Princeton Softech is deepening and broadening Optim, its data archiving and retention software for Oracle E-Business Suite, so that it covers more modules and can serve up more details for data audits.
The company on April 24 will announce the availability of Optim 4.0. Optim is technology that lets enterprises apply business rules for managing application data at each point in the lifecycle of a transaction.
For example, it behooves businesses to keep orders that have been recently booked and paid for in a primary database environment, so that new transactions with new data get stored in the best environment, with plenty of resources dedicated to their care and feeding, said Lise Neely, manager of product marketing for Princeton Softech, in Princeton, N.J.
As data gets older, it still needs to be saved for regulatory compliance and reporting purposes, particularly if it pertains to a financial transaction, but it doesnt require all that much love.
Christopher Carriero, chair of the OAUG (Oracle Applications Users Group) Archive/Purge Special Interest Group, pointed out that the field of archiving and purging is a growing field in which people are increasingly interested, particularly since their databases are growing at such a fast clip.
“They find production databases growing immensely,” he said. “Especially because of the [Oracle E-Business Suite 11i] onset. It broadened the size of the data model for business applications. To be able to downsize that a bit so people arent having to continually buy disks and increase CPU processing power” is getting ever more attention, Carriero said.
In fact, the OAUG is awarding the Archive/Purge SIG a certificate of distinction at this years Collaborate 06 conference in Nashville, Tenn., April 23-27, in recognition of the growing importance of the topic and the work the SIG has done to shine a spotlight on it, he said.
As far as Princetons new Optim version goes, the update allows users to sort transactions by criteria such as age or business value and thus to apply an appropriate level of resources to maintain it, Neely said.
Princeton offers the solution with out-of-the-box adapters for many of the most popular ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) packages, as well as JDE, PeopleSoft and Siebel applications.
In situations where this type of sorting and archiving isnt automated, businesses tend to save entire copies of their application databases, Neely said.
Then, when they run into audit situations, where theyre asked to produce transaction records spanning multiple years, they have to slog through the work of restoring backup data.
“Its a very manual and cumbersome and expensive process,” Neely said. “Sites spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to respond to audit requests” when they have to resort to this manual data restoration, she said.
By enabling Oracle E-Business Suite, for example, to segment data, data for General Ledger can be kept in the production database for up to three months, whereas transactions that are four to 36 months old can be kept in a reporting database so users can run queries and generate reports off them.
Older transactions can be saved for compliance purposes and categorized so theyre easy to pinpoint when requested in an audit, thus cutting down on the time and effort needed to restore and search through backups.
The update allows Optim to track a more granular level of transaction detail, including, for example, customer name, item bought, invoice amount, bank account information and other types of reference numbers.
Such reference details make up reference snapshots that let the archives stand alone over time—an important aspect that allows users to report holistically on business activities, Neely said.
This is important in situations where enterprises upgrade from application version to application version. In spite of upgrading, users need to access information from previous application versions, and Optims reference snapshots allow this.
Princeton is also launching an accelerator methodology for Optim and Oracle E-Business Suite. Both Optim and the Princeton Softech Optim and Oracle E-Business Suite Solution Accelerator are being released at the OAUG Collaborate 06 conference.
Ziff Davis Media eSeminars invite: Join us April 28 at 2 p.m. and discover how small and midsized companies can enjoy the same advantages—security, reliability, scalability—that larger enterprises enjoy by deploying Linux technology.
Accelerator is a field-tested methodology that streamlines Optim implementation in Oracle E-Business shops, leading users through the stages of planning, designing, building, deploying and maintaining the applications.
“If a site is looking to automate data retention and to have better processes for defining business rules for what kind of resources to apply, and what kind of service levels, retention policy and so forth, this will define industry best practices,” Neely said. “We capture it into a methodology and bring it to the site of the client.”
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