2013 Data Resolution: Avoid Architectural Cul-de-Sacs

I had an inquiry today from a client using packaged software for a business system that is built on a proprietary, non-relational datastore (in this case an object-oriented DBMS.) They have an older version of the product – having “failed” with a recent upgrade attempt.

The client contacted me to ask about ways to integrate this OODBMS-based system with others in their environment. They said the vendor-provided utilities were not very good and hard to use, and the vendor has not given them any confidence it will improve. The few staff programmers who have learned enough internals have already built a number of one-off connections using multiple methods, and were looking for a more generalizable way to create a layer for other systems to use when they need data from the underlying database. They expect more such requests, and foresee chaos, challenges hiring and retaining people with the right skills, and cycles of increasing cost and operational complexity.
My reply: “you’re absolutely right.”

About Merv Adrian
Gartner Research VP, technology analyst and consultant, 30 years of industry experience, covering software mostly, hardware sometimes.

2 Responses to 2013 Data Resolution: Avoid Architectural Cul-de-Sacs

  1. Like your title as ‘archectural cul-de-sac’. This implies that one can turn around and exit the same way as entering. Maybe an ‘architectural black hole’ is more appropriate since one can not exit once pass the event horizon!

  2. Merv Adrian says:

    Thanks! I think it’s fair to say it’s difficult and expensive but not impossible, though in practical terms there may be little difference.

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