Blog & News

Flashback Friday: Charles Bachman

We currently live in a world filled with technological possibilities. Computers and software like SlashDB help us in our daily lives by providing us with information, helping us track information, and storing information – streamlining our lives, allowing us to work smarter, not harder. Flashback Friday is about acknowledging our computer science forebears, remembering their innovation and leadership, and honoring them for their accomplishments.

So let’s flashback and remember the contributions of Charles Bachman – inventor of the first database management system, an achievement that makes him uniquely qualified to be our first Flashback Friday forebear.

Charles Bachman, while not as well-known as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs (whose death has done nothing to diminish his media presence), is still a true leader in the field of computer science. Bachman was developing software before developers were a thing. In fact he is credited with creating the first database management system ever in 1963 while working at General Electric.1

Bachman created the Integrated Data Store (IDS), a database management system that is still influential today. One of the most striking facts about Bachman is that his ideas about databases, now more than 50 years old, are conceptually similar to today’s API and linked data. In fact SlashDB implements his concept, albeit using modern technology (SQL database for a backend and HTTP for transport protocol).

Bachman’s visionary database management system allowed files to be located and modified without the need for the programs to be rewritten when accessing files. IDS accomplished this feat by using a separate data dictionary which allowed users to track data and study relationships between data in different records. 2 For example data on clients and data on manufacturing orders could be easily compared and tracked. This was an innovative movement toward integrating varied types of data that allowed the computer to become a tool for managing information.

An example of a Bachman diagram.

An example of a Bachman diagram.

Interestingly enough, SlashDB is not the only one making use of Bachman’s ideas today. Database designers even now rely on graphical tools or data structure diagrams to illustrate the complex data structures they use.3 These diagrams are called Bachman diagrams as he was the first to use this method.

So after his amazing contribution to the field of computer science, why hasn’t a film about Bachman been made – a tale of the strikingly innovative computer geek in the tradition of The Social Network and the soon to be released Steve Jobs film? There’s no clear answer to this. We can only hope that Bachman has a sufficiently emotionally complicated backstory to warrant such a film – fingers crossed.

So let’s take a moment to examine the man behind this huge contribution to computer science.

Charles Bachman was an engineer rather than a computer scientist, although his greatest contribution is to computer science rather than engineering. Bachman’s exceptional contribution to database technology hasn’t gone completely unnoticed (despite the absence of a film chronicling his invention). In 1973 Bachman became the 8th recipient of the A.M. Turing Award 4– the highest honor in the field of computer science, and doubly appropriate as an homage to Turing himself (an undoubtedly influential computer scientist – who incidentally has three films, a documentary, a play, and a novel based on him) and for its closeness to the word turning, as recipients’ work represents a specific turning point in the field of computer science.

While a film on Bachman has not yet been made, he is far from being forgotten. In 2014 President Barack Obama awarded Bachman the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.5 Let’s hope that a movie is soon to follow this huge honor.

  1. Thomas Haigh, “Fifty Years of Databases,” ACM SIGMOD Blog, December 11, 2012.
  2. Thomas Haigh, “A.M. Turing Award Winners,” ACM, accessed September 17, 2015.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Thomas Haigh, “Fifty Years of Databases,” ACM SIGMOD Blog, December 11, 2012.
  5. “Charles W. Bachman,” Computer History Museum, accessed September 17, 2015.,Bachman/.
CIOReview: API as a Foundation for Systems of Engagement

CIOReview: API as a Foundation for Systems of Engagement

Influential technology management magazine CIOReview features two-page opinion piece from SlashDB’s founder and CEO Victor Olex: “APIs as a Foundation for Systems of Engagement“.

Whereas cloud-to-cloud benefits of APIs have been covered at length elsewhere, Mr. Olex looks at APIs from the perspective of larger organizations with legacy systems on premises.

Learn how enterprises extend those systems to the cloud, why this is taking place, and why APIs are the enabling technology. Find out the difference between resource vs. service oriented architectures.

Under ROA data resources should be uniformly accessible to both software engineers and domain knowledge workers (data scientists,
business intelligence, quantitative analysts and salespeople.

