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Jolt Awards

Jolts 2007: Database

Jolt Winner

Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals
Microsoft Corporation

Matt Nunn, Group Product Manager

One of the notorious challenges in enterprise development is managing the testing of programs that access databases. Likewise, making sure that changes to database schema have been properly implemented. What makes Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals jolting? Its name says it all. It's for Database professionals, and what Microsoft has done is to offer development-level functionality to DBAs. Add to this support for agile/evolutionary database development, and this product jettisoned to the head of the pack.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals makes both the testing and management of database processes much easier by providing key tools. These include: tools for automating testing with support for full unit testing of database applications running on Microsoft SQL Server; tools for managing and propagating schema changes, such as renames of tables, columns, and stored procedures; and software instruments for integrating the function of the database manager into the development cycle. This last feature continues MicrosoftÕs special emphasis in the Team Edition suite of products, which is to make sure solutions are designed correctly for the hardware and software that support them at deployment time. There is no doubt that as Microsoft continues to establish its presence in the data center, well thought-out tools such as Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals will lead the way, and make other vendors very nervous. Expect others to start to hurriedly catch up.

-- Andrew Binstock

Productivity Award

Coral8 Engine

Coral8 has created one of those types of technology products that has the potential to dramatically alter the mindset of future application architecture design, similar to the way system virtualization forever changed the data center. The company has codified the function of Complex Event Processing (CEP) into their software engine. CEP is an advanced technology approach to real-time high transaction monitoring most often associated with security oversight but also employed for vertical market high-speed data analysis and context capture as well as event-pattern detection and business-process monitoring. Coral8 has created their Continuous Computation Language (CCL), which uses correlation, aggregation, and pattern-matching syntax for CEP application construction. CCL module deployment is fast and continuous in that adding new apps and rules to the Coral8 Engine does not require offline loading/instantiation. As a fellow Jolt judge commented during our evaluation of the product, "Complex Event Processing is new wave. Coral8 is one of the leaders."

--Mike Riley

Productivity Award


Agile consultant agency Thoughtworks is known more for its Fortune 500 client list and its agile proclamations than its contributions to the open-source community, which is why its donation by Thoughtworks employees Nick Ashley, Graham Tackley, and Sam Newman of its Java-based dbDeploy database refactoring toolkit is that much more notable. The key to dbDeploy's power is its continuous database integration with project source code changes. Planting the dbDeploy jar files within a db subfolder within your source code managed project, and creating a schema version table via the bundled Microsoft SQL, Oracle, MySQL, and Sybase database scripts is all the prep work needed to start using the tool. Delta SQL scripts can be applied to database structural changes made just like source code changes are, and updated in a repository. This approach allows granular schema changes to be tracked and, if necessary, forked to match the very source code that may be used to access that new database layout.

--Mike Riley

Productivity Award

SQL Refactor
Red Gate Software

Virtually every database developer spends at least part of their time modifying and managing code written by someone else. This inglorious, often time consuming and frustrating task is now made easier by a collection of 11 refactoring tools in SQL Refactor, an add-in for Management Studio, providing a range of functions from cleaning up code formatting to major schema refactorings, aiding the SQL Server developers and DBAs to more effectively deal with legacy code, improve the overall design and maintainability of their database applications, and save time.

Among the useful features of SQL Refactor are: the reformatting of T-SQL scripts; renaming functions, views, stored procedures and tables and updating all references to these renames objects; splitting tables into two tables, again updating all references; easily creating new stored procedures; finding unused variables and parametersÉand the list goes on. As one judge noted, SQL Refactor "owns the database refactoring tool market."

--Peter Westerman

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