Does Microsoft Personalize?

Our readers comment on the February 2002 issue.

Personalization Solution
I just read Clara Parkes' article (“The Power of Personalization") in the December 2001 issue. She listed Websphere and BEA as having personalization solutions. I'm wondering if there's a Microsoft-centric solution.

—Tim Kirby
BusinessWare Inc.

Yes, Microsoft has provided varying levels of personalization functionality for a few years now. There was a Personalization and Membership feature in Microsoft Site Server 2.0, and a migration kit for 2.0 and earlier data once Site Server 3.0 came out. You could also integrate this technology within IIS 4.0 or use the personalization capabilities within Commerce Server 2000 as well.

Today, with the recent release of Microsoft's Content Management Server 2001, things may be settling down. Microsoft includes a Content Connector for Commerce Server 2000, so you can combine e-commerce, personalization and content management more seamlessly. Whether this will be truly seamless, I don't know. But it's a definite start.

—Clara Parkes

Revised Opinion
In the December 2001 issue, I read an article called “Business Snapshot: The Database Market." Nicholas Wilkoff from Forrester Research is quoted as saying, “The right way is to break it [XML data] down and keep it in a relational database." I'd like to bring to your attention that Mr. Wilkoff revised his opinion (originally dated March 27, 2001) after being briefed by Software AG about our market-leading native XML database, Tamino. Here's what appeared in Computerworld, July 2001: “[A native XML database] is a solid technology for managing XML," says Nick Wilkoff, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. XML files are designed in a hierarchical fashion, which is difficult to map to a relational database's table structure, he explains. According to Forrester's research, 18 percent of the Global 3,500 use XML documents regularly, and an additional 35 percent are involved in pilot projects or are rolling out the technology. “XML is catching on as the lingua franca for data transfer and the reuse and repurposing of content," says Wilkoff.

—Frank Schoen
Director Analyst Relations

How Much Storage?
In “IT Inspirations" (November 2001) by Bob Mueller, Milton Halem noted that GSFC uses 50MB cartridges deployed in a dozen, 5,000-tape silos. New controllers will let him roughly quadruple storage density on the same cartridges, and bring total capacity up to around 5 petabytes (1,024 terabytes).

“I saw an estimate recently that the total storage capacity worldwide—everything—is just a little over 500 petabytes," Halem says. “If we go to 5 petabytes, we'll have one percent of the world's storage in just our building."

I'm sure you meant he uses 50GB cartridges rather than 50MB, right? Still, quadrupling 50GBs by 12 silos by 5,000 carts each, I get 12 petabytes ... I'm wondering how you got to 5?

—Steve Chiechi

Mr. Chiechi's eyes are sharp and his logic is sound. This one was my mistake.

—Bob Mueller