I was reading a great post by Matt Turck at Venture Beat entitled “The state of big data in 2014 (chart)” and it got me thinking about data in general and what we do here at Simba. Data is a truly important resource to everyone today. Data is what retail and web stores use to analyze what their customers are buying. Data is what all companies use to analyze the health of their businesses. Data is what mobile phone companies analyze to know where to place cell towers. Data is used for so many things and the ability to access and analyze that data is a critical component for all companies. At Simba, we truly enable access and analytics of any data, anywhere, any time. Let me dive a little deeper into what we do.
Traditionally, Simba co-developed the ODBC specification with Microsoft back in the early 90’s. When we did this work, Simba was the codename of our ODBC project. Back then, the name of the company was PageAhead. So, we delivered a DLL to Microsoft called Simba.DLL. Microsoft put this DLL into Windows and literally put Simba.DLL onto 30 million desktops. We realized that data connectivity was our future and we changed the name of the company from PageAhead to Simba. We then went on to enable a very large number of the SQL database companies of the day to build ODBC drivers for their databases. We were so successful that ODBC and SQL became the de facto standards for data connectivity and querying data. The underlying gem for all of this was our SimbaEngine SDK. SimbaEngine SDK was the platform used to build all of these ODBC drivers and Simba became the Intel Inside of ODBC drivers.
Over the years, technology evolved and so did Simba. Where SimbaEngine was the core of our business, we moved ahead and added SimbaProvider SDK. SimbaProvider SDK was built to support a new query language called MDX (Multi Dimensional eXpressions). MDX was critical for analytics and became adopted by companies like Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, and Teradata. SimbaProvider SDK was the platform used to build many of these MDX providers and again Simba became the Intel Inside of MDX and OLAP providers.
The world of data has now evolved to also include Hadoop and NoSQL. These new data sources do not traditionally support the SQL or MDX query languages. That is a major challenge. The data architecture of the enterprise is built on the SQL and MDX query language standards. Think about something like Excel, it only knows how to issue data queries in either SQL or MDX. Even the newer BI visualization products like Tableau, QlikView or SAP Lumira are all SQL and MDX based. So, how do you bridge this new world of Big Data to the traditional enterprise world of SQL and MDX? This is the service that Simba provides. The key to the SimbaEngine SDK platform is that it has a componentized SQL engine that can be bolted onto Hive, Impala, HBase, Cassandra, MongoDB, Shark, Presto, etc. and build a standardized SQL and ODBC interface that Tableau, QlikView and Lumira can connect to. Similarly for SimbaProvider SDK and MDX.
SQL and MDX are the standards by which data flows in the enterprise and Simba builds the pipes that allows this flowing of data. Whether it is traditional data, small data, or big data, with Simba, you can connect to the data and turn it into information. I like the chart that Matt created because it provides a great pictorial representation of the world of Big Data and Analytics today. I am sad that Simba is not on this chart because what we do is so important. I am proud that many of our customers like AsterData, Cloudera, DataBricks, DataStax, Google, Hortonworks, Kognitio, MapR, Microsoft, Qubole, RainStor, SAP, Splunk, Teradata, and Zettaset are on the list.