What do Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and have to do with your  enterprise systems? Consider the implications of leveraging third-party cloud-based systems.

(…) no matter how compelling and easy to use those (SaaS) apps are, they are disconnected from your business’ systems
of record. Working in isolation they cannot fully support custom business processes.

cxo insightsYou can download the reprint of whole article from here:


SlashDB is an API gateway for databases and a key component in solutions for extending legacy client/server systems into cloud, mobile and Big Data applications. Questions about API, data management or cloud applications? Please contact us for a free consultation.

The Database Search Engine: Your Information Librarian

Navigating databases can be tough. This can be true for Computer Wizards and Average Joes alike. Whether it’s the way your data is organized, or simply the amount of data you keep track of, it can be difficult to keep it all in your head. This is frustrating because the goal of a database is to organize. To provide you with a structure in which you can organize and store all of your data. A library for all of your books.

But if your library is too big, or too full of volumes, it’s hard to find what you’re looking for. I’ll put the metaphor on hold here because I think you get the point. When you want to find a particular piece of data, sometimes the bare-bones structure of your database isn’t enough to get you where you want to go quickly and efficiently.

We know, from the last post, that SlashDB provides an interface that allows you to navigate the pathways of your database using a web browser. Take a look at the screen cap below, which shows how we can navigate the Chinook database using SlashDB (you can also give it a try yourself on the demo page):

Data Discovery 1

Just choose your preferred method of data representation and you’re in. This is great but, if I can revive the previously paused metaphor, we’re basically just walking through the halls of the library at this point. Sure, you can follow the signs, but you can’t always see what’s around the corner/at the end of the hall/over the hill (you get the idea). If you’re looking for something that isn’t directly related to the page you’re on now, you might not know how to get where you need to be.

Now, you could try to get where you’re headed by querying the database using code. In the last post, we searched for the albums by Santana. This time, let’s look for songs by Alanis Morissette. We’ll start with a normal database query:

SELECT Track.*
FROM Artist
INNER JOIN Album ON Artist.ArtistId = Album.ArtistId
INNER JOIN Album ON Album.AlbumId = Track.AlbumId
WHERE Artist.Name = ‘Alanis Morissette’

Admittedly, that’s only five lines of query code. Not too difficult, but one would still have to know how to query databases in order to use this method. If you’re a database administrator, that’s fine. But, if you’re a database administrator trying to tell someone else how to find information in your database, there’s a lot more potential for frustration. Using SQL code is like using the Dewey Decimal System in a library. It’s robust, it’s useful, and the Average Joe knows it can be done, but may not know how to do it.

Here’s how we would do it using the API data discovery method:

API Path Stacked

We arrive at API’s HTML representation of the same data:

Pretty straight forward, but can we make it even more user friendly?

Luckily, we have this as well:

Search Bar

You know it as well as I do. As well as everyone who has ever tried to navigate the World Wide Web before. It’s a search engine, the internet’s librarian. Type in a keyword, ask it a question, employ Boolean operators if you want. This tool will take your words, crawl over web pages, and bring you back the best results it can.

Like I said, SlashDB provides its users with an easily navigable API. And, because it represents your database as web pages, using a custom Google search bar makes finding your data a breeze.

search results Alanis

You can easily reach the albums (and tracks) page for Alanis Morissette if you click on any of the above results.

Same destination, same results, but you’ll notice that the effort and complexity involved decreases with each example. The search engine will let anyone (well, anyone that has the correct permissions, of course) find the information they need quickly, even if they don’t know the ins and outs of database structure.

The librarian saves time. Thus, the librarian saves money. Interested in giving it a go? Try the demo and give the search engine a whirl. Remember, it’s customizable for particular databases, making it a useful tool for any organization.

Graph Façade API over Relational Data

Writing SQL queries can be a lot of work. This work feels especially tedious if you made upfront investment into designing a well normalized database model. With all those relationships already declared, why must we specify all those JOIN statements in queries again?

Consider this database model for an online music store. It has tables for Artists, Albums and Tracks among others. Every Artist can have multiple Albums, and every Album can have multiple Tracks.


