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May 1996: Volume 11, Number 5


TUG MoM Review - The March '96 Meeting of Members

By Léo Lefebvre

hate weathermen, especially when they are as far off as they were when predicting the weather for last March 20, the day of our last Meeting of Members. They were forecasting all kinds of bad weather for the province of Ontario for that Wednesday, and the radio stations amplified the "problems to be" by urging people to stay home and stay off of the roads as much of possible. It was supposed to be real 'baaaad'. What did we get? Just a little disturbance. A little bit of snow, a little bit of wind, nothing to "write home about". The consequences: many of you missed two excellent sessions, one on data replication and the other one on data warehousing.

>Lee Kea of DataMirror Corp, filling in for Nigel Stokes, started the meeting by presenting the Power of Transformational Replication. Today's industry trend is Client Server. Client Server means Distributed Processing. Distributed Processing combines Distributed Data and Replication. Lee took time to remind us about the "Real World" with its driving factors and constraints. After explaining what really is transformational replication (i.e. real-time periodic or full-time copies, selected elements of data and data enhancement) he showed us some replication structures and gave us reasons to replicate data. Lee completed his presentation by giving us some examples in today's real world. Examples like the "Little Rock School District", "NYNEX Cablecomms", "American Medical Security" and others.

If you are, somehow, connected to Data Processing, directly or remotely, a session like Lee gave us is a must. You have to take time and listen to what the experts have to say and Lee is one of them. Three words to summarize Lee's presentation: Very Good Session.

For the second session -- well, what can I say? When you invite someone like Jacqueline (Jackie) Jansen, you are assured of an excellent speaker. Jackie is well seasoned in many aspects of today's Information Technology world and is an invaluable expert in the IBM midrange field (Systems 3X, AS/400 and others). When I first talked with Jackie, she was working on the IBM System/38 Hot Line. Jackie has no problem in delivering the message (or messages) she has to deliver; and a session with Jackie is always a gem. One of Jackie's interests these days is Data Warehousing and Data Warehousing on the AS/400 was the topic of our second session. Data Warehousing Applications, Technology Trends, Knowledge workers and Data Warehousing Processes were all part of her presentation.

She discussed some of the high performance "Level 2 ODBCs" that can be interfaced today with the AS/400. In the On Line Analytical Process (aka OLAP) she talked about multi-dimensional databases (something like sales of a product during a certain period within a certain region). In her presentation, she also mentioned some products currently running on AS/400 addressing Data Warehousing. Overall Jackie's session was fantastic and a good eye opener on today's technology trends.

For those of you who did not come because of the forecasted weather, I understand your caution. I just hope that, next time, the weather forecasters do a better job than they did back in March. Of course our next meeting will be in May and chances for snow storms are very slim. Topics will be Data Collection Techniques (like Bar code, magnetic stripes, etc.) presented by Jeff Lem of Q.Data Inc., followed by Wayne Madden's point of view on the position of the AS/400 in the future. Wayne recently met Bob Dies, General Manager of IBM's AS/400 Division, and no doubt this meeting will have some influence on Wayne's view. If you want to prepare for this meeting, you could read a summary of Bob and Wayne's meeting in the April 1996 edition of News/400 magazine. T < G