DataExchanger gets databases talking

DataExchanger gets databases talking

One of the challenges that IT professionals face is getting diversified components to work together. This is especially difficult when it comes to compatibility among database systems because, despite the unifying promises of ODBC and SQL, transparency among databases is still a dream. Any administrator knows that replicating a table among databases works smoothly only if the source and target data structures are from the same vendor.

For heterogeneous replications, you are likely to need additional software and effort.

A recently released product from Cross DataBase Technology promises to make those reluctant products cooperate by providing an ODBC-based common management point for all your databases, regardless of vendor and platform. I found DataExchanger Pro 3.2 to be a reliable master key that opens a free flow of data among DBMSes.

Similar products, such as Data Transformation Server from Data-Mirror, provide separate products for different platforms; these require greater commitments in purchasing, maintenance, and training.

DataExchanger Pro includes three components, all Windows-based scripting tools: DataExchanger (DEX); DataExchanger Watch, a debugging tool for the scripts created with DEX; and Data Connector, a workbench for interactively testing an ODBC connection to a database. Data Connector can simplify data transfer among databases without the need to type any code, and you won't have to remember the differences between one database and another.

Administrators will find Data Connector interesting because it can save the time and cost of manually converting SQL scripts, and it removes the headaches of recalling any number of minute differences among databases.

Data Connector is a fine tool, but the strongest aspect of DEX is its capability to create scripts without having to type a single character. This is not only easy on the hands, but it opens up a wealth of possibilities to make your script as complex as your objective requires.

For example, you can effortlessly create routine database actions, such as connecting or disconnecting, making commit or rollback changes, copying tables, or starting a replication. DEX also allows you to insert in your script flow-control blocks - such as goto, gosub, finish, or abort - as well as calls to other programs - such as invoking a file transfer via FTP or executing a DOS or Windows program. DEX can also provide the interface to create an e-mail message from your script; so that if a critical script gets stuck, you will be immediately informed.

If you are starting to think that this is not an ordinary script-maker, then you're catching on. The powerful features of this product are impressive. DataExchanger gives you the tools to build a sophisticated application from which you can use the resources of your environment to ensure that your data transfer among databases, no matter how complex, will work smoothly.

However impressed you may be, the functionality of DEX goes further still. The product is a multithreaded application that can split the execution of each script over 16 concurrent threads. Having a script execute in parallel, of course, makes sense only if you run DEX on a Windows NT Server with sufficient machine resources. With its flexible system of timers and locks, DEX allows you to prepare scripts that can safely run unattended, simplifying your daily operations.

I encourage you to consider DataExchanger Pro 3.2. It is an excellent product that can erase the gap among your discordant databases. If you need to move tables across different databases and platforms, you will love this product.

The bottom line

DataExchanger Pro 3.2

Summary: DataExchanger Pro 3.2 controls and automates data exchanges among different database systems. Competitors provide separate products for each platform, but Cross DataBase Technology eases administration with a single Windows offering that can reach any target database via ODBC.

Business Case: DataExchanger's pricing makes it more expensive for diversified installations and gradually less expensive for less complex environments. Regardless of one's installed base, the product should justify its cost by providing access and replication services to virtually any database with an ODBC 2-compliant driver.

Pros: Single management point for moving data across different databases and platformsPowerful, multithreaded, GUI-generated scripting languageProvides one-way or bidirectional table replicationCons: No support for native database accessCost: $US12,000 for two licences and access to databases on IBM mainframes, AS/400, high-end Unix, and Windows NT; $4500 for two licences for low-end databases. There is no local distributor. Contact through the Web site below.

Platform: Windows 95, 98, NT; Windows NT Server with 128MB of RAM recommended to take advantage of the script multithreading.

Cross DataBase Technology

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