REVIEWER: Simon Ha, database administrator at Good Technology.

BACKGROUND: Good Technology offers corporate customers the capability of accessing various mission-critical enterprise applications via PDAs and other handheld devices. Mobile workforce employees can access Microsoft Office, Oracle, and Siebel through wireless networks. As a leader in wireless handheld computing software and services, we use industry standards to provide the corporate applications enterprises need on the handhelds they choose over the networks they prefer. Catering to the mobile professional, our Good System includes messaging and corporate data access, as well as a full suite of management features and functions. We offer customers flexibility by allowing them to choose their wireless carriers, platforms, networks and devices. Specifically, we support Palm, Pocket PC, and Symbian (in 2006) operating systems, the latest handheld devices and smartphones that run them and nearly every wireless carrier all over the world. Plus, our integration with third-party applications lets our customers view, edit and interact with documents and attachments, providing the most complete laptop-like experience.

PLATFORMS: Sun 420R with four CPUs, Oracle data warehouse.

PROBLEM SOLVED: While funneling transaction usage data from a variety of live collection points, we ran into a processing bottleneck. The transaction data - which can be likened to an individual's cell phone usage - was needed for analytical purposes at our accounting and marketing departments. Because of the 24x7 nature of operations at the company, raw data was continually streaming in, sometimes at the rate of 35 million rows per day. The problem was that the processing, which was done using SQL Plus and some native UNIX utilities, was taking 16 hours. We essentially wanted to minimize the elapsed time of our daily transaction processing application and apply various transformations to high volumes of data.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We requested a proof of concept from Syncsort, who committed to a demonstration of a significant elapsed time savings with the implementation of DMExpress on this mission-critical application. Using 18 million rows of actual production data, which would have taken about eight hours to process under then-current conditions, our engineers ran a sequence of DMExpress steps and were able to bring the processing time down to just 30 minutes. We basically saw more than 80 percent performance improvement in the processing of data. That is a big deal for us. We were so pleased with the proof-of-concept outcome that we licensed the Syncsort product. Join, append and lookup operations are now easily and regularly applied to up to 10 gigabytes of data per day. Results have been so satisfactory, in fact, that we are planning to expand the use of DMExpress to other departments within the company.

STRENGTHS: Not only were we able to improve the performance of our transaction usage application, we also gained functionality through the use of the DMExpress graphical user interface (GUI). In addition, the ability to crunch the data outside of the database is a tremendous benefit. This speeds the process exponentially.

WEAKNESSES: The area that needs improving is the licensing process. At times, it can be difficult to port a license when moving from one host to another. When you are crunched for time, it can be a problem. However, Syncsort has always been accommodating to our needs.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We looked into another product but found that DMExpress was far more flexible. The tool itself, the GUI, is very easy to use. We also saw better performance with DMExpress. When it comes to processing data, DMExpress is just faster.

DELIVERABLES: In terms of deliverables, the most valuable output to us is the data itself, which DMExpress outputs quickly and efficiently.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Tech support has been excellent. No matter what our needs, they have been helpful, quick to respond and very technical. They really know their stuff.

DOCUMENTATION: The help menus are set up so that it is very easy to find information. I've never had a problem with any documentation, but I know I could easily reach tech support if needed. They are always available.

Syncsort Incorporated
50 Tice Boulevard
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677
(201) 930-9700

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