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TPC Benchmark Status
October 2000

TPC Benchmark Status is published about every two months. The first and primary purpose of the newsletter is to keep interested parties informed about the content, issues, and schedule of the TPC's benchmark development efforts. The second purpose is to invite new members to join these important development efforts. We've already outlined most of the reasons for joining the TPC in another article, Why Join. To receive the status report by email, please click here.

Last Meeting
TPC held a General Council meeting on October 18, 2000 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

TPC-C Maintenance Subcommittee
The General Council approved a new version of TPC-C that is currently in Company Review. The new version, TPC-C V5.0, primarily consists of runtime and pricing changes. The workload components of the benchmark remain unchanged.

The pricing changes adopted are:
- 3 year maintenance support pricing, down from 5 years
- Removal of terminal network pricing (hubs, switches, etc.)
- Allow pricing quotes from web pages or print materials

The current body of results can be easily upgraded to V5 by re-pricing and re-submitting.

The runtime changes incorporated are:
- 60 day disk space requirement, down from 180 days
- 2 hour measurement interval, up from 20 minutes
- Reporting checkpoint durations
- Log and report number of lost connections of users during the
measurement interval.

These requirements will be waived for the current body of results that can be upgraded to V5 (provided they meet the requirements of Clause 8.3 (2). The exception is for the disk space requirements, vendors must price the exact number of disk spindles that were used for the measurement.

The Company Review period is from October 30, 2000 until December 1, 2000. Everyone is invited to download the latest specification from the TPC's web site and provide feedback.

TPC R/H Maintenance Subcommittee
There was no R/H business conducted at the August meeting.

TPC-DS Working Group
Thirteen attendees from ten voting companies attended the TPC-DS working group meeting. During the October meeting the TPC-DS Working Group announced its intent to start the formal process of becoming a development subcommittee at the next General Council meeting in December. As a preparation for this step the TPC-DS working group continued its work in defining a new decision support benchmark. We spent most of our meeting time reviewing draft 1 of a rough benchmark specification for TPC-DS which we intend to present to the General Council in December. The result was TPC-DS rough draft 2. Following the template for decision support benchmark specifications this document covers the following areas:

Introduction (Clause 0)
Preamble (0.1)
General Implementation Guidelines (0.2)
General Measurement Guidelines (0.3)
Workload Independence (0.4)
Business and Benchmark Model (Clause 1)
Introduction (1.1)
Business Environment (1.2)
Query and User Model (1.3)
Data Refresh Model (1.4)
Logical Database Design (Clause 2)

Some of the more heavily discussed topics of the draft 2 included the business environment, the user model and the data refresh model.

TPC-W Maintenance Subcommittee
There were 10 voting member companies present. Network Appliance applied for membership to the TPC-W subcommittee at this meeting, and was granted membership status. There were several interpretation issues that were addressed, several of which resulted in wording clarification to the specification, or minor specification changes. Additionally there were pricing related questions and a few reporting questions. New wording was added to the specification to clarify all of these issues.

A heavily discussed issue centered around the use of the "Shopping Cart Data". Two main pieces of information are found in the shopping cart for TPC-W: items/cart totals, and basic customer data. The specification was unclear as to whether data which resides both in the shopping cart and in the DBMS could be obtained from the shopping cart rather than the DBMS. The specification was changed to allow the retrieval of specified customer data from the shopping cart. All of the changes made to the spec were brought forward to the General Council, and were accepted as version 1.2.

Future discussions regarding the allowance of commercially available cache products and methods are on the horizon. It is the goal of the subcommittee to provide wording in the near future that allows (and encourages) the use of commercially available cache products that are currently disallowed due to specification restrictions.

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