SAP IQ Review

Query response and data loading times are fast, but we ran into stability issues involved server crashes when attempting to answer legal SQL queries.


Valuable Features

The speed of the tool - both of the query response and the loading of data.

Improvements to My Organization

It’s the central component of our enterprise data warehouse. Queries and reports that would require hours or days from the original source systems are now available in minutes or seconds. It’s really fast!

Room for Improvement

The stability needs improvement. We’ve upgraded through multiple minor revisions because of issues where the database server would crash when attempting to answer a perfectly legal SQL query.

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Use of Solution

I've been using it for five years.

Deployment Issues

The client side of the package is a bit monolithic. We'd like to be able to roll out just the ODBC driver to client workstations through our managed desktop solution, but SAP/Sybase apparently doesn't have that capability, so we have to manually visit every workstation and install the complete client package from the DVD image.

Stability Issues

Just the stability issues referenced above. A production database server should never crash in response to user input, but Sybase IQ has repeatedly done that for us, over multiple revisions of the product.

Scalability Issues

Not yet. We haven’t had a need to expand our Sybase IQ system yet, but their multiplex architecture seems like a useful approach if/when we need to do so.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

We have to go through our systems integrator (Telus).

Technical Support:

Technical support is not good, although we actually have to go through our systems integrator (Telus), not directly to SAP/Sybase. However, the feedback from our systems integrator (Telus), is that the technical support is not great. Their first level help desk at SAP/Sybase is generally of no value for the problems we encounter, and the process of escalation to the appropriate level takes longer than it should.

Previous Solutions

This was our first solution for our enterprise data warehouse project.

Initial Setup

The initial setup was complex, because Sybase IQ is architecturally very different from Sybase ASE, which we’ve been using for over 20 years. They share the “Sybase” name, but otherwise are very different products, requiring a different approach to database administration and tuning.

Implementation Team

We used our vendor team, whose expertise was acceptable, but not outstanding.

ROI

We haven't calculated it.

Other Solutions Considered

Caveat emptor. It’s a frustratingly excellent product. When it works, the performance is amazing, but the stability issues, and the expense of the product, coupled with less than top tier technical support, should be considered when evaluating the product for your specific environment.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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