As a method for maintaining and accessing databases for quick transaction processing
and analysis, Dick Pick's original "multi-value" structure has stood the test of
time. Today, over 30 years later, this deceptively simple approach still stands as one of
the most robust IS environments ever devised.
In the late 1980s, Pick Systems introduced a version of its DBMS compatible with the
now-universal Unix operating system. With the introduction of SQL/ODBC-compliant D and D
for Windows NT and Windows 95, the company continues to advance the Pick standard.Today,
Pick Systems brings to market the most sophisticated environment available for developing
client/server applications, data warehouses and Web-enabled databases.
A data model is the fundamental organizing principle that underlies any database or
data management system.The D3 data model is designed to allow users to store
large amounts of data in any way they want and to rapidly retrieve it in any form
Relational database management systems require information to be stored in flat,
two-dimensional "tables." In contrast, the Pick data model is multivalued; a
record can have multiple fields, each field can have multiple values and each of these, in
turn, may be made up of multiple (sub)values. Further, D3's powerful data
dictionary makes it possible for the same set of information to be presented in an
infinite number of views, in much the same way the human mind interprets data.
The success of D3 can be attributed to a number of factors:
- The D3 data model allows users and application developers to build software
systems that closely mirror the functions of individual businesses and departments.
- The D3 architecture makes developing software applications relatively simple
and very fast, so developers are more productive. Moreover, these applications can be
quickly and easily modified, either to meet a user's changing needs or to tailor features
to the requirements of individual customers.
- Designed as a repository for query-intense applications, D3 anticipated the
data warehouse concept that is being widely adopted today.
- Pick Systems products run on nearly all of the popular non-proprietary hardware
platforms in use today, including most major Unix systems (Intel- and RISC-based) and all
Intel-based personal computers running Windows NTŪ and 95.
In addition to its superior data model, D3 incorporates a number of features
that make it attractive for developing business application software:
- D3 functions as a repository DBMS, allowing multiple client applications to
access a common database through ODBC and native drivers. It allows business rules,
database relationships, triggers, security, record locking and indexes to be maintained at
the server level, transparent to the client.
- Applications can be scaled from one to thousands of users without modification.
- D3 is portable to a variety of hardware platforms and host operating
systems-applications can effortlessly migrate from one platform to another with no data
conversion and a simple recompilation of programs.
- D3 provides seamless interoperability with varied databases and host
- Highly integrated application development tools are provided for DBMS development.These
include active data dictionaries, stored procedures, file editors, FlashBASIC programming
language, C programming environment, and debugging tools. In the Windows NT/95
environments, extensions to Visual Basic allow sophisticated D3-style string
handling and direct access to the Ddata model.
- A wide range of tools to manage the D environment is provided.This includes an
integrated print spooler, background job processor, user profiles, file security, data
backup and restore utilities, activity auditing, resource usage monitoring and system
- D3 provides the most efficient use of system resources compared to
competitive DBMS products, resulting in response times second to none in the industry.
- Local and wide-area network connectivity is supported and the Open Systems File
Interface (OSFI) allows D3 applications seamless access to "foreign"
- Systems can be easily managed by nontechnical staff on a part-time basis, dramatically
reducing operating costs.
- The dictionary-driven D3 database allows data to be viewed in an infinite
number of ways without programming. SQL, Access Query Language (AQL) and dozens of
ODBC client front ends can be used to easily extract information in whatever format the
Pick Systems products are sold almost exclusively through value-added resellers (VARs)
and distributors. Over the years, the company has built a large reseller network that
extends throughout the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Europe, Africa,
Asia/Pacific Rim and Australia/New Zealand. Sales outside of North America accounted for
40 percent of FY 1997 revenue, and are rapidly increasing.
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