Stelo Blog

Supporting Rapid Application Deployments – too much or too little?

You get to work in the morning and know that today is the day you must find a way to pull daily activity from the iSeries files to your Windows application server running a new Workflow application.

The Windows-based RAD tools you chose for the job are based upon SQL Server tables. In fact, new RAD tools, such as Interneer Intellect, are designed to use SQL Server – yet the operational data frequently resides on iSeries, and integration between the databases becomes the gating implementation issue.

Changes to RAD deployments? RAD tools, Linked Server, or triggers, oh my. Many RAD tools assume that the Linked Sever can adequately extract the necessary data to drive the downstream processing even if the data isn’t already in SQL Server.

However, more frequently than not, the data cannot be readily identified because the iSeries tables were not designed to identify specific row modification time stamps.  It is clear linked Server is just not enough. Your day just got a lot longer.

Similarly, traditional programmatic approaches to “push” changes from one platform to another also prove unacceptable. -Using triggers on the host still requires a mechanism to move change data to the SQL Server and may end up interfering with the core business applications, such as order processing and inventory management.  So triggers turn out to be too disruptive.

A purpose-built real-time replication solution based upon change-data capture, provides exactly the right result.  Change data capture seamlessly uses the existing time-stamp logs to relay data change activity without disruptive triggers or additional iSeries loads. The crucial real-time component guarantees the most useful, accurate data. Ideally, the right solution would not require any iSeries programming expertise or complex data design. This is the just-right answer. Key features to look for to make your life easier:

  • The purpose-based replication software should include the ability to create timestamps reflecting change activity in addition to just the columns required by the work flow application. This avoids dispersing confidential information not otherwise required by the workflow application
  • Automated restart and recovery
  • Real-time replication solution with resiliency of design to automatically handle loosely coupled system issues such as iSeries maintenance windows and unplanned network outages

Just like Goldilocks, a modern, change data-based replication solution provides just the right ingredient to drive the project forward to a successful conclusion. It delivers the business value that the workflow application promises, in the timeframe that a RAD tool promises, but with less risk and higher reliability. Check out StarQuest’s SQDR real-time solution – it might be just what you need.