Now, suppose we are building a web or mobile application and want to present our users with a rich browsing interface to our music store. For example, we may want a feature, which allows users to browse for music from their favorite Artist. Here’s how you would accomplish this using automatically generated API from SlashDB.

First, GET all Artists (records from table Artist in database Chinook):

curl -H "Accept: application/json"

"Album": {
"__href": "/db/Chinook/Album/ArtistId/1.json"
"ArtistId": 1,
"Name": "AC/DC",
"__href": "/db/Chinook/Artist/ArtistId/1.json"
"Album": {
"__href": "/db/Chinook/Album/ArtistId/2.json"
"ArtistId": 2,
"Name": "Accept",
"__href": "/db/Chinook/Artist/ArtistId/2.json"


"Album": {
"__href": "/db/Chinook/Album/ArtistId/59.json"
"ArtistId": 59,
"Name": "Santana",
"__href": "/db/Chinook/Artist/ArtistId/59.json"



That was easy. The above URL renders HTML by default, so we can look at the data, and visually ascertain if that is what we need. Using curl we additionally send “Accept: application/json” header in order to examine the same resource as JSON objects. Alternatively, we could simply end our URL with “.json” file extension.

Did you know that SlashDB allows you to automatically reflect database table relationships into a hyperlinked REST API? No queries, no tedious object mapping, all automated and ready to use.

Suppose a user is interested in Santana’s music, thus we need to GET all Albums from Santana:

curl -H "Accept: application/json"
 "__href": "/db/Chinook/Album/AlbumId/46.json",
 "Title": "Supernatural",
 "Track": {
 "__href": "/db/Chinook/Track/AlbumId/46.json"
 "Artist": {
 "__href": "/db/Chinook/Artist/ArtistId/59.json"
 "AlbumId": 46,
 "ArtistId": 59
 "__href": "/db/Chinook/Album/AlbumId/197.json",
 "Title": "Santana - As Years Go By",
 "Track": {
 "__href": "/db/Chinook/Track/AlbumId/197.json"
 "Artist": {
 "__href": "/db/Chinook/Artist/ArtistId/59.json"
 "AlbumId": 197,
 "ArtistId": 59
 "__href": "/db/Chinook/Album/AlbumId/198.json",
 "Title": "Santana Live",
 "Track": {
 "__href": "/db/Chinook/Track/AlbumId/198.json"
 "Artist": {
 "__href": "/db/Chinook/Artist/ArtistId/59.json"
 "AlbumId": 198,
 "ArtistId": 59

We begin from the previous context (the Artist table) and add filtering by Artist’s name (Name/Santana). In SQL terms the equivalent clause would be

WHERE Name = 'Santana'

Since the tables Artist and Album are related, SlashDB automatically lets you traverse that relationship. All we need to do is append /Album to the URL. In SQL we would write it as

JOIN Album ON Artist.ArtistId = Album.ArtistId

Notice how the API also “advertises” possible relationships for each Album record using the __href attribute. The one under the Track field, leads – you guessed it – to the list of Tracks for the given Album.

curl -H "Accept: application/json"

Think of __href attributes as edges in a graph of which nodes are actual data resources. If this seems familiar to crawling the web, that is because it is – a web of data.

This is just one of many ways, in which SlashDB makes working with databases fun and easy. Subscribe to this blog to discover them all. Then try SlashDB with your databases on:


SlashDB ver. 0.8 Debuts on Microsoft Azure

The latest version of SlashDB launches on Microsoft’s cloud — a direct result of a partnership agreement between VT Enterprise and Microsoft. Pricing starts at $0/hr.

SlashDB is an automatic REST API for databases. The product instantly enhances existing web-based systems with a flexible data API for reading and writing in JSON, XML and CSV formats. Using SlashDB, web businesses achieve the shortest time to market for their API initiatives in marketing, e-commerce or data monetization programs. Enterprise clients utilize SlashDB to enable traditional client/server systems to work with modern HTML5 and mobile front-ends.

Indisputable Return on Investment

Microsoft_Azure_CertifiedUp to 90% of API development time can be saved by deploying SlashDB software. With the instant availability and pay-as-you-go per-minute billing for SlashDB on Azure there is no delay to start an API project and no upfront costs for hardware, networking and software development.

