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Our first stop on the Big Data Nation tour was Cincinnati and it was a treat. Held at the Great American Ball Park, it was a glorious 80-degree, picture perfect day. The lineup (on Big Data) was superb:

  • David Steiner, Research Scientist, LexisNexis
  • Pat Conniff, Dir of Web Hosting, Cengage Learning
  • Sriham Mohan, Prof Advanced Computing, Rose Hulman Institute
  • MarkLogic colleagues: WWVP Sales, John Shap and Chief Architect, Field Engineering, Ken Krupa

Few American companies continue to invest in research labs and LexisNexis and its sister company Elsevier (who also was well-represented at our event), are the two of the remaining ones. Their jobs are to explore new technologies, develop baselines, look for new ways to streamline processes. They push the envelope and push their vendors. We are blessed to have them as clients as their needs become our roadmap and vice-versa. Indeed, present yesterday were members of the Elsevier team, including Steiner, who, during his tenure at Elsevier in 2002, brought MarkLogic in — before it was called MarkLogic!

I asked him of all the versions that he has watched us develop, which one was the most exciting, and he said, “without a doubt, it’s 7.” Steiner is already playing with an Early Access version MarkLogic 7 and is finding that having the ability to store triples, documents and metadata in one database will simplify the architecture and streamline processes.

According to Conniff, Cengage has found that when you are in the business of acquiring publishing companies, you acquire the books – -and the editorial system it was created in. A massive tangle of spaghetti, until the books are extracted from the legacy system you can’t begin to sell them. MarkLogic has made the unification of more than 40 acquisitions possible as the text is extracted from one database and ingested into a central repository allowing editors to finally be able to search across all assets.

Creating a new technology requires a trained workforce — so we were thrilled when we met Sriham Mohan. Teaching advanced computing and databases, he has put together a robust curriculum on NoSQL databases — and will be spending the next several months on sabbatical doing a deep dive on MarkLogic. I asked him about the learning curve in going from SQL to NoSQL — and he said the brightest are looking for new ways to advance their skills. Hmm. Maybe those who don’t like change are a bit of a liability? BTW, for any and all educators who may be interested — MarkLogic provides a Free developers license. We have a ton of free, online training to get you familiarized — and playing – fast.

Next stop: Dallas.

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