BACKGROUND: EDS is a recognized global leader in providing e-business and information technology services to 9,000 business and government clients in about 50 countries around the world. Having founded the IT services industry more than 35 years ago, EDS delivers high-value management consulting, electronic business solutions, business process management, and systems and technology expertise to help clients simplify complexity and achieve superior value in the digital economy. The company has more than 121,000 employees worldwide and brings deep industry-practice knowledge to solve challenges in a wide variety of industries including communications, energy and chemicals, financial services, government, healthcare, products and retailing, and travel and transportation.

PLATFORMS: We're using Oracle8i version 8.1.6 for our production database with a 900GB data warehouse, growing approximately 50GB per month. The hardware platform is HP-UX 11.0 32 bit running on an HP 9000 V2200 server with 16 processors and 8GB of memory. For storage, we have an EMC Symmetrix 3700-47 cabinet which presently contains 1.5TB of mirrored disk space.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We have been able to address a number of issues with DBArtisan, especially the need to quickly extract database objects daily from development to production databases and vice versa. With a single mouse click, we can extract tables and indexes ­ including all partitions, storage parameters and necessary user grants for the objects ­ and migrate them to another schema or database. It supplements our data modeling tools and excels at "quick hit" object extraction and creation.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: I make the most use of the DDL extraction feature. From the database explorer window, I can select a table ­ or any number of tables ­ and with a click of a button extract the table definition; all primary key, foreign key and check constraints; partitioning clause; necessary grants for the object and the definitions for all indexes on the object. Performing this task with DBArtisan is quick and easy. Another particularly useful feature is the database monitor. I can view all sessions in the database, view current locks, blocking locks, tablespace and data file I/O, and many other system parameters. With a single mouse click I can extract the currently executing SQL statement for any process.

STRENGTHS: DBArtisan is a very straightforward and easy-to-use application without the pressures of time-consuming training. It has an intuitive and efficient GUI, and you can't beat the price. Some other vendors require the purchase of several applications to equal the functionality of DBArtisan. Additionally, these applications carry their own hefty price tags and commonly require training.

WEAKNESSES: Currently, DBArtisan does not have full support for Oracle8i partitions; however, it does provide more support than some other database management products on the market today. Embarcadero says the next major release of DBArtisan will include full support for partitioned tables and indexes, including the ability to specify the level of detail provided in a DDL extract of a partitioned object such as storage parameters. This will be of great help in making the inevitable object sizing changes necessary between a test and production data warehouse.

SELECTION CRITERIA: DBArtisan has all the database management features we require ­ in a single product. In addition, no other single application competes with DBArtisan's overall functionality, multiple database platform support, ease of use and price.

DELIVERABLES: I make extensive use of the DDL extraction features, migrating object definitions between development, test and production databases with absolute certainty about their accuracy.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Embarcadero support is excellent. Either by phone or e-mail, support does a fantastic and prompt job noting issues, providing answers and tips, and informing me of new releases and features. I also participated in the DBArtisan 5.1 beta program and found Embar-cadero's testers and developers open to product suggestions and enhancement requests.

DOCUMENTATION: Unlike some other database management products, I've been able to use DBArtisan from day one without referring to the manual. For me, the interactive wizards and online help provide plenty of documentation.

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