REVIEWER: Dave Cantwell, CIO of Donatos Pizza.

BACKGROUND: Donatos Pizza has nearly 200 restaurants in five states throughout Midwest and Eastern portions of the U.S.

PLATFORMS: Formerly, Donatos had several solutions for gathering and analyzing point of sale (POS) data, including two packaged applications.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Responding to the demands of a constantly expanding and highly popular restaurant chain, we needed a modern data warehouse fed by the very best POS applications. One of our tasks in the IT department was to create new data marts for operational reporting purposes. Formerly, we had several solutions for gathering and analyzing POS data. We wanted to overhaul these POS systems and implement an enterprise-reporting environment. The first step was to design a new data warehouse that includes all the POS data. Rather than spending months writing code and painstakingly transferring data, all we had to do was link up data points with data targets in iWay DataMigrator, an extract, transform and load (ETL) environment. After that, DataMigrator did the rest, transferring almost a decade’s worth of POS data. With about a week’s effort, the data was transferred without a hitch and with no manual tweaking necessary.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: DataMigrator has a graphical workbench that makes it easy to develop elaborate process flows related to complex jobs, such as building a large data warehouse with intricate load requirements. It is part of a complete integration platform for simplifying data integration tasks, including the creation, maintenance and expansion of data warehouses, data marts and operational data stores.

STRENGTHS: DataMigrator is easier to use than the other ETL tools we have used in the past. We were proficient with the program within one week, despite having no prior experience or training. As we learned more about DataMigrator, we discovered several capabilities that surpassed the functions of other ETL programs. For instance, DataMigrator’s primary key logic can determine whether a row of data incorporated into the warehouse needs to be inserted as a new data set or simply to replace an existing set of data as an update. This capability yields the same result as a SQL Server process, but without any coding. This function saves time because sometimes we load data several times per day, and with DataMigrator we don’t have to delete a row and then reinsert it. It knows when to update the rows and when to leave them alone.

WEAKNESSES: The main weaknesses we encountered centered around resolving differences among SQL data types. Microsoft SQL Server 7 and SQL Server 2005 are completely different systems that do not cross over at all. Just writing the migration code alone would have taken months

SELECTION CRITERIA: Donatos has relied on Information Builders’ WebFOCUS software as its business intelligence (BI) standard since 2005. The restaurant chain uses the software to develop everything from daily sales reports to gross profit reports, and from financial reports to human resources reports. Users throughout the organization are satisfied with this comprehensive BI environment and its ever-expanding menu of reports. Building on these positive experiences with WebFOCUS, the IT department selected iWay Software, which was founded by Information Builders. From iWay’s comprehensive adapter suite to its proven ETL tools, the company provides an effective yet economical strategy for accessing, storing, managing and delivering enterprise information assets.

DELIVERABLES: Today, Donatos depends on DataMigrator to move data from the new POS data store to the new SQL Server 2005 warehouse. Stored procedures run right in the flow of data. Until the old POS systems are phased out, Donatos will continue to use DataMigrator on an ongoing basis to move data from its legacy POS systems to the new data warehouse. Once the new POS system is fully operational, this will no longer be necessary.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Information Builders has been very accommodating to our needs. As Donatos grows increasingly sophisticated in its reporting, data migration and data warehouse initiatives, we will continue to look to Information Builders and iWay to enhance our IT strategy.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is comprehensive and easy to use, with online versions as well as printed manuals.

iWay DataMigrator
iWay Software
Two Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10121
(212) 330-1700
http://www.iwaysoftware.com/

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