economic to buy and to maintain over the long term.
That's what Microsoft® means when it talks about the 'Digital Nervous System' of a manufacturing enterprise - the distributed communication and control system of the enterprise including the IT systems, the communication systems, and the people who use them. Microsoft's strategy for manufacturing industries has been to create a comprehensive and standardised software framework for building digital nervous systems- the Windows® Distributed interNet Applications architecture, or Windows DNA. The purpose of this white paper is to show how Microsoft Windows DNA is deployed to create integrated manufacturing information systems that enable faster and better decision making, with particular emphasis on 'Manufacturing Operations' - manufacturing execution and process control.
For further information, visit the Microsoft European Manufacturing web site:
The Utilities Industries Implementing the Digital Nervous System in the Utilities Industries
The utilities industries in Europe are undergoing a fundamental transformation. The electricity companies are evolving from state owned regional monopolies into fully privatised businesses, which must compete in order to retain their current customers and capture new ones. The gas and water industries are being de-regulated by the EU nation states to varying degrees. For many utilities these changes are driving a cultural shift from being enterprises which provide customers with a minimum service at a cost specified by government authorities, to enterprises that are efficient, maintain strong cost control and are focused on their residential and business customers.
A major part of achieving this transformation is to integrate many disparate data resources that include millions of customer records, usage profiles and service histories, together with information on asset usage, material replacement cycles, and work scheduling.
The need to integrate these previously separate resources is complicated by the continuing trend for utility companies to merge in order to achieve operational synergies within shared geographical regions, or to achieve vertical integration. These 'Integrated Utilities' represent the next step in the evolution of competitive energy and water provision - companies that are driven by a desire to integrate in order to compete more effectively, and to provide ever higher levels of service at an ever decreasing cost.
A crucial component of the Integrated Utility is the universal IT infrastructure which supports the drive for cost control, customer care and operational efficiency, through the integration of isolated information resources into a common command, control and customer support system. It achieves this by creating an environment which supports both legacy systems, thereby protecting the prior investments of the utility, whilst enabling new technologies to be introduced as the company wishes.
Such a universality of IT enables utilities to treat IT as truly ubiquitous for the first time - a true Digital Nervous System (DNS) through which information generated anywhere in the corporate body is transmitted, in a timely fashion, to wherever that information forms a valuable input. The DNS enables the utility to provide data resources to parts of the organisation that had previously been data starved, and only through such a system can the utility achieve its goals of cost and customer focus. The DNS vision is articulated by the DNA architecture - an environment which embraces all of the systems and applications of the utility from the hand-held terminal to the corporate server, and enables the multi-vendor utility to connect systems based upon proprietary technologies for the first time.
Microsoft's technologies can, therefore, offer the Integrated Utility the opportunity to reduce costs, link diverse operations and improve the quality of customer service and support.
This Microsoft White Paper sets out the crucial issues facing the modern Integrated Utility. It discusses how information technology provides the means through which the utility can reduce costs and achieve greater customer focus.
Building a Digital Nervous System for Integrated Information Management in the Manufacturing Industries
The primary role of manufacturing business management is to understand customer needs; respond to customer needs with innovative products and services; and manufacture and deliver these products or services - rapidly.
Markets increasingly expect customised products and global availability. Competitive pressures require management teams to optimise asset utilisation and to strive for lower costs while maintaining high quality levels. In response to these pressures modern business strategies generally focus on core competencies, building close working relationships with networks of specialist suppliers. Most manufacturing organisations now depend for success on operating effectively as part of one or more multi-company supply chains.
To maintain and develop competitive advantage in this environment enterprises have recognised that success depends on their ability to respond effectively to change, both immediate and long term. This ability can ultimately be judged by measuring the degree of control an enterprise has over its products and processes, and especially on the speed and reach of its information communication.