SlashDB clients report $30-$40k in savings per annum per developer. Developers can often entirely avoid boiler-plate data access code in Java Enterprise Edition (JEE), Microsoft .NET, PHP, object relational mappers (ORM) or other code-heavy approaches. Repetitive work is avoided due to SlashDB’s unique ability to automatically emerge new API endpoints as new tables are added or changed in the database.

What’s New in Version 0.8


SlashDB version 0.8 is immediately available from Microsoft Azure Marketplace and for on-premises installation. Version 0.7 is also available on Amazon Web Services with the update coming soon.

UPDATE: AWS Marketplace has the latest version now too.

SlashDB Puts 2014 to REST

We are saying our goodbyes to 2014 with the final update to version 0.7 of SlashDB. Amazing new features await in 0.8, so stay tuned, but in the meantime, here’s…

What’s New

SlashDB ver. 0.7.39

Final revision of the 0.7 version contains over 20 improvements and fixes including:

  • Improved conformance to REST/HTTP standard by adding support for Accept header
  • Bundled support for IBM DB2
  • Improvements to database configuration GUI
  • Improved warning and error messages in admin’s GUI
  • Improved handling of date/time types for update
  • Fixed certain minor GUI issues (i.e. database dropdown, login box, sorting)
  • Fixed incorrect handling of boolean fields and empty values in CSV data upload
  • Fixed certain issues with XML representation of the NUMBER data type
  • Stronger user-resource authorization

R Stands for Representation

The “R” in REST stands for representation of a resource. While the vast majority of APIs can only output a JSON format, SlashDB from the very first version emphasized the need to provide alternative representations. We are pragmatic programmers, so the requested representation could be conveniently specified as a “file extension” in the URL:

The problem with this approach is that it commingles resource identification with representation. One could argue that the above are four distinct resources because each uniform resource locator (URL) is different.

The solution to this is already designed into the HTTP protocol as the “Accept” header. From this version onwards SlashDB fully supports it (but we will keep the old way forever). And so, the Playlist resource identifier becomes:

By default an HTML representation will be returned, so to select an alternative representation, send the desired content type with your request. Here’s how to do that with a popular command line tool curl:

curl -H "Accept: text/xml"
curl -H "Accept: application/json"
curl -H "Accept: text/csv"
curl -H "Accept: text/html"

So there you have it. Now you can pick your way: strictly REST/HTTP correct or convenient.

Happy New Year

Thank you for your support all year and have a happy and prosperous 2015!

Is Software as a Service a Good Choice for Your Business?

Does your business utilize online tools to increase productivity or access functionality not easily available from desktop software? Chances are the answer is yes and that you have heard of SaaS, but are you aware of risks and dangers associated with it and how to avoid them?

SaaS is the acronym for “software as a service” and it has exploded in popularity as Internet speeds increase and data sharing booms. Businesses have become reliant on web applications and services for various aspects of their business from operations to marketing, to R&D and even finance. There are pros and cons to this type of relationship and its best to have an understanding of that balance in order to make an informed decision.

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

SaaS illustration - cloud with lighting.SaaS companies usually bill on a monthly basis and strive to keep clients dependent on their service. This can be a cost effective option to reduce capital outlays, but keep in mind that the SaaS provider is constantly changing their software or can shut down without warning.

In the case of, this company was launched and closed so fast users were left scrambling. Repost developed a business model that strived to increase exposure for publishers that are faced with the challenge to increase exposure for their content. This launch sounded great and filled a gap in the industry, so businesses shifted their strategy to include and allocated a lot of time, money and resources only discover that the doors were going to shut down within a year of the launch. This demonstrates an inherent risk, but it is generally less expensive for a business to take this risk than to develop their own syndication software from scratch. The key is to be aware of this risk and make sure your business can quickly absorb any change.

Wait for It

Even when dealing with stable SaaS companies the relationship is not without issues. Successful SaaS startups are often challenged by providing consistent performance as the service grows in popularity. It has been proven much harder to develop truly scalable, multi-tenant distributed software for third party’s use than even a large enterprise-scale system for internal use, where many issues such as security, feature adoption and business process integration typically are well defined by existing solutions and established best practices.

