Using DataPortal™ Clients

Business data, in the form of Databases, can be transferred from a DataPorta™l server to any supported Database System (more formally known as a “Relational Database Management System ” or RDBMS – current Database Systems supported include MS SQL Server, Access, Oracle, DB2, MySQL, Interbase, and Firebird) using a DataPortal™ client. Clients can be either Applets, that do not require instalation, or Applications, which must be installed but provide more features than the simple Applet client.

DataPortal™ Applet Client

Business data, in the form of Databases, can be transferred from a DataPortal™ server to any supported Database System (more formally known as a “Relational Database Management System ” or RDBMS – current Database Systems supported include MS SQL Server, Access, Oracle, DB2, MySQL, Interbase, and Firebird) using a DataPortal™ client. Clients can be either Applets, that do not require installation, or Applications, which must be installed but provide more features than the simple Applet client.

http://DPhost:port/DataPortal/DPAppletClient.html
(where DPhost:port is the DataPortal™ server host machine and port value, respectively)

A graphical interface is displayed where a transfer can be specified, initiated and monitored (see Figure 1).

Data Portal Applet

Figure 1) Applet Graphical Interface for defining, initiating and monitoring data transfers.

A transfer requires the specification of the source and destination. A full description of the source includes the DataPortal™ source host (and a port, if non-standard), the DataSource (published database) on the selected host,  user/password (if required) and information about the protocol to be used – standard HTTP or encrypted HTTPS/SSL with certificate information. Destination information defines a standard target database system as well as the name of the database that will hold the newly transferred business data.

Source Section

The topmost section is used to specify the Data  Source. The host and port (if non-standard) is filled in with the originating DataPortal™ host information. The host and port values are separaed by a “:” (e.g. localhost:8080). A drop down list is populated with available DataSources (databases published to the selected DataPortal™ server) and any of the DataSources can be selected for transfer. If the selected DataSource requires a User and Password for access, they may be entered in the appropriate fields below the DataSource menu. If the selected DataSource does not require a User and Password, the corresponding fields will not be editable.
The specified Data transfer can be performed over a standard Web (HTTP) channel (the default), or a secure, encrypted, HTTPS/SSL channel. The secure SSL transfer not only encrypts data so it can not be understood if it is intercepted, it also requires that the server be correctly identified before a transfer can occur. This is done by acquiring the server’s Certificate (in a separate process) and installing it in a Keystore file on the client host. If a secure transfer is selected, the Keystore file that contains the necessary Certificate(s) must be specified in the HTTP/HTTPS area above the “Source Host” field. Multiple Certificates may be stored in a single Kestore file.

It is recommended that a single Keystore file containing Certificates for all hosts involved in secure (HTTPS/SSL) transfers, for a given DataPortal™ session, be used.

Destination Section

The destination section specifies a database that will be the target of the data transfer. To configure your target database, you must have sufficient privileges to update data. If the Web browser you are using is not on the same computer as the target database, you will need to have remote (network) access through whatever firewalls are between the two computers. For information on using specific Database systems, see: Database System Info.

A database vendor type can be selected from a drop-down menu containing a list of the supported vendor databases. In some cases, multiple versions for a given database vendor may be listed (where the “*” includes all minor versions). Notes for the selected vendor database will appear in the “Info” area. These notes may include whether the selected vendor database requires an initial database to make a connection, default port number, and requirements for users etc.

The host where the target RDBMS system is installed is entered into the “Destination Host” field. The user/password information, if required by the target database system, is entered in the next two fields. Some database systems require that an existing database be specified in order to make a connection. This database, if required, is specified in the “Initial DB” field. Finally, the name of the database that will be the target of the transfer is entered in the “Destination DB” field. If the Destination DB is different from the Initial DB, the Initial DB will not be changed. If the Destination DB does not exist, it will be created, then populated. If it does exist, all existing data will be removed and replaced with the new transfer data.
The fields used in a DataPortal™ transfer are summarized in the tables below:

DataPortal™ Transfer Source Fields

  • HTTP/SSL: Type of protocol used for data transfer. HTTP is the standard Web protocol and is the default. The HTTP protocol is not encrypted, so intercepted data may be understood. HTTPS/SSL is an encrypted Web protocol that protects data if it is intercepted. It also requires verifying the identity of the DataPortal™ server, so a Keystore file containing Certificates of any DataPortal™ servers that will be accessed through SSL must be provided. (Not necessary if only HTTP protocol is to be used).
  • Source Host: The DataPortal™ host with the DataSources (published databases) of interest. If the default Web port (usually 80) is used, no port needs to be specified. If a port needs to be specified, it is entered after the host name with a “:” delimiter (e.g. localhost:8080). The host/port info of the server where the client Applet originated will be initially set.
  • DataPortal™ DataSource: A list of available DataSources (published databases) on the selected DataPortal™ server. One (and only one) should be selected.
  • User Name, Password: User name / password pair needed to gain access to the selected DataPortal™ DataSource, if required. If not required, fields should not be editable.

DataPortal™ Transfer Destination Fields

  • DB Vendor Type: Select the DB vendor type from a drop down menu populated with the available choices. In some cases, a version number may need to be selected.
  • Destination Host: The computer that your destination Database system is installed on (e.g. localhost is the standard name for the computer you are running your browser on).
  • User Name, Password: User name / password pair needed to access the destination Database system. The user should have sufficient permission to create tables and write to them.
  • Initial DB: Some Database systems require that a specific Database be specified to gain access to the Database system. If so, then the Database name should be entered. If it is not the Database specified as the Destination DB, no changes will be made to the Initial DB and it need not contain any data. If no Initial DB is required for a connection, this field may be left blank. See the DB specific notes in the “Info” area.
  • Destination DB: This is the target Database where the data to be transferred will be inserted. In some cases (depending on the type of Database System used), a new Database may be created. Some Database systems will require that an already existing Database be updated. In those cases, a new, empty Database System must be created before a transfer can occur. This can be used (and reused) as the Destination DB. If an already existing Database is to be updated, no Initial DB need be specified.

Info/Status Section

Static background information (such as notes on different vendor Database systems) is displayed in the “Info” text area. When a Database vendor is selected from the “DB Vendor Type” menu, corresponding notes are displayed in the Info text area. Dynamic information, such as progress of a data transfer, is displayed in the “Status” area. The displayed view can be selected with the tabs in the upper left of the Info/Status area. Sometimes, one or the other view will be selected based on context, such as the start of a data transfer. The “Clear Status” button will clear the Status text area but will not affect the Info area.

Transfer

Once all the information required to define the DataPortal™ transfer has been entered, the “TRANSFER” button may be activated. This will initiate the data transfer process. Data will be retrieved from the DataPortal™ server and will be put into the specified destination Database. A new database will be created, as needed. The structure will be built (including tables, table columns, primary keys, and foreign keys) and the retrieved data will be used to populate the Database. A current “snapshot” of the selected DataPortal™ DataSource will be created in the target Database.

All existing tables in the destination database will be deleted before the database is populated with new tables and data.

Transfer progress may be monitored in the Info/Status area. As the data transfer process proceeds, progress messages  should appear indicating the Database is created, tables are created and populated and the number of rows added. Finally a “FINISHED”message with success or failure status is displayed, indicating that the transfer has completed.