For years, National Steel struggled with data archiving issues, writing and rewriting custom programs every time data needed to be archived. The custom archive programs became increasingly more difficult to manage and were using precious IT resources.

Our company's largest project to date, a new order fulfillment system (OFS), was expected to grow significantly in a matter of six months. Recognizing that archiving was an essential component for managing our databases, we conducted a comparative analysis in terms of cost and development effort between designing a custom in-house solution and using an active archiving solution. Once we implemented the new OFS, the projected development cost of custom archiving was staggering. As the foundation for our daily operations, the OFS had to be a high-performance, highly reliable system.

National Steel selected a product that could handle the company's database challenges and satisfy future demands: Princeton Softech's Archive. A team consisting of a project leader and four DBAs reviewed the specifications between developing a custom archiving solution versus Archive. The team, along with Princeton Softech consultants, determined that they would be able to deploy Archive faster than a custom solution, saving both time and money while increasing staff productivity. Princeton Softech's Active Archiving Workshop provided National Steel with a detailed look at the benefits of an active archiving strategy. The workshop provided us with a detailed benefits analysis and ROI assessment.

Archive allows us to manage large volumes of data more efficiently and improve the performance and availability of our OFS through active archiving. It employs Princeton Softech's Relationship Engine, a proven technology that solves complex relational data management problems. This technology guarantees that data remains referentially intact, regardless of the database complexity. As long-time users of Princeton Softech's Move for DB2, Princeton Softech's data movement tool within their Relational Tools suite, we immediately recognized the potential benefits of Princeton Softech's Archive.

Archive and an active archiving strategy are extremely valuable tools that far exceed the capabilities outlined in Princeton Softech's documentation. The product saved us a large amount of effort when compared to writing our own archive programs. Archive not only guarantees the referential integrity of our data, but it is the only product we know of that understands "application-managed" relationships and accounts for them during the archive and restore processes with 100 percent accuracy.

Archive was implemented 80 to 90 percent faster than writing our own solution, and our DBAs were trained in four hours. National Steel has hundreds of tables that need to be archived periodically, which would have been extremely time-consuming with the custom solution. We were able to implement Archive in a fraction of that time.

Using Archive, National Steel has the ability to automatically restore data in many ways: by record, groups of records or even multiple databases ­ all with 100 percent accuracy. We're also able to see it in new forms and create new tables with the same data. Further, we have centralized the control of our archived data.

The ease and flexibility of restoring data through Archive gives National Steel the ability to increase the amount of data it archives. Our old custom programs were written to archive data; however, restoring the data was awkward and required extensive DBA involvement which was costly. Because this obstacle existed, we weren't archiving as much as we would have liked to archive. An active archiving strategy and Princeton Softech's Archive is now an essential part of National Steel's ongoing IT practice.

Princeton Softech's Archive is a data storage tool that allows organizations to identify and remove infrequently used business data from a production database, while maintaining the data's referential integrity. Using an active archiving strategy, organizations can improve the ongoing performance and availability of mission-critical applications while controlling costs.

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