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Embarcadero DBArtisan Delivers Intuitive, Cross-Platform Database Administration

Published
  • July 01 2003, 1:00am EDT

REVIEWER: Jose Gomez, associate chief engineer/database administrator for Wendy's International.

BACKGROUND: Wendy's International, Inc. is one of the world's largest restaurant operating and franchising companies, with $8.3 billion in 2001 system-wide sales, more than 8,200 restaurants and two quality brands ­ Wendy's and Tim Hortons. Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas and is the third-largest quick- service hamburger chain in the world with 6,064 restaurants in the United States, Canada and international markets. Tim Hortons was founded in 1964 by Tim Horton and Ron Joyce and is the largest coffee and fresh baked goods chain in Canada. There are 2,042 Tim Hortons restaurants in Canada and 143 in the U.S.

PLATFORMS: Windows 2000 NT (for Microsoft SQL Server), IBM AIX (for IBM DB2 UDB), OS/390 (for IBM DB2).

PROBLEM SOLVED: The Wendy's team of five database administrators (DBAs) manages IBM DB2 UDB (both on UNIX and OS/390), Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle databases. Not all team members have expertise in each database platform or experience with the UNIX command line. We needed a single interface to manage DB2, SQL Server and Oracle databases from a Windows-based application. We also wanted each of our DBAs to perform and learn tasks which were outside of their current skill set, especially with regard to the command line. The functionality of Embarcadero DBArtisan helped us solve a wide variety of specific problems.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: DBArtisan's Migration Utility helped us move all database objects from a development environment to QA to production. Because some DBAs in our team are not UNIX people, DBArtisan has flattened the learning curve for the less experienced to be productive in the UNIX environment. The Migration Utility was also used to move a very old 6.5 SQL Server implementation into 7.0 and eventually into 2000. Creating tables, indexes, databases, nodes, etc. is incredibly simple using DBArtisan. Its performance is lightning fast compared with other tools we've used, and the team found the interface to be extremely intuitive. The Process Monitor feature is excellent for identifying active users, processes and terminating runaway transactions. The Process Monitor gives us a picture of what's going on in our databases at any given time. DBArtisan makes managing tablespaces and identifying space availability easy. It's simple to discover when I need to add raw devices or enlarge file systems for my tablespaces.

STRENGTHS: The ability to manage multiple vendor database systems and DB2 on OS/390 is a great strength of DBArtisan. I had some experience on the command line, but Embarcadero helped me fill in the gaps and become more productive. This persuaded me to use Embarcadero's products instead of Control Center and Enterprise Manager.

WEAKNESSES: I would like the Migration Utility to have capability for larger data movements in our 700-gigabyte data warehouse. For the smaller development, QA and production databases, it's outstanding.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We were looking for a tool with a quick return on our investment. We didn't want to funnel through a lot of tasks to get the job done. Wendy's evaluated other tools, but no other toolset showed us more functionality in a limited trial period than DBArtisan. As we started working with it, we knew exactly what it was capable of doing. When we initiated our warehousing project, we conducted a trial of DBArtisan and used the Migration Utility. I had tried Control Center in the past, but it was not a very easy tool to use. DBArtisan was extremely intuitive. We were able to quickly configure and navigate through the tool, giving us a good idea of its capabilities.

DELIVERABLES: We use the HTML report generation to document the entire look of the environment including all of the database objects, storage information and permissions for publication to our internal Web site. This allows developers to view the information and have a better understanding of the production systems.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We have seen many quality enhancements in the last release of DBArtisan ­ such as DBArtisan's support for DB2 EEE. The ability to see what my EEE system looks like and the ability to generate my DDLs in the partitioned environment are very important so I can migrate them over if I have a change.

DOCUMENTATION: When I've had the opportunity to use them, both tech support and the documentation are helpful.

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