CA has completed the sale of the ERwin data modeling business to Parallax Capital Partners, a private equity firm with an exceptional track record of transitioning divisions, subsidiaries and product lines into successful stand-alone entities.
The transaction, which closed on February 29, is a win-win scenario that was carefully designed to ensure mutual value and a seamless transition for customers, partners, and each of the approximately 60 ERwin employees worldwide. This move also aligns with our global partner strategy, which is an important component to CA’s growth model.
With this divestiture, ERwin is an independent company that will continue to be led by its current management team.
Parallax Capital is a private equity firm that specializes in lower middle market (between $5 and $100 million) software companies. In looking at their current portfolio, I recognize only a couple of companies, with Micro Focus being the one that I recognized instantly, but they sold that in the early 2000s. Parallax owns a diverse set of companies, so I’m not sure where they will go with the ERwin Modeling product set.
What I do know is that CA was clear after the failed Embarcadero purchase attempt that they were still intending to sell off ERwin, so a purchase is important to the ERwin user market. I have no other information and expect that initial communications will be that everything is remaining the same until it changes.
This quote: “This move also aligns with our global partner strategy, which is an important component to CA’s growth model. “ appears to imply that CA did not consider data modeling a growth area of the enterprise software business. As sad as that is, I agree.
My initial feelings are that having the ERwin business owned by an entity that does not own a competing product is likely best for customers. Competition is good, for technical quality, innovation and pricing.
UPDATE: a new, more upbeat announcement has gone up on ERwin.com http://erwin.com/resources/news/erwin-divested-from-ca-technologies/
What do you think the impact of this sale will be on you and the data modeling market?
I conducted a Twitter poll last week about how to spell DATATYPE (or is it DATA TYPEs?). Many compound words start out as two separate words, then get hyphenated, then concatenated to a new word. We saw this with:
data base –> data-base –> database
I keep seeing data types spelled both ways (and never as data-type).
Ted Codd used DATA TYPE in his 12 Rules for a Relational Database Product.
Embarcadero ER/Studio and CA ERwin Data Modeler use DATATYPE in their products and occasionally use DATA TYPE in their help or documentation.
Oracle uses both spellings in their documentation. Microsoft sticks heavily to DATA TYPE.
Twitter polls last for 24 hours and not all clients can see or vote on them. So consider this more of a fun question on social media.
How do you spell this concept? Are there other words you find with a variety of spellings?
This news arrived today:
Jefferies is also leading a US$425m covenant-lite credit to back Idera’s acquisition of Embarcadero Technologies. Idera is backed by TA Associates. The deal, which launches on Thursday, includes a US$25m revolving credit, a US$300m first-lien term loan and a US$100m second-lien term loan.
So last year we had Embarcadero attempting to purchase ERwin from CA, now today we have Idera, makers of SQL Server focused database-related solutions, moving towards buying Embarcadero.
The Embarcadero-buying-ERwin deal fell through, in part, due to regulatory concerns over market consolidation of the database/data modeling tool business. I’m wondering how regulators will feel about this consolidation of tools.
I’ve worked with both vendors in the past. Both are based in Austin, Tx. Standing by to see what happens next.
UPDATE: I’m now seeing official communications about the sale, with a very aggressive closing date. This is in contrast to the prolonged, ultimately failed acquisition attempt by Embarcadero for CA’s ERwin Data Modeler product.
Thoma Bravo, a leading private equity investment firm, today announces the sale of Embarcadero Technologies, a leading provider of software solutions for application and database development, to Idera, Inc., an application and server management software provider. The exit represents the culmination of a long and successful partnership between Thoma Bravo and Embarcadero Technologies. The deal is expected to close in mid-October, subject to normal closing conditions and approvals.
I’ve been using Parallels Desktop for Mac ever since I purchased my MacBook Air a couple of years a go. This virtualization software lets me run Windows on my Mac so that I can use all the data modeling and database tools I need.
Just this week, Parallels asked if I wanted to try out a new product, Parallels Access. (So as to not confuse this with Microsoft Access, I’m going to use the full name of the product in this post.) This product lets me use desktop applications as if they were built for the iPad. It works by installing an app on my iPad, plus a service on my desktops (Windows or Mac). Then when I want to run a “real” application from one of my computers, I can fire up the app on my iPad and start using it. And it pretty much works.
I’m hosting a contest to give away five, yes FIVE, subscriptions for this product. Details at the bottom of this post.
Isn’t This the Same as Remoting In to Your Desktop?
