Database developers see Internet as critical

The Internet remains critical for companies accessing and collecting commercial information and dominates the plans of businesses seeking new and improved methods for tapping their mission-critical data, according to a survey of database developers carried out recently by market research company Evans Data Corp.

While the commercial Internet industry flounders, and even as IT budgets contract, database specialists see as increasingly important strategies for managing Web-based data — including real-time updating, data collection and dynamic page creation, according to the results of the survey of over 700 North American database specialists.

According to Evans Data’s Summer 2002 Database Developers survey, 72 per cent of database developers rate dynamic page creation as critical, and 72 per cent also regard automatic site updating as important.

The mobile area is also garnering attention, with 47 per cent of survey respondents indicating that they are developing database applications that support wireless or handheld devices, or plan to do so within 12 months. This figure indicates a much stronger focus on mobile Internet-based applications than was seen in last year’s survey, with PDAs (personal digital assistants) being the favored platform to develop applications for, Evans Data said.

But direct security breaches against databases have increased over the past year, with 20 per cent of respondents reporting a breach, up from 12 per cent in the last survey conducted six months ago. The most common form of attack was from external viruses, according to the survey respondents.

Many of the respondents said they had beefed up their security systems, employing a variety of methods to protect data. The most popular security technology was network authentication/firewall, used in 83 per cent of the surveyed sites, operating system-based security features (74 per cent), regular changes of passwords (63.2 per cent), built-in database security features (37.3 per cent) and directory service (27.4 per cent).