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...

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DataPortal vs. Traditional Database Replication

DataPortal vs. Traditional Database Replication

With the growth in complex global supply chains, the sharing of complex business data, often in the forms of relational databases, has become one of the most in-demand business needs over the last ten years. The desire for raw government and private sector data to be shared across multiple platforms has only increased since 2009, when President Obama put laws in place requiring the data be made public. While Obama’s bill does a great job in mandating the kinds of information that needs to be made public (contracts, audits, inspector general reports, etc.), it is rather vague with regard to details on how the information will need to be provided. According to experts John Wonderlich, Policy Director at the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation and Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, in order to provide any value in the information being shared, the entire back end database needs to be shared. It is impossible for any person or organization to determine how others will use, analyze or cross-reference the data being provided so making the data, in its raw format (relational databases) available is essential. DataPortal helps companies meet this need with database sharing using cloud technology that is a vast improvement over traditional database replication. DataPortal provides instant and effortless data sharing over the web, allowing multiple recipients to receive the same full database by simply clicking on a URL. DataPortal also keeps data in standard database form and works across multiple vendors, platforms and operating systems. The tool also offers a more flexible and efficient alternative to traditional Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) by eliminating unnecessary conversion of data, as well as the costly set up involved with EDI. Data is transferred from a DataPortal server to any supported database system (including MS SQL Server, Access, Oracle, DB2, MySQL and Firebird) using a DataPortal client – either Applets, that do not require installation, or Applications, which must be installed but provide more features than the simple Applet client. How does DataPortal Differ from Traditional Database Replication? With traditional database replication, when data is updated at the source, it must ripple through all replicated databases before the update can take effect. This is time-consuming and can cause conflict if multiple updates are being conducted at the same time. With DataPortal, the data being updated is read and written directly to and from the database without the unnecessary...

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