BACKGROUND: Lockheed Martin is one of the world's leading diversified technology companies. We research, design, develop, manufacture and integrate advanced technology systems, products and services for government and commercial customers around the world. We are dedicated to being the world's leading technology and systems enterprise.
PLATFORMS: We are running Dynamic Information Systems Corporation (DISC) OMNIDEX on Sun Solaris to access an Oracle database and the HP3000 to access an IMAGE/SQL database. OMNIDEX also enhances Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, Informix, RMS, C-ISAM and flat files. It also runs on other platforms including Windows NT, HP9000/HP-UX, IBM/AIX, Sequent/Dynix, Digital/UNIX, Digital/VMS.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Our quality control organization needed access to valuable information necessary for the quality construction of rockets stored in two different database structures. It was impossible for our users located at sites nationwide to quickly access the data. The process could take hours or even days. What we needed was a way for our users located across the country to access data structures and receive instant answers to their critical queries. OMNIDEX enabled us to build an intranet application that merged the "nonconformance" data (i.e., part problems) stored in an Oracle data warehouse on a Sun Solaris with legacy supplier information on an HP3000. This new three-tier, thin-client Web application eliminated the maintenance and deployment headaches of a client/server application. Now users are presented with HTML lookup and data screens through a Sun 1000 Web server, using CGI and Perl to access the databases. With OMNIDEX as the database search engine and Netscape as the user interface, users have the power to perform lookups against any number of fields and receive an instant qualified count. They are then able to further qualify or drill down to underlying detail data in seconds
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Queries are available against numerous fields, ranging from part number and location to date time stamp and program code. OMNIDEX enables users to search on keywords located anywhere within the problem description (a 2000-byte VARCHAR column). With its keyword search engine, OMNIDEX instantly performs searches using words embedded within fields of any length. Regardless of which columns are chosen, OMNIDEX retrievals take only seconds instead of minutes or hours with SQL against Oracle alone. When archive data is loaded for more complete analysis of part reliability from different suppliers, the "non-conformance" data will grow to one million records. Fortunately with OMNIDEX, all the searches will still take only seconds. Integration of data from our Oracle and Image/SQL databases onto a single Netscape screen is planned for the near future.
STRENGTHS: DISC's State Manager enables high-performance, persistent-state database connections and transactions, and uses one consistent method to access data from multiple databases and platforms across the enterprise. State Manager includes an administration tool to allow the Web administrator to monitor Web sessions and configure State Manager.
WEAKNESSES: Because the speed of OMNIDEX depends on the number of rows that qualify and not on the table size, OMNIDEX performance improvements are only minimal for queries that are already relatively fast.
SELECTION CRITERIA: For many years, we have used OMNIDEX to speed access to data stored in our IMAGE/SQL located on the HP3000. Our most recent choice of OMNIDEX was based on new open systems design. I knew that with many users trying to query at the same time, the Sun database server would become saturated without OMNIDEX.
DELIVERABLES: OMNIDEX delivers predictable, multidimensional access to data. OMNIDEX can be accessed through a Web browser or most data analysis tools by the use of DISC's ODBC driver. Our quality assurance users can now access corporate data and receive instant answers to their queries regardless of their location.
VENDOR SUPPORT: The vendor support from DISC has been very efficient. Their response to our needs has been same-day service. They also delivered sample Perl code during consulting to get us up and running very quickly.
DOCUMENTATION: Documentation of the product was clear. However, we would like to see some more examples in the manual.
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