When Push Comes to Shove

For the last two years or so, the phrase "push technology" has been thrown around. "Pull technology"-the opposite of puch--is the traditional way of performing business intelligence. Users log onto a data warehouse and use a business intelligence tool to analyze data in whatever way they want to. Users need to define the reports and views that they want and interactively perform analysis. The problem with pull technology is that in order to use it, a user must be able to define reports and understand a reporting tool.

Push technology, on the other hand, pushes the information that subscribers need out to them. For example, a user may go into a reporting menu once, choose a report or a set of reports that is of interest, define specific conditions on the report and subscribe to that report. This report will then be automatically pushed out to the user via e-mail or a web browser on a periodic basis. These days that model has been extended even further to include pagers, cell phones and fax machines. One example of this is stocks, where users can define certain conditions and request a notice if the stock performs in a certain way. Push technology allows this information to be pushed out to the users instantaneously when those conditions are met! Push technology allows users to find the information that they want once and subscribe to that information to receive it on…


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