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Customer vs. developer needs

Enterprise customers want scalability, reliability, redundancy and security, but some database programmers are looking for features such as solid transaction support, stored procedures and more functions. How do I decide what features are most important for my IT shop?

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Two terms come into play when choosing a data storage engine for business. OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) generally concerns analysis of data to support business decisions -- comparing yearly profits, building cross tabs or aggregating customer demographics. OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) generally concerns the daily process of business -- shopping carts, inventory and the general ledger.

You want to pick a database which can support the volume of data you expect, retrieve it in a timely fashion and present it in a usable form. Choose the database that is best able to handle those three needs.

This was first published in November 2006

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