Database Transfer: Why You Need It, How To Do It

Database Transfer: Why You Need It, How To Do It

Among all the confusing terms we use when talking about information, database transfer is one of the least understood. But regardless of which industry you’re in, you’re probably doing database transfer every day. And you’re likely spending way more time, money and effort on it than you need to.

Database transfer means moving a database from one physical, or logical, location to another for any reason. It can cover a wide variety of use cases, which we’ll describe below. Unlike database sharing, database transfer doesn’t imply that different parties are sending and receiving the data.

But like database sharing, the ease and speed of how you transfer data is critical to saving money and focusing on your business, while giving your employees, customers and business partners the information they need.

Let’s look at some of the use cases that fall under the heading of data transfer, and at the common technical requirements they share.

  • Migration: Moving data from one location to another, without leaving a copy at the source.

  • Replication: Creating multiple copies of the same database and reconciling differences among them.

  • Backup and restore: Creating a second copy of a database for use in disaster recovery or business continuity, and copying it back to a production system to replace a lost primary copy.

  • Supply chain: Making production data available to suppliers, customers or multiple internal facilities to coordinate production or shipments or to compare pricing.

  • Government data sharing: Making government economic, environmental, scientific, legal or other information easily available to the public.

Integrate and Automate

Integration is the combination of data from multiple internal or external sources. It allows users to create, view and analyze data in their own database platforms and then combine their data with that of others for a broader view of a problem or a process.

Such fast, easy and cost-effective information transfer is a critical requirement for a growing number of public and private information users. One federal agency, for example, resorted to mailing thumb drives and cutting and pasting data in spreadsheets to integrate audit data from regional facilities. A major aerospace manufacturer sought our DataPortal software to share detailed parts requirements with potential suppliers. In developing countries, retailers and manufacturers could transfer data without the expense and effort of implementing legacy technology such as EDI.

What’s common across all these use cases? That you don’t want anyone from your employees to your customers or business partners wasting time on things like database configuration, security protocols, custom programming or software installation just to get the data they need. You instead want them to focus on doing work for you (in the case of employees), buying from you (in the case of customers) or working with you (in the case of business partners).

The DataPortal Difference

Our DataPortal solution provides not only fast, easy and secure database transfers, but also supports the integration of any number of databases. We create a combined database in which records from different users contain unique identifiers for the user or application that provided the data. Using simple queries, a user or application can thus view only the data contributed by selected users or applications. In a supply chain, for example, this allows a manufacturer to quickly compare prices, delivery dates or stock on hand from multiple suppliers.

Automation and ease of use let you focus on your business rather than on technology. With DataPortal you can initiate an “on-the-fly” database transfer as easily as sending a URL to the recipient. You can also schedule automated database transfers through the transmission of the URL to a “listener” on a recipient application through an easy-to-use interface.

We’re also one of the few solutions that allow you to transfer databases while retaining relational characteristics such as table structures, table references (also known as primary and foreign keys) and support for complex data types. Keeping the “relational” in relational databases enables users to run the ad-hoc queries that are so valuable because they allow exploration of the relationships among different data subsets in unforeseeable ways. It is such ad-hoc queries that sometimes return the most important insights, and help organizations meet unpredictable opportunities.

If you’re doing database transfer under any other name and need to do it more easily and less expensively, we invite you to check out DataPortal. It provides secure, instant and effortless transfer of relational databases from any supported database platform in their original, relational form across the Web. No programming, configuration, firewall modification, data conversion or even client software installation is required, which greatly streamlines the database sharing process. Available as software for purchase or a scalable SaaS solution, you can request a quick demo here.

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