Data Management Beating Clock

Tools from Embarcadero, DataMirror deliver timesaving tips.

Database management tool vendors Embarcadero Technologies Inc. and DataMirror Corp. are introducing product updates that promise to save a precious commodity: database administrators time.

Embarcadero, of San Francisco, this week is rolling out three plug-ins that work with DBArtisan 7.2, the latest update of the companys database administration software. The three tools, Space Analyst, Performance Analyst and Capacity Analyst, are designed to simplify trouble-shooting and resolution of performance and space problems and will be initially available to support Oracle Corp. databases.

Space Analyst provides diagnostics to trouble-shoot bottlenecks that might threaten the availability of a database, including when a database will run out of space and how close to full it is at any moment. The tool also informs users about storage problems, which can not only take down a database but also affect performance. Also, it offers mechanisms to fix such problems, Embarcadero officials said.

Performance Analyst is a client-side database monitor that organizes performance metrics as database administrators like to see them, the officials said. It can be run in a browser or within DBArtisan. DBAs can pull a problematic database into the tool, which then pinpoints the trouble. Because the tool works within DBArtisan, DBAs can then invoke that products tools to fix the problem.

Capacity Analyst offers historical database performance metrics at user-defined intervals. It also features forecasting so DBAs can project a databases performance to predict such things as when the database will run out of space or whether the performance of tables and indexes is degrading.

Donald Burleson, a DBA and Oracle consultant in Raleigh, N.C., who is beta testing the Embarcadero tools, said the plug-ins will save him a lot of time. "[They] save me from constantly having to run scripts to see what the health of my systems are," Burleson said. "Writing a single Oracle dictionary query can take hours. Most people have them prewritten, but you still have to search libraries, find the right script, execute the script, interpret the output, plot the output, etc. Now, its practically instantaneous."

Embarcadero plans a beta release of the plug-in early next month and will make them available as a package in early June.

For its part, Toronto-based DataMirror is releasing an update to Transformation Server, its data integration software. Transformation Server 5.1 is a peer-to-peer architecture that allows customers to solve business problems involving databases in real time.

The upgrade features a monitor, called Enterprise Administrator, from which DBAs and enterprise application administrators can administer connections to target databases and data sources. This graphical interface replaces the need to manually check error logs, which involved much digging around to determine problems, officials said. Built-in diagrams offer the ability to navigate and drill down into each subscription so administrators can determine whether the problem is on the source side or the target side.

Version 5.1 also features a redesigned communications layer for improved integration performance. This provides a common API across all supported platforms, officials said.