Data Silos

Because SaaS products generally tend to serve only a single purpose, a business that utilizes many of these services is not only paying multiple subscription fees on a recurring basis, but also ends up with its mission critical data segmented across the web on various platforms. REST API integration services such as Zapier and IFTTT can be used to mitigate that problem to some degree, but again a business would be adding another service provider to the mix and another layer of complexity to its technology operations. It is evident that flexibility of keeping data in the cloud has proven to be valuable. That being said, it is worth taking time to review where your business’ potential liabilities and exposures exist so you make the right decisions.

Custom Tailored Solutions in the Cloud

The flip side is cloud services that actually bring amazing advances to a business and reduce costs, allowing for things never before possible. Let’s take a look at Amazon Web Services,  a reputable and stable platform that offers scalable computing infrastructure. While technically an Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), AWS has a gamut of add-on services, which put it way ahead of traditional web hosting and co-location facilities.

One such service is the Amazon Web Services Marketplace. AWS Marketplace is an online store that helps customers find, buy, and immediately start using the software and services that run in Amazon EC2 cloud. Many businesses leverage AWS Marketplace to receive the benefits of SaaS without relinquishing control over the software upgrade cycle, security setup, and integration capabilities. Enterprise quality software from established providers such as Oracle and Microsoft can be used together with bleeding edge solutions from smaller independent software vendors and Amazon’s own web services.

Customers of SlashDB have taken advantage of its availability in AWS Marketplace knowing that the underpinning computing infrastructure will allow for massive scalability and robustness.  At the same time those customers retain full control over software upgrades and have an option to migrate and/or integrate with internal data center, if required. SlashDB instantly adds a REST API to traditional SQL databases for reading and writing in JSON, XML, CSV and HTML formats. It has found applications in enterprise data integration, syncing internal databases with their cloud replicas and as a data gateway for web and mobile enterprise applications.

Survival of the Fittest

Taking into account all the factors will help create a business environment that uses the latest technologies while balancing their own data security needs. As time passes and more businesses continue to embrace software as a service the strongest providers will prevail, making the overall system increasingly more secure and reliable. At the same time the need for API integration will only increase. This dance between business and technology is the driving force behind all the latest innovations, so stay informed and good luck with your next SaaS choice.

SlashDB Donates to OpenSSL Software Foundation

Today SlashDB (VT Enterprise LLC) mailed a check with the contribution of $2,304 to The OpenSSL Software Foundation. The funds were raised from our “I Heartbleed OpenSSL” t-shirt sale campaigns, which ran in April and May, contributing $2,048 and $256 dollars respectively.

Check for OpenSSL Foundation

Says Victor Olex, founder and CEO of VT Enterprise and SlashDB: “It is with great pleasure and a sense of obligation that we present OpenSSL with this donation. VT Enterprise is software consulting company and an independent software vendor. Our products, such as SlashDB often integrate with OpenSSL to provide encryption for web interfaces and APIs. We thank the Foundation for their stewardship and continued development of this important product.”

Just the same we thank everybody who purchased the t-shirts and hope that you enjoy wearing it! This donation would not have been possible without you.

SlashDB Sponsors National Day of Civic Hacking

Yesterday, we participated as a sponsor in the National Day of Civic Hacking hackathon in Jersey City, NJ. The event was organized by OpenJC and Code for Newark, which are local chapters (brigades) of Code for America, a non-profit that helps residents and governments harness technology to solve community problems. We feel privileged to be in a position to provide support to groups and initiatives like that. Microsoft and Code for America co-sponsored the event.

Hackathon, Jersey City, National Day of Civic Hacking

Victoria Nece (pictured standing up) took the first prize: a Microsoft XBox game console and a full year license to SlashDB Standard.

Victoria developed a system for combining and converting disparate transport data sources into one standards compliant JSON resource. She demonstrated her work by plotting various transit lines on a map and explained how it could be further refined. Although her product was not the flashiest presentation of the night, judges reasoned that her work carried the greatest positive forward impact as a foundation for future transit web applications development.

