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TrackVia Launches Cloud Database Application Platform For SMBs

Simplified online interface can be used by a business user without relational database administration experience, says company CEO.

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8 Big Data Deployments In Detail
TrackVia, a four-year online supplier of database services, has decided to become a database application development platform. CEO Matt McAdams said Wednesday that his service was expanding into building applications for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) due to the level of supporting services that can be provided today in the cloud.

TrackVia will offer an online application platform with a wizard to import data from and export to Excel spreadsheets and a hosted service for adding data from web-form entries. It will collect data from e-mail and offer an API for users to upload data as a form of self service, according to information posted to TrackVia's website.

The TrackVia platform will be built atop the open source LAMP stack, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the MySQL database, Apache Web server, and Perl language part of its underlying structure. It has built a user interface to the stack and given access control and audit tracking capabilities to the small business user.

McAdams said TrackVia was convinced it could become an application platform after business executives at both Brinks and Honda quickly built needed applications with TrackVia technical support and readily available components that they came up with on their own. "They stood up a business application without involving IT," noted McAdams. TrackVia added reporting, dashboards, alerting, notification, and analysis and visualization features to the basic database service to build out the platform.

The main element of the user interface is a data canvas where a user can gather the data he wishes to work with, store it, analyze it, manipulate it, and apply productivity tools, such as search, spreadsheet, filter building, graphs and charts, or data de-duplication.

McAdams said small business database application services are available online from other sources but they typically require the user to understand a relational database schema. TrackVia sought a simpler interface that could be used by a business user without relational database administration experience.

Among other things, the TrackVia application builder can direct that customer address information be loaded onto a Google Map through a mash-up feature to show customer locations.

When car sales stalled in the 2008 financial crisis, Honda found itself with new models in the United States that were being turned away by dealers, whose lots were full. It stored them on lots in the dry Southwest but needed to quickly establish a maintenance force and maintenance schedule to keep the cars in prime shape. If the car sat on the lot for 30 days, for example, its battery was disconnected. If it sat there 90 days, the transmission fluid was drained until it appeared to be headed off the lot.

The new application, built by a Honda VP using TrackVia, tracked and maintained $100 million in unexpected inventory that was outside Honda's dealer network, McAdams said in an interview. "He stood the application up in a week," he noted. The inventory has since been drawn down and the need for the application diminished.

The TrackVia Application Platform is available at a price of $99 a month for a five-user, basic workgroup edition; $249 a month for a 10-user professional edition, and $4,999 a month for an enterprise edition for 500 users.

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