We manage a complex problem. Database archiving for packaged applications can be tricky. An ERP customer has to go through many changes: customizations & localizations, patches & upgrades, occasional cross platform migrations and even significant technology changes. ERP technology moved from client-server to Internet and now it is starting to evolve to the Services Oriented Architecture (SOA).
A question often times asked is how we manage all these changes – not just for one application but for multiple applications running on multiple databases.
Take the case of patches. There would be patches for both database and the ERP. And for ERP we have minor patches as well as major patches. Minor patch would be where there are just structural changes or changes to the data type. A major patch would be where there are additions or splits to tables or formulae changes which impact data. Each of them have a certain impact to the application and could potentially have to the archived data and tables as well. How does our archiving technology handle such changes with minimal impact to the customer environment?
We realized that solving this complex problem can only be achieved through deep engineering. A solution will have to be architected grounds-up to anticipate and handle such complex changes in a manner that is simple to install, support, implement and use without causing a major disruption in the archiving process when such a change occurs.
We adopted a few design principles that are like Core Values to our Engineering.
- Flexibility: ability to handle all data types
- Extensibility: ability to work across multiple platforms, databases, middleware and applications
- Scalability: ability to cover multiple data management functions
- Openness: for easy plug-ins with partner platforms and solutions
- Security: providing the highest levels of data integrity and security
- Simplicity: for support, implementation and use; the complexity is only to be in our labs
- Robustness: ability to manage change without significant re-work and disruptions
The road to achieve this was through adoption of 3-tier J2EE architecture and developing tools that confined the complexity to only our labs.
The proof of simplicity is scalability and flexibility to manage change.
Scalability: While life of Solix EDMS started with Database Archiving for Oracle e-Business Suite, we quickly expanded the footprint to cover other applications running on Oracle and non-Oracle databases. Not only that. We today cover other data management functions such as Test Data Management, Data Masking and Application Retirement and that includes platforms like AS/400 and z/OS.
Flexibility to manage change: Our customers have upgraded from Oracle e-Business Suite R10.7 to R11 and now R12 – with minor and major patches in between. And many of them were with significant new customizations. Or sometimes customizations that were dropped from one Release to the next, because the new Release had incorporated the previous customized functionality.
We achieved this in matter of just two years. Application Archiving is definitely a complex subject. But we hide that elegantly. It’s what’s hidden that intrigues all.