Milen Pavlov (far right, sitting hunched over his laptop) took the second prize: a $100 and a 6 month license to SlashDB Standard.

Milen utilized General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data from Metro North, NJ Transit, New York Waterways and other local transportation providers. He stunned the audiences with animated real time simulation of trains moving on the map. We were impressed with how much he accomplished in just one seating as the application contained advanced features such as the map window automatically scrolling along a moving train icon.

We congratulate both prize winners and everybody else who participated in the event. It certainly does take a special kind of drive to spend the entire beautiful sunny Saturday inside, hunched over your laptop coding. Those are our kind of people.

Just the same, we applaud officials from the City of Jersey City, Hoboken and NY/NJ Port Authority who also devoted their personal time to support and/or judge the event. Last but not least, we thank the hackathon organizers for inviting us to sponsor the event.

SlashDB Launches a YouTube Channel

Learn about SlashDB, data integration and web APIs from SlashDB YouTube Channel. Here are some videos from our All about SlashDB playlist:

What is SlashDB?

SlashDB explained in just over a minute.

How to Setup SlashDB?

Did you know that it literally can take just minutes to setup SlashDB for your database? From zero to API in under and hour, on premises or in the cloud.

How to Use SlashDB?

Watch how intuitive SlashDB API. Anybody with basic browser skills can use it. Experience database search, use it for systems integration or use it as a backend for your web and mobile apps.

I Heartbleed OpenSSL

heartbleed-t-shirtThe vulnerability in OpenSSL has shocked the Internet community and has reverberated up and down society layers worldwide.

UPDATE 25-Apr-2014: After our original campaign ended oversubscribed we got featured in the New York Times. Now, by popular demand we are relaunching the campaign for 200 more t-shirts.

Is Open Source Safe?

Can the free and open source be trusted? How come the bug could stay hidden for over two years? Was it introduced intentionally? Those are some of the questions many are asking, but are those fair questions?

Because the code for OpenSSL is publicly available along with its change history, anyone can track down the change to date and time it was introduced and to the individual who committed the code. Only those who do nothing do not make mistakes. It is easier to point fingers and assign the blame than it is to effect positive change.

On the other hand, the open source promise of achieving higher quality and security by having multiple pairs of eyeballs reviewing and scrutinizing the code has to be questioned.

In reality most of the open source users are takers. A very small percentage contribute anything and only a fraction of those will care to thoroughly review their (or others’) contributions in context of the overall code base. In OpenSSL’s case that’s over 450,000 lines of code. Corporate-sponsored open source projects tend to do a better job of providing direction for the project and vetting the contributions because their brand name is often on the line. Purely community-driven projects often lack any formal organization and see a lot of arguments over features, endless flame wars on mailing lists and unavoidable attrition of talent as they get frustrated and/or busy with their paid careers.

Get a T-Shirt, Help the Cause

Did you know that the OpenSSL Foundation is not even organized as a non-profit? No wonder they are said to only attract $2,000 a year in donations. They are also the stewards of largely invisible product, unlike say Mozilla, who makes a popular Firefox web browser, so most people simply never even heard of their mission.

Let’s help them out. We are hoping to send the foundation at least a $1,000 and we need your help. We have launched a T-shirt campaign at (or click the image above). Please participate and share the message.

SlashDB API for Data Science vs. Tools Like Oracle BI

We are often asked how SlashDB compares to Oracle BI or other business intelligence software.

Well, the main difference is that SlashDB provides unobstructed access to data for reading and writing, while those tools can only display data already nicely formatted for end users.

In addition to that SlashDB works both internally and does not require you to send data to a third party storage to make it available on the Internet. Oracle BI generally only works on the inside, and cloud-based SaaS products generally require you to upload your data to their storage in a format that fits their systems.

SlashDB is an instant web API shell over traditional databases. Unlike data warehouses and ETL, it does not copy the data form their source systems so the data is always up to date. Oracle BI requires setting up complicated ETL processes, which only run periodically and create copies of data.

