Access to the broadest possible range of diverse data sets is a competitive imperative, for everything from training machine-learning models to powering strategic business analytics. While data connectivity has become table stakes for modern data management, the resources needed to develop and maintain a broad array of data connectors can be prohibitive. Matt Gillespie discusses considerations for establishing and maintaining that connectivity using standards-based drivers.
Advances in applying analytics and machine learning to drive even more value from data have enabled business benefits that are limited only by an application’s ability to access data. That reality brings new criticality to the data connectors that enable business tools to reach into relational, non-relational and multi-dimensional data stores. Simba, a Magnitude company, provides those connectors at scale more simply and cost-effectively than enterprises could do on their own.
The reality is that traditional enterprise applications are often not able to access, analyze and visualize data in big data solutions that lack a readable format or schema for them to read and make SQL queries against. As a result, organizations may not be able to fully utilize those data sources, including for operational support, visualizations, dashboards and compliance reporting. Simba implements a SQL engine in its drivers that constructs a schema from cloud data structures that traditional enterprise applications can recognize and interact with.
The Power and Goodness of Standards Compliance
Even today, some enterprises and solution providers rely on commodity open source drivers that often lack full compliance with current standards. Connectivity based on these drivers tends to be unreliable and delivers poor performance, limiting tools to partial or stale data, for example. Another undesirable approach is for a development house to hard-code data connectivity into an app, which is costly and presents a maintenance burden. To overcome these limitations, Simba provides a flexible approach to enabling data connectivity from enterprise sources, whether on-prem or in the cloud:
- Commercial, or “off-the-shelf”, data connectors satisfy the vast majority of data connectivity needs
- Custom OEM Solutions provide access to unique configurations and less mainstream data sources
- SimbaEngine SDK enables organizations to build their own drivers, using the same toolset developed and used by Simba engineers every day
- Managed Services – Integration, Testing and Certification – provide custom connectivity solutions and augment customer expertise and testing capabilities.
Simba’s commitment to standards compliance dates back to its work pioneering ODBC standards with Microsoft in the early 1990s. Simba maintains off-the-shelf and custom data connectors , as well as SimbaEngine SDK, for ongoing compliance with evolving standards. In addition, SimbaEngine SDK can effortlessly generate multiple versions of a single driver to support additional standards, including ODBC, JDBC, OLE DB and ADO.NET.
Providing one or more standards-based drivers for a data source enables nearly all desktop and server-side tools to attach to the data for functions such as analytics, visualization and reporting. By contrast, drivers that are not fully standards-compliant may not be well supported by applications and tools other than the ones they were written for. Such commodity drivers also often lack the robustness needed to provide business-critical throughput, latency and reliability.
Removing Barriers to Effectively Handling Massive Data Sets
While data connectors play an important role across enterprise workloads, creating and maintaining them is outside the range of core competencies for most development teams. That expertise gap can be a significant issue, limiting the effectiveness of applications that require rich access to data from across enterprise and cloud sources.
Instead, many enterprises choose to adopt the same Simba connectivity solutions that are also used in leading enterprise software by vendors as diverse as Cloudera/Hortonworks, Couchbase, Databricks, Qlik, Qubole, SAP, Sisense, Splunk, Tableau and Teradata.
Entrusting data connectivity to Simba enables enterprises to abstract away that specialized functionality so they can fully apply the right resources to their own core development activities . In addition, engaging with Simba draws on industry-leading expertise that helps reduce risk and ensure success, including full enterprise support for data connectors in production, as well as long-term maintenance. Data connectivity solutions enabled by Simba provide the following ongoing advantages:
- Built to enable any standards-compliant application to access a given data source, without consuming internal resources to build and maintain drivers.
- Simba drivers abstract away complexity for business users, while the SimbaEngine SDK can enable developers to create custom drivers in as little as five days.
- Simba drivers meet rigorous demands for compatibility, reliability and speed placed on them by Simba, our partners and our customers, every day.
Big data systems that use Simba data connectors have a simplified, affordable, dependable path to integrating data from a rich variety of sources. Simba drivers provide the access that data-hungry applications need from any source you can imagine, whether it’s in a relational enterprise database or the far-flung reaches of Cassandra, Google Big Query, Hadoop,
High-preforming, trusted connectivity to any data source is a prerequisite for bringing forth business insights without limitations. Commodity shortcuts and hard-coded connections are a poor substitute for standards-based data connectors that are built to enable broad-based connectivity to data sources, so the widest variety of present and future tools and applications can connect to and draw value from them.
Simba offers industry-leading data connectors for any data source, offering software providers and enterprises the means to access the data they need with proven flexibility, simplicity and quality. Simba connectivity solutions eliminate low-level concerns with data access, helping set the stage for data-driven insights and powering a more informed, successful business.