I’m betting right now you’re thinking: “I have RDP or some other remote app and I can use that, but it’s a real pain to navigate around on an iPad.” Yes, yes it is. I’ve tried several remoting apps over the last few years. I usually use them when I am out of my office and have to grab a file or fix something without having to find a computer to use a real keyboard and mouse. And it’s painful. Very painful.
What’s different about Parallels Access is that they’ve added iOS-like gestures and interactions to make it feel like the application you are running is a native iPad app. Instead of telling you about it, let me show you a few:
How I Use Parallels Access
Today I used Parallels access to work with some Excel spreadsheets, which I have done in the past with either iPad apps or via remoting in to a desktop. Both ways are painful. It’s almost impossible to widen a column or cut and paste data in Excel using the iPad and the iPad apps don’t always support all the features I need. I won’t be using this as my main method for working with Excel, database or data modeling tools. But having the ability to pinch to zoom in applications is very nice. In ERwin Data Modeler, I was even able to reposition entities and fine tune relationship lines. That just doesn’t work using a basic Remote Desktop tool. Heck, it doesn’t even work as well on my touch screen desktop.
I also love that the keyboard is an iPad keyboard that features a Windows Key when you are on a Windows desktop and a Mac one when you are on a Mac. That’s how keyboards should work.
I’ll post a more detailed review of how I am using Access to work with my desktop applications in the future. For now, some gratuitous screen shots.
Win a 1 Year Subscription to Parallels Access
There’s a 14-day trial for Parallels Access available, but I have a better deal for you: enter to win one of FIVE one-year subscriptions (worth $4.99 a month or $49 a year) I have to give away via Twitter. Here’s what you need to do:
- Follow me @datachick
- Tell me where you would use Parallels Access. For example, “I would use Parallels Access from my deck, sipping a beverage with @datachick” or “I’d love my data with @datachick”.
- Contest ends Friday, 1 February at midnight EST, so tweet before then.
I’ll pick 4 random winners from the tweets and one special one chosen as the best tweet. Just make sure you mention me (include @datachick in your tweet) and the product (Parallels Access) so I see your entry.
- Your tweet has to mention me and Parallels Access
- Your tweet must be posted publicly – not a DM.
- Your tweet must be published before 1 Feb 2014 at midnight EST
- If you live in one of those places that has laws against these contests (Allô Québec!): Sorry, you can’t be part of this.
- If you live in one of those places that has a law requiring a skills testing question (O Canada!) I will give you a fancy data modeling question to do. No worries, it will be an easy one.
- A winning tweet and your twitter account have to be Safe For Work. Let’s call it “SFW USA”. That works.
- No more than 5 entries from you.
- You don’t have to own an iPad (2nd through current generation), but you’ll need one to use this product.
- No returns or exchanges. No whining. No bad data. No tipping. Bribes are discouraged by Management.
Good luck and get touching and tweeting!
This month’s webinar (2PM EDT/11AM PDT) focuses on how DBAs and Data Modelers can collaborate better. You know what it’s like: we both love our data and what databases to purr. But what happens when our points of views differ? Is performance more important that some data quality? Should we all be using the same tools? Who should be calling the shots? Who should be “in charge”? What deliverable should we be preparing?
Our webinars are very interactive. We open the chat to everyone and offer a formal Q&A for asking questions and giving feedback to the panelists. You can even join early to chat with us and we tend to stay about after to have “off the record” follow up conversations. So this isn’t a lecture, but an online community event to chat about what we can do as a team to provide data and database solutions to our organizations.
We are sponsored this month by CA Technologies, the makers of CA ERwin®. Thanks, ERwin team!
You’ll need to pre-register, but it’s free. Do it now. It will be fun.
About the Presentation
We invite you to join us in this monthly DATAVERSITY webinar series, “Big Challenges with Data Modeling” hosted by Karen Lopez. Join Karen and two or more expert panelists each month to discuss their experiences in breaking through these specific data modeling challenges. Hear from experts in the field on how and where they came across these challenges and what resolution they found. Join them in the end for the Q&A portion to ask your own questions on the challenge topic of the month.
This Month’s Panelists
- Yanni Robel, Lead DBA, Database Operations Team at Amazon.com
- Yanni (@yannirobel) manages the Database Operations team at Amazon.com in Seattle, WA. She is a very active Senior Database Administrator as well, leveraging more than a dozen years of experience working with Microsoft SQL Server products and technologies.Yanni specializes in bridging communications between the business, the developers, the sysadmins, and the DBAs to help everyone understand what it is that they depend on. As an active member in the SQL community, previous developer, and parent, Yanni knows the importance of knowing what you don’t know and leveraging the collective knowledge of others and the community to learn and grow. Yanni is pleased to give back to peers, coworkers (past & present), and recruiters by sharing knowledge.