Transparency of Research Matters

SlashDB is an excellent gateway to data for downstream analytics systems and self-service reporting in Excel, R, Python and more.

Fragment of the Research DocumentOur friends at PyStreet have recently conducted a survey on Python developers salary. The response data resides in an MS SQL Server database, but they wanted to publish the results online. They also wanted to demonstrate Python’s capability in data analysis.

Using SlashDB they made the database publicly accessible for reading via HTTP.

Then using IPhython Notebook and pandas data analysis library they produced a fully transparent research document, which was later shared online.

The notebook can not only be viewed, but also downloaded and modified.

Both the raw data and their transformations can be scrutinized and/or modified. For example, certain data points were removed from the study, but one can change those criteria or skip that step entirely. BI tools typically do not offer that degree of transparency.

SlashDB is industry independent. At last, your data scientists and business analysts will be empowered to leverage investments made in database systems. Use it with sales records, marketing campaign data, financial data or any other key performance indicator data to derive insights that matter.

Innovative Technology is Best Absorbed with Breakfast

Get up early and meet New York Tech Innovators in a monthly breakfast event, where up to five different technologists demo their technologies from a wide range of industries ranging from software to hardware, IT to Biotech, robotics to space tech.

Next Event: February 11th, 8am @AOL

770 Broadway, 6th Floor, New York, NY
(Entrance on 9th St).

RSVP here:


8:00 – 8:15 – Get yer Bagels & Coffee and chit-chat

8:15 – 8:20 – Introductions, Sponsors, Announcements

8:20 – ~9:30 – Showcases and Shout-Outs!

• Priori Legal – Kimberly Palsson

• Try the World – Kat Vorotova

Eventstagram – A. J. Veleta

• SlashDB – Victor Olex

• Votopin – Kaiyi Chu

We are pleased to share the stage with those fearless entrepreneurs and are looking forward to the event.

SlashDB Airzooka Raffle at PyData

Welcome back, here’s a short blast from the past, a video featuring SlashDB that we just discovered on the web.

In November last year we were proud sponsors of the PyData conference. In this lightning talk we are outlining SlashDB’s main benefits. After the presentation we are using random number generator in Google Spreadsheet to raffle-off an Airzooka gun.

How Bloomberg Uses REST APIs

Bloomberg Industry Leaderboard Uses REST API for Financial Data Visualization; Imagine What You Could be Doing with Your Data Assets

If you have visited Bloomberg’s website lately you may have noticed a new tool called Bloomberg Industry Leaderboard, which is a part of their Visual Data site. The Leaderboard presents fundamental data about 600 leading global corporations in a visually attractive manner. Visualization techniques such as tree map, colored grid and rankings are all dynamically configurable, and results are sorted on the fly.



While the concept of presenting fundamental metrics in similar ways is not new, and there are many websites with similar data and visualization, the technical details behind the site are worth examining a bit closer.

Traditionally, data-driven  web pages respond to users input (clicks) by requesting from the web server a fully prepared page, coded in HTML for the browser to render. This typically results with reloading of the entire page upon each interaction or (more recently) with replacing fragments of existing HTML with new ones. In contrast, Bloomberg’s site uses REST/HTTP API to get raw data, which the browser then combines with a shell HTML page using Javascript and Cascading Style Sheets.

For us what is even more interesting is that Bloomberg seems to follow a very similar approach to that of SlashDB. Here’s an example of companies broken down industry and ranked by operating margin and estimated net income growth: (HTML representation) (underlying data)

By comparison, SlashDB links (to an unrelated data set) look as follows: (HTML representation) (underlying data)

Imagine what you could do by layering SlashDB on top of your data. Use it internally for data federation, database search and self-service reporting, or deliver data to the web and mobile apps, or even offer your data assets for sale. Either way, the time to market is about an order of magnitude shorter than custom developed solutions, as our customers have attested. SlashDB is also more versatile as it allows for reading and writing of data and provides alternative data formats. It just as easily integrates with Excel, R, Matlab and enterprise systems as it does with the web.

As you may know, the idea for SlashDB was conceived out of the issues with access to market data in large investment banks. Had Bloomberg used SlashDB, they could have saved a ton of time and money.