нервная система для государственных служб
В этом документе
приводится обзор взглядов корпорации
Майкрософт относительно будущего "электронной
нервной системы" для различных
государственных служб, рассчитанный на
представителей органов власти и других
влиятельных лиц. В нем объясняется, как
использование электронной нервной
системы позволяет повысить эффективность
внутренней работы государственных служб и
улучшить взаимодействие между различными
аппарата, а также между самим аппаратом, с
одной стороны, и его партнерами и
обществом в целом, с другой.
Windows DNA для государственных служб
В этом документе,
предназначенном для специалистов в
области информационных технологий,
которые участвуют в разработке систем для
государственных структур, представлен
обзор технических основ архитектуры DNA (Microsoft
Windows Distributed interNet Applications –
распределенная Интернет-архитектура для
Windows) и рассмотрена ключевая роль этой
архитектуры в разработке электронной
нервной системы для государственных служб.
Data management in retail, customer data at your fingertips
Data is fast becoming European retailers' most valuable resource and the clamour for access from users and suppliers is reaching a crescendo. Retailers are inundated with requests from all parts of their business for information that will enable users to perform their jobs more effectively and bring a new dynamism to store management, marketing, the operation of the supply chain and development of new channels to market.
Microsoft SQL Server is a proven low-cost solution for complex business problems on the Windows NT platform. It is a scaleable, high-performance database management system designed for distributed client/server computing. The latest release of SQL Server, SQL Server 7.0, puts intelligence into the hands of desktop and remote users. Thanks to its scaleability, Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 is cheaper than other database solutions, enabling retailers to move data processing, access and analysis out of the data centre to all parts of the business.
This white paper describes the urgent need for data and the distribution of information to business users through a Digital Nervous System that will support people, processes, customers and partners in the pursuit of their business goals.
For on-line product information:
Developing Retail Solutions Using Microsoft® Windows® CE
This paper aims to provide a high-level understanding of developing retail solutions using Microsoft® Windows® CE. It outlines business drivers and reviews the technology and development tools available for Windows CE devices except for the Auto PC, because of its limited application to active, full-featured retail solutions.
Microsoft ERP White Paper: Retail version
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is seen as a way of using information across an organisation more proactively - in key areas such In recent years, sales of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions skyrocketed as many organisations combined year 2000 and Euro compliance with a rethink of how they did business. There was even sharper growth in the mid-market, with many independent software vendors (ISVs) delivering best of breed solutions to complement and extend core ERP functionality.
Promising more flexible, process-oriented approaches, ERP was designed to address many business challenges: from as manufacturing, purchasing, inventory and supply chain management (SCM), through financial controlling, human resource management and logistics and distribution, to sales and marketing and customer relationship management (CRM).
It is hardly surprising, then, that retailers - along with manufacturers - were among the first to appreciate the benefits of ERP systems and processes. Like manufacturers, retailers face an impressive and constantly growing array of business challenges. Many hoped that ERP would help them to address these challenges head on.
In general terms, retailers must contend with globalisation, greatly increased competition, rising consumer power, and higher costs allied with falling margins. These are all barriers to overcome if market share is to be protected and profitability increased. Retailers want, for example, to improve their operations to enable a more efficient consumer response (ECR). This is a key driver for supply chain integration, which, in itself, requires greatly improved information flow between point-of-sale and back office systems, between head office and branch, and upwards and along the supply chain. (All of this must, of course, be achieved at an appropriate cost.) Another key requirement is to build customer loyalty - many want to use relationship and 1:1 marketing techniques to increase customer retention and build lifetime value. Other critical issues include merchandise forecasting, pricing and promotion management, category and inventory management, store location planning, and financial controlling and human resource management - typically across multiple sites and, increasingly, multiple countries. Faced with such a complex environment, ERP was seen as one way of creating a more flexible, responsive and customer-focused retail organisation.In such areas, ERP was seen as a way of using information more proactively across the enterprise.
