BACKGROUND: The Bracco Group, headquartered in Milan, Italy, is a leading manufacturer of diagnostic imaging pharmaceuticals. Bracco Diagnostics, located in Princeton, New Jersey, is responsible for developing new clinical agents, filing them with the appropriate regulatory agencies and selling and marketing all Bracco products in the United States.
PLATFORMS: Windows 95 clients and a UNIX Solaris server.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Bracco Diagnostics needed high-quality subsets of Oracle data that accurately reflected the production data model while retaining samples of all relationships used by the application assembled in a cohesive way. The purpose of extracting this data was twofold: to thoroughly test our financial and marketing systems and to archive financial data. Princeton Softech's Move for Servers was able to provide us with the valuable data that we needed to conduct comprehensive testing and safely archive our financial data. The product could handle all of the data relationships, many of which were either defined to the Oracle Data Dictionary or implemented within the logic of the applications.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Move for Servers facilitates homogeneous, heterogeneous and federated data movement of complex, relationally intact data from multiple databases in disparate operating environments including Informix, Oracle, Sybase, SQL Server, DB2 UDB and DB2 UDB for OS/390 databases. Because Move for Servers assembles data in a relationally intact and logical way, the data is easier to understand and work with. The product gave us confidence that we weren't corrupting data during the extract. We can create and exchange relationally intact data subsets, offering real value to our IT initiatives such as preparation for cross-platform migration, application testing, staging data for production or archiving production data.
STRENGTHS: We gained tremendous flexibility and data of the highest quality from the product's ability to manage relationships that otherwise would not be valid according to the rules of the DBMS. Since we can perform the extract using Move for Servers and don't need to write custom code, we can get better quality test data in just one day. Because of its automated relationship management capabilities, Move for Servers eliminates the need for application developers to understand the complex relationships throughout the database. Therefore, without DBA involvement, our developers can produce the best possible data extracts from the production databases.
WEAKNESSES: To make the best use of Move for Servers, the product must understand the relationships among the data tables. Referential integrity (RI) is automatically defined in the database, or we can define relationships to the product. Since PeopleSoft does not define RI in the database, but rather hides those details in application tables and program logic, we cannot use Move for Servers to extract data from our PeopleSoft application.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Princeton Softech demonstrated a high level of technical competence in managing the product. The continuing effort to improve the product gives it an edge in the marketplace, which was very important to Bracco. Move for Servers guarantees 100 percent accuracy and has contributed to substantial productivity gains when migrating large amounts of complex relational data. Upon evaluation, we confirmed that Move for Servers enabled us to create high quality, referentially intact subsets of a complex Oracle database with no limit on the number of tables and relationships. In addition, Move for Servers understands the "extended" and "application-managed" relationships that are common in our applications and accounts for them during the extract process. Bracco could not risk a data migration strategy that was less than 100 percent reliable.
DELIVERABLES: Move for Servers delivered complete, relationally intact subsets of Oracle data for testing and archiving. Bracco uses Move for Servers to: 1) create realistic subsets of test data which facilitated our comprehensive testing, and 2) archive relationally intact financial data, thereby off-loading inactive data from production systems to improve performance. In addition, the scheduling functions within Move for Servers enable us to schedule the extracts during off hours, which is very convenient. In the future, because of the accuracy and superiority of the data extracts, we will consider gathering and staging the data for use with an OLAP tool for online analysis.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Princeton Softech provided excellent support for Move for Servers during pre- and post-implementation. The technical support staff was personable and well-informed.
DOCUMENTATION: The most recent version of the documentation is very easy to understand.
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