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Posted Sep 9, 2003

Active Archiving Capabilities for Oracle E-Business Suite

By Linda Cole

At Oracle World today, Princeton Softech announced the availability of Archive(tm) for Servers Oracle Applications Edition. Archive for Servers Oracle Applications Edition is an out-of-the-box solution, specifically designed to deliver comprehensive active archiving capabilities for the Oracle E-Business Suite.

Princeton Softech has specialized in managing data for companies that store a large amount of data in relational databases since the 1980s, in both pre-production as well as production environments. Jim Lee of Princeton Softech stated, "In the pre-production environment, our Relational Tools allow you to take your production data, let's say its a hundred gigabytes, and streamline it down while still being able to do realistic and appropriate testing. Our Relational Tools allow you to set the right amount of data to ensure that you have the right data for testing but to minimize both the resources for storing as well as the execution time for running tests. In the production environment, our Active Archive Solutions allows customers to remove rarely accessed relational subsets of data, resulting in improved performance and availability of the production database while reducing the total cost of operation."

Many companies are challenged with data retention and compliance requirements. All of these requirements result in accelerated data growth as well as a tendency not to delete data. Over time, this can result in performance degradation, expanding maintenance windows, and applications may be less available due to long backups. All of these factors play a big role in why customers need to re-assess the data in their relational database, identify data not required on a regular basis and archive it out.

A year ago, data lifecycle management, also known as information lifecycle management, was a very small whisper in a small niche. Today, everyone from database archive traders to all of the larger storage vendors, such as Veritas and EMC are debating the best way to archive data.

In any organization, there are three types of data:

  • Unstructured data - files, images and documents
  • Semi-structured data - such as email
  • Structured data - all of the data stored in a database, be it Oracle, UDB, etc.

True data lifecycle management is providing the discipline and processes upon which you can manage each of those types of data according to the lifecycle of each data type. Princeton Softech provides a comprehensive solution that is enterprise wide for one specific segment of data lifecycle, focusing on structured data only.

Data lifecycle management is assessing data's value based on how often and how fast you need access to that data. As an example, in an organization, data might have a lifecycle of:

  • one year of production data
  • a couple years access for reporting purposes in an active database
  • four to seven years for legal requirements
  • more for compliance

Companies that manage their relational data with this type of concept can lower the total cost of operating their environment, improve the efficiency and performance of production Oracle databases and retain the ability to meet with compliance requirements. With Archive for Servers Oracle Applications Edition, relational data can be taken from production, moved along the different phases based on how often one needs to access the data, ease with which the data is accessed, and then stored partially on a tape so that you still have full access to the data. You can retrieve, browse, input to and selectively access the data.

Archive for Servers Oracle Applications Edition provides pre-defined object templates that include both the definitional phase of what tables are used and defined, as well as the business policies for each object such as general ledger processing and its archiving rules. Jim Lee of Princeton Softech told Database Journal, "We can get a customer to install our product and conduct a proof of concept in 3-5 days. He can actually be up and running, experiencing the benefits of archiving rather than having to sit and define what a general ledger object is."

Oracle Application Suite users often implement a great deal of customization. Princeton Softech products come with a toolset that allows them to take their pre-defined definitions and implement customizations easily, so that the actual archiving will reflect all of the specific processing for their local applications, whether they're running it native, or with customizations.

Archive for Servers Oracle Applications Edition has been designed specifically for end users. Oracle Application end users like to have what they call transparent access to data. Princeton Softech's archive solution provides them with exactly that, using familiar Oracle forms and reports. The solution is flexible, offering access to archived data, production data or both without disrupting the ordinary workflow.

Lee stated, "One of the chief challenges of archiving data from the relational environment is the fact that much of this data spans over many tables, be it tens, hundreds or thousands, that's the whole concept of relational database. The data is stored across many tables that are related by keys and relationships. Our archiving mechanism allows you to respect those relationships and in fact employ business rules and business policies across them so you can archive these in what you would call business object home. You archive all the transactional data as well as context data."

Another challenge of a true enterprise archiving solution is for that solution to be constructed in such a way that it supports all of the different databases as well as multiple applications. This type of situation might occur during a merger, where one company may have been running on Oracle and the other running UDB. With the merger, applications are now related. In an archiving scenario, you would want to be able to archive that data together. The active archiving solutions have a foundation that allow you to define the relationships for any application regardless of how the data is stored , whether it's UDB, Oracle, Sybase, SQL, etc.. It also supports the ability to define relationships across Oracle to UDB, or what Princeton Softech calls federated access.

About Princeton Softech
Princeton Softech (www.princetonsoftech.com), the pioneer and leader in database archiving technology delivers proven software products that help enterprises "store smarter" to maximize the performance and availability of mission critical applications and databases. Princeton Softech's suite of comprehensive Active Archive(tm) Solutions supports the leading business applications, databases, operating systems and hardware platforms. Ongoing active archiving enables companies to manage rapidly growing databases, reduce costs and achieve a greater return on investment. As a leading provider of enterprise database archiving and application testing solutions, Princeton Softech's products are used by more than 2,100 of the world's largest companies across industries in more than 30 countries. Princeton Softech is financed by Apax Partners and LLR Partners.

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