Blog | Data & Analytics

Why WhereScape’s 2020 roadmap really matters

If you haven’t heard by now, New Zealand software developer WhereScape became part of American software company Idera last year and has just released its latest roadmap for solutions which include RED, 3D and Streaming Data Automation – perhaps more important than any other in WhereScape’s history because it shows Idera’s commitment to, and the global potential of, these solutions.

WhereScape is a real New Zealand success story. Founded in 1997 by Michael Whitehead and Wayne Richmond, this Kiwi company was (and is) a global pioneer in the concept of data automation. Where Xero does beautiful accounting, you could say WhereScape does beautiful data warehouses; data warehouses which require a lot less legwork from software developers.

At the time, data warehouse automation was visionary. Data warehouses, after all, were barely a ‘thing’ in 1997 and as Dataversity makes clear it was only after Y2K that organisations really saw a need for them.

Aside from the global success achieved by WhereScape, more recent times have seen multiple new vendors enter the data warehouse automation fray. Last year we also saw Qlik acquire Attunity. That’s pretty awesome validation of Kiwi ingenuity and foresight as the value of data warehouse automation is now widely recognised.  

More to the point, WhereScape tools, including RED, 3D and Streaming Data Automation are fundamental to the work we do here at Qrious: enabling New Zealand organisations to manage, organise and modernise their data.  That’s why we’re proud to be the exclusive New Zealand reseller of the software, and why we’re excited about its future with Idera.

A bright future at Idera

The Idera acquisition took place towards the end of last year (read all about it) and at the time, the Idera CEO said, “By focusing our product investment on ease of use, scalability and quality, we expect WhereScape to remain the leading data migration solution and drive more value for our 10,000+ customers.”

This, really, gets to the heart of why the 2020 roadmap is such a big deal. Big things are planned for RED, 3D and Streaming Data Automation – and those big things will benefit all WhereScape customers, including our many NZ Based customers.

Commitment to those customers is  front of mind for the WhereScape team. Matt O'Connell, General Manager for WhereScape, told us, "We know the Qrious team will continue to deliver the world-class products and customer satisfaction that our joint customers have come to expect. We’re off to a strong start and we look forward to delivering the data-driven success that New Zealand companies need to thrive in today’s digital marketplace.” 

Notable, too, is that Idera has committed to new releases every quarter. With the fast-moving data warehouse market, this means that as developments take place in the broader data ecosystem, we can expect WhereScape to keep pace – and, of course, continue taking the lead in a market it practically created in the first place.

On to the roadmap highlights

Without stealing WhereScape’s thunder, there are a number of items worth mentioning in the 2020 roadmap. 

There are exciting updates planned for WhereScape RED  throughout the year, including the expected release of 9.0. Some of the key updates include support for multi-active satellites, Google BigQuery Platform support and API source connectivity for data extraction from major applications like Salesforce. The latter removes the need to use scripts outside RED. The template architecture pioneered by the New Zealand team with Snowflake will expand to all platforms.

Other enhancements coming this year include improved integration between 3D and RED, and some Command Line Interface enhancements automating common tasks for DevOps teams. Test automation integration is being explored, particularly in terms of how WhereScape can integrate these toolsets, record results and drive the testing process from the scheduler.

Test automation is a big deal; after all, testing is crucial but also expensive and time consuming. Test automation therefore is an opportunity to accelerate the viability of data warehouse projects.

Moving on to 3D, we can look forward to CI/CD automation for models, business vault automation, and import capabilities for ER/Studio. The release of 8.5 (corresponding to RED’s version) will include an improved conversion rule engine, which should make 3D simpler and easier to use. Moreover, 3D should work with data catalogues (which are coming out of the Trough of Disillusionment, with larger organisations insisting on their use).

And finally, expect version two of WhereScape’s Streaming Data Automation product this year. It will introduce data lakes and Kinesis for streaming automation targeting AWS deployments, with Azure lake support, Apache Spark ETL and Kafka KSQLl support planned for later in the year. 

Flexibility is the key

Across all its solutions, WhereScape has delivered ‘flexibility by design’. This stands RED, 3D and Streaming Data Automation in good stead particularly in an environment subject to sudden change. Further, the templated approach which separates and automates data warehouse code generation is the same process regardless of the underlying platform or technology.

Across RedShift, Azure, Snowflake or ‘YouNameIt’, WhereScape tools provide the ability to work with a variety of data sources and targets. The process of automating is essentially the same.

And now, with a strong 2020 roadmap and the dedicated backing of a far larger parent organisation with tens of thousands of customers around the world, I’m confident that we’re just starting to see the best of what’s possible with WhereScape.

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