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Quest's Quest: The Developer-DBA Big Data Skillset Problem


Quest Software has continued its mission to clarify the new and changing roles across development and DBA teams with the free release of its Toad for Cloud Databases product. Positioned first and foremost as a developer tool, this latest offering works to give users the option to generate queries, migrate, browse, and edit data, as well as create reports and tables in a "familiar" SQL view.

Suggesting that cloud computing, Hadoop, and NoSQL are changing the way people manage and analyze data, Quest says that there is a dearth of skillsets available in this arena. Whether the company's naysaying warnings are slightly amplified or not, one might reasonably argue that IT departments could now be left without a clear understanding of whether development and DBA teams, whose expertise lies with traditional technology platforms, can effectively support these new systems.

Quest's quest is straightforward. By simplifying data analysis functions, Toad for Cloud Databases opens the door to what the company is fond of calling "a wider audience of developers", which (if you follow the argument) enables more IT teams to experience the productivity gains and cost benefits of NoSQL and Big Data.

"The NoSQL movement presents the greatest change to databases since the advent of the relational database, and we want to provide a familiar tool to millions of users to help them adopt these new systems," said Christian Hasker, director of product management, Quest Software. "We want to enable our user base to pick up cutting edge technologies, evaluate them, and seek competitive advantages for their organizations without having to wait for traditional database vendors, who have been slow to adopt NoSQL as a valid database option."

Toad for Cloud Databases is a fully functional, commercial-grade product, provided at no cost. The company says that its connector between Oracle and Hadoop, available within this product, delivers a method for data transfer between the two platforms in both directions. The bidirectional characteristic of the utility enables developers to take advantage of Hadoop's lower cost of storage and analytical capabilities. Quest also contributed the connector to the Apache Hadoop project as an extension to the existing SQOOP framework, and is also available as part of Cloudera's Distribution Including Apache Hadoop.

Toad for Cloud Databases currently supports:

  • Apache Hive
  • Apache HBase
  • Apache Cassandra
  • MongoDB
  • Amazon SimpleDB
  • Microsoft Azure Table Services
  • Microsoft SQL Azure, and
  • All Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)-enabled relational databases (Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, DB2, etc)

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