Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Replic-Action makes data migration a snap


By Janine Sutphen

The day started out with optimism and promise. The long awaited inventory database was complete. The demo was set for 10:00 AM--just 15 more minutes. I could hardly contain my pride. The application met all their specifications. The design flowed, the navigators and buttons worked. People arrived. The moment had come to unveil the project that took months of labor. As I went through the steps to create, modify, and delete records, my face beamed. I changed views to display the specific requests from the customer. The room was quiet except for the sound of the purring of my customers, the reflection of their satisfaction. The praises and accolades abounded. Finally the senior vice-president raised his hand and said, "And when can we expect the migration of the data to be completed?"

The blood drained from my face. This requirement was new. No one told me that we had to import all the old data. I knew that they had been collecting information for years in their DB2 database, but I had assumed that this new Notes application would be a starting point, not a continuation. My mind raced, searching for an answer that would satisfy my customer. And then I remembered a talk I had with a colleague who had attended a user-group meeting. The presenter had been from a company called Casahl Technologies, and the man had presented a product called Replic-Action.

My co-worker had been quite impressed, not only with the presenter, but with the product. He said that with Replic-Action you could easily import data from many relational databases into Notes. Not only that, you could make a realtime connection. I took a breath, smiled, and printed on the white board "Plan for data migration: Replic-Action." As I left the room, I knew that I had scored big time. I had my work cut out for me, though.

More bang for your buck

Casahl Technology (at has created Replic-Action, a software program that integrates data both within and between enterprise systems. Replic-Action is designed to work with Lotus Notes and allow replication to occur not only between Lotus Notes databases, but also between any ODBC-compliant databases (ODBC is an application-programming interface used for communicating between enterprise systems using the SQL query language).

As a groupware program, Notes' main function is to allow people working in various locations to enter data in a database on their local server, while being able to view the data entered from all server locations. This enterprise replication is accomplished from within your familiar Notes environment. Replic-Action supports three types of replication.

One-way replication

One-way replication is the synchronizing of data from the source database--usually DB2, Oracle, SQL Server--with data in the destination database, a Notes database. If a change is made to a record in the source database, you will see the change in the destinatin database after replication has occurred. However, if a change is made to a record in the destination database, you won't see the change in the source database.