Home > Articles > Data

This chapter is from the book

Usage Examples

Describing features is not sufficient to grasp the potential of this technology. This section covers a sample of projects that illustrate some interesting use of the technology.

Airline Analysis

This company needed to analyze data and quickly react to market demands. One of their processing tasks involved loading 30 million to 50 million records daily. The processing on these records is very complex and requires 500 megabytes of historical information. Using the plain relational database capabilities, they had to process all this in a client application. They had to abandon this approach because their ESQL/C program could process less than 10% of the data in 16 hours. The implementation in the server provided the complete processing in 2.5 hours, an 80 times performance improvement. For them, it was the difference between dreaming of doing the analysis and doing it.

What caused this jump in performance? At a high level, we can identify UDAs and UDFs and the implementation of new types that use a better internal representation of the business data. With that, they could also take advantage of the database framework for set processing and parallel processing. Finally, they did not have to move the data back and forth between the database and the application, saving the transfer time.

Travel Reservation

This project involved building a customer-centric travel management system for corporations. The environment was Java, CORBA, and IDS 9.x. There was also a need to interact with a mainframe system to verify some information.

The system analysis and design followed an object-oriented methodology. It turned out that it facilitated the implementation in the database because we could use table inheritance when it was deemed appropriate.

We needed to be able to locate hotels within a certain distance of a desired location. This was easily done, as longitude and latitude were already part of the information. To provide this functionality, we used the code discussed in Chapter 6 with the addition of a function that calculated the distance between two points.

The last major thing we did was implement a hierarchical policy system that could find the policies that apply to a specific hotel or flight origin or destination or find the resources that are within policies in a specific area. This was done with the Node type, discussed in Chapter 2.

Capital Market Solution

The challenge in this application was to provide near real-time access for stock ticker analysis. The company's previous attempt, using a competing relational database management system (RDBMS), achieved a total of 500 ticks per second. The problem was that they estimated that they needed 12,000 ticks per second!

The Informix solution came based on two commercially available DataBlades: TimeSeries and the NAG statistical DataBlade. Informix worked closely with the customer and created a new DataBlade: the real-time loader. Features include a tighter integration with the application receiving the ticks and a VTI interface that provides access to the values even before they are stored in the time series. This solution was able to achieve 25,000 ticks per second on the same platform used previously that achieved only 500 ticks per second. This represents a 50 times performance improvement.

Interestingly, many of the characteristics found in this packaging could be applied to other industries with likely performance benefits.

Fabric Classification

In this project, we wanted to store fabric characteristics in a database so people could search on these characteristics to find the subset of fabrics that interests them. As the number of fabrics increases, the indexing efficiency becomes more important. Two characteristics were very interesting: material and color.

The material search involved a hierarchical representation as discussed in Chapter 2. Instead of being able to search on the material itself, such as nylon and cotton, you could search for a category of fabric such as synthetic and natural. The hierarchy could extend multiple levels based on the desired classification. Other types of hierarchies were also required. The hierarchical search was indexed using a new type that facilitated the indexing and search of these hierarchies. This provided efficient indexing of this subproblem, a facility not available in standard relational databases.

The second problem involved the search on color. For people not familiar with these types of searches, the first thought that comes up is to have the color name available for indexing. In this industry, a color is a much more precise value. It consists of three numbers representing the color. Changing any of the three values slightly changes the color. This means that a color search becomes a search on a range for each of the three values. There were other requirements that made the search a range on five values. This was a perfect candidate for an R-tree index. As discussed before, the R-tree indexing discriminates enough on the values to be selected by the optimizer where multiple B-tree indexes would not. A modified version of the code discussed in Chapter 6 was used to provide the proper indexing.

These indexing schemes provided the basis for efficient and scalable searches for the project.

Area Management

This project was interesting because it involved replacing an existing solution, written in SPL, with a simpler one, still written in SPL. The original solution involved 83 lines of complex SPL with three SELECT statements in two embedded FOREACH statements. The problem with this approach is that it is complex and also specific to a single problem because the SQL statements had to be hard-coded in the SPL code. Any similar problem that requires either at least one different table or a slight variation in the selection of the rows would also require a new 83 lines of stored procedure.

An analysis of the code revealed that the entire process was in fact aggregating objects together. The problem became how to augment the database capabilities so it could process the information in an aggregation fashion: a UDA.

The new approach included 23 lines of SPL and could be applied to any SQL statement, making it a generic solution. The execution required only one SQL statement instead of looping multiple SQL statements in a stored procedure. The new solution was then simpler and more efficient.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020