Rocket MultiValue: External Data Access (EDA) Best Practices

We live in a fast-paced world where executives need real-time reports to make business decisions. Thus, users need information at their fingertips to deliver those reports. If your business-critical data lives in a UniData or UniVerse MultiValue database, External Data Access (EDA) can help.

What is EDA?

EDA allows users to convert UniData and UniVerse nested relational data to First Normal Form (1NF), where it can reside in a SQL Server, DB2 or Oracle database, making the data easily accessible to standard tools such as Crystal Reports or any of the many open source products.

EDA benefits and implementation

EDA allows users to seamlessly transform your UniData and Universe nested-relational data to a normalized form where external SQL tools can access your MultiValue application’s data. Since most users are accustomed to SQL, EDA makes them independent, allowing them to manipulate the data and generate the reports of their choice. EDA lifts the burden from valuable IT resources, developers and system administrators, who no longer must continuously cater to new report requests. Using EDA, there’s no need to wait for IT to deliver time-sensitive reports, increasing productivity and giving your business a competitive edge in the market.

The conversion can also help build data warehouses (in normalized forms) where it can be leveraged by many tools and products, especially Business Intelligence (BI) tools that can easily work on SQL-compliant data.

EDA usually works hand in hand with U2 Replication. So, while it is possible to run EDA on the same instance of the publisher database, as a best practice we strongly recommended running EDA on the subscriber instance of the replicated database, thus shifting any possible overhead from the main production environment to the secondary environment.

EDA with U2 Replications also allows you to manage reports and associated processing dates. For example, an application that needs to generate monthly or periodic reports can then disconnect the subscriber instance at the end of the month to start processing reports. Once the reports are complete, using EDA, the subscriber is synced back with the publisher or primary system. This practice alleviates the extra workload on the production system during times of heavy report generation demands, especially disk IO.

EDA Mapping

Using the EDA Schema Manager, featuring an easy to use Eclipse-based GUI, you convert your UniData or UniVerse nested-relational data to 1NF. Once the data is converted to an EDA file, it is stored in the corresponding SQL table. Please note that physical data is not stored in the converted EDA file. In other words, the EDA mapping file does not contain data that you can use in the future or for backup purposes, for example. The EDA file acts only as a driver between the MultiValue database and the SQL database.

Want to learn more about EDA? Watch this hour-long webinar: Rocket U2 Replication with External Database Access (EDA)

Safwat Boulos

Safwat Boulos 1 Posts

A Senior Sales Engineer at Rocket, Safwat works with partners and customers throughout North America to implement and develop UniVerse/UniData, Java, .Net, Web application, Web Services and SOA. He has over 30 years of software design and development experience and three certifications from IBM in architecture and design of distributed applications. Safwat also helps with Eclipse and MS Visual Studio IDEs.

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