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Posted Sep 2, 2004

PeerDirect´┐Ż Replication Engine (PDRE), enables software developers to distribute applications and data to remote offices and mobile end-users

By Linda Cole

PeerDirect Corporation, last week, announced the availability of the PeerDirect™ Replication Engine (PDRE). PDRE enables software developers to distribute applications and data to remote offices and mobile end-users, and yet maintain centralized control over applications and data. The product uses bi-directional database replication technology, which exchanges updates between partners on a continuous basis. It uses a compressed data stream that is secured using Triple DES encryption. There is no need to execute periodic database snapshots--a 'live' query, requesting what has changed, is performed at each site for every replication cycle.

In the database world, it has been a common practice to store data in more than one place, either for an online backup or as a failover site. This practice has evolved into a synchronization or replication process. PeerDirect's approach to replication supports synchronization of systems or replication of data in a heterogeneous environment where you have different databases involved, as well as supporting a longer termed disconnection whether it be synchronization on a daily basis or longer periods of disconnection--for example, a month.

What's new and enhanced?

Resource-Optimized Replication Management

Less bandwidth is used during bi-directional database processes with Resource-Optimized Replication Management, which enables smart resource utilization.

The net result of using replication as a way to move data back and forth is a product that provides two-way read-write data replication, enabling databases on both sides to be edited and fully functional while disconnected. In addition, a feature called Dynamic Bandwidth Management handles the actual bandwidth, optimizing around any latency in the network. In real-time, it figures what the optimal path for flowing data around the network is going to be, and moves data in the most efficient manner possible. It also has the capability to deal transparently with any failure or change in the environment.

Resilient Replication Processing

The ability to identify and flag improper data entry or application logic errors, without disrupting the replication process ensures data replication success in the field. Application support personnel are able to address such issues at a later time. In extreme environments, this provides an efficient method to deal with those issues as part of the processing.

Heterogeneous Database Support

PeerDirect's solution offers true heterogeneous database support, enabling mobile users with a lightweight database, such as MSDE, and datacenters with 'industrial strength' databases such as DB2 or Oracle to float changes seamlessly back and forth. PeerDirect does not require a particular database, users can pick the database of their liking--PDRE can interoperate between the two, offering more flexibility for remote and mobilized environments.

Dynamic Data Slicing

'Dynamic Data Slicing' has been refined in this release. Similar to picking the database of choice, PDRE enables users to choose the data that they want on a device. Users can provide just the data that is pertinent to a particular individual or region without changing the application. A super-set of the data still resides centrally; only the data required by that particular user is shipped around, taking advantage of short periods of network connectivity or narrow bandwidth.

PeerDirect technology ensures that field service users on a certain device get not only the data but also the manuals and any change orders for that device. For example, a user who gets certain customer data not only receives the customer information but all of the calls associated with that customer--and all of it is synchronized automatically. The field user is then able to slice up that data so that it makes sense from a business perspective.

Application management

Often, the applications themselves are an issue that needs to be dealt with. PDRE has the capability to manage how an application is deployed, how updates to an application that involve not only logic changes but also may involve schema changes to the actual database are handled, and to ensure that the flow of changes that occur in the environment are consistent and that no data is lost.

About PeerDirect

Based in Bedford, Mass., PeerDirect Corporation is a supplier of advanced, patented technology for distributed application and database deployment and management. For additional information, please visit http://www.peerdirect.com.

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