Try /db Risk Free

If you would like to learn more about SlashDB or to discuss REST APIs in finance or in general, please contact us. You can also register here to try our product risk free.

20 Business Models for Web APIs and How to Be Ready

Whether your are aiming for driving innovation, building partnerships or for an opportunity to expand your service or product, you need to know about business models that can be adopted to accomplish your goals with web APIs.

Our own clients typically begin with just one business reason for building an API, but they are ready for any change in business requirements with little additional effort. SlashDB provides unobstructed access to their data assets via an instant web API.

Enable web and mobile applications for reading and writing, improve data management internally or provide on-demand data feeds in standard formats.

One of the most interesting resources about the business of APIs is this presentation from the first API Strategy & Practice conference: “API Business Models” by John Musser, founder of ProgrammableWeb. Find out what API business models are used by Sprint, Expedia, Google, Netflix, Facebook, New York Times, Amazon, PayPal,, Intuit and other online business leaders.

Leaders From FullContact,, Urban Mapping and SlashDB Discuss the Future of Data

Victor Olex represented the SlashDB team on a panel about the future of data at the API Strategy & Practice conference. See the video below for  an hour-long session of different perspectives on the topic or fast forward to minute 44 for the best part 😉

We thank the organizers API Evangelist and 3Scale for the opportunity to share our thoughts this way and feel privileged to share the stage with such renowned speakers and business leaders. Here’s the complete rundown of the video:

APIs and The Future of Data @ APIStrat. For more videos from the conference head over to YouTube.

Data Scientists Descend on New York to Attend PyData 2013

PyData Conference beings Nov. 8th and runs through Sunday, Nov 10th at JPMorgan’s offices downtown Manhattan. Hundreds of data scientists, engineers and analysts are expected to attend this unique and highly technical event.

SlashDB a Proud Sponsor

Banner: SlashDB instantly adds a web API to your databaseData science and quantitative analysis are huge use cases for SlashDB, and we are very pleased to be able to provide sponsorship for PyData.

Instead of wrangling with access to data, scientists turn to SlashDB to access unobstructed data from disparate sources under standard data formats for reading and writing via REST/HTTP API, directly from their tool of choice. This translates to time savings and avoidance of repetitive coding, especially when the same data must be used in several tools and applications.

Special Offer, Do Not Miss Out – Extended FREE Trial

For those who stop by our booth at PyData and/or fully fill out this web form we are offering an extended 3 month FREE trial of SlashDB!

Why Python?

Python just “fits your brain”. Many data scientists and quantitative analysts select Python as the programming language of choice, and we fully understand why. This multi-paradigm language helps avoid code cruft, runs fast and comes with rich data structures and libraries.

Not only is SlashDB straight-forward to use from Python but it is also the language used for customizing its behavior. By default, SlashDB automatically generates a RESTful web service out of existing databases, which results in a web API, which closely follows database structures. This is often desired because it promotes data transparency and provides building blocks for business solutions but in some cases databases can have less then perfect design. Using Python, that auto-generated data model can be overridden to hide those imperfections or add functionality.

Register for PyData

There may be still tickets available, but they have been selling fast so don’t delay and head over to the registration page.

(UPDATE) Sorry the conference is completely SOLD OUT. Even if you cannot make it to the conference, just completely fill out this web form and we will honor your registration and reward you with a 3 month free license.

Are Resource Oriented Architectures the Future of Data APIs?

Fresh from the API Strategy & Practice – slides from The Future of Data session.

apistrat-future-of-dataSlashDB’s founder Victor Olex gave talk on this topic at the API Strategy & Practice conference yesterday.

Where service oriented APIs are designed around business functions, resource oriented architectures are about providing unobstructed access to data assets. They are complementary and have distinct uses and trade-offs.

One participant remarked that the talk was in Tim O’Reilly style, entertaining but also with a solid basis in facts and history. We take it as the highest compliment.

Slides & Video

We are making the slides available here in PDF and PowerPoint Show formats. As soon as a the video comes out we will share it on this blog so stay tuned (subscribe form on the sidebar).

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