DB-Engines.com: A very helpful database technology comparison site

February 28, 2018 Comments Off on DB-Engines.com: A very helpful database technology comparison site

I’ve been working with all sorts of databases for a really long time, and I’ve never seen the industry as dynamic and diverse as it is right now. Unfortunately, if you’re evaluating databases – relational, NoSQL, or otherwise – it can be very difficult to obtain a high-level, vendor-neutral view of your options.

Lately I’ve been spending a fair amount of time on the DB-Engines website in support of some research initiatives that I’m carrying out. DB-Engines provides a wealth of really useful information, including:

  • Database rankings
  • A compendium of database solutions
  • A glossary of key terms
  • Side-by-side product comparisons

If you’re interested in learning more about which database technology is best for you and your organization, it’s definitely worth dropping by.


Swagger Inspector from SmartBear: a very nice free online tool for testing APIs

January 30, 2018 Comments Off on Swagger Inspector from SmartBear: a very nice free online tool for testing APIs

SmartBear, makers of ReadyAPI (the most comprehensive and widely adopted Web service and REST API testing platform) have just released an excellent, free tool for carrying out quick and easy interactions with your API.

Swagger Inspector does a superb job of working with APIs (all HTTP methods are available), and it supports parameters, authentication & headers, and message payloads. It even generates OpenAPI documentation. If you’re designing, developing, testing, or simply using an API, you’ll want to check out this exciting new offering.

We’ll be incorporating Swagger Inspector into our SoapUI Pro training as well as our multi-model database design training course.

SoapUI training & certification track at SmartBear Connect on September 12

August 31, 2017 Comments Off on SoapUI training & certification track at SmartBear Connect on September 12

If you’re going to be in the Boston area on September 12, and would like to learn how to deliver high quality APIs by applying robust functional, performance, and security tests, be sure to check out the special training course that will take place during the SmartBear Connect user conference.

This all-day class – which is usually only available for private organizations – will be delivered by SmartBear’s Mike Giller using a significant subset of the training materials WiseClouds presents during private sessions. Mike will discuss:

  • The ReadyAPI Platform
  • Establishing Connectivity to your APIs
  • Developing Functional Tests
  • Validating API Responses with Assertions
  • Data-Driven Testing & Programmatic Test Control
  • Performance Testing & Virtualization
  • Best Practices for ReadyAPI

Along with increasing your skill levels, attending this class will prepare you for the optional SoapUI certification exam. And to make things even more interesting, there will be additional tracks and events dedicated to the other major components in SmartBear’s far-reaching product portfolio.

You can learn more here.


Speaking at Graph Day 2017 in SF

May 30, 2017 Comments Off on Speaking at Graph Day 2017 in SF

I’ve been a database technologist for more than 25 years. During that time, I’ve been fortunate to observe the rise (and longevity) of relational database platforms, along with the more recent advent of NoSQL solutions. I’m particularly excited about the potential for graph databases: I believe that they’re going to transform the way information is processed. In fact, WiseClouds will shortly be announcing a series of training courses dedicated to the highly capable OrientDB multi model database.

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, and would like to learn more about what graph databases can do for you, be sure to attend Graph Day 2017. I’ll be joining many other speakers to help you explore the full range of fascinating applications built on graph databases. You can register here.


Software Quality Matters blog: Five API Development & Testing Trends

April 30, 2017 Comments Off on Software Quality Matters blog: Five API Development & Testing Trends

SmartBear has just published an article that I wrote about five widespread development and testing changes that are dramatically disrupting the ways that APIs are being evaluated prior to being placed into production.

In a nutshell, these trends are:

  1. Business-driven API design and development.
  2. Agile methodologies
  3. Test automation
  4. API complexity outstripping testing capabilities
  5. New dangers for siloed testing

five api trends

If you’d like to check it out, visit the posting here.

Spark for Dummies is now available

January 1, 2017 Comments Off on Spark for Dummies is now available

A few years ago, I wrote Hadoop for Dummies, which presented an executive-level overview of Hadoop, its capabilities, and its amazing potential. Since then, the Big Data world has continued its relentless march forward, with Apache Spark serving as one of the most exciting and well-adopted new technologies. I’m happy to announce that I’ve just written a companion book dedicated to Spark. Here are the major topics that I cover in this book:

  • Spark’s history
  • How it works
  • Why it’s such an important Big Data breakthrough
  • Real world use cases
  • How Spark, MapReduce, and Hadoop can work together
  • How you can deploy it in your enterprise
  • Best practices




You can download a copy here.


This book – which was sponsored by IBM – is a great example of the kinds of high quality technical marketing content developed at Think88.  These include white papers, case studies, evaluation guides, technical presentations, and market research.

Why the recent Internet of Things (IoT) attack is just the beginning

October 30, 2016 Comments Off on Why the recent Internet of Things (IoT) attack is just the beginning

A few days ago we witnessed a new type of distributed denial of service (DDoS) incident. Unlike previous botnet attacks that enlisted compromised computers, this one corralled assorted unprotected devices like Internet-ready webcams, DVRs, and baby monitors to flood Domain Name System (DNS) servers, and thereby seriously degrade the Internet for hours. I’ll leave the explanation of the mechanics of this incident to more qualified commentators, but I do want to weigh in on why I think these types of events are very hard to combat and why I’m very skeptical about the hype around the Internet of Things (IoT).

We all (well, many of us) know how important it is to keep our computers and software patched and up-to-date; most people also get why firewalls are essential. But consider these facts about IoT devices:

  • They’re being created for just about every industry. This diversity means that it’s much harder for the entire universe of vendors to agree on common security standards: defining safeguards for a heart pump is a little different than for a Web-ready washing machine. I’ve served on my share of standards committees: to say that they move slowly is an understatement!
  • They have really short development cycles. IoT is shaping up to be a brutally competitive landscape. The winners will be those vendors that deliver solutions to market quickly. Designing and building strong security safeguards takes time, and time is money. The end result is that device protection takes a back seat to market pressures.
  • There’s limited space for security software. Margins are very thin on hardware devices: security-focused onboard storage space adds costs that aren’t directly related to functionality.
  • They frequently rely on APIs for communication. I’ve blogged about API security in the past. Suffice it to say that it’s a rare API that’s locked down properly.
  • New models are always coming on the market. Here’s the really scary part: even if vendors do start getting their security act together, it will be years before today’s highly insecure devices get retired. Meanwhile, they’ll be standing by for their next set of DDoS orders.

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