- Javed Mati, Sales Director, Myriad Solutions UK Ltd
- [Bio Pending]
- Paul Agnew
- Paul Agnew is an author, consultant and speaker with more than 20 years experience in the data modeling and data integration fields in many different industries. He is the co-author (With Len Silverston) of The Data Model Resource Book Volume 3: Universal Patterns in Data Modeling, which describes universal data modeling patterns. Mr. Agnew, has been a featured speaker at the prestigious DAMA International conference, and has presented papers on many different aspects of data management field.Paul has extensive, hands-on experience working in many different industries, including financial services, insurance and re-insurance, health care, healthcare informatics, sales and marketing and manufacturing. Paul is an expert in solution architecture, data architecture, data quality, master data management, data warehousing, big data and data governance.
Special note: This post is part of TSQL Tuesday , a special blog posting monthly event based on a SQL Server/data topic chosen by one blogger. I’d love to see more data architects be part of the blog conversations.
I frequently hear from project team members that they’ve never used the automation features of their data modeling tools. Some of the reasons they give:
- I’m not a programmer. It is not fair to expect me to to know how to program in order to use these tools.
- I have no idea how to use it and don’t have the time to find out
- Nothing I do can be automated; it’s all one-off tasks
- You can automate some of my work???
I think if you are giving these reasons without even trying, you a missing out on one of the niftiest features of your tools.
Great! Neither am I. The good news is that many tools don’t require you to have full blown programmer skills in order to automate data modeling tasks. They have macro-like languages that require a bit of logic skills, but not much more. For instance, Embarcadero ER/Studio XE uses a macro language called Sax Basic that is very similar to VBscript. I’m lucky in that I used BASIC early in my career and am generally familiar with the language. The toughest part is learning the functions, objects, and properties that are specific to ER/Studio, but thankfully there is a built in Help system that does a half decent job of helping you use them.
I Have No Idea How to Use It
That’s okay, because I don’t start with a blank macro when I go to automate a task; I just start with an existing one that is close to the same thing and tailor it to what I need to do. I needed to export some meta data from my model to Excel, so I opened an existing macro that exported a bunch of data and tailored it to include the data I wanted, in the format I wanted it.
We host a mailing list/forum just for macros and automation of data modeling tools in our InfoAdvisors User Discussion Groups. There are sample models that others have tailored and community members who are willing to help you through a tough part. Also, most vendors have similar resources on their websites.
Nothing I Do Can Be Automated
I think you must be spending a huge amount of time clicking and waiting when you could be pushing a button and doing something else like grabbing a cup of coffee or answering a question on a forum…or even helping out a team member. For instance, some of the macros that have been posted to our communities are:
Most of the macros I write tend to be to make some boring aspects of my job less boring by allowing me to do something else. This means printing out my entire model, exporting images, making mass updates, etc. If it has an algorithm that I can automate, I’m going to invest 15-20 minutes so that I don’t have to spend hours or even hundreds of hours over the course of a project doing those non-architecture tasks.
Another major use of automation I do is for setting properties for my DBAs. Their standards and preferences should be automatable. How FKs are named, how indexes should be names, which datatypes should be used, etc. The fact that I can run a quick macro to do these and keep my DBAs happy, well, that’s priceless. They love me for it <crickets, crickets>…well they should love me for it.
You can Automate Some of my Work???
Yes. Not really the analytical parts, but some of the more mundane, boring, "change all these but not those" tasks. Sure, finding and tailoring a macro takes time, but it is so worth it the next time you push a button, wander off to the coffee room to refill your 31 oz. Trenta cup with high-octane coffee. Managers really don’t want you spending times on tasks that nearly anyone with mouse skills could do. By using macros and APIs, you can add significant hours of productivity to your day. Let’s also admit that computers are generally better at doing mass changes more accurately than we are.
So let’s summarize:
- Automating boring tasks makes you happier.
- Happier Data Architects are better Data Architects
- Automated recurring, boring tasks make bosses happier
- Automating tasks makes for more accurate work
- Saving time for you and your team members makes everyone happier.
A Lazy Data Modeler is a Better Data Modeler.
As I blogged last week, I participated in a webcast on social networking for data management professionals. That webcast was recorded and is now available for viewing.
Handouts of the slides I presented on the cost, benefits and risks of social networking are also available.
If you are reading my blog and on any of these social networks, I’d love to friend/follow/link to you. My contact information for those services are in the handouts. If you do send me a request, please mention that you are a blog reader, attended an event I presented at, or where we met.
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