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LabVIEW and Financial Database

Posted on 2009-04-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Does anyone know if LabVIEW is appropriate for financial database applications?  Basically, I am looking to build a solution that downloads 20 years worth of financial statements from a Wall Street data provider.  Then perform proprietary calculations and make this available to query to my clients who are portfolio managers.

One proposal I got was from a LabVIEW expert so i wanted to find out unbiasedly if the developer community would use LabVIEW for this type of application.  
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Question by:Matt_Kacur
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Bill Bach earned 1500 total points
ID: 24101135
I suppose it depends on the types of analyses that you are doing.  My first thought for statistical analysis would almost always be SPSS, but perhaps LabVIEW Full has enough mathematical functions to handle the job.  LabVIEW, as its name implies, was designed as a data collection and control tool, with additional math functions.  As the newer versions handle multi-core systems pretty well, performance should be ok with LabVIEW.  Of course, the related question is the cost of the software package, the cost for annual support and maintenance, the budget of the project, and more.  Don't forget the cost of maintaining the actual code that is written, too.  If you're not a LabVIEW expert, then you may find yourself relying on one to get changes made.  The same can be said of SPSS, of course.  
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Author Comment

by:Matt_Kacur
ID: 24101232
I am not so much worried about LabVIEW for calculations, but for an entire solution.   Does it really makes sense to run what amounts to a database and retrieval system in LabVIEW?  Doesn't a Microsoft Sequel and MS Integration software make more sense?
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LVL 28

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by:Bill Bach
Bill Bach earned 1500 total points
ID: 24101360
The ultimate question should simply be: Does it work, as fast as needed, on budget?  Any implementation details beyond that shouldn't really matter, especially to the end-user clients.

It is really about choosing the best tool for the job.  There are a number of rapid application development tools which allow for fast prototyping of entire environments, and LabVIEW is certainly one of those.  If you are building a single solution with a single set of requirements, then I honestly think that it doesn't matter -- see paragraph 1 above.  However, if your needs are fluid -- meaning that you're going to start with one type of data and analysis now, then change it and allow another type later on, and then add more data later on, then having a system that is as flexible as possible would make the most sense.  

It is also important to look at the amount of data involved.  If you're talking a few hundred MB, then who cares?  Anything will handle it.   If, however, you're talking about GB's of data now, with lots more to be added in the future, then you'll likely want a full-fledged database manager behind it.  MS SQL Server, Oracle, Pervasive PSQL, MySQL -- anything that gets the job done.  Just pick the "right" tool for the job that satisfies the original criteria.

As for whether it makes sense to do this in LabVIEW or not -- it would likely require a lot more definition of the problem to really analyze it further.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Matt_Kacur
ID: 31577387
I don't really like rating someone who knows more than myself.  And perhaps the question really needs more exploration.  However, it seems like a vague answer to me and "that anything will do the job."  Furthermore, I really doubt that LabVIEW is right for this job as in the end I need a web application requiring modern web technologies like .net and php, etc.  LabVIEW is for Labs, machine shops, fuel pumps and engeering solutions where data needs to be streamed from a mechanical devices. My developers instance on using LabVIEW makes me uncomfortable. I believe that's the only technology he really knows, so he is pushing something he is comfortable with and not the right technology for the job.  In the end, he lost the bid anyhow and I am using .net platform.
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