Data Sharing… Also Known as Data Transfer, Data Migration, Data Replication, etc.

Data Sharing… Also Known as Data Transfer, Data Migration, Data Replication, etc.

Like everyone else in the tech industry, we in the database field can get a little sloppy when describing the various actions we take with our data stores. We use words like “migrate,” “copy,” “move” and “share” to mean many of the same things…except when we don’t.

We at DataPortal run into this problem when we describe our solution as providing “database sharing.” Audiences sometimes look at us as if we were suggesting they share, oh, their ATM passcodes or their car keys. Being specific is important because, as our chart below shows, using the wrong term could lead you to spend more time, effort, and money than you need to.

Here’s what, in our view, the various forms of “sharing” do and don’t mean, and where Data Portal does and doesn’t fit the bill. Remember, as you compare this chart to others you may have seen, when we say we can “share” databases we mean even the largest relational databases, in their full relational form, without adapting the databases, using custom protocols or reworking security architectures.

Buzzword What It Means Can DataPortal™
Do It?
Transfer Change the physical location of a database so only one copy of exists in a single place. Yes
Copy Make an exact replica of a database so a copy or copies of it exist in multiple locations. Yes
Migrate Copies a database from one database server platform (e.g. vendor, version) to another Yes
Edit Allow one or more users or applications parties to view and make changes to the database. Yes
Update Allow one or more users or applications to replace existing data with newer data. Yes
Append Add additional columns and/or rows to an existing database. Yes
Move Change the location Yes
Replicate Make changes in multiple copies of a database to reconcile changes among them. Yes*
Share Allow multiple users and/or applications to receive their own local copy of a database on their preferred database server platform. Yes

*Even better, database updating can be automated so that all child databases are updated whenever the parent source database changes.

You see we snuck “share” back into our list at the end, but for a good reason.  To us, database sharing simply means giving users appropriate access to view and change information that is stored in the form of a relational database, which is one of the most direct and efficient ways that business processes can communicate with one another. That’s what our DataPortal software does, without the need to reformat databases, do custom programming or fiddle with security protocols

So whenever you think about how you can “migrate,” “replicate,” “append,” “update,” “copy” or do anything else involving sharing data, take a look at this chart and see if DataPortal might be a less expensive, faster and easier answer. Then give us a call so we can get you started…

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