Sunday, September 25, 2011
On Actian and action applications
Ingres, one of the oldest DBMS companies which produces open source DBMS, and the first of the sequence of companies that Mike Stonebraker founded and sold, has recently changed its name to Actian, and positioned itself as focused on "action applications in big data". The stated rationale about "action applications" is that current BI create reports and then it is left to the human to read the reports (or screens) and decide what to do, in "action applications", the application trigger actions automatically in response to data events and thresholds. It seems that people from the BI community re-discovers/re-invents the Event-Condition-Action model? so they'll probably get to more advanced event processing at some point.
It is interesting to note that the motivation they state on the Actian website (you'll have to press on "action apps" to see it) is - "BI is not working, more than $10B are spent every year on a pile of reports with no actions". I guess that this is somewhat consistent with my previous posting citing a study that indicate that human decision makers don't succeed to get fast decisions based on BI. Maybe BI is getting in the hype cycle to the phase of disillusionment, and maybe people in this community like SAS CEO who said last year that event processing has limited appeal to BI (along with BI in the cloud), would have second thoughts.