The reality, however, was that mMany retailers, however, found found that improvements in their their operating efficiency, gained through ERP, didn't idn't necessarily translate into improvements in their overall effectiveness. They As demand for ERP solutions has tailed off, have started companies have begun lookinging for ways to build on their ERP investments, to to enable them to serve customers more effectively (that is, placeing the customers at the centre of their business. To support this need, business), to drive competitive advanIn short, Microsoft and its partners are now providing es the technology infrastructure that retailers require to exploit their process infrastructure fully - estechnology infrastructures that are as powerful and scaleable, and therefore future-proofed, as they are cost-effective.
The Retailing and Distribution Industry
Competition in European retailing over the last five years is starting to impact the structure of the industry. Consolidation among large retail chains is leading to a serious reduction in the number of players in some sectors, leading to further pressure on the small and independent retail sector. Structural changes are also being brought about by a proliferation of new retail channels and formats, creating opportunities for retailers to improve service to existing customers as well as reach new markets.
More than ever, IT systems in retailing and distribution have to focus on helping companies to take advantage of these changes. They have to be flexible, integrated, easy to use and cost-effective. And they have to put information in the hands of users throughout the organisation and beyond, enabling the creation of both physical and virtual supply chains. You will learn about how Microsoft is able to meet these requirements through technologies such as Windows NT and Windows CE, SQL Server, BackOffice and Commerce Server.
This white paper describes the competitive environment in which retailers now operate and the solutions that Microsoft and its partners can provide to give these organisations an edge through whatever combination of delivery channels they choose.
For on-line product information:
Microsoft DW retail industry article
According to Microsoft, retailers can look forward to a new age of 'knowledge productivity' based on data warehouse solutions that are powerful, easy to use and, above all, affordable.
Putting the Customer First
Globalisation has been gathering pace for many years now, especially in a
number of market sectors. The automobile industry, for example, is now
dominated by a dozen major manufacturers operating on a worldwide
scale. And yet the restructuring of this sector is not over. Ever seeking to
court the highest stakes, the leading manufacturers are constantly seeking
alliances which will allow them to further reduce costs or create synergies
in terms of products, geographic coverage, etc. The best recent example is
that of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz, whose merger created the fifth largest
car manufacturer in the world. Analysts believe that there is a critical mass
threshold of 2 million vehicles a year below which it is impractical to main-
tain an international presence. This is roughly the quantity of vehicles that
Renault and the PSA group each produce. Another recent example, Ford's
purchase of Volvo's automobile business, has led to the emergence of a
group which manufactures almost 7 million vehicles a year, consolidating
Ford's position as the second largest car maker in the world and, no less
importantly, catapulting it to the number two spot in Europe as well.
In the commercial aircraft industry, only two global players remain: Boeing,
which took over McDonnell Douglas, and Airbus, which owes its foundation
and success to the will-power and co-operation of several major European
Deploying and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 in an In-Store Environment
In-store systems have traditionally been developed using proprietary, non-relational database platforms. With the advent of strong competition in every facet of the retail industry, companies are forced to focus on increasing efficiencies within the store since these translate directly into better customer service, greater throughput of customers, greater revenue, and increased availability of data for the corporate merchandising departments.
The database platform plays a critical role in accomplishing efficiencies through the use of technology within the store environment. The database needs to provide strong OLTP performance in a concurrent environment to handle the transactions during the day and also strong decision support performance for end-of-day and reporting activities. In addition, the ability to automate and customize the transfer of data to corporate warehouses is mandatory.
Price/Performance ratios are also an important factor in selecting an in-store database platform. Organizations need to consider the number of licenses required for supporting all of their stores and the performance required for achieving all of their business goals. Perhaps the most critical characteristic of an ideal in-store database platform is its ability to support automated and remote administration since each outlet in most organizations will not be staffed with technically oriented employees. Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 delivers on all of these areas and is a compelling choice for an in-store database platform.
This document is designed to provide a retail organization's development and implementation teams with the information they need to successfully deploy and maintain Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 in an in-store environment. General recommendations for the optimal solution are provided wherever applicable and various options are discussed in each section along with their respective pros and cons. If any of the recommendations conflict with an organization's specific business needs, they should be overridden for a more appropriate choice.